Nae’s Tips for a Kid-Friendly Christmas Visit

Recently, Biltmore had the pleasure of hosting Nae Noelle (@NaeNoelle) and her family for a holiday visit to experience Christmas at Biltmore! If your family is considering a visit to Biltmore during the holiday season, we invite you to read Nae’s recommendations for her top ways to share the magic of Christmas at Biltmore with your kids.

Nae Noelle and her family enjoyed all that Biltmore had to offer during the Christmas season.
@naenoelle and her family enjoyed all that Biltmore had to offer during the Christmas season.

Is there anything more beautiful than Christmas at Biltmore in Asheville, NC?

Long answer short, I don’t think so. The illumination, the Christmas décor, the grandeur, the warm invitation of the stunning lit fireplaces—need I say more? There just isn’t anything quite like spending time at Biltmore for the holidays.

It especially does my heart good to see the joy on my children’s faces as they feast their eyes on the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce that currently decorates the Front Lawn of Biltmore House. With so much to do for all ages, we simply couldn’t say no to coming to see all the magic of Christmas at Biltmore!

It’s no secret that traveling with two small children (ages three and 17 months, to be exact) can be tricky, especially when looking for age-appropriate things for them to do. There is so much to do that it requires more than a one-day visit. This is a big reason why we chose to lodge at The Inn on Biltmore Estate® for the few days we visited Biltmore.

Here are my top 5 ways to experience the estate with small kids during Christmas at Biltmore:

1. Antler Hill Village

Antler Hill Village gives us small-town vibes with plenty to learn, see, and explore. It contains at least a day’s worth of activities for the entire family. I’ll elaborate on the kid-friendly things to do below, but from the beautiful Christmas light displays and the Winery to the many shops throughout, you want to set aside a day to experience all that Antler Hill Village has to offer.

During the day, enjoy a stroll throughout the Village, taking time to do some Christmas shopping at one of the many gift shops. Enjoy lunch at Cedric’s® Tavern or Bistro—both restaurants boast incredible menus and delicious food. The kids will enjoy visiting the nearby Farmyard and Pisgah Playground.

At night, the light show begins with a tall Christmas tree featuring colored lights synchronized to Christmas music near the entrance of Antler Hill Village. This is definitely a show in and of itself. Throughout the rest of the Village are buildings, pathways, and trees that are completely illuminated with Christmas lights.

2. Antler Hill Barn, Farmyard, Pisgah Playground, and G-scale model train

We enjoyed making a learning experience out of our Biltmore vacation by taking our children to the Farmyard to see the animals. Our kids learned about the chickens, enjoyed petting/brushing the goats, and watching the cows graze. Inside the barn, our son was able to pick out a coloring sheet and color away. We were also impressed by—and stocked up on—some homemade goat milk soap while there. The smell of lavender filled our noses and we simply couldn’t resist picking up a couple of Christmas gifts for family members.

Directly adjacent to the Farmyard is Pisgah Playground, an area for the kids to get their wiggles out before dinner later in the evening. It is a full-sized playground equipped with a swing set, a sand play area, climbing logs, a slide, and a small area where kids can be musicians, playing their hearts out on the metal xylophone.

In another part of Antler Hill Village is the Ciao! From Italy, a sculptural postcard display equipped with a G-scale model train that is fun for all ages. This exhibit featured beautiful, handcrafted sculptural postcards with messages written by Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt, outlining places he visited more than a century ago. A train travels past each postcard, capturing the attention of adults and children alike. We spent a lot of time in this area. You don’t want to miss it!

Nae Noelle and her family during their Christmas at Biltmore visit.
@naenoelle and her family during their Christmas at Biltmore visit.

3. Carriage Rides

A carriage ride* is something you’ll want to include in your Christmas at Biltmore itinerary. In just 30 minutes, you’ll be able to meet the horses, learn about some of Biltmore’s history, and experience breathtaking views as you stop on a hill that gives you a gorgeous view of the back of Biltmore House. You won’t be able to get these views anywhere else on the estate! Both of my kids absolutely loved this ride and the opportunity to pet the horses along the way. In addition, one-hour private carriage rides and Farmyard Wagon Tractor Rides are available—both of which are family favorites!

Tip: One child under 5 years of age may ride free with each ticketed adult when they sit on the adult’s lap during a 30-minute or 1-hour Carriage Ride. (*Please confirm with the Carriage Barn before arrival. Subject to availability and offer may change.)

4. Family walks and hikes

There are lots of trails on the estate grounds that you’ll want to walk with your family. This is the perfect opportunity to let your littles enjoy nature while getting some of that mid-day energy out of their systems. You’ll enjoy hiking (or biking) at your own pace, taking in much-needed breaths of fresh air as you unwind and detach from the outside world for just a little while. I highly recommend taking a scenic walk through the gardens on your way to Biltmore House before your tour of America’s Largest Home®.

Fireplace aglow in the Banquet Hall of Biltmore House
Candlelight Christmas Evenings is a magical experience for all ages!

5. Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore House

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you to make sure to get Candlelight Christmas Evenings tickets for Biltmore House. Daytime is gorgeous, but nighttime brings it home. You’ll witness the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce in the middle of the lawn that boasts Christmas lights brighter than the stars in the sky. The entire house is decorated top to bottom and adorned with gentle candlelight and lit fireplaces, making for a dazzling experience you and your family do not want to miss.

Tip: Take advantage of discounted youth (under 16) and child (under 9) admission on select Biltmore House ticket types! Your little ones may also enjoy listening to a kids’ audio guide of Biltmore House narrated by Cedric the dog!

Grown-up bonus!

When the littles are down for a nap or for the night, make sure you make time to go to a complimentary wine tasting or enjoy a massage at The Spa at The Inn. I had a much-needed massage for the first time in so long. I left a little less stressed and a lot happier. Mamas, you owe it to yourself to book an appointment with one of their talented, highly skilled masseuses.

Our Christmas at Biltmore trip was nothing short of magical, and I can’t recommend it enough to take your family and spend some time on the estate for the holidays. The memories you and your kids will make are completely priceless, and it is something they will truly hold onto for a lifetime.

This blog was sponsored by Biltmore.

Visit Itinerary: The Magic of Christmas at Biltmore

With so many must-see and do activities during Christmas at Biltmore, you may be wondering how to make the most of your festive visit to the grand estate.

This flexible Biltmore visit itinerary is designed to be easily tailored based on your reservation times and preferences, allowing you to choose between a dazzling Daytime visit or an elegant evening aglow with candlelit wonder with a Candlelight visit.

