March 15: Clean Energy Tour of the Biltmore Estate

Western North Carolina Alliance

to visit the Biltmore Estate on Saturday, March 15, 2014

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Join us Saturday March 15 for a unique Clean Energy and Sustainability Tour of the Biltmore Estate, which is not available to the public.   This tour will showcase Biltmore’s sustainability and clean energy initiatives in addition to providing an opportunity to tour the house, grounds, and Antler Hill Village.


Custom Tour solarpanels

Since George Vanderbilt began the construction of his home in North Carolina, the family has shown leadership in environmental stewardship and conservation. Biltmore is proud that its daily operations feature a number of sustainable practices, and these include:

  •  Using best management practices, such as livestock walkways and water tanks to ensure water quality in the Upper French Broad and Swannanoa River basins.
  •  Seeding of grass to create field borders to prevent fertilizer run off into creeks and rivers.
  • Planting a 60 acre Canola Field.  Canola seeds will be harvested and pressed that into a food-grade cooking oil which can be used by chefs frying up dishes in the kitchens of Biltmore restaurants.
  •  Using vegetable oil from Biltmore restaurants as Biodiesel fuel for powering equipment used on the estate
  • Using Solar Power – The 6-acre, 1.2 mega-watt Solar Array on the Estate features 5,000 solar panels and uses advanced technology with superior performance, even on cloudy days. The ultimate hope is for the estate to generate all of its power needs in the future.

Unlike other visits to Biltmore, this one offers an opportunity to tour the grounds with a Biltmore representative, Vice President of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Ted Katsigianis.  He will share information on the Canola Fields and Solar Panel projects with your group while on a riding tour of these areas.

Self-Guided Visit to Biltmore House, Gardens & Antler Hill Village

House: The Biltmore House is America’s largest privately owned home, and a visit there offers the opportunity to cross the threshold into a world of hospitality, beauty, and luxury that has remained virtually unchanged for more than a century. Your group may view priceless, carefully preserved artworks and furnishings while walking through the house at your own pace. The self-guided visit takes approximately 60-90 minutes.

Gardens: Enjoy the walking paths and trails from the Library Terrace of Biltmore House to the Bass Pond which wind themselves through six distinctly different gardens as well as several woodland and meadow trails.  The grounds of the 125,000-acre estate were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of New York’s Central Park and the father of American landscape architecture. He not only developed acres of gardens and parkland, but in his efforts to protect the environment and reclaim over-farmed land, Olmsted established America’s first managed forest.

Antler Hill Village: Visit the Antler Hill Barn to learn more about Biltmore’s agricultural heritage and pop into the Biltmore Legacy Exhibition Hall to walk through the current exhibit, which is “The Vanderbilt’s at Home and Abroad.” A stop at the Winery is a must for anyone who enjoys good food and wine.  Complimentary wine tastings will be offered throughout the day and you can put the finishing touches on your Village experience by shopping or relaxing at the Village Green.


9:30 a.m. Arrive at entrance to Biltmore and travel to parking areas near Biltmore House

10 -12 p.m – Self-guided tour of the Antler Hill Village

12 – 1 pm – Free time for lunch, and more exploring

1 pm – Return to Biltmore House area

1 – 2:15 pm – Meet guide in front of Biltmore House and board the Biltmore shuttle for Custom Tour highlighting Canola Fields and Solar Panels projects

2:15 – 3:30 pm – Self-guided tour of the Biltmore House


Cost for this Custom WNCA tour of the Biltmore Estate is $40 for WNCA members and $55 for non-members *includes 1 year membership, and $20 for members with Biltmore Estate Year Pass-Holders, and $35 for non-members with Biltmore Estate Year Pass-Holders

If you have any questions about this outing or registration please e-mail Outings and Education Coordinator Isabelle Rios: or call her at 828-258-8737, ext. 201.


  1. WNC Alliance offering exclusive tour to highlight clean energy, sustainability initiatives at Biltmore Estate - […] To register, email WNCA Outings and Education Coordinator Isabelle Rios at or complete the registration form at this link: […]

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