The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook

Susanna Pantas -"Beautifully rendered paintings of nature, ourselves, and the imagined"

Biltmore Estate

Pen & Ink Drawings of Biltmore Estate, by Lee James Pantas

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Biltmore House

All about coral reefs and the oceans




A national treasure, Biltmore Estate’s importance to Asheville cannot be understated, and as one of the major attractions in Western North Carolina warrants a chapter unto itself. A visit to Biltmore Estate, in the opinion of the author, is a must for anyone coming to Asheville.

   Although it is not formally part of the present Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village is included here since it was originally conceived of by George Vanderbilt. The architecture of the original village buildings, especially the Cathedral of All Souls, clearly reflects the spirit of Vanderbilt’s vision.

Biltmore House

Biltmore Village, by Lee James PantasBiltmore Village:
When George W. Vanderbilt began building Biltmore Estate near Asheville in the late 1880s, he planned a picturesque manorial village to be built just outside the entrance to Biltmore Estate. Constructed in the early 1900s, the Village was primarily the work of Richard Hunt, Frederick Law Olmsted and Richard Smith. Today, Biltmore Village is a charming community of shops, restaurants and galleries offering world class shopping in an historic setting. Be sure and take time to park your car and take a walking tour of the many shops housed in the original historic buildings.
    Planning began in 1889 and by 1896 the streets were laid in a fan shape. At the front of the railroad depot, Olmsted (who was instrumental in developing the village plan) placed a plaza, a simple diamond-shaped area framed by larger commercial buildings. At the opposite end of this axis, the Church of All Souls dominated the view as the tallest building in the Village. These primary elements of the central spine of the Village still dominate the scene today.

    All other streets were laid out in short lengths, with views terminated into lots at the end. The result is that views are contained within the Village so that the “outside world” does not intrude into the setting. All Souls Church (now Cathedral of All Souls), parish house, estate office and the railway station were then built. Buildings were added to the Village until about 1910, and shortly after Vanderbilt’s death, the Village was sold. It was declared a National Historic District and a Local Historic District in 1989.
   Buildings of special historical interest in Biltmore Village are the Cathedral Of All Souls, the Administration Building at 1 Biltmore Plaza, the Depot, The Samuel Harrison Reed House at 119 Dodge Street and the cottages throughout the main section of the village. Located at 7 Biltmore Plaza is the Biltmore Village Historic Museum, a free, nonprofit museum. Its purpose is to share information about the Village from 1889 to the present through displays of pictures, maps, antique postcards and artifacts.
    Biltmore Village is also noted for its Christmas festival that surrounds the enacting of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” This enchanting festival includes concerts, lighting displays and arts and crafts exhibits.

Biltmore Estate
Biltmore Estate:
A visit to Biltmore is an event, so you’ll want to give yourself at least 4-6 hours to explore the house, grounds, and winery. You’ll find numerous shops throughout the estate, all with an uncommon selection of special gifts, accessories, and mementos of your visit. Don’t forget to allow time to browse them all.
    Like the estate itself, Biltmore’s restaurants offer a delicious blend of American and European flavors. Dining choices range from the distinctly American fare of the Stable Café to the seasonal buffets of the Deerpark Restaurant.
   Every trip to Biltmore, no matter the time of year, is a new and exciting experience, whether you come for the breathtaking Festival of Flowers in the spring or the celebrated Candlelight Christmas Evenings. The beauty of Biltmore Estate is ever-changing, with new wonders and delights appearing every season. In the springtime, the gardens explode with brilliant color, calling for the celebration of the spring Festival of Flowers. Summertime brings lush greenery to the hillsides, deep shade in the cool, wooded groves, and Summer Evenings Concerts performed on the South Terrace. December brings the splendor of an elaborate 19th century Christmas to every corner of the decorated mansion. Finally, winter is a time when guests can enjoy the special presentations regarding many of the preservation projects taking place in the house.

