A Japanese Connection in the Italian Garden Pools

Chihuly at Biltmore was on display from May 17 to October 7, 2018.
Please enjoy this archived content.

Chihuly at Biltmore—the first art exhibition in Biltmore’s historic gardens and the first garden exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s works in North Carolina—showcases large-scale glass sculptures throughout the grounds of America’s Largest Home®.

Niijima Floats by artist Dale Chihuly as part of Chihuly at Biltmore

One of the must-see displays of this exciting exhibition in is the Italian Garden, where five different installations are set throughout its three pools, including Niijima Floats, named for the island of Niijima in Tokyo Bay, Japan.

Koi swimming in the Italian Garden pools

Coincidentally, this unique installation exists alongside another Japanese connection: the colorful koi that populate the Italian Garden pools. While we don’t know exactly when the koi were introduced to the pools, we do know that George Vanderbilt had a fascination with their nation of origin: Japan.

Invitation to Emperor of Japan’s birthday celebration, 1892

In fact, in 1892, George Vanderbilt and his cousin, Clarence Barker, toured countless temples and other cultural sites during their trip to Japan—a trip which begin with an invitation to attend the Emperor’s birthday celebration.

Pagoda at Horinji-Nara. Photo purchased by George Vanderbilt, 1892

Around the turn of the century, many Americans thought Japan and its culture were exotic and rooted in tradition, offering a blend of spirituality and aesthetic beauty. To George Vanderbilt, deeply interested in history, the arts, and collecting, the allure must have been irresistible.

Samurai armor from Japan’s Edo period (1615-1868); purchased by George Vanderbilt, 1892

Of course, antiques shops and art dealers were part of the itinerary as George Vanderbilt eventually shipped 32 cases of art and decorative objects back to America. Among his purchases were:

  • Satsuma ceramics, including a koro or ceremonial incense burner, for $85—a significant sum more than 125 years ago
  • Two suits of samurai armor along with spears and swords
  • Netsuke—miniature sculptures originally used as kimono toggles
  • Bronze sculptures
  • Lacquer boxes and sculptures
  • Varied screens and fans
  • Bamboo curtains
  • 1,000 festive paper lanterns

Visit now through October 7 to experience Chihuly at BiltmoreAfter strolling through the exhibition, we invite you to discover The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village to view the Samurai armor and other treasures George Vanderbilt collected during his travels as part of our The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad.

Turning Windows Into Wines

From stunning works of glass art in Biltmore’s collection to the glassware in which you taste Biltmore wines, glass is a glorious medium that can be both decorative and functional, often at the same time.

“As we celebrate the importance of glass at Biltmore,” said Jill Whitfield, Wine Marketing Manager, “we are delighted to share the release of two new wines: Vitrus™ White, a refreshing blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier featuring a fragrant bouquet and notes of kiwi and pineapple, and Vitrus™ Red, a bold, fruit-forward, blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and Syrah featuring notes of blueberry, vanilla, and spice. Both wines are inspired by artwork commissioned by George Vanderbilt’s father William Henry Vanderbilt.”

Photograph of William Henry Vanderbilt

Photograph of William Henry Vanderbilt, c. 1882

The commission

In 1879, William H. Vanderbilt built a grand home on New York’s newly fashionable Fifth Avenue. In addition to splendid interiors created by the acclaimed design firm Herter Brothers, W. H. Vanderbilt commissioned artist and interior designer John La Farge to create several stained glass panels for the central stairwell of his new home. Considered to be among La Farge’s finest work, the set of three triptych windows known as The Fruits of Prosperity showcase his experimental techniques, which influenced the work of another famous stained glass artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany.

La Farge windows representing Hospitality and Prosperity
A portion of The Fruits of Prosperity by John La Farge

One set of three windows known as Hospitality and Prosperity symbolically represent the success and contributions of the Vanderbilt family. In the center, a young noble couple is enthroned beneath festoons and garlands of jewels. On the left, Hospitality is represented by a kneeling figure under a grape arbor preparing a banquet with the help of cupids carrying vessels of wine. On the right, Prosperity is portrayed by a majestic figure offering a cornucopia of coins.

