When the weather turns warm in Atlanta, we use every excuse to find time to go enjoy it outside.
There is nothing better than enjoying the nice weather in Atlanta’s own Napa Valley: Chateau Elan.
On Sunday, we packed up some day trip items, and headed up 85N to explore this wine castle located 40 minutes from Atlanta.
Coming up the driveway for the first time, Chateau Elan makes for an incredible first impression. You’re greeted by a wonderful bronze statue of a woman stomping grapes, welcoming you into her castle to taste the delights of their wine.
The wine tour started briefly outside where Alex, our tour guide through taste, expertly explain the vines, growing season and how they rotate the grapes to keep their vines healthy.
Next we headed inside to take a peek at their production room, where French and American barrels laid by the hundreds aging the wine to perfection.
We walked by rows and rows of barrels, each containing a different blend, waiting it’s turn to be ready to then be bottled and sold in the near future. We asked Alex if we could buy a barrel of wine, which he, unfortunately, told us we couldn’t buy a barrel with wine, but we could join a Barrel club which is basically the same thing.
The Barrel Club is a four-year membership where you receive a case of wine each year, you get a plaque fixated on your barrel and after four years, you get to take home your very own wine barrel! Plus you have access to a lot of other exclusive resources and events, you can see more here. A wine lovers dream, we almost slapped our credit card down at the moment he finished explaining it to us.
After walking around the vineyard and seeing the production room, we found ourselves thirsty and ready to taste everything Chateau Elan had to offer us.
Opting to skip the whites, we started with some reds, moving onto the muscadine wines that Chateau Elan is becoming notorious for.
Like kids on Christmas, we anxiously awaited the first pour from Alex. He explained to us how much Simone Bergese, the executive Winemaker, has poured his life into creating the most premium wines for Chateau Elan.
Upon your first sip, it’s not surprising that Chateau Elan has won 150 wine awards since 2013 when Simone joined the team, each sip complex but true to it’s origins. There wasn’t a bad grape in the bunch!
While Chateau Elan is excellent at making wine, they also produce chocolate that pairs excellently with port wine.
It’s the weirdest thing, how alone port wine is really too strong for my taste, but the chocolate they pair with it, completely changes the flavor! It was a fun experiment, which ultimately urged us to buy a couple of bars of chocolate before leaving.
After tasting all of the reds on offer and moving onto the Muscadine varieties, we were left with a moment to go scope out the wines in the shop that sit adjacent to the tasting room. Having a tough time determining which to buy since all were exceedingly excellent. Although, we didn’t ponder too long since our favorites were the Meritage and the Mameli, so we picked up a couple of each and headed to the counter. What I love about Chateau Elan wines is that they use fewer sulfites in their blends which means no headaches, allergies or adverse effects from drinking their wine. While after our flight of wine we felt a little buzzed, a quick drink of water and a little food put us back on our feet again to normal.
The wines are so smooth and easy to drink, the only thing I’m regretting from this wine tour is not getting to sample the rosé, since warmer months mean it’s about to be #roséallday-on-the-patio season and I’m always looking to add to my stock of rosé!
Besides wine, Chateau Elan offers multiple dining options such as a cafe, a pub directly from Ireland, cooking classes, a grille, lounge and swanky dining room with a beautiful glass ceiling. It’s almost too much to experience in one day, so I know in the future we’ll need to return to stay here for a weekend!But to fill our need of local escapes and day-ventures, Chateau Elan provides everything we can ask for: wonderful wine, gorgeous backdrop and thousands of acres of vineyards to explore pre-during-post wine tasting.
Which is exactly what we did when we finished our tasting. The 65 degree weather was beckoning for us to enjoy her, so we strolled through the vineyards and twirled through the couryard.
I’ve really invested in my skirt game this year. The addition of this pink gingham skirt was possibly the best thing I’ve done since I bought this one recently.
As the sun dipped behind the horizon, we decided that was our queue for saying farewell to our fairytale castle for the day.
Climbing up to the top to get one last peak at the beauty of Chateau Elan’s vineyards and promising ourselves to return when the vines are in full bloom in May.
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