Biltmore House

   Many people dream of living in a house as grand as Biltmore House but few people get to realize their dreams the way George Vanderbilt did in 1895, when construction of his new country home was "The Dancing Lesson" statue at the Biltmore Estate, restored by Winn Oppice completed. George Vanderbilt’s dream first began to take shape in 1887, when he visited Asheville on holiday. Enchanted by the remote majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he decided to make Asheville the site of his country estate. Commissioning architect Richard Morris Hunt, he set out to create a mansion modeled after the châteaux of France’s Loire Valley. They began to collect the finesBiltmore Houset building materials from all over the United States. It took an army of stonecutters and artisans six years to construct Biltmore House, which is today the largest private home in America, situated on more than eight thousand acres.
   George Vanderbilt filled his 250-room mansion with treasures he had collected during his world travels. Works by Albrect Dürer, John Singer Sargent, and Pierre Auguste Renoir cover the walls. Exquisite furniture and oriental rugs fill each room. And Minton china graces elaborate table settings. Guests of Mr. Vanderbilt had their choice of 32 guest rooms, and could pass the time in the Billiard Room, Winter Garden, Tapestry Gallery, or countless other sitting rooms and be entertained in the Gymnasium, Bowling Alley, or indoor swimming pool.

Biltmore House

   Ever mindful of his guest's comfort, Mr. Vanderbilt equipped his house with a centralized heating system, mechanical refrigeration, electric lights and appliances, and indoor bathrooms—all unheard of luxuries at the turn of the century. Today, Biltmore House visitors can see the house virtually as it was in George Vanderbilt’s day because its sculptures, paintings, furnishings, and household items have been carefully preserved.

Biltmore Estate Information:
Website: Biltmore Estate
Location: South Asheville, adjacent to Biltmore Village
Telephone: General Information, 800-543-2961, 828-274-6333
                   Corporate Offices, 818-255-1776
                   Individual Ticket Sales: 800-411-3812
                   Group Ticket Sales, 828-274-6230
                   Inn on Biltmore Estate, (800) 858-4130, 828-225-1600
Hours: Biltmore Estate is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas but open on New Year’s Day. Biltmore Estate also has a number of special events including Summer Evenings Concerts and Candlelight Christmas Evenings (early November through Christmas, taking place after normal hours.) Reservations are required.
                   Estate Entrance Hours (Subject to change without notice): 8:30 a.m.- 7 p.m. Admissions
                       gate closes at 4 p.m.
                   Biltmore House front door closes at 4:30 p.m.
                   Admission Gate and Welcome Center: 8:30 a.m. -4 p.m..
                   Biltmore House Hours: January-December daily 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Fees: Prices vary seasonally and depending on method of purchase (Online or at gate). 2011 prices are quoted. Adults $69.00, Youth 10-16 $34.50 Children nine and under free when accompanied by paying adult.
Admission Tickets Includes: Self-guided visit of Biltmore House, all-day access to gardens and Antler Hill Village, complimentary wine tasting and guided tour at the Winery, dining and shopping opportunities and free parking.
Outdoor Activities: Stop by the Outdoor Center in Antler Hill Village to check the many outdoor activities available at Biltmore Estate. These include Carriage Rides, Horseback Riding, River Float Trips, Biking, Hiking, Segway Tours, Sporting Clays, Fly-fishing School and Land Rover Driving School. Estate outdoor activities are available by reservation to estate daytime guests, Biltmore Twelve-Month Passholders, and Inn on Biltmore Estate guests. Call 800-411-3812 for more information
Allow: Four to six hours minimum.
Nearby: Thomas Wolfe Memorial, Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Biltmore Village