George Vanderbilt inherited the house at 640 Fifth Avenue in 1896 after his mother’s death. During renovations in the early 1900s, he had these windows removed and stored for safekeeping, and they became part of Biltmore’s collection.

Sketching designs for the Vitrus labelsLisa Vogel, Art Director, takes inspiration for the Vitrus labels from the La Farge Windows

Turning windows into wine

When George Vanderbilt’s grandson William A. V. Cecil returned to Biltmore in 1960 to manage the estate, he was looking for ways to preserve the property and his family’s legacy.

One of his major initiatives was the creation of a vineyard and a winery to complement his grandfather’s French Renaissance-style chateau and and his vision of agricultural programs that would promote self-suffiency. When Biltmore’s Winery opened in 1985, the La Farge windows were initially used in the Tasting Room, but later removed to prevent possible damage due to their age and fragile nature.

Twenty-five years later, the Hospitality and Prosperity trio of  La Farge windows once again saw the light, first in The Biltmore Legacy in Antler Hill Village, and then in the Winery where they remain on display today.

“The craftsmanship and the beauty of the stained glass is astounding,” said Jill, “and it inspired us to create our two new Vitrus wines that honor La Farge’s groundbreaking techniques and Vanderbilt’s legacy as a patron of the arts.”

Hand-colored sketches for the Vitrus labels

Lisa’s hand-colored design sketches for the Vitrus labels 

Bottles of Vitrus White and Vitrus Red at the Winery

Bottles of Vitrus Red and Vitrus White at the Winery

Close-up of Vitrus Red and Vitrus White labelsWorks of art

“With the La Farge windows as inspiration, we created the Vitrus labels in a stained glass style. It looks almost as if the bottles are works of art, and the wines inside the bottles are certainly handcrafted to be masterpieces,” Jill said.

Purchase Vitrus White, Vitrus Red, and any of our other fine wines online or at the estate.

Featured blog image: New Vitrus Red and Vitrus White wines at Gate House Shop

Take Flight Now with Vertical Vintages!

In 2018, Biltmore Wines was very excited to offer a rare opportunity exclusively to our Vanderbilt Wine Club® members: the chance to experience a true vertical tasting of our Vanderbilt Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. While the wines were available, Wine Club members could purchase this particular Pinot Noir in its 2012, 2013, and 2014 vintages!

What is a vertical flight and why is it so unusual?

Three glasses of red wine

Horizontal flights

Most wine flights are horizontal, meaning that you’re tasting several wines (often three or more) that are similar in nature (think “flight of geese” or “flight of stairs” and you’ll see how the name refers to a collection of similar things). This is a great way to learn more about wines in general and to discover interesting differences that you might not notice otherwise.

Vertical flights

What happens, then, when a flight goes vertical? That’s a very different type of tasting, and one that doesn’t happen every day.

Biltmore red wine being poured into a glass

For a vertical flight, you’ll be tasting three or more wines of the same varietal from the same maker in a series of different but close or sequential vintages. From varietal to vineyard to winemaker, the vintage is the only variable. Here are some of the things you can expect to experience:

  • Taste the obvious effects of how the wine matures over time
  • Note subtle differences made by the year’s weather in which the varietal was grown
  • Understand how aging affects the color, aromas, and flavors of the wine, and how it becomes more smooth as tannins and acidity decrease

Friends toasting with red wineHosting a vertical flight

A vertical flight is an exciting way to experience the terroir of a vineyard, the skill of the winemaker, and the characteristics of the varietal over time. It’s also a fun way for a small group of friends to learn more about a particular varietal together, so consider hosting a vertical tasting in one of two ways:

Youngest to oldest (most common vertical flight tasting style):

  • Discover the evolution of aging in a natural progression
  • Experience the varietal from a simpler, youngerphase to a more mature and complex one

Oldest to youngest (more unusual; offers different insights): 

  • Learn how decreasing levels of alcohol, acidity, and tannins in more mature wines affect your tasting experience
  • Keep your palate fresher longer by tasting younger wines last

Glasses of red wineJoin the club!