Tip: Be sure to customize your visit itinerary based on Biltmore’s activities and events that will make your Christmas visit even more memorable!

@madelynonthemove experiencing the magic of Christmas at Biltmore
@madelynonthemove experiencing the magic of Christmas at Biltmore

Option 1: Daytime Celebration Visit Itinerary

🎄 Morning Biltmore House Visit (1.5 to 2 hours):

Step into the grandeur of Biltmore House, beautifully adorned with twinkling lights and festive decor. Explore the opulent rooms and immerse yourself in the spirit of Christmas during a daytime visit.

Tip: Advanced reservations are required for all Biltmore House visits. If your reservation is in the afternoon or early evening, you may choose to explore the Gardens or Antler Hill Village first!

🥗 Lunch at an Estate Restaurant (1.5 hours):
Indulge in a delightful meal at one of Biltmore’s distinctive restaurants, including Stable Café, Cedric’s Tavern, Bistro, and Village Social.

Tip: Reservations are highly recommended during this popular season.

🌺 Afternoon Gardens and Conservatory Visit (1 to 2 hours):
Take a leisurely stroll through Biltmore’s historic gardens and Conservatory. Admire the meticulously maintained greenhouses filled with tropical plants and holiday displays.

Tip: Select ticket types include free next-day access to explore the estate’s gardens and grounds.

🎟️ Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition (1.5 to 2 hours):
Opening on March 25, 2024, a new experience of the artist’s iconic creations makes its debut at Biltmore Estate. Presented in an intimate gallery setting at Amherst at Deerpark®, Chihuly at Biltmore includes pedestal works, Drawings, and large-scale installations of ChandeliersTowersMille Fiori, and Neon.

Tip: Access is included with select ticket types and guests may visit at their reserved entry time selected during the purchase process. If your reserved entry time is in the morning, you may choose to have your reserved Biltmore House visit in the afternoon.

🥂 Evening Antler Hill Village & Winery Visit (2 hours):
Linger into the evening in Antler Hill Village where holiday splendor and our award-winning winery await. Shop for unique holiday gifts, such as handcrafted ornaments or gourmet treats, and find the perfect souvenirs and stocking stuffers to remember your Christmas at Biltmore experience. Learn about the Vanderbilt family and their life at home and abroad at The Biltmore Legacy.

Tip: If you’re traveling with small children, be sure to visit Pisgah Playground, the Farmyard, and Antler Hill Barn for educational fun for all ages.

Guests enjoy the Candlelight Christmas Evenings audio tour as they marvel at awe-inspiring décor in the Banquet Hall.
Guests enjoy the Candlelight Christmas Evenings audio tour as they marvel at awe-inspiring décor in the Banquet Hall.

 Option 2: Candlelight Christmas Evenings

🎟️ Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition (1.5 to 2 hours):
Opening on March 25, 2024, a new experience of the artist’s iconic creations makes its debut at Biltmore Estate. Presented in an intimate gallery setting at Amherst at Deerpark®, Chihuly at Biltmore includes pedestal works, Drawings, and large-scale installations of ChandeliersTowersMille Fiori, and Neon.

Tip: Access is included with select ticket types and guests may visit at their reserved entry time selected during the purchase process. 

🌺 Afternoon Gardens and Conservatory Visit (1 to 2 hours):
Take a leisurely stroll through Biltmore’s historic gardens and Conservatory. Admire the meticulously maintained greenhouses filled with tropical plants and holiday displays.

Tip: Candlelight Christmas Evenings admission includes same-day or next-day access to explore the gardens, grounds, and Winery. See our FAQs for more info.

🕯️ Candlelight Christmas Evenings Biltmore House Visit (1.5 to 2 hours):
Experience the epitome of yuletide magic with Candlelight Christmas Evenings in Biltmore House. Wander through historic rooms aglow with the soft light of lit fireplaces, marvel at the beautiful decor, and enjoy live holiday music echoing through the halls.

Tip: Advanced reservations are required for all Biltmore House visits. If your reservation is in the late evening, you may choose to explore the Gardens or Antler Hill Village first!

🥂 Evening Antler Hill Village & Winery Visit (2 hours):
Linger into the evening in Antler Hill Village where holiday splendor and our award-winning winery await. Shop for unique holiday gifts, such as handcrafted ornaments or gourmet treats, and find the perfect souvenirs and stocking stuffers to remember your Christmas at Biltmore experience. Learn about the Vanderbilt family and their life at home and abroad at The Biltmore Legacy.

Tip: If you’re traveling with small children, be sure to visit Pisgah Playground, the Farmyard, and Antler Hill Barn for educational fun for all ages.

Guests enjoy visits with Santa at the Bandstand in Antler Hill Village on select dates during Christmas at Biltmore!

Additional Visit-Planning Tips:

Below are a few additional tips for your Christmas at Biltmore visit itinerary. For even more helpful information, we recommend exploring our Visitor Information site section.

  • Plan Ahead: Don’t wait to purchase your Christmas at Biltmore tickets or special overnight packages to secure your preferred dates and times for this beloved season.
  • Make the Most of Your Experience: All Biltmore admission types include access to explore Antler Hill Village & Winery and our historic gardens and grounds. Explore ticket types that include access to Biltmore House, an exclusive 90-minute guided tour, our immersive art exhibition, free next-day grounds access, and more! Additional add-on experiences, such as guided outdoor activities, are available as well.
  • Make it a Getaway: With so much to experience during the holiday season, treat yourself and your loved ones to a festive and memorable getaway with an overnight stay on Biltmore Estate.
  • Getting Around the Estate: Many guests underestimate the vast size of Biltmore Estate. We recommend allowing your party at least 30 minutes for travel and parking between estate locations. For helpful guidance on estate accessibility, please explore our Help Center.
  • Dress Comfortably: The evenings can be chilly, so dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes, especially if you opt to participate in any outdoor activities.
  • Capture Holiday Memories: Biltmore’s beautifully decorated spaces, elegant evergreens, and visits with Santa in Antler Hill Village provide the perfect backdrop for memorable holiday photos and magical moments with your family. Reminder: Be sure to follow estate photo and video policies designed to ensure all guests have an enjoyable experience.
  • Start Your Christmas Shopping: Find unique gifts and stocking stuffers, holiday decorations, and gourmet treats to bring the Biltmore Christmas spirit home during your visit or from the comfort of your home with biltmoreshop.com.

