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Archive for the ‘Biltmore Estate’ Category

Asheville Makes Top 10 List for Being Dog Friendly

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – DogFriendly.com released its Top 10 dog-friendly resort regions in the United States for 2009. Asheville came in at 9th place and was noted for the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Biltmore Estate.

The rankings are determined by the DogFriendly.com staff and take into account the quality of dog-friendly accommodations, things to do with your dog, beaches, parks and dog-friendly patio dining.

Below is the complete list;

1. Carmel / Monterey, CA – Many pet-friendly accommodations. Off-leash
Carmel City Beach. Many walking and hiking options. Shop and dine in

2. Bar Harbor / Acadia, ME – Pet-friendly Acadia National Park. Shop in the
historic downtown. Take a ferry or boat cruise.

3. Black Hills, SD – Lots of dog-friendly attractions and campgrounds. Mt
Rushmore worth visiting with a dog. See Badlands National Park.

4. St Augustine, FL – See the historic downtown. Lots of dog-friendly
shopping and dining. Take a harbor boat cruise and a ghost tour.

5. Cape Cod, MA – Visit Cape Cod National Seashore. Many cruises and
ferries. Also take in Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

6. Key West, FL – Quaint B&B’s and outdoor dining. Dog-friendly
attractions, boating and stores. See the Southernmost Point Monument.

7. Charlottesville, VA – Visit estates of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick
Henry. Shop at the downtown mall. Visit dog-friendly Shenandoah Park

8. Mendocino, CA – Stay in a pet-friendly B&B or resort. Walk the
seaside town. Go to the beach and dine outdoors.

9. Asheville / Blue Ridge, NC – Tour the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visit the
Biltmore Estate grounds and shop at Biltmore Village.

10. Amarillo, TX – Visit the famous Cadillac Ranch. Spend a day or camp at
Palo Duro Canyon. Stay at the Big Texan Steak Ranch Motel.

Charles Osgood Films CBS Sunday Morning at Asheville’s Biltmore Estate

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Biltmore Estate

ASHEVILLE, NC – Charles Osgood is everything you think he is. The longtime host of CBS Sunday Morning and anchor of the Osgood File news program on the radio is every bit himself off camera as he portrays on camera or on mic.

Sunday Morning spent two days filming for this Sunday’s show at Biltmore in Asheville, NC. During his down time, Osgood talked candidly with fans (spending about 15 minutes with some of them) and graciously posed for pictures. He spoke to people as if they had been long time friends.

Sunday’s episode will be based at Biltmore and focused on design. It will include some of Biltmore’s greatest assets as well as other pieces on fashion and design.

The show will air Sunday morning at 9, right after News Channel 7 Sunday Morning.

Watch Rich Klindworth’s entire interview with Charles Osgood: link to WSPA

Biltmore Estate Hosts Annual Easter Festivities

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – From colorful Easter egg hunts with the Easter Rabbit, to storytelling and magic shows, your family will find fun at every turn this Easter.

On the Front Lawn

* Easter egg hunts:

11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends 15 minutes prior to each hunt.) Festivities are open to ages 2–9, and participants need to bring baskets for egg gathering.

* Visits and photos with the Easter Rabbit,:

9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

* Children’s music and storytelling:

9:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 1:45 p.m.

* Magic shows:

10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

* Seed planting, coloring, and word finds:

9:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Inside Biltmore House

* Choirs perform in the Winter Garden: 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m, and 3:00 p.m.

At River Bend Barn and Farmyard

* Children’s games and crafts, butter churning demos, and baby animals: 12:00 noon–5:00 p.m.

Biltmore’s Vineyard Director Awarded "Winegrower of Excellence for 2008"

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Dennis Wynne, vineyard director for Biltmore, was awarded “Winegrower of Excellence for 2008” at the North Carolina Winegrower’s Association’s annual meeting on Thurs., February 5. To qualify for this award, recipients must have at least 5 grape bearing acres which have consistently produced high quality fruit for a minimum of 5 years and their vineyards must be available for research which will benefit the industry. Potential recipients are nominated by NCWA members, and wine and vineyard educators within North Carolina.

Incorporated in the state of North Carolina as a non-profit, the goal of the North Carolina Winegrower’s Association is to help members grow better grapes, make better wine and market the final product more effectively. Current membership of the NCWA is more than 350.