Antler Hill Village and Winery:
    Antler Hill Village is a casual place extending the Biltmore experience, from the fun and relaxing Winery to exhibits at The Biltmore Legacy to delectable pub fare and ale at Cedric's Tavern. You can also enjoy live entertainment on the Village Green, explore farm life in the early 1900s at the Farm, and get ready to explore our 8,000-acre backyard at the Outdoor Adventure Center. The village's name comes from Antler Hill, the "fine high ridge" where the Inn on Biltmore Estate is located. From the Civil War into the 1930s, the ridge was the site of Antler Hall, a residence and social center for many estate families. Main features at Antler Hill Village include:
Winery: Guests enter the Winery from Antler Hill Village where they walk underground through the old dairy's original tunnel, designed to immediately engage all of the sense into the winemaking process. As part of the tours offered at the Winery, guest can enjoy wines in the Tasting Rooms. On display also at the Winery is Edith Vanderbilt's 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C-Six. This rare piece is the only car George Vanderbilt purchased that remains in the estate's collection.
The Biltmore Legacy: Discover the many sides of Edith Vanderbilt, George Vanderbilt's wife, or learn how the Cecils preserve Biltmore's legend of gracious hospitality. This facility includes exhibits filled with slices of estate life, including archival letters, photos and drawings illustrating how the Vanderbilts lived. A small theater features a film narrated by Dini Cecil Pickering that shares the family story from the Vanderbilts today.
Village Green and Bandstand: The centerpiece of Antler Hill Village, the Village Green has a gently sloping area perfect for people watching, listening to live music each afternoon, or relaxing with a snack or picnic.
Outdoor Adventure Center: Outdoor activities available at Biltmore Estate includ
Carriage Rides, Horseback Riding, River Float Trips, Biking, Hiking, Segway Tours, Sporting Clays, Fly-fishing School and Land Rover Driving School. Tickets are available at the Outdoor Adventure Center, as well as outdoor gear and clothing.
Antler Hill Farm: The Farm offers a glimpse into the agricultural past of Biltmore Estate. Traditional farming demonstrations take place there, including authentic blacksmithing by local crafts persons. The Farmyard house animals -sheep, goats, chickens, cows and horses that children can see up close and personal. The Kitchen Gardens showcase fragrant herbs and vegetables used in Biltmore's restaurants.
Cedric's Tavern: Named after George Vanderbilt's beloved St. Bernard, Cedric, this warm, relaxing pub reflects the less formal side of Biltmore dining and entertaining. Specialties include shepherd's pie and fish and chips.

Biltmore Estate Winery

Tours & Seminars:
Audio Guide to Biltmore House:
Storytelling audio guide that leads you room-by-room sharing stories of occupants.
Biltmore House Architect's Tour: Guided 60-minute tour that offers a closer look at the design and construction of Biltmore House by going into areas not on regular house visit. Stunning views and photo opportunities from rooftop and balconies.
Biltmore House Butler's Tour: See how Biltmore House functioned, past and present, and learn about the work of the domestic servants during this 60-minute guided tour, which takes you into unrestored rooms and mechanical areas not open to the public on the regular house visit.
Vanderbilt Family & Friends Tour: This new guided tour spurs your imagination about staying at Biltmore with the Vanderbilts as your hosts. Tour bedrooms not on the regular house visit outfitted with clothing and accessories from the 1900s as your hear stories from your host about customs of the time and the fascinating people who visited Biltmore.
Premium Biltmore House Tour:
Tour the house for two hours with a guide assigned to you exclusively. Includes areas seen in the Butlers Tour, Architects Tour, and House Tours.
Legacy of the Land Tour:
Take a motorcoach tour of the estate and learn about the history of the land, structures, and former residents. Visit areas not usually open to guests.
Winery Behind The Scenes Guided Walking Tour: Guests are guided on a walking tour of the Winery production areas. See and learn the difference between making red wine and white wine, as well as the bottling process. The tour ends in the Champagne finishing room where guests learn how true French style sparkling wines are made.
Farm Guided Walking Tour: Take a tour of what everyday life was like on the estate at the turn of the century. Meet friendly farmyard animals, a blacksmith, a woodworker, and try your hand at churning butter. Stroll through the stunning Kitchen Garden.
Farm Wagon Rides: Tour departs from the Farm's Kitchen Garden entrance in Antler Hill Village.
Red Wine & Chocolate Seminar at Winery: Discover why chocolate and red wine is a match made in heaven. Please register at the Winery Portal area in Antler Hill Village.