Biltmore’s 2023 Christmas Décor by the Numbers

Christmas décor at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, is nothing short of magical. From America’s Largest Home® to Antler Hill Village, our Winery, and beyond, our incredibly talented team members somehow manage to outdo themselves year after year. 

This year’s Banquet Hall Christmas Tree features 500 lights, 500 presents, and 500 ornaments.

In the past, the Floral team has based their designs around a central theme that carries through Biltmore House and across the estate. For 2023, however, they chose to allow each room to speak to them based on its colors and furnishings.

“We always take the elements of each space into consideration, but this year, we’re giving a fresh voice to what makes individual areas of Biltmore House so distinctive,” said Lizzie Whitcher, Floral Manager.

Let’s take a look at just how much Christmas décor it takes to bedeck George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate.

For 2023, the Library Christmas Tree is based on the 1940s plot line of Hallmark’s “A Biltmore Christmas”

Christmas Trees

  • There will be 67 decorated Christmas trees inside Biltmore House for the 2023 celebration.
  • The largest tree inside Biltmore House is, of course, the Vanderbilt traditional fresh 35-foot-tall Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall. It requires about 50 staff members to carry in, raise, and secure it.
  • The smallest ones are a grouping of three tabletop trees in Servant’s Bedrooms.
  • A lit 55-foot-tall Norway spruce encircled by 36 illuminated evergreens decorates the Front Lawn of Biltmore House for Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
  • A total of 45 additional decorated Christmas trees are at other estate locations, including our Winery, Antler Hill Village, and The Inn on Biltmore Estate®. The Conservatory features decorated “trees” made of potted plants and other natural materials.  
Strings of lights are added to the 35′ Fraser fir tree in the Banquet Hall.
Strings of lights are added to this year’s 35′ Fraser fir tree in the Banquet Hall.

Lights & Candles

  • There are around 45,000 lights and 282 candles inside Biltmore House. Another 850,000 lights illuminate the rest of the estate.    
  • More than 55,000 lights illuminate the Front Lawn tree with an additional 32,000 lights on the surrounding trees and shrubs. Uplighting illuminates the poplar trees lining the lawn.
  • Hand-lit at dusk, 400 luminaries line the Esplanade in front of Biltmore House every night for Candlelight Christmas Evenings.
  • The illumination of Antler Hill Village features thousands upon thousands of lights, including a pole tree near the entrance that plays a continuous show of synchronized lights and music and large Moravian-style stars that lend a magical touch to the holiday décor. 
Floral designer adds an ornament to the Banquet Hall Christmas tree.
Floral designer adds an ornament to this year’s Banquet Hall Christmas tree.

Ornaments

  • The Banquet Hall tree boasts 500 ornaments and 500 LED Edison bulb-style electric lights along with an abundance of gift boxes and other décor.
  • There are 13,870 ornaments used on the other trees inside Biltmore House, and that many again around the estate to add sparkle and seasonal interest.
Todd Roy puts the finishing touches on 2023 Conservatory decor.
Be sure to look for festive Christmas decor in Biltmore’s historic Conservatory during Christmas!

Poinsettias & Other Botanical Décor

  • More than 1,960 traditional poinsettias are found amid the Christmas décor throughout the estate, 271 of which are in Biltmore House. 
  • Additional seasonal plants include 4,265 amaryllises, Christmas cacti, bromeliads, orchids, peace lilies, cyclamen, begonias, and kalanchoes.

Wreaths

  • There are 238 fresh wreaths and sprays along with 90 faux pieces around the estate during the season.
  • Wreaths are made of fresh white pine and Fraser fir, ornamented with golden arborvitae, holly, or other natural materials such as twigs and cones. Artificial bases are decorated with ornaments, berries, faux flowers, and ribbons.
A look at this year’s garland swag adorning the Winter Garden of Biltmore House.

Garlands & Swags

  • Our Floral team cuts fresh evergreens on the property every week to create handmade swags to decorate the Grand Staircase in Biltmore House.
  • Around 1,600 feet of fresh and faux garlands decorate Biltmore House, and around 1,200 feet are used in other areas.
Elegant, handmade garlands are present throughout Biltmore House and around the entire estate.

Ribbons & Bows

  • There are 9,510 yards of ribbon in the Christmas décor in Biltmore House and throughout the estate—primarily in the form of hand-tied bows. 
  • Our team uses everything from narrow cording to 8-inch-wide ribbon and they decorate with velvets, metallics, satins, burlap, and printed cottons.
  • It takes 5 yards of ribbon to create the festive bows worn by the marble lions at the front door of Biltmore House.
  • It takes close to 15 yards of ribbon required to make a tree-topper bow for the 16-foot-tall Christmas trees in the Library.
  • Any ribbon that is used year to year is starched and ironed so that it is wrinkle-free and perfect!
Behind the scenes shot of Biltmore's team raising this year's Banquet Hall tree.
Behind the scenes shot of Biltmore’s team raising this year’s Banquet Hall tree.

Staff

  • It takes about 50 team members to raise and secure the Banquet Hall’s Fraser fir Christmas tree.
  • Our Floral team consists of 10 full-time and 7 part-time floral designers.
  • Multiple departments across the estate also help implement the grand plans for Christmas décor at Biltmore each year, including our Engineering, Housekeeping, Museum Services, Horticulture, Guest Services, Security, and Events teams.
Behind the scenes view of Biltmore Floral Team members planning and preparing this year's Christmas decor.
Behind the scenes view of Biltmore Floral Team members planning and preparing this year’s Christmas decor.

Experience an Estate-wide Spectacle

Transforming Biltmore Estate into a holiday oasis bedecked with awe-inspiring Christmas decor requires meticulous research, creative inspiration, 12 months of preparation, and harmonious teamwork around the entire estate.

We extend a warm welcome to you and your loved ones to experience the beauty, grandeur, and traditions of Christmas at Biltmore. From Biltmore House and the Conservatory to the Winery, our overnight accommodations, estate shops, dining, and festive lights throughout Antler Hill Village, there is something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season!

By the Numbers: The Making of “A Biltmore Christmas”

Fans of the holidays, mystery, time travel, and romantic comedy are in for a treat when A Biltmore Christmas premieres on Hallmark Channel on Sunday, November 26!

Take a peek behind the scenes with some fun, “by the numbers” tidbits about the making of this festive yuletide movie.

How to Watch: Check your local listings for viewing on Hallmark Channel or stream on-demand with Hallmark TV, Peacock, Hulu + Live TV, YouTubeTV, and other subscription services.

