If you’re looking to get some serious R&R, Château Élan Winery & Resort should jump to the top of your travel bucket list. Located in the foothills of northern Georgia, it’s everything you’d want in a resort and then some. Founded by Don & Nancy Panoz, this 3,500 acre luxury destination is only a 40 minute drive from downtown Atlanta. This 16th century-style chateau is fully equipped with a winery, a romantic AAA Four Diamond inn, a 35,000 sq ft spa, several golf courses, seven restaurants, a tennis center and more.
It’s currently undergoing a $25 million renovation, which is scheduled to be complete within the next few months. They’re re-doing the lobby, winery, spa, pool, 251 rooms, 24 suites and adding four new food and drink outlets to the mix so you definitely want to book a trip in the New Year. I got a sneak peek of what’s to come, and it’s the epitome of elegance so be excited.
The Rooms at Château Élan Winery & Resort
Talk about fancy accommodations! The rooms here ooze bougie, and I mean that in the best way possible. The guest rooms are modern yet inviting with pops of chartreuse and gold in their neutral color scheme. The beds are as comfortable as can be, and the bathrooms are very spacious with spa-like tubs and showers. They have free wi-fi available for guests, and there’s also self parking available along with valet which is convenient.
For those of you interested in staying (aka all of you), they have a bunch of package deals available so definitely keep an eye on this tab before you book a trip. Rooms are anywhere from $200-800 a night depending on date and location – you can stay at the spa, inn or villa – so visit their booking site to see.
Dining Options at Château Élan Winery & Resort
As mentioned above, there are 10 different restaurants and bars available on site, but I only tried two during my trip: Marc Bar & Restaurant and Sarazen’s Bar & Grille. Marc is a souther-inspired chophouse that’s located next to the resort’s tasting room with a seasonal menu created by Chef Rodney Ashley. Enjoy gorgeous views of the vineyard while dining and imbibing.
Highlights include their pappardelle and their pork chop. Their noodles are made in house and tossed in a hearty slow roasted marinara with braised short rib and roasted summer squash, which is then topped with grana padano and fried basil. The pork’s brined in sea salt, and it’s cooked to tender perfection. It comes with a side of cheesy mac and bacon glazed collard greens.
If you want something more casual, head to Sarazen’s Bar & Grille. Located into the newly renovated golf club, they do American bar food really well, and they have a nice cocktail selection if you’re in the mood for a drink or two. Popular dishes include their chicken & steak quesadilla, their chicken sandwich, and their pulled pork sandwich.
Dining Options Off Site
For those of you looking to grab something outside of Château Élan Winery & Resort, there are a handful of awesome options available in Braselton. I highly recommend Local Station and Pat’s Eatery. Local Station’s a small but charming restaurant with unbelievable food. My mom and I got fish tacos and chicken fingers to share, and we were beyond impressed. Everything’s made to order so there’s a bit of a wait, but it’s worth it so be patient.
Pat’s Eatery is a no-nonsense kind of diner with super affordable – like $4 a dish kind of affordable – yet delicious breakfast options. They also serve lunch and dinner, but I didn’t get to try. Expect nom omelettes, egg sandwiches and more.
Also, I hear great things about The Galloping Galette, but I didn’t get to go. Let me know how the food is if you go before me! It’s definitely on my list for next time though.
The Winery at Château Élan Winery & Resort
Winemaker Simone Bergese’s produces more than 29 varietals at Château Élan Winery & Resort . He does everything from full-bodied reds to sweet moscato, and his vino’s now a staple in the vegan community after being certified by BevVeg. My mom and I got to try several different kinds during our trip, and I’m not kidding when I say each one was amazing in its own right.
If you want to tour the winery, you have two options to choose from: Chateau or Grandeur. The former’s $30 pp, and it’s an hour long session with a guided tasting of pre-selected wines at the end, while the latter’s $75pp Sunday-Friday and $85 on Saturdays. This will get you an in-depth private tour of the vineyards and its production facility and conclude with a semi-private tasting of 8 premium wines. You also get cheese with this option so that’s a plus!
If you’re staying overnight, winery tours are complimentary so go with a flight. You get 7 to taste at your own pace, and if you pay an extra $5, you can get premium vino. At $40, it’s very affordable, and they’re very generous with their pours so bring a DD because you’re not gonna be driving anytime soon.
Some of my favorites were their Dolce Rosso D.O.C.G. (think of it as the ultimate dessert wine), their Grenache (a beautiful red from their special edition Fingerprint collection with notes of orange and berries), and their Malbec (a stunning mid-body vino with hints of berry, anise and vanilla).
No wine tasting would be complete without food so make sure you get cheese and charcuterie to share. I’m not sure why it’s listed until “small plates” on their menu because their platter is ginormous. For $23, you get a ton of food which includes 4 locally produced cheeses, 3 meats, crackers, nuts, and more.
Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed reading all about my latest adventure at Château Élan Winery & Resort. For more on travel, browse this tab and keep an eye out for my upcoming Atlanta travel guide. It’s scheduled for Monday, and it should be a goodie. Until next time, loves!