Fortunately it’s very easy to Get a Free Wine Tasting at Biltmore Estate. You just have to make some preparations ahead of time to be sure you grab a spot.
Before you can do the wine tasting you must be able to get on the grounds at Biltmore Estate. A Grounds and Gardens ticket is cheaper than one that includes visiting the house so if you don’t care to see the house you can save a few bucks.
Additionally if you know an Annual Passholder sometimes they can get people onto the grounds for free. But for most of you I know that you will want to do the house AND everything else available.
How To Save On Tickets
- Buy your ticket online before you go to the estate. If you buy the tickets online you save a few dollars off the price of buying at the estate. Currently the discount is up to $8.
- If you need two days at the estate consider grabbing a second day ticket for $25. This will give you access to Biltmore’s gardens, grounds, and Antler Hill Winery. This is not something you can do online so you would have to upgrade at any of the guest services on the estate.
- Buy a tour for the next day and save $25. Purchase a Biltmore admission ticket and on the day of your Biltmore visit, stop by any Guest Services station and reserve a next-day outdoor activity or tour for the following day which allows you to return for your tour or activity without an additional admission purchase.
- The best bargain of all is to grab an annual pass if you plan on going a few times. They do go on sale- we were able to grab them for $119 (and they extended for 15 months) when they were closed for the pandemic. After that they were $159 and their normal price is $249. So watch for those sales- you can find them if you are flexible and wait. But when they do drop in price be sure to grab them. There are tons of benefits to having the pass as well.
Check Out this Biltmore Estate’s Ultimate Know-Before-You-Go Guide!
How To Get a Wine Tasting Reservation
Before the pandemic you could just walk in and easily get a free wine tasting. Now that space is limited you have to get a reservation for a tasting and that can be tricky.
The easiest way is to head to Antler Hill Village on the property and find the entrance to the winery (pictured above). There will be a helpful human who will get you a time for the day. The tastings begin about 11:45 a.m. and go until closing.
There is a really big problem with this system however and we discovered it when we were there. Our house tour was at 10 a.m and the house is a few miles from the village. Then we ate lunch, wandered the gardens and looked around the property. By the time we hit Antler Village at 2 p.m. the reservations were full. Fortunately we happened to be there right as someone was cancelling their reservation for two so we managed to snag a 4:40 time slot.
The only work around I have found is the day of you can use this link to make a reservation. It is only for the day of and there is no way to find this link without knowing exactly how to get to it. There are QR codes by the winery to it. So if you happen to get to the house early maybe ask someone on staff about it or check in at the ticket office and they can help you. But don’t just assume there will be wine tasting openings- we would have been so disappointed if we had not been able to squeeze in.
Check out my other Frugal Travel Ideas!
What Happens in the Winery at Biltmore Estate
If you want a bit more of an adventure be sure to enter the winery through Antler Hill village. Since the winery used to be a dairy farm it has a really unique feel if you go from underneath.
You walk down a hall with beautiful white lights that set the mood. You can also see some displays giving information about the winery and it’s functions.
Once you reach the end you head upstairs to the show floor and the wine tasting rooms. There are so many different wines and interesting products featured throughout the store. I can tell you their sparkling grape juices are very yummy in addition to their wines.
Cheeses, dishes, teas, honey and more can be found in the store.
Beautiful labels on some of their bottles.
They do have some very reasonably priced wines. Especially with my discount using my annual pass.
They also have wine clubs you can join for additional discounts.
If you try sauces or dressings around the estate you like there is a good chance you can purchase them to take home.
These are a favorite find of ours. They are plastic and have the thumb indention in them for easy use.
What Happens at a Free Wine Tasting at Biltmore Estate
We showed up about 15 minutes before our reservation time and checked in. They lead us into the back wine tasting room which I have never been in before. It’s just as lovely as the front room. This case was behind us the whole time and I had to grab a picture.
The counters are spread out very well with clear dividers so we felt very socially distanced as we tasted. The high ceilings and details make it so beautiful. Especially considering it used to be nothing but stalls for cows.
There were 13 wines included in the tasting menu and you get to sample five for free. They always have a nice variety of red and white and usually atleast once Rose’. Each tasting I have done our host has known lots about the wines and answered all of our questions.
My best friend Leanna helped me sample the wines so we could each try more than five. She and I like different types so we didn’t share too much. I tried some stuff that was way too dry for me and she tried some stuff that was way too sweet for her.
I ended with the Century Sweet Red which I know I like.
They are generous with the pours as well so it’s an excellent afternoon – especially since it’s FREE! They are very careful with cleaning the glasses and keeping everyone as far from germs as possible.
After your tasting you can exit through the gift shop and purchase anything you enjoyed. Also depending where you live you might be able to find Biltmore wines available at your local store or restaurant.