Bethany Joy Lenz as Lucy Hardgrove in
Bethany Joy Lenz as Lucy Hardgrove in “A Biltmore Christmas,” by Hallmark Media. @2023 Hallmark Media/Photographer David Scott Holloway.

About A Biltmore Christmas

Filmed at Biltmore in January 2023, this Hallmark movie features locations across the historic estate, including the Gardens, Conservatory, and The Inn on Biltmore Estate. Biltmore’s long history as a film location dates back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, but for the first time, Biltmore House has a central role in the storyline of A Biltmore Christmas.

The film centers on the fictional story about a modern-day screenwriter Lucy Hardgrove (Bethany Joy Lenz) and Jack Huston (Kristoffer Polaha), the dashing lead of the beloved holiday movie His Merry Wife!, first filmed at Biltmore House in 1947. The classic movie is scheduled to be re-filmed at the iconic estate, but a mysterious hourglass intervenes, and Lucy is transported back in time to 1946 as the cast and crew prepare to re-make the classic movie.

Kristoffer Polaha as Jack Huston in
Kristoffer Polaha as Jack Huston in “A Biltmore Christmas,” produced by Hallmark Media. @2023 Hallmark Media/Photographer David Scott Holloway

A behind-the-scenes look by the numbers:

  • 8 vintage cars were used during the filming of A Biltmore Christmas
  • 200 yards of artificial snow were used.
  • 300 Asheville-area locals were hired as extras in the movie.
  • 8,000+ people submitted applications online to be cast as extras, which Hallmark producers said is the most they’ve ever received.
  • 9 rooms inside Biltmore House were used for filming: The Library, Tapestry Gallery, Main Hallway, Staircase Hall, Vestibule, Winter Garden, Banquet Hall, the corridor around the Winter Garden, and the corridor behind the Banquet Hall.
  • 4 out of the nine rooms were decorated with a 1940s theme. Some of these rooms had multiple variations: some were made to look like an everyday room in the 1940s; a 1940s movie set; or a room set for a 1940s party. Except for the Library, all of the interiors were redecorated for present-day scenes with variations made for the “one-year later” conclusion. Wow, time travel can be confusing!
  • 2 exterior locations directly attached to Biltmore House were used for filming scenes: The Loggia and the Library Terrace.
  • 4 rooms at The Inn on Biltmore Estate were used as film sets: The Lobby, the Library Lounge, and two guest rooms.
  • 11 costumes were worn by star Bethany Joy Lenz in A Biltmore Christmas. Four of them were 1940s-era costumes. Of the collection of 1940s looks costume designer Keith Nielsen created for Lenz’s character Lucy Hardgrove, Lucy’s Finale Ballgown is perhaps the most dramatic. Nielsen sourced an original Carolina Herrera design specifically for its fabric reminiscent of men’s tie patterns of the era. Modifications included a gathered bust that drapes around the back and the addition of a tiered tulle underlayer. Lucy’s necklace is an original 1930s Czech crystal from the collection of Nielsen. This costume will be on display at The Inn on Biltmore Estate throughout the holidays.
  • 1 hourglass is used as a plot point in the movie.
  • Biltmore is mentioned 9 times in the film.
  • 15 days of filming took place at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
For 2023, the Library Christmas Tree is based on the 1940s plot line of Hallmark’s “A Biltmore Christmas”

Experience the magic of A Biltmore Christmas for yourself!

Visit Planning Tip: During your visit to Biltmore this Christmas season, be sure to look for the mysterious hourglass in the Library of Biltmore House, several costumes worn by stars Bethany Joy Lenz and Kristoffer Polaha, as well as props from the set on display throughout Biltmore’s Christmas season at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, Traditions in Antler Hill Village, and at the estate’s Reception and Ticketing Sales Center.

For extra holiday-movie-magic, the décor in the Library this year will be based on the 1940s plot line of the movie, featuring classic red and green elements, with dramatic cascades of silver-sequined tinsel adorning the room’s Christmas tree.

Biltmore House aglow during
Treat yourself to the beloved estate tradition known as “Christmas at Biltmore,” on display November 3, 2023 through January 7, 2024.

Now that you’ve enjoyed a behind-the-scenes look at the making of A Biltmore Christmas, book your tickets or special overnight stay packages on Biltmore Estate so you can match up iconic Hallmark movie moments with their real-life settings during Christmas at Biltmore!

Our Holiday Gingerbread House Was Built To Last

Biltmore’s holiday gingerbread house was built to last–mostly because it’s not really made from real gingerbread!

Although the fanciful replica of America’s Largest Home® appears to be constructed from freshly baked gingerbread that’s been decorated with swirls of snowy icing and old-fashioned candy details, it’s actually an incredibly detailed work of art from our friends at Applied Imagination.

Gingerbread house version of Biltmore House
Once finished, the faux gingerbread version of Biltmore House had to be carefully transported from Applied Imagination’s workshop in Alexandria, KY, to Asheville, NC

These talented artists specialize in handcrafting architectural models, sculptures, and garden railways out of natural materials. They created all of our Biltmore Gardens Railway displays and Ciao! From Italy Sculptural Postcards in Antler Hill Village now through February 19, 2024.

In past years, our talented Biltmore Estate pastry chefs created real confectionary replicas of Biltmore House, but it was always a monumental task that took weeks to complete and needed a lot of space to assemble. It was also challenging to transport the finished gingerbread house to the Main Kitchen without losing some wreaths and roof tiles along the way!

A firm foundation

Wooden model of Biltmore House
Jason Pleva puts finishing touches on his scale model of Biltmore House

In 2017, Jason Pleva, a member of Biltmore’s carpentry team, used the plans of Biltmore House to build a wooden scale model that could be used as a base for a gingerbread house. It was a good solution that shaved off a lot of construction time, but unfortunately, our chefs found that decorative icing doesn’t cling to wood as well as it does to gingerbread.

Because we’d had so many wonderful experiences with Applied Imagination and the amazing structures they’d created for our Biltmore Gardens Railway displays, we asked if the artists could tackle this Christmas conundrum for us, using Jason’s model as a base for a gingerbread house that would be as long lasting as it was beautiful.

In September 2021, Stephanie Winters, Creative Director/Lead Sculptor, and Ava Roberts, Assistant Sculptor, of Applied Imagination finished their version of America’s Largest Home®. The results were breathtaking, and our “gingerbread house” now takes place of pride in our Main Kitchen during Christmas at Biltmore.

