Fall & Holidays 2021

Fall + Biltmore = Perfect Match

Fall provides some of the most beautiful sunsets of the year, especially at Biltmore. When late afternoon’s golden light casts across the South Terrace and against the western side of Biltmore House, the warmth and glow can mesmerize your soul. Beginning November 5, Christmas starts at Biltmore. Consider the following story ideas…

Fall Experiences

A patchwork of autumn color surrounds America’s Largest Home
When Frederick Law Olmsted designed Biltmore’s gardens, he planned their beauty to last through all four seasons. It’s no wonder blooms around the estate continue well into fall. 

Mums in the Walled Garden – “Big and bold!”
Bill Quade, Biltmore’s Senior Manager in the Horticulture Department, says this year’s annual Mums display will be “big and bold!” Look for the pattern bed Mums to brim in vivid hues of orange, purple and “Flamingo Pineapple” (pink, white, yellow) with salvia, Stipa pony tail grasses, and a Pansy array called “Sorbet Jump Up Mix.” Find out the top spots for Fall Color at Biltmore here.

Leaf Season Champs – Our Golden Rain Tree, and the Cotton-Candy Scented Katsura Tree
The showy Golden Rain Tree and the mighty Katsura (it really does smell like cotton candy) are among our favorite Champion Trees growing on Biltmore’s grounds. North Carolina’s Forest Service manages the Champion Tree Program and it highlights native or naturalized species that have garnered attention because of their size, age, or historical significance. We have Olmsted to thank for selecting several species that are part of this program. These superstar trees truly stand out in October. More about these beauties may be found here.

Fall Color Report for Trip Planning
Biltmore’s Arborist Manager Bill Hascher reports on our changing leaf color and peak color window each week in the Fall Color Report. Check back to time your trip just right. 

Another option for extending your visit to Biltmore: NEW Cottages

Historic cottages from Biltmore’s agricultural past now accommodate overnight guests, with two NEW offerings:

Two brand new additions to Biltmore’s cottage accommodations are the historic Line Houses, now booking for stays beginning in January 2022. These historic cottages were originally built in June 1900 as three-bedroom residences for the estate’s then dairy workers. Several were demolished in 1960, but these two original structures remain. Renovation design includes areas for relaxing on the covered front porch overlooking Biltmore’s farm (there are often goats in view) and the French Broad River, and alfresco dining and entertaining nestled in the back of the cottages. Close proximity to Antler Hill Village make these cottages a convenient option for short walking distance to many amenities.

Interview idea: A Biltmore employee who works on the estate’s vineyard crew comes from several generations of estate employees. Once called “The Line,” he lived in one of the Line Houses with his family for 10 years in his youth, circa 1970-1980. Learn more about the history of these cottages through his oral history.

The Market Gardener’s Cottage was built by the son of the architect of Biltmore House and was the original property for the Market Garden on the estate. Today it offers the most luxurious and private retreat on the estate, with quaint porches and the opportunity for a private chef and butler.

The Dairy Foreman’s Cottage was one of five identical houses designed in 1935 for Biltmore Dairy employees and their families. Located in a peaceful woodland setting, it is within walking distance to nature trails, Antler Hill Village and Winery, and the Four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate.

Events Coming Up in November

Van Gogh Alive – Part one of Legends of Art & Innovation opens on Nov. 5, 2021. Paring Van Gogh’s story and artwork with Biltmore promises to be a unique experience. The immersive exhibit is designed by Grande Experiences and offers its SENSORY4TM system that combines multi-channel motion graphics beamed through up to 40 high-definition projectors with cinema-quality surround sound. More about this exciting experience is featured in a post on our blog. Go here for the media kit with photos available for download.

Christmas at Biltmore and Candlelight Christmas Evenings – Opening Nov. 5, 2021. This tradition dates back more than 125 years ago when George Vanderbilt celebrated his first Christmas with his family in his new home – Biltmore House. Go here for the media kit with photos available for download.

  • A feat of engineering
    • What does it take to put up a 34-foot-tall, multi-ton Frasier Fir tree in the Banquet Hall of Biltmore House?
  • Behind the magic of Christmas at Biltmore
    • Behind the magic of the holidays at Biltmore is a dedicated team of creative designers hard at work. Every ornament, arrangement and yard of fabric is selected precisely. From trees to bows and countless ornaments between, check out the Biltmore-sized trimmings for this holiday season.
  • Christmas carols provide this year’s decorating inspiration
    • Biltmore’s floral design team has created this year’s yuletide décor based on stories told through our favorite Christmas carols. 

