Recently my friend Kay and I visited the french-style Chateau Elan Winery and Resort located in the town of Braselton, Georgia for an evening of wine, food, and delightful accommodations. Set on 3,500 acres with a winery, golf, spa and inn, the resort is a short drive from Atlanta making it a perfect destination for year-round weddings, romantic southern getaways, and corporate retreats.
It was harvest time during our stay. I enjoyed walking through the vineyard taking photos. It went something like this… Click once. Eat a grape. Repeat.
This vineyard grows the Muscadine species of grapes and as a resident of Florida and lover of our local Florida wines. I was very excited to try Georgia’s version. I found that Chateau Elan’s wines showcase the sweetness of this southern grape variety perfectly. A few wines that feature the Muscadine grape prominently are their Duncan Creek and Muscadry.
The resort-style pool at the inn is a great way to escape the heat of the day or unwind after a hard day of wine tasting and golf. Make sure to say hi to Sem at the pool bar, he is one of the interns visiting from the Netherlands. He will gladly whip you up a Bahama Mama or cocktail of your choice.
For a quick bite to eat during your stay make sure to check out the gourmet buffet at the Versailles Restaurant with a full compliment of salads, entrees, side dishes, and desserts, I tried Halibut cooked in Lemon Honey Butter for the first time. It was a light flaky delight. Make sure to sample the Pecan Pie as well. TO DIE FOR! We also had our eye on the Cheesecake but couldn’t fit another bite.
At the winery, you will enter the tasting room where you will await your tour guide. This area also houses the Wine Market, which features the Chateau Elan wines and culinary gift items for you to purchase. The winery also offers weekend cooking classes in The Viking Culinary Studio and Saturday afternoon cooking demonstrations. Make sure to visit their website for a long list of upcoming events.
Are you a foodie? An Epicurean Escape package is also available if you would like to combine dining, wine-pairing, accommodations, and a hands-on cooking class. Also, if you are lucky enough to live nearby, stop by for their Unwined Wednesdays with $15 wine tastings and 15% discount on all wine purchases.
The best place to start an adventure at the most awarded winery on the east coast for the past two years in a row is in the Vat Room. The wine tour gives you an in-depth look at the wine-making process, the history of the winery, and a glimpse at the future of this growing southern winery under the tutelage of Internationally Award Winning & Italian Executive Winemaker Simone Bergese.
If you would like indulge your winemaking fantasies, you can now book a private 2 hour Winemaker’s Tour with Simone Bergese. Simone will personally guide you through the vineyards and production facility where he will explain his winemaking philosophy and process from vine to bottle. After the tour, you will enjoy a private super-premium wine tasting led by Simone. Since Joining Château Élan in 2013, his wines have won over 150 awards at prestigious wine competitions and he has brought the wine offerings to over 20 styles of wines. This is an opportunity that should not be missed.
This image sums up our experience. My selections were light and sweet with an essence of raspberry, peach, and strawberry. Fun summery labels and screw caps, shown on the left, are definitely my style. Kay’s choices were drier wines with elegant labels and corks. She’s clearly much more sophisticated than I. Either way, we enjoyed every drop.
Following our wine tasting, we wandered over to the Irish Pub for some dinner. After eight glasses of wine something simple was in order and a thick Reuben Sandwich sounded perfect. As far as sandwiches go, it is the standard (in addition to the classic Caesar salad) that I hold every restaurant to. If you make a great Reuben, I’ll be a diner for life. Paddy’s Irish Pub did not disappoint. Kay loved her classic Shepard’s Pie. For an appetizer, give the pretzel rolls and creamy cheese dip a try. We left wanting more.
Thank you Chateau Elan for inviting us to visit and the southern hospitality. We will be back soon for that slice of cheesecake and another glass of port.
The two paintings shown are available for sale as prints, canvases and more.
Disclosure: Complimentary accommodations, meals, and activities were provided by Chateau Elan . No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.