Thursday, November 10, 2011

Biltmore Estate


Afner's hermanos were here visiting a few weeks ago, and as a special treat, I took them to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  It's the biggest private residence in America, and it also has the most visited winery in the nation.  And by "private residence" they mean palatial castle, and by "most visited winery in the nation" they mean they give out a loooooot of free wine.  Of course, Nancy got to come along.  She just got a new dress, Fiesta en el Jardin, so I let her wear it for our day trip.

Nancy likes to travel in style.

The front of the Biltmore.

Me, Papito, and Patricia

One of the really neat things about the Biltmore Estate is its history. It was built over six years and was finished in 1895.  The architect modeled the house after three châteaux built in 16th-century France. There are Renoir originals in the house, Napoleon's chess set, and even more fun, some really neat vintage dolls.  Photography inside the house is absolutely forbidden, but when you see a beauty like this, well, even a goody two shoes like myself cannot resist.  That explains the bad quality of the photo.
Nancy with an antique German (or possibly French) doll

This doll is a part of an exhibit inside the house called "If These Walls Could Talk".  It was Cornelia Vanderbilt's doll from the turn of the century.  Cornelia was born in 1900 and was the only child of the Vanderbilts.  Nancy was very excited to get the opportunity to take a picture with such a distinguished doll! 

After you exit the house, you can tour the gardens.  We didn't do too much touring of the gardens, but we did stop for a picture of Nancy in the garden, wearing en el Jardin. 
Nancy enjoying the garden and the beautiful mountain view

The next stop on our tour was the winery.  The winery was originally a dairy, but in 1971 they began the transformation.  I must say, the winery is definitely more exciting than a dairy.  Can you imagine tasting milk?  Well, maybe ice cream.  At any rate, nowadays you can taste wine, and as much of it as you want.  Oh yeah, and you also get to take a tour.
Nancy was the only one small enough to squeeze through the bars to get to the barrels.....

The wines are good, and not very expensive.  We tasted a lot of different things, but ended up buying a few bottles of their Christmas wine.  It was a great day, and we had lots of fun with Patricia and Andres.  If you're ever in North Carolina, be sure to make time for a trip to the Biltmore Estate!
Este es el fin!