Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rhythms and Beats - Asheville, North Carolina

Villa di Vino - Asheville, North Carolina

Aside from the breathtaking architecture of the Biltmore Estate, the second runner up for my favorite part to this visit was the winery!  Tucked away in the small hills just above the sunflower fields, the vineyard village was brimming with life from the live bands playing in the afternoon light and the bees swarming around the autumn blooms before the end of the season. 

I probably should feel guilty about my visit to the Biltmore winery.  Upon entering the tasting room, I almost made it through the entire selection of the reds under the recommendations of my first host, but he had to end his shift.  He politely introduced me to his relief and she took over by pouring me her favorite!  Basically went through the red selection once more and dabbled with a few of the white wines, only to have my host taken away from me again!  She handed over the responsibility to one of her fellow co-workers who had no bouts about repeating what the two predecessors had done and went through the list once more!  Having consumed what was most likely a hardy bottle of wine to myself, I decided to call it quits and finish my tour of the estate.

Biltmore Arboretum - Asheville, North Carolina

Buzz of the Biltmore - Asheville, North Carolina

Complimenting the grandeur of the Biltmore Mansion, the gardens match the beauty of the great estate.  With Vanderbilt wanting none other than the best for his dream home, Frederick Olmsted was hired to design the gardens and landscape of the Biltmore.  Some of Olmsted's notable works include Central Park, Prospect Park, Niagara Reservation, and the grounds of the Capitol in Washington DC.

With ample acreage to cover, numerous gardens are spread across the grounds of the Biltmore.  Styles of these gardens vary from Royal Palaces of England and Chateaus of France, and hints of Asian Gardens along with plants from various parts of the world.