Biltmore Estate Lodging:
Inn on Biltmore Estate: Superb is the one word to describe the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Opened in 2001, it is the newest addition to George Vanderbilt’s turn-of-the-century retreat. The 213-room luxury Inn on Biltmore Estateaccommodation provides guests with an opportunity to enjoy Vanderbilt-style hospitality firsthand. Located on the east side of the estate above the Winery, it affords spectacular views of Biltmore House. At 165,000 sq. ft., the Inn offers banquet meeting rooms, two executive boardrooms, 213 exquisitely appointed guest rooms and suites, a 150-seat dining room, library, lobby bar, exterior swimming pool and fitness center. Amenities offered to guests include walking and hiking trails, carriage rides, horseback riding, mountain hiking and river float trips. The design of this world-class facility is in keeping with gracious resorts of the turn-of-the-century, and elements and accents from the magnificent Biltmore House are everywhere. Many design materials and elements reflect other estate structures incorporating fieldstone stucco and a slate roof similar to that found on the house. The large lobby fireplace, the inn library and Indiana fieldstone reception desk all further reinforce the perception that one is truly in a creation inspired by the vision of George Vanderbilt. Landscaping reflects the style of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead and his overall plan for Biltmore Estate.

Address: One Antler Ridge Road, Asheville NC 28801
Telephone: 866-336-1245, 828-225-1600

Inn on Biltmore Estate

Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate: An Estate hotel, this casual stay hotel is conveniently located in Antler vlllage on the estate, only a stroll away from outdoor activities, the Winery, shopping and a number of distinctive restaurants. 207 Dairy Rd, Asheville, NC 28803; 866- 336-1245

    Biltmore Estate Dining:

Arbor Grill:
(Antler Hill Village) Savor al fresco dining beside the wintery. Delicious food, wine and the natural beauty of Biltmore come together at the Arbor Grill to give you an ultimate Biltmore experience. Live musicians entertain Friday through Sunday. Open year round for lunch and dinner, 12:00 - 8:00 p.m., weather permitting.
Bistro: (Antler Hill Village) Open daily for lunch and dinner. The menu includes soups, salads, wood-fired pizza, homemade pasta, desserts, a children’s menu, and entrées featuring estate-raised beef, lamb, and veal. Located at the Winery, the Bistro opens year-round from 12 -8 pm. 828-225-6230
Cedric's Tavern:
(Antler Hill Village) Offering satisfying pub fare alongside robustly flavored American and global cuisine presented with Biltmore flair. Open daily for lunch, dinner, and late night entertainment.
Deerpark Restaurant: Originally part of the estate’s farm operation, Deerpark is open late March-December 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Deerpark offers delicious southern specialties served buffet-style in an outdoor atmosphere. 828-274-6260.
Stable Cafe:
(Stable courtyard next to Biltmore House) Formerly the Biltmore Estate carriage house and stables, the Stable Café is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The menu includes rotisserie chicken, Biltmore beef, fresh salads, burgers, desserts, and a full selection of drinks including wine and beer. Open year-round from 11 a.m. -4 p.m. 828-225-6370.
The Dining Room:
(Inn on Biltmore Estate) The Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate with breakfast, lunch and dinner available to inn guests. The restaurant features estate-raised products and a regional cuisine paired with Biltmore Estate wines.

