March 16th: Clean Energy Tour of Biltmore

Western North Carolina Alliance

to visit the Biltmore Estate on Saturday, March 16, 2013


Join us Saturday March 16th 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 Biltmore representatives, Vice President Rick Conard and Vice President Ted Katsigianis.  They 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

10:00 a.m. Meet your guides in front of Biltmore House and board the Biltmore shuttle for your custom tour

10:00 -11:15 a.m. Custom Tour highlighting Canola Fields and Solar Panels projects

11:15 a.m. Return to Biltmore House area

11:30 – 3:30 p.m. Time allowed for group members to visit Biltmore House and Antler Hill Village on their own.

Cost for this Custom WNCA tour of the Biltmore Estate is $40 for WNCA Members and $45 for non-members, and $20 for Biltmore Estate Year Pass-Holders

To register for the Biltmore Estate Clean Energy and Sustainability Tour e-mail Outings and Education Coordinator Rachel Moore:






  1. A new view of Biltmore Estate: Solar panels, canola fields, biodiesel - [...] [...]

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