Ready to enjoy exclusive offers available only to our Vanderbilt Wine Club® members, such as receiving three hand-selected vintages each season, a dedicated section of Biltmore’s Winery, and members-only events? Become a Wine Club member today, or give someone special a gift membership!

Mr. William A.V. Cecil

William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil, owner of The Biltmore Company, died on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at his home in Asheville. He was 89 years old.

William A.V. Cecil was the youngest son of Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil and the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil, and the grandson of George W. Vanderbilt, who built Biltmore House in the 1890s as the largest privately owned home in America.

Mr. Cecil was born August 17, 1928 at his family home in Asheville. Educated in England and Switzerland, he served in the British Navy near the end of World War II. After the war, he attended Harvard University and graduated in 1952. He pursued a career in finance, where he served as a representative of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, and later as an officer with Chase’s international department based in Washington, D.C.

In 1957, he married Mary “Mimi” Ryan, a lawyer with the Wall Street firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. In 1960, the Cecils moved to Asheville with the intention of preserving Biltmore by growing tourism to the region.

“We don’t preserve Biltmore to make a profit. We make a profit to preserve Biltmore,” Mr. Cecil was known to say. His vision for the estate extended beyond its gates to encompass North Carolina and the country, and he worked the next 35 years to position Biltmore as a unique national treasure and Asheville as a “must-see” destination.

Although his parents opened Biltmore House to the public in 1930, it was not a source of income for the estate. After 30 years, revenues from visiting guests had produced a profit only one time. The book Lady on the Hill details the tremendous challenges Mr. Cecil faced in restoring Biltmore to its Vanderbilt-era glory.

Mr. Cecil portrait“There was this negativism that it can’t be done,” Mr. Cecil said. “If you ever want me to do something, just say ‘It can’t be done.’ Everyone told me it couldn’t be done, so I just stuck my feet in it and I said, ‘We’ll see about that.’ And that is what motivated me.”

After years of dedication and hard work—including everything from writing marketing copy to taking photographs for estate brochures—Mr. Cecil announced that Biltmore had made a profit of $16.34 in 1969. In the following decades, his leadership propelled restorations to Biltmore House, renovations across the estate, and unparalleled growth for The Biltmore Company based on his unique business philosophy of a profitable private enterprise supporting preservation.

He was a leader in envisioning successful winemaking in North Carolina, planting vineyards, hiring a French winemaker, and opening the Biltmore Winery in 1985 when the idea of a successful North Carolina winery was unimaginable. Today, Biltmore Winery distributes wines across the country and is the most-visited winery in the nation.

His involvement in Biltmore’s preservation led him to found and serve as the board chairman of the Historic House Association of America, which later merged with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 1963, his dedication to Biltmore’s preservation was rewarded when the estate was recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Mr. Cecil also received the National Trust Preservation Award in 1995 for “his unique vision and achievement in the restoration and economically viable administration of the Biltmore Estate.”

Mr. Cecil considered tourism, preservation, and heritage as natural partners, and was active in a number of travel and tourism organizations.  He served as the 1972 president of the Southern Highlands Attractions Association, president of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, and president of the North Carolina Travel Council. In 1974, he was awarded the Charles J. Parker Travel Award. He was also included in “The North Carolina Century, Tar Heels Who Made a Difference, 1900–2000.”

In addition, he served on the board of directors for the Public Service Natural Gas Company, Carolina Motor Club, and the board of the North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry.