Light Bites:
Bake Shop: (Stable courtyard next to Biltmore House) Serves espresso, gourmet coffees, herbal teas, and freshly baked goods daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Conservatory Cafe: (Conservatory) Good news for garden lovers—you really can spend the whole day wandering the gardens and greenhouses, and when you're ready for refreshment, the Conservatory Café is right there in the open air with Biltmore wines, frozen daiquiris, light snacks and deli sandwiches.
Courtyard Market: (Stable courtyard next to Biltmore House) Specializing in Sicilian-style thin crust pizza, great hot dogs, snacks, beer, wine, and cold beverages.
Creamery: (Antler Hill Village) Ice cream, gourmet coffee, cupcakes, deserts and drinks.

Ice Cream Parlor:
(Stable courtyard next to Biltmore House) Located in the stable courtyard next to the house, the Ice Cream Parlor serves specialty ice cream, yogurt treats, beverages, and picnics for two. Open year-round 11 am.-5 p.m. seasonally.
(The Farm in Antler Hill Village) Carolina barbeque, quick sandwiches and light snacks at the Farm.
Wine Bar:
(Winery in Antler Hill Village) Biltmore wines accompanied with light far.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas

Biltmore Estate Shopping:
A Christmas Past:
(Stable area near Biltmore House) Offers an assortment of Christmas ornaments and music.
A Gardener’s Place: (Conservatory lower level) Features estate-grown plants, gardening accessories, books and gifts.
Bookbinder’s: (Stable area near Biltmore House)  Filled with books relating to the Vanderbilt family and the Gilded Age.
Carriage House: (Stable area near Biltmore House) Carries gifts, decorative accessories, and Biltmore Estate wines.
Confectionery: (Stable area near Biltmore House) Offers a delectable array of sweets.
Cottage Door: (The Inn on Biltmore Estate) Unique children's items, gourmet snacks, chocolates and amenities such as newspapers, magazine and toiletries.

Gate House:
(Just outside main entrance to Biltmore Estate). Features Biltmore Estate reproductions, decorative accessories, and a full selection of fine estate wines. The only estate shop accessible without ticket purchase.
Marble Lion: (The Inn on Biltmore Estate) Sophisticated apparel and luxury items.

(The Barn at the Farm at Antler Hill Village) Appalachian crafts, dry goods and old-fashioned candy.
Outdoor Adventure Center: (Village Green in Antler Hill Village) Explore the many different outdoor activities offered at Biltmore Estate, plus purchase clothing and sundries.

(Stable area near Biltmore House)  Features old-fashioned toys and games.
(Village Green in Antler Hill Village) Offers a graceful mix of products inspired by envisioning how Edith Vanderbilt would entertain her guests today—carrying forward her renowned hospitality and sense of style. Decorative home accents including tabletop accessories and home décor that blend perfectly in today’s homes, plus pottery and jewelry crafted by local artisans.
Wine Shop:
(Winery in Antler Hill Village) offering fine wines, gourmet foods, kitchen accessories, and other gifts.

Equestrian Center at Biltmore EstateEquestrian Center:
Bring your own horse and explore more than 80 miles of estate trails—the same paths used by the Vanderbilts and their guests at the turn of the century. Enjoy wide, well-marked trails through pristine forests, green pastures, and along the banks of the French Broad River. Choose from five different 10–30 mile loops. Several trails include optional jumps and are suitable for carriages. Horseback riding is also offered for visitors who do not bring their own horses. For more information call the Estate Equestrian Center at 828-225-1454.

Italian Garden at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasThe Gardens:
George Vanderbilt commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, to create the stunning backdrop for his château. The resulting gardens and grounds are as spectacular as the house itself. A feast for the eyes, the ten acres of gardens also feature a remarkable array of flowers—many blooming through most of the year. From the orderly, manicured grounds framing the house to the lush forestland covering the mountains, the estate was carefully planned and designed by Olmsted’s judicious hand. Today the grounds are still exquisitely maintained, and you are invited to explore them at your leisure.

