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Renovating America’s Most-Visited Winery

Posted on 10/07/2016 by Jean Sexton

In 1985, George Vanderbilt’s grandson William A.V. Cecil opened a new state-of-the-art winery in what had been an original estate dairy barn. Little did we know that within a few years, it would become the most-visited winery in the U.S., welcoming a significant portion of our one million and more annual guests to tour our production facility and taste our award-winning wines. 

Renovation begins in the Biltmore WineryRenovation begins

Three decades have passed since the opening, and the time was right to renovate the Biltmore Winery, expanding its capacity to host more visitors and creating new space for our programs and offerings.

The initial phase of the project focused on updating the smaller Tasting Room plus the addition of a new Tasting Room. Construction began in Fall 2015—with a break for all the lively holiday celebrations—and was completed in time for a special Passholder preview event in April 2016. 

Signatures on a beam in the Biltmore Winery

Signature event

In August 2016, the second phase of renovation started in the main Tasting Room. During this time, Biltmore Passholders and Vanderbilt Wine Club members were given the opportunity to become part of the project by signing pieces of lumber that would be used in the main Tasting Room. Though covered in the final stages of construction, their signatures, comments, and well wishes are a wonderful tribute to our winemakers and hosts--and Mr. Cecil’s vision to add a vineyard and a winery to his grandfather’s estate. 

In just one month of busy days, nights, and weekends, the dedicated construction team completed the project—with beautiful results! While it was difficult to have the main Tasting Room under construction, our Winery staff handled it with grace and professionalism to ensure all guests still enjoyed the true Biltmore experience.

Couple tasting wines at Biltmore WineryMission accomplished

Our main Tasting Room officially opened on September 1, just in time for our annual NC Wine Month celebration. Not only is the space more aesthetically pleasing, but the renovation also provides added benefits to our guests, such as shorter wait times on busy days, more room to interact with the Winery hosts, and a more open, comfortable setting to enjoy Biltmore wines.

We invite you to join us soon and discover all our newly-renovated Winery has to offer!

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