“We are very excited that Dennis was honored with this award. He has been an integral part of our wine program for 28 years and this recognition is well deserved,” said Jerry Douglas, senior vice president of sales and marketing for The Biltmore Company.

Biltmore’s 94-acre vineyard is located in a valley near the French Broad River on the west side of the property. Varieties grown include Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. All grapes are picked by hand, with each harvest averaging 250 tons of grapes annually.

The first vineyards at Biltmore were established in 1971 in an area below Biltmore House. French-American hybrids were planted initially, with vinifera plantings following in a few years. Inspired after several years of experimenting, William A.V. Cecil, then president and owner of Biltmore, decided that a winery was the natural outcome of ongoing research and a logical extension of his grandfather’s intention that the estate be self-supporting.

Biltmore wines are available in Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia

To learn more about Biltmore Wines or to access the regional wine-buying guide, please visit www.biltmorewine.com.

Biltmore Announces 2009 Summer Concerts Series

Monday, March 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Biltmore Estate invites guests to enjoy a talented mix of performances during its 12th annual summer concert series. Warm breezes and stunning sunsets set the stage for concertgoers to listen and watch their favorite performers from the South Terrace lawn of America’s largest home.

Biltmore’s 12th Annual Summer Evening Concerts’ performers include:

* Friday, Aug. 1: An Evening with Steven Curtis Chapman

General Admission $32, Reserved $37, Premium Reserved $47

* Saturday, Aug. 2: KC & The Sunshine Band and Village People

General Admission $55, Reserved $60, Premium Reserved $70

* Wednesday, Aug. 6: The Stepcrew

General Admission $27, Reserved $32, Premium Reserved $42

* Thursday, Aug. 7: An Evening with Gladys Knight

General Admission $55, Reserved $60, Premium Reserved $70

* Friday, Aug. 8: An Evening with B.B. King

General Admission $60, Reserved $65, Premium Reserved $80

* Saturday, Aug. 9: An Evening with REO Speedwagon

General Admission $40, Reserved $45, Premium Reserved $55

* Friday, Aug. 15: An Evening with The Beach Boys

Admission $50, Reserved $55, Premium Reserved $65

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, April 1 at 8:00 a.m. To reserve tickets, visit www.biltmore.com or call 866-336-1255. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers and dates are subject to change.

Twelve-Month Passholders receive a $5.00 discount on reserved seating through June 15, and a $5.00 discount on general admission tickets until sold out. There is a limit of four discounted tickets per passholder per concert.

April 4 Never-Before-Seen Rooms Open in Biltmore House

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – This year, springtime at Biltmore takes on a whole new meaning when a suite of four never-before-seen bedrooms opens to visitors for the first time on April 4, 2009. These rooms provide a deep and revitalized connection between the two generations born at Biltmore and the visitors who come here to see George Washington Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate, a National Historic Landmark.

Coinciding with the start of Biltmore’s 24th annual Festival of Flowers (April 4-May 17), the opening of the new rooms represents a major milestone in Biltmore’s history, and one of the most revealing opportunities to date for Biltmore to tell the Vanderbilt family story.

Restored to its original splendor, this suite offers visitors the first opportunity to fully see the house as a family home and the Vanderbilts as parents. The Louis XV Room itself is perhaps the true heart of Biltmore. It served as birthplace of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s only daughter, Cornelia, in 1900. Years later, it was where Cornelia delivered her own two sons, George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil and William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil in 1925 and 1928, respectively.

When guests tour through the suite, they will realize like never before that Biltmore was much more than a magnificent house when Vanderbilt opened it on Christmas Eve 1895. It was a home, alive with family, friends and children.

Biltmore’s team of curators, conservators and craftsmen spent years researching and sourcing materials from around the globe to authentically restore a part of Biltmore House that’s been closed to visitors for nearly 100 years.

The 250 furniture pieces and decorative objects in the suite are part of George Vanderbilt’s collection, but have been tucked away in storage since the 1930s, away from public view. Liberal doses of gold and silk make these rooms literally shine on a sunny morning, said Leslie Klinger, curator of interpretation, which she suspects was the reason Edith Vanderbilt chose to deliver her daughter in the suite’s Louis XV Room. “Seeing this incredibly beautiful furniture reunited with the rest of Vanderbilt’s collection is really spectacular,” Klinger said.

