Georgian Refresh

A renovation at North Georgia’s Château Élan Winery & Resort offers guests a refreshing taste of Europe

Nestled in the picturesque foothills of North Georgia just 40 minutes outside of Atlanta, Château Élan is a familiar getaway for wine lovers and relaxation seekers alike. You know it for its elegant architecture and acres of grapevines, or maybe you’re a frequent visitor of the spa. Whatever your preference, the beauty of the 16th-century-style French chateau and all that surrounds it is hard to forget. A sense of familiarity may beckon you inside (after all, it’s been around since the mid-1980s), but after a $25 million renovation completed in January 2020, its refreshed interiors are nearly unrecognizable.

Upon entering, the lengthy driveway—lined with perfectly manicured grass and greenery—welcomes guests, guiding them directly to the winery perched at the top of the hill. Stop inside the Tasting Room, where an array of tour and tasting experiences are sure to delight; and don’t miss the Château’s Italian-born executive winemaker and winery owner, Simone Bergese. With the introduction of native-to-Georgia Muscadine grapes (which thrive in hot climates and are one of nature’s best sources of antioxidants), Bergese has expanded the wine offerings to more than 20 styles. 

Ten bars and restaurants take guests on a worldly tour. Visit the light and bright Versailles in the Atrium, an internationally inspired American buffet, or Le Petit Café, which is the lobby’s new coffee shop and reminiscent of one you could find in Paris. For a nightcap, don’t forget to stop by Paddy’s—an Irish pub that’s complete with furniture and fixtures made in Ireland.

Views of valley lakes surround the resort amenities, which include four golf courses, a tennis center, culinary classes and a European spa—where an expansive list of specialty massages, facials, body scrubs and more allow guests the ultimate R&R. For those looking to explore, the quaint downtown Braselton, known for its antiques shopping and charming historic buildings, is a convenient 10 minutes away. 

After filling the day with sips, spa treatments and savory snacks, wind down at the Inn, where rich wood accents and luxurious bedding in the newly renovated guest rooms and suites invite guests to sit down and stay awhile. The winery’s charming character awaits you come morning.