Biltmore Estate Walled Garden

The Winery at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasThe Winery:
Your visit to Biltmore Estate is not complete without a visit to the winery, which is located in the Estate’s original dairy barns. Here you will find a charming and relaxed atmosphere. While there, you may view the production areas and see the careful attention that goes into producing Biltmore’s award-winning wines. After deciding on your favorite wines during the complimentary tasting, a delightful shopping experience awaits you in the Wine Shop, where you can purchase a wide selection of Biltmore wines.

Lodge Gate at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasLodge Gate
The entrance to Biltmore Estate is through the Lodge Gate opposite Biltmore Village. Both its bricks and roof tiles were made on the Estate. Beyond the Lodge Gate, the approach road winds for three miles through a deliberately controlled landscape. The road runs along the ravines instead of the ridges, creating a deep natural forest with pools, springs and streams. Around the last turn, the visitor passes through the iron gates and pillars that are topped by early 19th century stone sphinxes, and then into the expansive court of Biltmore House.

Statue of Diana on Biltmore Estate, be Lee James PantasStatue of Diana
Located inside a small temple at the top of the hill beyond the Rampe Douce at Biltmore Estate is a statue which represents Diana. Diana was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, twin sister of Apollo and one of the twelve Olympians. As protector of wild animals, deer were especially sacred to her, which is particularly appropriate for Biltmore, with its large native deer population. Diana is usually portrayed with a bow and arrow and quiver, as she is here. The dog next to her in the statue could represent fidelity or chastity.

Biltmore Estate Grounds

 Entrance Lion at Biltmore House, by Lee James PantasThe Entrance Lions
Guarding the main entrance at Biltmore House are two massive carved stone lions that survey visitors with magnificently serene countenances. Carved of Rosso di Verona marble that is from near San Ambrogio Valpolicello in Italy, these lions are believed to date to the late nineteenth century and were not put in place until late 1899 or early 1900.

Biltmore House, by Lee James PantasBiltmore House
George Vanderbilt commissioned two of America’s most renowned designers to help plan his estate. His friend Richard Morris Hunt, the first American to receive an architectural degree from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, was the architect of Biltmore House, and Frederick Law Olmsted was chosen to lay out the gardens and parks surrounding the house.
   For his house, Mr. Vanderbilt chose the period of the great 16th century châteaux, known as the Francis I style. In 1895, when the house was formally opened, it was named Biltmore from Bildt, the name of the Dutch town from which the family’s ancestors came (van der Bildt), and “more,” an old English word for rolling, upland country.
   Biltmore House became a favorite home for Mr. Vanderbilt and his wife, Edith Stuyvesant Dresser and their only child, Cornelia. Upon Cornelia’s marriage to John Francis Amherst Cecil, it became the Cecils’ residence.
   To build Biltmore House, beginning in the summer of 1890, a thousand workers were steadily engaged for six years. A three-mile railway spur from the present Biltmore Station had to be built to carry materials to the site. Hundreds of workmen from the local area and artisans from all over the country and Europe came to carve and fit limestone that came from Indiana. So massive are some of these limestone blocks that one in the retaining wall weighs over three tons. So great was the project that a brick manufacturing facility was established on the estate grounds to satisfy the need for building materials. One of the greatest private houses in America, Biltmore House, once seen, will never be forgotten.

The Tea House at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasThe Tea House
The Tea House in the southwest corner of the South Terrace was an addition landscape-architect Frederick Law Olmsted advocated throughout the construction of Biltmore House. He viewed it as a much-needed focal point and an ideal spot from which to contemplate the mountains.
The Italian Garden
    Designed by Olmsted, the Italian Garden is located to the east of the lower terrace adjacent to Biltmore House. Its three formal pools are part of a design concept that dates back to the 16th century. These gardens have an architectural purity in which the plantings are secondary to the design. Nature is completely controlled and the gardens serve as an extension of the house. The outline of the three pools, grass areas and the paths are all part of a symmetrical design. The nearest pool contains the sacred lotus of Egypt. In the second are aquatic plants and in the third, water lilies.