Biltmore’s experts engaged in extensive detective work throughout the restoration process. This included:

• Piecing remnants of original wallpaper found underneath door moldings and drapery brackets to determine wallpaper patterns for the reproduction process;

• Traveling to France to collaborate with fabric and wallpaper company designers to ensure the original fabrics were reproduced exactly;

• Hours of cleaning and repairing the objects form George Vanderbilt’s collection;

• Hand mixing of paints to match the original colors.

With the opening of the suite, interpretation of Biltmore House itself is now expanded to focus on the people who once lived and visited in the home, in addition to the architecture and art collection. The visitor experience will be enhanced by the placement of lifestyle elements – items of the period – to achieve a lived-in feeling, more authentically portraying the day-to-day living that once took place in Biltmore House.

Biltmore’s Museum Services staff members studied biographies of the people who visited the Vanderbilts and stayed in Biltmore House to populate the rooms with antique objects that represent their interests and lifestyles. “Many of the Vanderbilts’ guests enjoyed horseback riding, so period riding gear will be placed in at least one of the guest bedrooms,” Klinger said.

When in original use, the suite was thought to have housed close friends and family who visited the Vanderbilts, including Willie Fields, George Vanderbilt’s best friend who played a major role in George’s courtship of Edith. During one of his visits, Willie wrote to his mother that he suspected Edith was “in a family way.”

This story and many others like it reveal the Vanderbilt family’s life at Biltmore. Members of the Museum Services staff spent years researching Vanderbilt history to include tidbits like this on Biltmore’s new self-guided audio tour, available when the suite opens.

Biltmore to Open Antler Hill Village in Spring 2010

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Antler Hill Winery Village

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Biltmore Company, which operates the National Historic Landmark Biltmore in Asheville, has announced that it will break ground on a new guest attraction, Antler Hill Village. Located adjacent to the Winery and River Bend Farm on its grounds, the area will be open to guests as part of daily admission to Biltmore. This pedestrian-friendly village, opening spring 2010, will become a center of activity that joins two historically significant and popular attractions at Biltmore.

Antler Hill Village will expand current guest offerings at the estate and include a new exhibition space, village green with live entertainment, dining, shopping and a new outdoor adventure center. As part of this project, Biltmore Winery will be enhanced to offer a newly designed tour and tasting areas. The existing interpretive farm area with historic barn, kitchen garden and farmyard will be incorporated as well. Estimated cost of this project is $18.6 million.

"We are pleased to announce this exciting new guest experience at Biltmore," said William A.V. Cecil Jr., CEO of The Biltmore Company. "This area of the estate has become a fun location for outdoor activities, and one that is rich with agricultural history. At Antler Hill Village, guests will learn even more about our family’s interest in agriculture and the outdoors, as well as my great-grandfather’s legacy of making Biltmore self-sustaining."

George Vanderbilt called the hill overlooking the village area Antler Hill. The area where the village will be located was a hub for the estate employees to interact socially with dances, harvest fairs and classes in the evenings.

"This area has a history of hospitality and entertaining," said Cecil. "With the creation of Antler Hill Village, we will draw from this history and offer guests a more contemporary experience of today’s Biltmore."

The company consulted on this project with PGAV Destination Consulting, a nationally recognized master planning, architecture and design firm for many leading museums, historic properties and attractions. PGAV’s clients include the Georgia Aquarium, Discovery Cove in Orlando, Mark Twain Boyhood Home and National Geographic Grand Canyon Visitors Center. The general contractor is PCL Construction Services, Inc., with NC headquarters in Charlotte, NC. PCL is a commercial buildings contractor with a specialized division that manages attraction-based construction, having worked for clients such as SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Disney.

Biltmore Estate Hosts 24th Annual Festival of Flowers April 4-May 17, 2009

Friday, February 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Flowers take center stage as a cast of thousands welcome springtime at Biltmore’s Festival of Flowers, April 4 – May 17. In concert with the opening, on April 4, of a suite of four restored rooms inside Biltmore House, the annual estate-wide event celebrates the beauty of George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre property and its original design by Frederick Law Olmsted, father of American landscape architecture.

