Picture this - a gorgeous French-inspired retreat featuring 35 acres of vineyards with a wide variety of red, white and muscadine wines. Sounds pretty perfect, doesn't it?! Chateau Elan features just that and is only 40 minutes north of Atlanta. It's the perfect place to try (and fall in love with) their wines.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Chateau Elan Winery in north Georgia. The winery is part of a resort that features a spa, event space, golf courses, multiple restaurants, pool, and more. But the best part about Chateau Elan is by far their WINE!! The winery opened to the public in 1985 and has since become one of the best wineries on the East Coast (in fact, in 2016 they became the most award winning winery on the East Coast)! If that doesn't give you enough of a reason to try their delicious wines, let me try to convince you further.
About Chateau Elan
About the Winemaker:
I had the chance to sit down with Chateau Elan's winemaker, Simone Bergese. He is originally from Ceresole d’Alba, Italy and a true wine lover through and through. His passion for wine is contagious and it's easy to see that he is the reason Chateau Elan has such a successful variety of wines.
Simone became Chateau Elan's winemaker in 2012. He made the bold decision to completely replant the vineyards for a full transformation. Now, the vineyards on property only consist of muscadine grapes which are native to Georgia. Read more about the vineyards below!
About the Vineyards:
Georgia Vineyard: Georgia's climate is perfect for muscadine grapes. Personally, when I hear muscadine grapes, I think sweet and unrefined wine. Well, think again. Simone has artfully transformed the flavor of muscadine wines to have a refreshing flavor. The vineyards on property at Chateau Elan feature both red and white muscadine grapes and only make up 10% of their grapes!
California Vineyards: In order to broaden the portfolio of wines offered at Chateau Elan, Simone partnered with farmers in California to grow various grapes that thrive in that climate. Then, the grapes are shipped to Georgia and the wine making process begins at Chateau Elan. Successfully growing grapes is one thing, but turning those grapes into delicious wine is a completely different skill set that Chateau Elan can focus on since majority of their grapes are grown by professional farmers.
International Vineyards: In addition to the California vineyards, they have partnered with 3 overseas vineyards as well! Two overseas vineyards are in Italy from Simone's birthplace. These grapes produce the popular Moscato and Dolce Rosso wines offered at Chateau Elan. The 3rd overseas vineyard is all the way in Tahiti where they grow pineapples to make the Brut Ananas wine that is exclusive to Chateau Elan.
About the Wines:
Chateau Elan features sustainable healthy wines with great quality. They're 100% vegan (including the manufacturing process) and have little to no sulfate. This is very unique as most all wineries use sulfate as a preservative. Instead, Chateau Elan opts to use natural antioxidants to preserve the wine which is healthier and alters the taste less. Chateau Elan is also working on becoming the first Organic Vineyard in the region. I love that they've put such a focus on their quality of wine and make it as healthy as possible.
Note: You can order their wines to be delivered straight to your door HERE.
Chateau Elan Wines
Chateau Elan features Muscadine Wines, White Wines, and Red Wines. I'm going to rate & review my favorites below!
1. Muscadine Wines:
Chateau Elan features *10* types of Muscadine Wine. Like I said earlier, I previously had a sour connotation of muscadine wines. I felt that they were too sweet and left a bad aftertaste. Clearly, I was just drinking the wrong wines because I instantly fell in love with Chateau Elan's collection of muscadine wines. Some of my favorites are below:
Summer Wine - most popular, hint of peach nectar essences
Tropical Breeze - pineapple and passion fruit essences
Berry Bliss - blueberry and blackberry essences
2. White Wines
White wines are typically my go to. Lucky for me, Chateau Elan features *8* types of White Wines. Some of my favorites are below:
Chateau Elan Reserve Pinot Grigio - my personal favorite white wine, light & tasty
Dolce Rosso - made from rare grape in Italy, sweet & sparkling
Queen Tahiti Brut D’Ananas - made from pineapples in Tahiti, one of a kind wine only offered at Chateau Elan
3. Red Wines
I can be fairly picky about red wines. I don't always love the aftertaste that red wine can leave. However, each and every red wine I tried from Chateau Elan had a perfect texture & smooth balance.
Chateau Elan Velvet Reserve - most popular red wine, slightly oaked & fruity
Chateau Elan Reserve Merlot - flavorful and easy to drink red wine
Chateau Elan Pinot Noir Reserve - soft and velvety
Download their Tasting List here for a full review on the wines and flavors.
Visiting Chateau Elan Winery
As I mentioned earlier, Chateau Elan Winery is part of the Chateau Elan Resort & Spa. You can stay overnight and make this a weekend retreat or come for the day to try wines. It's located in north Georgia in Braselton (about 40 minutes away from Atlanta). The vineyards are breathtakingly gorgeous and worth the visit! Note: The winery is closed on Mondays and due to Georgia law, they cannot sell alcohol before 12:30PM on Sundays.
Tour & Tasting - $30 per person
Looking to learn more about Chateau Elan? Try their Tour & Tasting that is offered Wednesday - Sunday. You'll get a behind the scenes tour at the wine making process and sample a few favorites at the end!
Note: There is also a Grandeau Tasting offered for the ultimate tour & tasting experience.
Wine Tasting Flights - $30 - $42 per person
Sample your own selection of wines by purchasing a flight. There are two types of flights offered at Chateau Elan with a $7 discount if you purchase ahead of time online. Both feature 7 pours but offer different selections to choose from.
Classic Flight: $38 per person (or $30 online)
Premium Flight: $42 per person (or $35 online)
Order by the Glass or Bottle
Already know what you want? Great! Order by the glass or by the bottle! You can even ship bottles of wines home (or order online HERE).
Overall Review of Chateau Elan Wines
I instantly fell in love with Chateau Elan wines. I love that they have a wide variety of options available each with their own unique taste and flavor. It's easy to see how Chateau Elan is the most awarded winery on the East Coast - it's truly the Napa of the south!
I also love that their staff is so friendly and knowledgeable. I never felt shy about asking questions about the wine. It was fun to learn the history about the vineyard and their wine making techniques.
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