The Conservatory at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasThe Conservatory
The Conservatory was used to provide citrus fruit, flowers, and plants for Biltmore House during Vanderbilt’s time. It is located at the far end of the four-acre Walled Garden, the lower half of which contains the Rose Garden featuring 159 of 161 All-American Rose selections as well as more than 2,300 other roses of the finest varieties. The Conservatory, restored in 1999, serves the same function today as it did in Vanderbilt’s time: providing cut flowers and ornamental plants for the house and growing bedding plants for the estate’s gardens.

The Winery Clock Tower at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasThe Winery Clock Tower
One of the highlights at Biltmore Estate’s Winery is Richard Morris Hunt’s European winery clock tower. Since the winery was previously a dairy, the central clock tower with its “candle-snuffer” roof originally had only three working faces; the side toward the pasture featured a painted-on clock, as the grazing cows did not need to know the time.

The Winery at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasThe Winery
The Winery, opened in 1985, followed George Vanderbilt’s original concept of a self-supporting European estate. The 96,500 square-foot facility is located in buildings designed by Richard Morris Hunt as part of the dairy operation on Biltmore Estate. The winery complex with its half-timbered woodwork, pebbledash plaster and decorative brickwork is reminiscent of a rural landscape of the 19th century. Today the buildings house state-of-the-art wine making equipment, cellars for wine storage, an elaborately stenciled tasting room, and the spacious Wine Shop. The winery is also home to the Bistro, which offers excellent continental Bistro-style fare.

Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore Estate, by Lee James PantasDeerpark Restaurant
Deerpark Restaurant is part of a series of handsome outbuildings designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt in the 1890s for George Vanderbilt’s farm operations at Biltmore Estate. Originally a dairy barn, Deerpark has been renovated into a unique open-air restaurant in a beautiful pastoral setting. The historic architectural detailing includes pebbledash plaster, half-timbered woodwork, and decorative brickwork. The name Deerpark is taken from a nearby area of the estate which George Vanderbilt set aside as a deer preserve.

George VanderbiltVignette: George Washington Vanderbilt, III
William Henry Vanderbilt’s youngest son, George, was born in the Vanderbilt farmhouse in New Dorp, Staten Island, New York on November 18, 1862, the youngest of eight children. Little interested in his father’s business affairs, Vanderbilt was influenced instead by the collection of art and antiques in his father’s home.
    A quite shy person, he began collecting books and art objects at a young age. After his mother died, George inherited the family home at 640 Fifth Avenue in New York City and all the art objects within it, including the large collection of paintings his father had assembled. He showed no interest in the social world of the Vanderbilt family, instead preferring the adventure of travel and the world of books.
    After visiting Asheville in the 1880s, which was then a fashionable resort, he decided to create a home for himself away from the noise and pace of New York City. During the five years of the construction of Biltmore House, he was a bachelor. However, on a trip to Europe in 1896 he met Edith Stuyvesant Dresser and on June 1, 1898, they were married in a civil ceremony in Paris, followed the next day by a religious ceremony at the American Church. Their only child, Cornelia, was born on August 22, 1900.
    While George Vanderbilt is well known for his creation of Biltmore Estate, he also accomplished a number of important good works in his lifetime. He established the first school of scientific forestry management practices in the United States and he also brought modern farming techniques to the relatively rural area surrounding his estate. Together, the Vanderbilts started Biltmore Estate Industries in 1901. In this apprenticeship program, young people were instructed in skills to produce furniture, baskets, needlework and woven fabric for resale.
    George Vanderbilt died in 1914 and was buried in the family vault on Staten Island. In the memorial service held at All Souls Church in Biltmore Village, the following remarks were made:
“Courteous in manner, dignified in deportment, kind in heart and pure in morals, he was beloved by his friends, honored by his acquaintances and respected by everyone...”


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