Biltmore – America’s Christmas Castle: Part II

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Antler Village is a bustling hub of activity for Biltmore guests. It includes the Biltmore creamery and coffee shop, several eclectic souvenir shops and the Biltmore Winery.

Biltmore’s winery dates back to early 1970s, when Vanderbilt’s grandson William Cecil planted the first grapes at Biltmore. He had a vision of this American Chateau planting a future as a premier winery. They brought on French wine master Philippe Jourdain to help to plant additional vinifera varietals, are integral in building the future of Biltmore’s Winery.

In the 1980s Biltmore wines launched. Today it is an icon. The quality estate wine (locally sourced in NC and also in California) offers wine enthusiasts moderately priced and delicious wine.

Visitors to Biltmore are invited to tour the winery and enjoy a taste testing of six types of Biltmore wine (you choose what you want to try). You do need a reservation for the taste-testing to ensure you get a spot during the peak season.

My mom and I fell in love with the samples of their holiday wines as well as the Malbec and Syrah.

The winery includes a wine shop with hundreds of bottles of Biltmore wines and specialty goods.

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My mom and I treated ourselves (and fellow wine lovers on our Christmas list) with an assortment of wines. Biltmore offers a wine club – so you can try new varieties each season.

While at Antler Hill we also did some shopping – my mom found a vintage hat and I got a cup of coffee. The Biltmore Creamery holds a special place in my heart. When I was very young (around 4-6) my dad would take me to Biltmore and their original creamery restaurant (now a TGIFridays just outside the estate). I loved hearing his stories of how much he loved Biltmore and its ice cream when he was young.

Even though I couldn’t stomach any more food (After that wonderful lunch) I did sample a taste of the coffee flavored ice cream (delicious)


What I admire about Biltmore is their dedication to continuing to provide the best client experience and also staying innovative and relevant. They have expanded to include hotels on the property and have started using the property to expand the ‘museum and cultural’ mission.

Biltmore has built a special events center to house traveling exhibitions and this year they are hosting the famous Van Gogh Alive. One of the two dueling Van Gogh immersive experiences – Van Gogh Alive – invites you into Vincent’s world. You learn about his life, his art and experience it.

I am an art lover (and painter – check out my work on Etsy) and Vincent Van Gogh has always spoken to me because of his use of color and unique perspective. Vincent’s faith in spite of mental illness is a reminder of hope and opportunity even in dark places. I was excited to ‘immerse’ myself in the experience.

The exhibit starts with a tour about Vincent’s life – this was interesting and to the point. You then go into a ‘theater’ where images of Van Gogh and is story surround you with classical music creating the soundtrack.

I enjoyed the exhibit – it is fun for any art lover. I did find it to be a little sad how they focused so much on the mental illness of Van Gogh – which though part of him, was not truly what has defined his art and spirit. That being said I definitely recommend going if you enjoy art. It is a unique way to engage with art and contemplate it. Art soothes the soul and tells our story.

What I’m excited about is Biltmore is also hosting the Monet and Friends as well as the Da Vinci Experiences soon – great opportunity to engage with the grandeur of Biltmore and the art of the masters.

I fell in love with Biltmore at Christmas. I continue to look at my photos and souvenir book daily. It is a place of wonder and peace. I am so grateful for the opportunity to visit this year (safely and masked :))

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