Mr. Cecil retired from the company’s day-to-day operations in 1995 after nurturing his family business into a leading economic contributor to Asheville. The company now encompasses travel and tourism, hospitality, agriculture, wine, and licensed products, and is one of the area’s largest employers.

In an afterword to Lady on the Hill, Mr. Cecil wrote:
“I hope Biltmore Estate will continue to give its guests one of America’s most gratifying cultural and aesthetic experiences for years to come. I also hope that the commitment to preserving the great natural beauty that graces Biltmore is held sacred. The estate has given my family great personal and professional satisfaction over the years, and it has been my pleasure and my honor to share her. Long may the Lady on the Hill stand as a symbol of vision, inspiration, and imagination.”

Mr. Cecil is survived by his wife, Mary “Mimi” Ryan Cecil; his son, William A.V. “Bill” Cecil, Jr., and daughter-in-law Virginia “Ginger” Cecil; his daughter, Diana “Dini” Cecil Pickering, son-in-law George “Chuck” Pickering and brother George H.V. Cecil; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Christmas at Biltmore by the Numbers for 2017

This year, our Floral staff has gathered inspiration from stories about George and Edith Vanderbilt welcoming friends and family to interpret this year’s theme of “A Vanderbilt Christmas.” Classically elegant decorations in platinum, gold, silver, and jewel tones adorn Biltmore House and its 8,000 acre estate.

We know that decking the halls of America’s Largest Home® is no small task, so let’s take a closer look at Christmas at Biltmore décor by the numbers.

Christmas treesChristmas Trees

  • There are 55 decorated Christmas trees inside Biltmore House for the 2017 celebration.
  • The smallest tree can be found on a table top in the Raphael Room.
  • The largest tree inside Biltmore House is, of course, the Vanderbilt traditional fresh 35-foot-tall Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall. It takes around 50 Biltmore staff members to carry in, raise, and secure the towering tree into place.
  • A lit 55-foot-tall Norway spruce encircled by 20 other illuminated evergreens decorates the Front Lawn of Biltmore House for Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
  • A total of 35 additional decorated Christmas trees are at other estate locations, including Antler Hill Village & Winery, The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, and our restaurants.

Christmas lightsLights & Candles

  • There are around 30,000 lights and 150 candles inside Biltmore House. More than 135,000 LED and mini lights twinkle around the estate.
  • About 55,000 lights illuminate the Front Lawn tree. An additional 20,000 are used on surrounding trees and shrubs.
  • Lit at dusk, 250 luminaries line the driveway and Esplanade in front of Biltmore House.

Christmas ornamentsOrnaments

  • The Banquet Hall Tree is trimmed with 500 gift boxes, 500 ornaments, and 500 LED Edison bulb style electric lights.
  • There are 13,000 ornaments decorating the other trees inside Biltmore House and another 13,000 used in other areas of the estate.
  • Between seasons, the ornaments are housed in a large off-site warehouse, where they are sorted, labelled, and stored in approximately 1,000 Banker style boxes.

PoinsettiasPoinsettias & Other Blooming Plants

There are more than 1,000 traditional poinsettias on display throughout the estate—about 100 of which are in the Winter Garden. There are also more than 1,000 amaryllis, Christmas cactus, orchids, peace lilies, cyclamen, begonias, and kalanchoe.

Lion statue with wreathWreaths

Our wreaths are made of fresh white pine and Fraser fir, ornamented with golden arborvitae, holly, and other natural materials such as twigs and cones.  Artificial bases are decorated with ornaments, berries, faux flowers, and ribbon.  We place 360 fresh wreaths and sprays along with 130 faux pieces around the estate during the season.

Kissing Balls

There are 100 orbs made of fresh white pine and Fraser fir or dried and faux materials decorating the estate.

Garlands on HearthGarlands

We use 7,527 feet of fresh evergreen garlands during the season, made of mixed white pine and Fraser fir. The garlands are replaced weekly to maintain a fresh look and fragrance for our guests. Faux garlands add another 1,200 feet in Biltmore House and around 1,500 feet in other areas.