Restored to their original splendor, this suite of rooms offers visitors the first opportunity to fully see the house as a family home and the Vanderbilts as parents. The Louis XV Room itself is perhaps the true heart of Biltmore. It served as birthplace of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s only daughter, Cornelia, in 1900. Years later, it was where Cornelia delivered her own two sons, George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil and William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil in 1925 and 1928, respectively. Through family stories that span generations, and new blooms throughout the estate, Biltmore comes alive this spring.

Festival of Flowers showcases a stunning display of tulips, Iceland poppies, snapdragons and foxglove in the Walled Garden, vibrant colors in the 20-acre azalea garden and cascades of native and exotic blooms in the natural gardens and walking trails. Biltmore’s gardens, Olmsted’s final and most grand project, are in their 119th year, continuing to mature and becoming more beautiful every year.

This year’s umbrella theme, "Preservation," ties in with the opening of the new rooms in Biltmore House. Floral displays inside the house will reflect the period of decoration of each room, or of décor during the Vanderbilt era. Guests will see elements of the Edwardian/Turn of the Century/Aesthetic Movement infused with bold and contrasting colors. The Winter Garden will introduce the secondary theme, "Flowers through Time," with a floral sundial of potted flowering plants arranged around the center fountain and classical music played throughout the day.

Festivities across the estate will include music in the house and various locations, tips from Biltmore gardeners and innovative container garden displays in the Conservatory. Biltmore Winery celebrates with live music, wine tastings, seminars and children’s activities. Seasonal Festival of Flowers wines are also crafted each year to mark the occasion. In addition, events are planned for adults and kids at River Bend Farm, and outdoor activities such as mountain biking and float trips are available at the adjacent Outdoor Center.

Visit Biltmore Estate’s Festival of Flowers page for more information.

How to decorate like Asheville’s Biltmore Estate

Thursday, December 20th, 2007
Biltmore Estate & House Christmas

More than a million people visit Biltmore Estate in Asheville, and about 300,000 of them visit during Christmas season. Planning the decorations for the eight thousand acre Asheville attraction is quite a large task, to say the least. Luckily, Biltmore Estate employs a well-trained staff to prepare the House and its surrounding areas for the Holiday Season. Biltmore Estate’s decorations include 150 Christmas trees, 25,000 ornaments, 25,000 lights and 1,500 poinsettias. Even though many of Biltmore’s decorations maybe out of your price range, your house can still benefit from some of its decorating tips.


First, find a theme that matches your decorations, and think about the colors in the room where you will set up your tree. Your house should show your guests something about you and your family. You can also mix between homemade and store-bought ornaments. Keep in mind that green and red are not the only colors you can use to decorate and make sure you have a theme that repeats throughout all of your decorated rooms.


Make sure to shape your tree before adding any Christmas lights. Asheville’s Biltmore Estate makes use of 50 light strands, with six inches of space between each bulb. That means a tree that is six feet tall needs a total of eight sets of lights.

Warning: Never plug in more than six strands of lights together and never plug in more than six strands to a single outlet. Adding more lights could cause an electrical fire.

Working from the top of the tree down, weave the lights up and down across the branches. Take a step back, and look at the tree every once in a while to be sure the lights are placed so that the tree is evenly lit. Next, add garland or any other drapery before you add your ornaments. This keeps the garland from knocking off and breaking any of your precious ornaments.

What you put on top can make or break a tree, and most many tree decorators put the tree topper on last. Putting it on before you stand the tree up can save quite a lot of frustration. You can bet the staff at the Biltmore weren’t standing on rickety step-ladders while trying to put their tree toppers on last, especially as one of their trees is a 38-foot Frasier Fir. Also, make sure your Christmas tree skirt matches the rest of your decorations. You don’t need to run out and buy one either– an old tablecloth will suffice as long as it goes with everything.

The Biltmore Estate will celebrate Christmas until January 1, 2008 and some of the special events include:

Candlelight Christmas Evenings

Offered by reservation only. Luminaries lead the way to the house’s front door. The Biltmore House appears much as it would have during 19th century—- by fireplace and candlelight– it will be an experience that you will certainly remember.

Biltmore Activities and Packages

The Winery will offer tours, cooking demonstrations and wine tasting throughout the Christmas season.

Ticket Information

Tickets prices will vary based on date and time. Persons ages 10 to 16 are half of the regular adult price. Kids nine and under are *free* when they are with a paying adult. See the Biltmore Estate web-site for more information, as special online rates are available.