If you grew up in Atlanta, you’ve heard of Chateau Elan, but if you’re like me, you don’t really know anything about it. I knew it was one of the earliest wineries in Atlanta. When I saw they had a tour with tasting (the Chateau Grandeur Private Tour) and a dinner pairing wines and food, well, we had to try it.
First of all, Chateau Elan is big. The winery is substantial; there is a golf course, an equestrian center, a spa, and a hotel and conference center. Second, everyone I met was friendly and helpful, from the wine stewards to the hotel staff. Third, the only grapes grown on site are muscadines, the grapes native to this area. All their many other wines are made from grapes from California and other areas.
I was surprised by this, as from my memories would have thought the grapes were all grown on site, and at one time I would have been right. On the tour we learned that the winemaker changed in 2011 and he insisted on only growing the native muscadines. The elevation at Chateau Elan, unlike wineries in north Georgia, is not suited to growing other grapes. I applaud Chateau Elan for realizing what grapes will grow best on site and for being upfront as to where the grapes are sourced from.
The tour took us in the vineyard, and then into the production facility. This was followed by a tasting with cheese plate. Surprisingly, my favorite wine was the American Riserva Port. Not cloyingly sweet, but rich and smooth, it was highly enjoyable.
After the tour, we checked into our room and got ready for the Taste of Georgia. This light dinner consists of two appetizers, two small entrees and two small deserts, each paired with a wine from Chateau Elan. The next morning, we had the buffet breakfast, part of the package, and checked out for home.
Chateau Elan has so many events and activities, there’s something for everyone. There are different tours and tastings available, cooking classes, winemaking classes and much more.
Have you been to Chateau Elan? What’s your favorite thing to do there?
More Information: Château Élan Winery & Resort