Christmas BowRibbons & Bows

There are about 1,000 handmade bows inside Biltmore House with an additional 2,000 across the estate. The amount of ribbon required for the bows ranges from five yards for one on the fresh garland on the Grand Staircase to 15 yards for a tree topper bow in the Tapestry Gallery.

Visit Biltmore this Christmas season and experience our Floral team’s vision come to life at one of the Southeast’s most storied holiday destinations.

Meet the New Face of the Biltmore Floral Team

With the retirement of Cathy Barnhardt, Biltmore’s Floral Displays Manager for 40 years—since the first Christmas at Biltmore Daytime Celebration—many were left wondering: Who will fill these festive shoes?

Enter Lizzie Borchers. A Texas native, Lizzie studied floriculture at Texas A&M University with a dream of working at Biltmore.

“I actually began e-mailing the company as a freshman to show my interest,” she laughs.

After working at Dr. Delphinium Designs & Events, one of the largest florist shop in Texas (and that’s saying something!), Lizzie joined Biltmore in 2014 as the Lodging & Events Floral Manager.

The Inn’s Lobby at Christmas, decorated by Lizzie’s team in 2015And when Cathy announced her retirement earlier this year, Lizzie felt confident in fulfilling the role.

Lizzie was officially promoted July 1, and then she spent two months with Cathy, trying to soak up the knowledge gained from her four decades of experience.

“Cathy had never had to train anyone for her position before,” says Lizzie, “which resulted in a lot of really long conversations.”

One thing Lizzie couldn’t be trained on, however, is coordinating our brand new must-see holiday display of shimmering lights and décor at Antler Hill Village & Winery.

Antler Hill Village Christmas lights in storageAs dusk falls, the village is illuminated with almost 4,000 strands of twinkling lights. Pathways are lit with 100 lanterns hanging from poles of estate-harvested bamboo. More than 65 shrubs are decorated with nearly 200 sparkling stars, snowflakes, and spheres.

“With this much illumination, the village will be viewable from space,” Lizzie says.

Inside the Winery’s Tasting Room, more than 7,000 gold and glittery globe-shaped ornaments—reminiscent of champagne bubbles—hang from the ceiling.

Lizzie with ornaments for the Tasting Room“I think what I’m most impressed with in my new position so far is our floral team’s ownership of their individual design areas—especially considering the large size and scope of our work,” says Lizzie. “They really do go above and beyond to deliver an experience similar to what guests of the Vanderbilts may have enjoyed more than 100 years ago.”

Feature: Lizzie Borchers, Floral Displays Manager
First image: The Inn’s Lobby at Christmas, decorated by Lizzie’s team in 2015
Second image: Antler Hill Village Christmas lights in storage
Third image: Lizzie with ornaments for the Tasting Room

Raising a Glass to Biltmore’s New Wine Bar

What’s the best time to visit Biltmore’s Winery? Every time you visit Biltmore–especially now that our new Wine Bar is open for your enjoyment!

Sip, savor & share

Located in the area known as Scholar’s Walk, the Wine Bar offers a relaxed setting featuring a wonderful view of the iconic Winery clock tower. It’s a great spot to linger with friends and savor our award-winning Biltmore Wines by the glass or bottle, or try our Cedric’s Pale Ale and Cedric’s Brown Ale craft beers. A light snack menu is also available. 

And it’s not just about the wine–the Wine Bar is a beautifully-detailed space that makes use of stonework from Biltmore’s original dairy operation and repurposed trees from the estate.

Join our Wine Club

Members of our Vanderbilt Wine Club have their own exclusive section of the Wine Bar and receive a complimentary premium tasting or glass of wine for themselves and up to three guests. Cheers!

Want to share your Wine Bar experience with us? Make sure to add #biltmorewine to the images you post on social media!