Fun facts from the gingerbread construction project:

  • Time to complete: 1200 hours over the course of five months
  • Measurements: 78½” wide x 32” deep x 32” high (including spires)

Building materials

Detail of gingerbread house version of Biltmore House
Applied Imagination created wonderful details, right down to the beloved marble lions at the Front Door of Biltmore House
  • Gingerbread Cookie Base
    • Tile grout mixed with Mod Podge® Matte and sponged onto 3/16” Gatorboard shapes
  • Wavy Shingled Roof
    • Wooden fan handles covered with tile grout and Mod Podge
  • Windows and Mullions
    • Window panes created with modeling dowel rods and architectural modeling materials (bass wood).
    • Windows created with poured casting resin sprinkled with clear glitter.
    • Textured windows (exterior staircase) have the addition of large, granular, clear beads mixed with resin.
    • Windows backed with gold shimmer paper to resemble the effect of being lit within.
  • Spires on Roof, Staircase Facade, Window Tops, Railing Tops
    • Antique glass headpins; large and small twist shapes in dark green, light green, purple, and pale ice; top spires painted antique gold
  • Piped Icing Shapes
    • All piped icing that makes up the majority of detail on the Biltmore House model was created completely by hand with Liquid Sculpey® (polymer clay). Shapes were formed using latex cake-decorating molds.
  • Snow Blanket
    • Spackling paste to create a base for sculpting and building shapes
    • Clear glass diamond glitter was sprinkled on wet paste to give snow drifts and mounds the look of fresh powder
  • Trees and Bushes
    • Dry floral design cones and spheres, further sculpted by hand to resemble pine tree shapes. Finished with paint and landscape modeling greenery.
  • Biltmore Lions
    • Paper clay and white acrylic paint with a small amount of gold tinted glitter/mica.
  • Garland
    • Thin and flexible English faux pine rope
    • Faux miniature boxwood/bay leaf roping
    • Feathery evergreen (lions’ necks)
    • Floral accents: faux red and gold berries; red velvet and gold-backed ribbon hand-fashioned into miniature bows
Gingerbread house in the Main Kitchen at Biltmore
The gingerbread house takes place of pride in the Main Kitchen during Christmas at Biltmore

Candy decorations

  • Faux Candy Decorations
    • Resin gumdrops and gummies (edge and facade details)
    • Sculpey clay chocolate swirls (base of the spires)
    • Chocolate shavings, glass glitter (soot/embers in chimney tops, base of lions, base of spires, front facade details)
    • Resin chocolate pretzels (fancy railings)
    • Resin chocolate chips (spires inset)
    • Small sugared gum drops, glass/plastic headpins (main detail throughout in purple, orange, yellow, red, green)
    • Variety of candy colored balls of various sizes (beads and headpins)
    • Sculpey clay swirled balls (small detail elements)
  • Cut Cinnamon Sticks
    • Facade details, small railings, wrought iron base for spires
  • Peppermint Sticks
    • Small (vintage paper hand-rolled on dowel rods)
    • Large sticks on main facade (decorative paper on dowel rods)
    • Peppermint balls on main facade (vintage spun cotton and thread)
  • Gumballs, Gingerballs, Round Bulb Ornaments
    • Green and red faux floral berries, gold- and silver-painted floral berries, painted beads

Celebrate Christmas at Biltmore

The Banquet Hall Tree: A Christmas at Biltmore Tradition
The Banquet Hall Christmas Tree is a favorite holiday tradition

To see this marvelous piece of eye candy displayed in the Main Kitchen, make reservations for a holiday visit during our annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration, November 3, 2023–January 7, 2024, in Asheville, NC.

Celebrate Small Moments That Matter With Biltmore

This season, celebrate the small moments that matter most with Biltmore.

“Gracious gatherings, special events, and festive decorations accompany the holiday season, but many times it’s the small moments that we really remember most, like catching up with friends over a glass of Biltmore wine,” said Jan Douglas, Director of Guest Relations.

Group of friends toasting with Biltmore wine
With Biltmore wines, all your gatherings are seasoned with cheer!

Make it meaningful

“Amidst the exciting rush of the holidays, it’s important to celebrate small moments that matter. Remembering what’s meaningful, carving out time for ourselves, and prioritizing family and cherished friends is truly what this joyful season is all about,” Jan said.

We’ve gathered some of our guests’ favorite memories and traditions to inspire your own celebrations.

Collecting special memories

Jim Shore Biltmore Santa keepsake
Discover all the delightful details that make this collectible Jim Shore Biltmore® Santa so special!

For Cheri Compton, a long-time Passholder from Knoxville, Tennessee, time spent at Biltmore with her mother was a cherished Christmas tradition.

“My mother and I went to Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore for several years before she was unable to travel,” Cheri explained. “We would spend hours looking at the trees and the beautiful decorations, and her favorite thing was to be sure we were there while there was seasonal music in the house.”

When her mother could no longer make the trip, Cheri continued the tradition with friends and always brought her mother a keepsake Biltmore Santa for her collection.

Handwritten holiday wishes

Bottles of Biltmore wine on a table
Celebrate the season with Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine

Mailing handwritten Christmas cards is Paige Price’s favorite way to send a hug to the special people in her life.

“At Christmas, I like to take time to remember friends and former co-workers whom I no longer see on a regular basis,” she said.

“In preparation, I make a trip to Biltmore every fall from my home in Lexington, Kentucky, to choose my Christmas wine to save for the card-writing occasion,” Paige said. “When I sit down to begin composing notes to each person and reflect on the memorable times we spent together, I celebrate them, and the season, by having a glass!”

This year, Paige opted for a bottle of our Biltmore Estate® Blanc de Blancs to add special sparkle to the small moments that matter most to her.

Sounds of the season

Hands playing a piano
Music strikes a special chord for many guests at Biltmore

Kim Meade of Tennessee has been a professional pianist for most of her life, but a Christmas performance at Biltmore 30 years ago still holds a special place in her heart.

“I was blessed to be part of a church group that performed at Biltmore House,” Kim said. “Talk about a dream come true! There are few places left that allow you the feeling of stepping back in time. Biltmore is one of those, and that night was an evening I will never forget.”

Kim remembers the decorated trees in every room, and the feeling that for one moment in time, she and all the others were special guests of the Vanderbilts.

“We felt as if George and Edith Vanderbilt might just walk in at any moment to make sure every detail was in place!” said Kim. “Being a small part of the magic of Biltmore during Christmas was a forever moment for me.”