Hotels go all out for Christmas at Biltmore  

Imagine what it would be like to wake up at Biltmore on Christmas morning! That experience can come true with a stay at one of the estate’s lodging properties. A stay at Biltmore for the holidays is a tradition for many families, and there’s no wonder why. Festive decor and holiday experiences are available all across the 8,000-acre estate. Guests are invited to stay on the estate without the stress of holiday hosting, as Biltmore coordinates the details for the ultimate holiday experience without a single dish to wash or tree to trim. Select from packages offered at the luxurious Four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate or the cozy farmhouse feel of Village Hotel, both decked out for the holidays by Biltmore’s designers. Depending on the package, offerings include an exclusive and decadent holiday dinner, visits with Santa, as well as traditions such as a wrapping paper weigh-in contest, letters to Santa, ornament making, cookies for Santa from in-room dining, and festive music and entertainment. Check out the top-five holiday activities for overnight guests. Christmas at Biltmore photos available here.

Holiday Entertaining Prep with Biltmore Winery

Biltmore Winery has something for every holiday scenario; whether it is in-person gatherings, virtual parties, gifting, or more. Let Biltmore’s PR department know if you are interested in more information on any of the themes below for upcoming stories, or if we can suggest something else to fit a different angle.

Wines to pair with that holiday feast
Biltmore founder George Vanderbilt always made sure to have a selection of the best for his guests, and that included a wide array of wines which he sourced with the help of his importer. As holiday feasts tend to be complex meals and flavors, look for:

Made in the USA, Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday after all

Biltmore Reserve Rosé North Carolina Grapes for this wine are grown on our estate, where the Vanderbilts always provided the best in hospitality since the estate’s founding in 1895. Rosé is always in season, and this will pair wonderfully with a roast turkey which, incidentally, was a favorite dish of George Vanderbilt himself.

Biltmore has established relationships with growers in other areas of the country to be able to offer a wider selection of the finest varietals.  In some cases, these wines bear the American appellation, indicating that the fruit is grown on the west coast but the wine is finished and bottled at Biltmore Winery under the watchful eye of head winemaker Sharon Fenchak. The majority of these wines can be found in Biltmore’s Estate and Limited Release series, like those recommended to be paired with a holiday feast.

What to bring the host or send as a gift, bottles that make a statement

  • Vanderbilt Reserve Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – A truly elegant expression of Pinot Noir from one of the best growing areas for it in the country. The label design includes a monogrammed dinner plate, making it a truly appropriate gift for the legendary host.
  • The Hunt Red Blend Sonoma County – This Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc is rich and hearty, yet elegant.
  • Wine club membership – Wines from the reserve tier of Biltmore Winery’s production are best enjoyed via club membership. Give the gift of wine all year long with the Vanderbilt Wine Club.

What to pour for a crowd, a few wallet-friendly (less than $20) selections

Any time is a good time for Sparkling Wine

Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs – Let this bottle amplify a celebration or explore its versatility in a ‘Thyme-less Love’ cocktail! Recipe here

When you just need a cocktail

Try out these wine-based cocktails featuring Biltmore Wines.

Harvest Update from Biltmore’s Vineyard

Winemaker Sharon Fenchak says the estate is on track to start harvesting Chardonnay in the beginning of September and is excited for our very first harvest of Petit Manseng this year. In 2021, several frost and freeze events occurred but not as severe as the previous year, so a decent harvest is expected. Vineyard Manager Philip Oglesby added, “Though not particularly a new practice, we pruned some of the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon plants in a different manner this year by ‘cane pruning’ rather than our normal cane-and-spur method. The idea was to revive and restore some of the wood along the cordon area in hopes that we achieve more evenly ripened and higher quality fruit in certain areas that have suffered freeze damage in the past.”

Inquire with the PR team about interviews with Winemaker Sharon Fenchak or Vineyard Manager Philip Oglesby and to learn about latest wine releases.

Looking Ahead to 2022

  • NEW! March 9, 2022 through July 10, 2022:  Monet & Friends
    • The second of the three “Legends of Art & innovation” exhibitions at Biltmore, Monet & Friends will immerse you in Impressionists’ masterworks as they come to life in a rich display of light, color, and sound.
  • April 1, 2022 through May 26, 2022:  Biltmore Blooms
    • Our annual springtime tradition features a parade of tulips and a progression of colorful blooming flowers across the estate.
  • NEW! April 26, 2022: Olmsted 200 at Biltmore
    • Join us as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Biltmore’s iconic gardens and grounds.
      • Olmsted was known as the father of American landscape architecture, with New York City’s Central Park, the Grounds of the U.S. Capitol and the White House, and Boston’s Emerald Necklace among his most well-known designs. Biltmore was his last design, and as he approached the end of his work, he said “It is a great work of peace we are engaged in and one of these days we will all be proud of our parts in it.”
      • The Olmsted Walking Trail is currently in development on the grounds, and will highlight his collaboration with George Vanderbilt and Richard Morris Hunt, architect of Biltmore House.

Visit Safety

The safety of our guests and employees remains our top priority. Per current CDC guidance and the latest Buncombe County mandate, the use of face coverings indoors and while on estate shuttles is required for all Biltmore employees and guests at least 5 years of age, regardless of vaccination status. More information is available here.