Literary Guests of Biltmore House

While we aren’t sure exactly when they met, George Vanderbilt and author Edith Wharton likely knew each other most of their lives. Both were born into New York society in 1862 and both moved in the same social circles.

Thanks to the Biltmore House guest book, we know that Wharton visited the estate at least twice: once in November 1902 and again around Christmas 1905.

On December 26, 1905, she wrote from Biltmore to her friend Sara Norton, describing the Vanderbilts’ gracious hospitality:

“Yesterday we had a big Xmas fete for the 350 people on the estate – a tree 30 ft. high, Punch & Judy, conjuror, presents & “refreshments.” It would have interested you, it was done so well & sympathetically, each person’s wants being thought of, from mother to last baby.”
From The Letters of Edith Wharton

During this visit, she signed a copy of her recently completed novel, The House of Mirth:
“To George Vanderbilt from Edith Wharton, Biltmore House, Christmas 1905.”

The House of Mirth later became entry #2,163 in George’s “Books I Have Read” journal series.

Excerpt from In the Biltmore archives, there are a handful of letters from Wharton to George. While many of the letters discuss Wharton subletting the Vanderbilts’ apartment on the Left Bank in Paris from 1907 to 1910, one of them stands out from the rest.

On March 25, 1913, Wharton wrote George regarding a 70th birthday gift for Henry James, author of The Portrait of a Lady. She was sending word of a circular and a collection of money for James to purchase whatever gift he wanted.

But a gift was never purchased. James found out about the collection prematurely and refused it.

Coincidentally, James, who was also friend of George Vanderbilt’s, stayed at Biltmore—in the winter of 1905, around the same time as Wharton.

Feature image: Edith Wharton at her home, The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts, 1905
Second image: George Vanderbilt’s “Books I Have Read” journal opened to entry #2,163:
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

A Romantic Legacy

William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil, the younger son of Cornelia and John F. A. Cecil, was born at Biltmore in 1928. He attended schools in England and Switzerland before serving in the British Navy. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, William worked as a banker in the international department of Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City.

St. Vincent Ferrer's Roman Catholic Church, NYC

It was there that he met his future wife Mary “Mimi” Lee Ryan, daughter of textile manufacturer John J. Ryan, Jr., and granddaughter of prominent New York banker, lawyer, and builder James T. Lee. Mimi received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her law degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to her marriage, she was an attorney with the Manhattan firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham, and Taft.

A romantic beginning

The Cecils married on October 5, 1957, at St. Vincent Ferrer’s Roman Catholic Church in New York City. The bride wore a gown of white satin with a fitted bodice and a full skirt forming a cathedral train. She carried a lush bouquet of white roses, stephanotis, and English ivy. Her veil was a family heirloom originally worn in 1903 by her maternal grandmother, Margaret Merritt Lee, and also worn by her first cousin, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, at her 1953 wedding to future U.S. President John F. Kennedy. After the ceremony, a reception was held at the elegant River Club in the city.

William and Mary Ryan Cecil with bridesmaids

In 1959, the Cecils moved to Asheville, North Carolina to manage Biltmore, the grand country estate created by Mr. Cecil’s grandfather George Vanderbilt. Their two children grew up in the family business whose mission is preserving Biltmore as a privately owned, profitable working estate. Today, William Cecil, Jr. serves as Biltmore’s CEO and Diana “Dini” Cecil Pickering is president of the Family Office.

The Biltmore Legacy

Today, estate guests have an opportunity to visit The Biltmore Legacy located in Antler Hill Village and view our Fashionable Romance exhibition featuring family wedding history and heirlooms, including Mrs. Cecil’s beautiful wedding gown, subsequently worn by her daughter-in-law Virginia Cecil and her daughter Dini Pickering.

William and Mary Ryan Cecil cut their wedding cake

The Lee Family Veil is also displayed in the exhibition along with a stunning recreation of the gown worn by Mr. Cecil’s mother Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil and her original satin slippers. This outstanding collection of wedding-related fashion offers a rare glimpse into the lives of the fascinating family that has preserved Biltmore for generations to come.