Seek out small moments that matter most

Couple toasting a small moments with Biltmore wine
Savor all your special small moments with Biltmore wines!

As the holiday season gets under way, we hope you’ll make time to visit Biltmore and discover your own small moments that matter.

Like many of our guests whose special Christmas memories are created with Biltmore as the backdrop, we invite you to join us to celebrate your own small moment traditions—or create new ones—that will bring you closer to family, friends, and what matters most to you.

Find everything you need to celebrate the season, from award-winning wines and gourmet food to jewelry and gifts, in our Seasoned with Cheer holiday hospitality guide.

Top 10 Staff Favorites for Christmas at Biltmore

What are the top 10 staff favorites for Christmas at Biltmore? Among the multitude of joys experienced during the holiday season at America’s Largest Home®, we’ve collected a special list to inspire your imagination and assist with gift giving.

Staff favorites: Biltmore wine and gourmet food in a basket
Surprise someone special with a gift basket filled with Biltmore sparkling wine, gourmet food, and other goodies

“Many of our staff members have been part of the Biltmore family for decades, but their joy and wonder during the holiday season never fades,” said Terri Koestler, Senior Director of Employee Experience. “From festive food and drink to mementos and special moments, these top 10 staff favorites offer a special glimpse into our employees’ perspectives.”

Our holiday legacy continues

On an unforgettable Christmas Eve in 1895, more than 20 members of George Vanderbilt’s family gathered at Biltmore House for the first time. Their awestruck delight has been repeated throughout the decades as today’s guests experience Biltmore during the holidays.

Here’s how even our long-time Biltmore staff members catch the spirit of the season every year:

1. Laura’s favorite: the sounds of music

Staff favorites: Harpist playing in the Third Floor Living Hall
A harpist plays Christmas carols in the Third Floor Living Hall

Laura Cope, Collections Manager, ensures the proper care of Biltmore’s priceless furniture, art, and objects. An avid music lover, she enjoys the talented musicians who play at Biltmore–especially at Christmastime.

“I always get sentimental at Christmas when I hear a harp play inside Biltmore House,” she raid. “To hear What Child is This? or The Nutcracker Suite within these beautifully decorated rooms really gives you a sense of what guests of Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt would have experienced. It’s something that I look forward to every year!”

2. Jeff’s favorite: going a-wassailing

Biltmore wine with mulling spices
Perfect pairings: Biltmore wines go a-wassailing!

“Love and joy come to you” are among the New Year wishes sung in this traditional Christmas carol, and Jeff Jones, Carriage House Supervisor, enjoys the song’s warm sentiment while sipping a cup of spicy wassail.

“Nothing tastes as much like Christmas as a cup of wassail,” said Jeff. “It’s not just one of our staff favorites—our guests love it as soon as they sample it in our estate shops!”

According to Jeff, all three varieties of Biltmore’s Wassail Spice Blend can season your favorite wine, cider, or other hot beverage with cheer during the holidays and all year round.

3. Staff favorites: party starters

Staff favorites: Biltmore cheeseball and wine
Make entertaining easy with Biltmore’s delicious cheeseball and dip mixes

Another staff favorite? The ability to bring a bit of Biltmore elegance to any holiday gathering with our best-selling gourmet cheeseball and dip mixes.

With festive options such as Christmas at Biltmore Cranberry Pecan Cheeseball Mix, along with traditional crowd favorites like Biltmore® Spinach Dip Mix, no more than two additional staple ingredients are needed for a quick and easy way to let the fun begin!

4. Staff favorites: dazzling “decorations”

Staff Favorites: Oaken Necklace by Southern Gates®
Drawn from elements in Biltmore House, jewelry by Southern Gates® is a charming remembrance of the time you spent at Biltmore.

Biltmore staff members carry the legacy of the estate close to their hearts at Christmastime and beyond by wearing a piece of Biltmore-inspired jewelry or choosing it as a gift for someone special.

Staff favorites include collections by CRISLU, ALEX AND ANI®, and Southern Gates® that feature tiny tokens of timeless luxury found at the estate and highlight some of Biltmore’s most memorable features using precious gemstones and custom-designed charms.

5. Hannah’s favorite: wrapping up gift giving

Handcrafted from estate-grown grapes, Biltmore® Reserve Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon make wonderful gifts for the holidays.

As Visual Assets Coordinator, Hannah Parks sees the beauty of Biltmore through photographs and videos, including places that guests rarely visit, like the vineyards on the west side of the estate.

“I’m excited that the 2019 vintages of Biltmore® Reserve Cabernet Franc North Carolina and Biltmore Reserve® Cabernet Sauvignon North Carolina have been released just in time for the holidays,” said Hannah. “Not only are they two of my all-time favorite Biltmore wines, but the fact that they are handcrafted from estate-grown grapes makes them really wonderful local gifts. I’ve already bought several bottles to share with friends and family, and I may go back for more!”

6. Kyle’s favorite: the nicest spices!

Perfect pairings include wine and meatballs
Enhance all your Biltmore Grown® Beef selections with Spicewalla® Rubs

Many Biltmore staff members are fans of Spicewalla, a home-grown Asheville business that has gained worldwide attention for its unique small-batch spice blends.

“To complement your holiday meals, I suggest the robust rubs that Spicewalla has created especially for the estate’s Biltmore Grown® Beef selections, including Biltmore Grown Brisket Rub, Biltmore Grown Steak Rub, and Biltmore Grown Burger Rub,” said Kyle Mayberry, Director of Agriculture for the estate.

7. Courtney’s favorite: sipping and savoring all year-round

Women with Vanderbilt Wine Club shipment
Give someone special the gift of membership in our Vanderbilt Wine Club®

According to Courtney Miller, Wine Club Manager, membership in the Vanderbilt Wine Club® is a fabulous gift for a loved one, or a decadent one for yourself!

“Surprise someone special with a gift membership that lasts for 12 whole months,” Courtney said. “You’ll definitely be on their ‘nice list’ every time a seasonal shipment arrives!”

Wine Club members receive their preference of red wines, white wines, a mix of red and white wines, or sweet wines each season along with tasting notes and chef-inspired recipes, plus exclusive access to special discounts, promotions, and invitations to members-only special events. 

8. Staff favorites: seasonal spreads

Sideboard filled with Biltmore wine, spreads, and dips
Delight your guests with gifts of good taste, including Biltmore’s jams, jellies, spreads, and syrups

Just as the Vanderbilts loved to host and entertain family during the holidays, our staff knows how to show hospitality to their own Christmas guests with more than two dozen gourmet flavors of Biltmore jams, jellies, preserves, honey, and syrups that delight at the breakfast table, enhance a charcuterie board, and make perfectly delicious gifts throughout the season—especially when paired with Biltmore wines!

