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Chateau Élan Winery & Resort: Experience a Touch of Paris in North Georgia



For those craving international charm without crossing the pond, take a short flight to Braselton, Georgia for a Parisian-inspired getaway. Chateau Élan boasts 3,500 acres dedicated to a beautiful winery, rolling golf course, tennis courts, spa, elevated dining options, luxe accommodations, and much more. A popular destination for girls weekends, corporate retreats, couples getaways, and weddings, Chateau Élan allows guests to indulge in the finer things in life, especially fine wine and exceptional dishes.


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The accommodations include rooms and suites at the recently-renovated Inn, Signature Spa Suites (which give guests access to all of the Spa’s amenities), and two-, three-bedroom villas. We stayed in a spacious suite at the Inn appointed with a large bathroom outfitted with a tub and separate shower, a comfy Serta Pillowtop mattress topped with 100% Cotton Glamor Collection Bedding, a 48” LG flatscreen TV with premium channels, mini fridge, complimentary bottled water, bathrobes, and slippers.


Guests are exposed to the finest cuisines from all over the world. The on-property restaurants include, Marc Restaurant, an upscale chophouse with a seasonal, southern-inspired menu; Louis’ House of Bourbon, a southern gastropub with bucket-list bourbons and billiards; The Spa’s Fleur de Lis, which serves healthy gourmet breakfast and lunch dishes; Paddy’s Irish Pub has bar fare and music; Sarazen’s Bar & Grille offers an all-American menu; Le Petit Cafe specializes in artisanal coffee drinks, fresh pastries, sandwiches, wines and tap brews, and the poolside bar, Le Soleil, serves snacks, sandwiches, and salads.


Versailles Restaurant & Bar was by far my favorite. This casual yet highly-impressive restaurant is nestled beneath the resort’s stunning glasstop atrium, which features a gorgeous light/art installation. The restaurant boasts a French-inspired menu with dishes like Escargot, Short Rib Beef Bourguignon, and Chocolate Pots de Crème. As you would expect, there is a list of fine wines offered from their winery. I highly recommend the Red Wine-braised beef short ribs with whipped potatoes and broccolini; the Creamy Parmesan Gruyere Lobster Mac & Cheese; and a bottle of Château Élan Velvet, a blend of Zinfandel and Petit Sirah with fruity and flowery notes. This was the perfect meal --every bite was full of flavor and prepared masterfully. My compliments to the chef.


Afternoon Tea is served at Versailles Wednesday through Sunday from 2 pm to 4 pm, by reservation only. The traditional Afternoon Tea impresses with its variety of delicious teas and nice selection of tea sandwiches, scones, pastries and sweets. The bite-sized fare is first-rate, and the tea cart service and dainty tea sets are as charming as they come. Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Afternoon Tea is $55, Royal Afternoon Tea is $75, and children 12 and under are $30.


Chateau Élan Winery is arguably the most appealing feature of the property. Revered as one of the largest and most awarded wineries on the East Coast, the winery (open daily) offers more than 30 wines produced with grapes grown in Braselton and south of Georgia vineyards, as well as whole cluster grapes hand-picked and transported from California’s Lake County and Clarksburg regions. Here is a little history pulled from their website: “It all started with a sip of muscadine wine, a sweet Southern staple made with Georgia-grown muscadine grapes. Intrigued by the native American grape’s abundance, Chateau Élan founders Don and Nancy Panoz set out to grow classic vinifera grapes. Though Georgia’s Piedmont region climate and region plant diseases proved incompatible with the classic grapes such as merlot and chardonnay, the arrival of winemaker Simone Bergese set the stage for success. By embracing the native muscadine grape and expanding the wine program, Bergese elevated the winery to its current status as the largest wine producer in Georgia.” Sign up for a guided tour and tasting during your stay. We had a lovely time on our private tour and wine tasting with Tasting Room supervisor/sommelier, Matias. The wine was delicious and we learned so much about their wines and the property. The winery also offers private one-of-a-kind events.


You will never be bored during your stay here as there are a number of experiences you can participate in, from cooking classes at the winery and design classes (including hand-printing textiles and pouring custom candles) led by a team of artisan craftspeople, to guided wine and paint classes with local artists. If you’re looking for a romantic experience, call room service and order Picnic d’Chateau, a pre-packed picnic with wine. The winery has so many picturesque spots perfect for a picnic. Hop on a bicycle and explore the vast property. There is so much beauty to take in.


When you’re done exploring, stop by The Spa at Chateau Élan for first-class pampering. This rejuvenating sanctuary offers a menu of services (massages, facials, skin care enhancements, body treatments, nail care) and spa packages. Spa guests can enjoy the indoor saltwater pool, spa whirlpool, and men’s and women’s locker rooms, each with a wet eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna. Additionally, there is a fitness center that offers classes, including low-impact aerobics, strength training, body sculpting, Yoga, Pilates, and Aqua aerobics in the spa’s heated pool. Go outside to walk their tranquil nature paths (seasonal guided hikes are offered) or lounge on the sun deck.


Every square foot of this gorgeous property was thoughtfully designed to ensure guests have the best and most fulfilling time here. The French allure, fine wines, notable fare, and list of things to do at Chateau Élan make this property a must-visit.


 

Chateau Élan Winery & Resort is located at 100 Rue Charlemagne Dr., Braselton, GA 30517. Phone: 678-425-0900. For more information, visit https://www.chateauelan.com or email: reservations@chateauelan.com.


Words by Vanessa Pascale Rust

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