Featured image: Newlyweds William and Mary Ryan Cecil 

Top right: The service at St. Vincent Ferrer’s Roman Catholic Church in New York City

Middle left: William and Mary Ryan Cecil with bride’s attendants

Bottom right: The Cecils cut their wedding cake at the reception

Fall Crawl – 36 Hours at Biltmore

A day-and-a-half doesn’t seem like enough time to truly experience fall in Asheville, right? Think again! Whether you’re visiting Asheville for the week, or are just passing through Biltmore on your road trip, here are our “Fall Crawl” suggestions to create perfect fall getaway. Guests at Biltmore don’t need to go far to experience all Western North Carolina has to offer—with history, local brews, field-to-table cuisine, and fall beauty right on the estate.

Of course, a visit to Biltmore House is on the very top of our list, but what should you do after spending a few hours touring America’s largest home? Pick and choose from our list below to create a custom autumn itinerary.

Spectacular Fall Views

South Terrace (.5 hours)
Biltmore's South Terrace
Located next to Biltmore House, this four-acre elevated terrace space provides incomparable views of the surrounding mountains.

Rooftop Tour (1 hour)
Rooftop Tour
This specialty tour is an excellent way to build your architectural knowledge of Biltmore House while taking long-range fall views.

Garden Strolls

Walled Garden & Conservatory (1 hour)
Walled Garden and Conservatory
Hundreds of vibrant chrysanthemums and salvias blanket the Walled Garden during Fall at Biltmore. Continue your stroll into the Conservatory to be transported to a tropical oasis right in the middle of autumn!

Bass Pond (1 hour)
Bass Pond
Fall color radiates across Biltmore’s Bass Pond. Fun fact: The iconic brick bridge over the Bass Pond is made a stunning backdrop in a scene in the film Last of the Mohicans as two central characters rode across it in a horse-drawn carriage.

Antler Hill Village & Winery

The Biltmore Legacy (1 hour)
Biltmore Legacy Exhibit
See historical items from 60 years of Vanderbilt family weddings including a reproduction of Cornelia Vanderbilt’s 1924 wedding gown and the veil work by Jacqueline Lee Bouvier for her marriage to John F. Kennedy.

Complimentary Tastings & Winery Tours (2 hours)
Biltmore Winery
Your admission to Biltmore includes a complimentary tasting of more than a dozen wines inside our newly-renovated tasting room. Sign up for a production tour or barrel tasting to get a unique behind-the-scenes experience, or relax with a Red Wine & Chocolate Seminar.

Dining & Cocktails

Seasonal Dining
Village Social Restaurant
Fall marks the beginning of oyster season and Village Social features seasonal seafood items delivered almost every day to ensure freshness. Their small plate menu is perfect for sharing! Or, if seafood isn’t your favorite, the Bistro and Cedric’s are excellent choices to experience some of Biltmore’s field-to-table cuisine and Asheville’s local brews.  

Specialty Cocktails
Specialty Cocktails
Enjoy early evening music in Antler Hill Village before capping off the evening with a specialty cocktail by the fireplace at either The Inn or Village Social. 

Outdoor Adventures

Guided Hike (1.5 hours)
Fall Hiking
Wake up the next morning with a brisk walk! Choose from a fast-paced or relaxing guided hike to get an insiders perspective on Biltmore’s landscape. 

Segway Tour (1.5 hours)
Segway Tour
Explore more remote areas of the estate on our off-road or West Side Segway Tours. For those who prefer a more relaxing way to explore the estate, consider a Carriage Ride or our Legacy of the Land tour.

We’re here to help!

These ten items are just a few suggestions from all that Biltmore has to offer. For any questions, or help creating your customized itinerary, call our Guest Support team, send us a Facebook message, or tweet us!