9. Staff favorites: crowdsourcing our Christmas wine labels

Shop our special edition 2023 Christmas Wines online!

Since 2018, Facebook followers of Biltmore have weighed in on the one-of-a-kind labels found on our bottles of Christmas at Biltmore’s Red and White Wines. Our Biltmore staff members love giving these special bottles as thoughtful hosting or Christmas gifts, and many buy an extra bottle for themselves as a collectible keepsake!

10.  Brent’s favorite: raising the Banquet Hall Christmas tree

Celebrate Biltmore's tree-raising tradition virtually
Raising the Banquet Hall Christmas tree is a guest and staff favorite tradition at Biltmore

The rooms of Biltmore House will be filled with more than 60 hand-decorated Christmas trees each year, but the one that stirs the hearts and imaginations of our guests and staff members the most is the 35-foot-tall fresh-cut Fraser fir in the tapestry-lined Banquet Hall.

Brent Merrell, Director of Engineering Services, oversees the installation of the towering tree. “Every year, we experience excitement mixed with some nerves on the day we bring in the massive tree, which weighs 2,500 to 3,000 pounds,” explained Brent. “The tree-raising is virtual again this year, but this tradition is always a staff favorite because it truly marks the beginning of the Christmas season at Biltmore.” 

What are your top 10 favorites for Christmas at Biltmore?

Our employees, both new and seasoned, enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for this special time of year with our guests. We hope you will join them and create your own top 10 list of favorites during Christmas at Biltmore! Be sure to share your favorites with us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok with #ChristmasatBiltmore.

Find everything you need to season your celebrations with cheer at Biltmore, or from the comfort of home with the convenience of online shopping at biltmoreshop.com.

Facebook Fans Help Create Our Christmas Wine Labels

For 2021, our Facebook fans helped create the labels for our Christmas at Biltmore Red and White Wines.

Facebook Fans helped create our Christmas wine labels
Facebook fans voting online chose the elements for both of our 2021 Christmas at Biltmore wine labels

“This is the fourth year that we’ve used this crowdsourcing process,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Wine Marketing Manager. “By voting for their favorite holiday styles and themes, our Facebook fans really help us capture the spirit of our annual Christmas at Biltmore celebration on our Christmas wine labels.”

Local artist chosen to create our Christmas wine labels

Biltmore employee by Biltmore House column
Local artist and Biltmore employee Craig Sponsellor

The Biltmore wine marketing team selected artist Craig Sponseller of Asheville, North Carolina, to create two original paintings that would incorporate the holiday images and elements selected by Biltmore’s Facebook followers for our 2021 Christmas wine labels.

According to Craig, this project was especially meaningful because in addition to being an artist, he has also been a Biltmore employee for the past 10 years.

“I work in Mail Services,” said Craig, “and my days are filled with routines related to ensuring that mail is picked up and delivered. This opportunity to develop the artwork for the 2021 Christmas at Biltmore wine labels allowed me to tap into my creative side while focusing on all the beauty of the season here at the estate.”

Facebook fans select two distinct themes

Facebook fans helped choose the labels on Biltmore Christmas wine
The 2021 Christmas at Biltmore wines makes a perfect gift for someone special

After two rounds of online voting, some distinct themes emerged: our fans wanted both a wintry outdoor scene featuring the iconic architecture of Biltmore House, and a warm and wonderful tribute to the towering Banquet Hall Christmas tree inside America’s Largest Home®.

Capturing the exterior of Biltmore House

Sketch for the Christmas at Biltmore White Wine label
Part of Craig’s creative process is the creation of sketches like this that help him refine the details he’ll include in a painting

Craig began the process of creating the Christmas at Biltmore White Wine label by sketching the exterior elements of Biltmore House. He started with a pencil sketch, then refined the details with pen and ink.

“I’m a watercolor artist,” Craig explained, “and it is a very unforgiving medium. If you make a mistake or need to move something around, it’s impossible. That’s why I do the preliminary sketches and refinements so I can be sure I’m on the right track.”

Craig chose to showcase the familiar view from the wall at the end of the Front Lawn. To further the holiday mood, he added a touch of snow to give the painting a frosty feel.

Exterior pencil sketch of Biltmore House with touches of watercolor
Craig refined his initial sketches before adding layers of color washes to the final painting

As for the cheerful red cardinal on the rail, that’s the state bird of North Carolina, and a familiar sight around the estate during this time of year.

“The cardinal was a very specific element that Biltmore’s Facebook fans voted to include on both labels,” Craig said. “It was a challenge to portray a small bird in front of such a large house, but I placed it on the Rampe Douce railing so the cardinal would appear larger in the foreground.”

Creating the Banquet Hall view

Our Facebook fans also voted to see the beauty of the season inside Biltmore House, and Craig was happy to oblige.

Orange tree centerpieces in the Banquet Hall
Inspiration for Facebook fans included this Banquet Hall scene with iconic orange tree centerpieces i

For the Christmas at Biltmore Red Wine label, Craig was able to include many of the wonders in the Banquet Hall, from the grand Fraser fir that dominates the scene during the holidays to a grouping of festive orange tree centerpieces atop the massive dining table.

Pencil sketch for Biltmore Christmas wine label
One of Craig’s early pencil sketches for the Christmas at Biltmore Red Wine label includes the cardinal ornament on the tree in the foreground

“The real challenge here was how to include a cardinal in an indoor scene,” said Craig, “but I was able to work it in as an ornament!”

Stock up for the season on our Christmas wines and more!

Christmas at Biltmore Red and White Wines with Facebook fans labels
Make sure your holiday is seasoned with cheer when you choose Biltmore wines!

Whether you’re in the mood for a fragrant, semi-sweet white wine or a soft, fruit-forward red, our Christmas at Biltmore Wines offer a classic complement to your favorite flavors at the holiday buffet or dessert table. As an added bonus, the lovely labels make both wines a charming gift of the season for someone special.

Find our Christmas at Biltmore Red and White Wines and all your other handcrafted favorites in estate shops, online, or with our Retail Locator.

New Exhibition Series: Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore

Immerse yourself in our new exhibition series, Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore—featuring three different large-scale, multi-sensory experiences—hosted at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate.

Created and produced by Grande Experiences, each individual component of this must-see series uses the very latest in immersive technology to illuminate the remarkable lives of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci and their timeless masterpieces of art and design.

In addition, each of the three events offers fascinating ties to George Vanderbilt’s collection of treasures on display in Biltmore House, his magnificent family home in Asheville, North Carolina.

Van Gogh Alive
November 5, 2021–March 5, 2022

Van Gogh Alive multi-sensory experience
A guest explores Van Gogh Alive, created and produced by Grande Experiences

The masterworks of Vincent van Gogh have been displayed around the world for over a century, but never like this.

Described as “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience,” Van Gogh Alive is a powerful and vibrant symphony of light, color, sound, and scent that compels you to leave the world behind and immerse yourself the masterful paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.

Simultaneously enchanting, entertaining, and educational, Van Gogh Alive stimulates all the senses and opens the mind.

Van Gogh and Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt share a Dutch heritage that will be highlighted at the estate during this period.

Monet & Friends — Life, Light & Color
March 9–July 10, 2022

Monet & Friends multi-sensory exhibition
Explore Monet’s masterpieces throughout the Monet & Friends experience

An homage to Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters of the mid-19th century through the early 20th century, this multi-sensory experience explores not only the paintings themselves but the history of the Impressionist movement amid the social and political turbulence of the era.

It transports you back to a time when European art was poised to change forever, and immerses you in the Impressionists’ masterworks as they come to life in a rich display of light, color, and sound.

Breathtaking paintings are projected on an enormous scale, illuminating the bold brushstrokes of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and more.

While Monet & Friends Life, Light & Color is on display at Biltmore’s event center on the grounds of the estate, two original Monet paintings from George Vanderbilt’s personal collection will be displayed inside America’s Largest Home®.

Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius
July 14, 2022–January 8, 2023

Leonardo da Vinci -- 500 Years of Genius experience
Discover marvels of art and invention with Leonardo da Vinci — 500 Years of Genius

Inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, musician, architect, philosopher—Leonardo da Vinci was all of these things.

His brilliance and many extraordinary achievements are brought to vivid life in Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius, the world’s most comprehensive and thrilling Leonardo da Vinci experience.

Biltmore will be showcasing links to estate architecture and artwork in our collection that are influenced by da Vinci’s designs.

Don’t miss our Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore exhibition series!

Van Gogh Alive exhibition
Explore our Van Gogh Alive exhibition now–March 5, 2022

Each of the three Legends of Art & Innovation at Biltmore multi-sensory experiences will be hosted at Amherst at Deerpark®, our event center on the grounds of the estate.

Plan your visit to Van Gogh Alive, Monet & Friends and Leonardo da Vinci now, and enhance your experience with special overnight offers at our distinctive hotels and historic cottages.

Celebrate Our 125th Anniversary with Sparkling Wine

To celebrate our 125th anniversary, Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak created a sparkling wine to commemorate the occasion.

Here’s a brief history of the first Christmas event at Biltmore, and the seasonal spirit that inspired our new Biltmore Estate® 125th Anniversary Release Brut sparkling wine.

Biltmore’s first Christmas

Celebrate Christmas at Biltmore
The towering Banquet Hall Christmas tree has been a tradition for 125 years

On Christmas Eve of 1895, George Vanderbilt welcomed his friends and family to celebrate the holiday in his magnificent new home. The following account of “Christmas at Biltmore” was reported in The Times-Democrat newspaper from New Orleans, Louisiana, two days later:

Newspaper account of the celebration

Floral team members install garland
Garlands and greenery are still used to decorate Biltmore House

“For many days workmen were enhancing the splendor of the chateau with decorations appropriate to the Christmas season, under the direction of Mr. Vanderbilt. His suggestions have covered every detail, and a beautiful and elaborate scene was unfolded before his guests yesterday.

Decoration of the planthouse (Winter Garden) is the chief feature. The design called for an unobstructed view from all the approaches within the chateau, and the idea is thoroughly realistic. The exquisite charm of the enclosed garden is apparent at the first glance as the guests enter the main floor.

Winter Garden in Biltmore House
The Winter Garden decorated for Christmas at Biltmore in 2020

Above, from a symmetrical dome, fall great festoons of spruce and waxen holly, forming arching lines, while garlands of the same evergreens adorn each point of vantage. The effect is as if a vast green canopy had been erected under the span of the dome, the supports of which, also laden with green, serve as pillars of the canopy.

About the floor of the planthouse innumerable palms and ferns are arranged in such a way as to give all the natural effect of a garden in the opening of a tropical forest. That eye may not be wearied with one unvaried hue of green, many plants in full bloom are placed here and there in the planthouse, their color being used to the fullest advantage.

Enornous red berry wreath in the Library at Biltmore House
This enormous berry-and-ribbon wreath in the Library recalls the natural decor from Biltmore’s first Christmas celebration

The forests of Biltmore estate afforded a wealth of the desired foliage, and plants from a New York florist, who arranged the whole scene, and bushels of scarlet holly berries were ordered from the marshes of Eastern Carolina and were used in ornamentation of the chateau.”

The tradition continues

This year marks the 125th time that the halls of Biltmore House have been decked in honor of Christmas. As part of the celebration, Biltmore Winemaker Sharon Fenchak spent months developing our new Biltmore Estate® 125th Anniversary Release Brut.

Celebrate Our 125th Anniversary with Sparkling Wine

Biltmore sparkling wine in an ice bucket
Add sparkle to your celebrations with Biltmore sparkling wines

“This sparkling wine is handcrafted in the traditional méthode champenoise with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes selected from partner vineyards in California,” said Jill Whitfield, Senior Wine Marketing Manager.

“It’s a wonderful wine with a touch of rose gold color and aromas of tangerine, yeast, strawberry, and honey,” Jill said. “The taste is refreshing and nicely balanced with tiny bubbles and hints of strawberry, mint, and Meyer lemon.”

Pouring Biltmore sparkling wine into a glass
Celebrate our anniversary–or yours–with the new Biltmore Estate 125th Anniversary Release Brut

According to Jill, this is an excellent sparkling wine to pair with charcuterie and cheese boards, fresh fruit, caviar, steak tartar, scallops, and angel food cake with strawberries.

Perfect for any occasion!

Couple drinking winter wines while they savor in place at home
Include Biltmore wines in your Valentine’s Day celebration!

“It’s also perfect for ringing in the New Year, or giving as a thoughtful gift of the season,” noted Jill. “And be sure to have plenty of our exceptional Biltmore bubbles on hand for your Valentine’s Day celebrations!”