When Ian and I were planning our wedding, Chateau Elan was number 1 on my list. In fact, years before we got engaged, I knew that I wanted to have my wedding there. But, when the time came around, I toured venues in Atlanta and signed a contract before getting to tour the winery and resort. Although I loved our venue, I really wish I would have just toured Chateau Elan because it is drop dead gorgeous.
In fact, I had actually never visited Chateau Elan, so when they invited myself and Ian to VineyardFest at their resort, I was beyond excited! If you know me, then you know that I love wine, fantastic food, and fancy resorts, so this was right up my alley.
You can literally feel the magic when you arrive at Chateau Elan. It was everything I expected and more. The guests were glowing (probably from total relaxation), the vineyard was the perfect shade of yellow from the cool weather, and inn was screaming romance. I hope you can see the beauty of the resort from my pictures (event pictures are mostly screenshots from Snapchat, so keep that in mind!).
We took a few pictures of the outside grounds and then proceeded to check in to VineyardFest 2017. The check in process was extremely easy – you just give them your name (my tickets were at will call) and you are good to go! Once we checked in, we met up with our friend Will’s parents and we started the day the right way – with food and wine.
We made our way around the bottom floor, which included all of the Muscadry wines, which were so good! I was expecting all extremely sweet wine (I probably should have paid more attention to the name), but I was really surprised to find that they were not very sweet. I tasted a dry wine, a semi-dry wine, and a sweeter option. It’s funny because your nose plays a trick on you when you drink this wine – your nose smells sweet, but your mouth tastes dry. It’s really unique and I definitely enjoyed it.
Before we headed upstairs, we tried red snapper and shrimp ceviche, Maryland lump crab cakes with capers and peppers, chocolate dipped strawberries, and ice cream from High Road Ice Cream (one of my favorites!). Everything was amazing, but I think my favorite dish was the crab cakes. I could have eaten those all night!
Once upstairs, we made our way directly to the premium wines that Chateau Elan produces. Some of my favorites were:
- Nancy: I believe is their newest wine. It is a blend of blend 4 varieties: Viognier, Trebbiano, Albarino, and Chardonnay.
- Mameli: This wine was described as ‘very Italian’ to me because of the grape varieties used. I was really excited to try this one since I just got back from Italy and it did not disappoint at all!
- El Tempranillo: Unfortunately, I just cannot remember what I thought about it. I know I liked it, but I just can’t recall what my full thoughts were. #SoManyWines
- Brut Reserve: How can you not like a great sparkling wine? This is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes.
- Rosé : One of my favorites. I love a good Rose and this one exceeded my expectations.
- TNT: I really liked this one, but I think this wine is more of one that you need to have a bottle to drink to really understand all of the flavors in the wine. It was described as an explosion in your mouth, hence the name.
- Velvet: I can’t remember much about this one either, but I know I liked it.
- Les Petite: Everyone liked this one! So good.
We paired all of those tastes (thank goodness they were small tastes ha!) with Velvet wine braised veal shanks and fresh pasta. These dishes were perfection. Literally perfection. There are no other words to describe them. Before I tried the veal shanks, another guest told me that my life would be changed because it was THAT good…and he was right. So, so good!
After that, we took a short break and sat down with a glass of wine before trying more wine and food! When we were ready, we headed over to the other vendors. There were so many great ones, but hands down, my favorite was Five Points Berries Winery. It was amazing – these people produce BLUEBERRY WINE. Yes, you’ve heard me correctly. The only fruit they use is blueberries. Amazing. I cannot wait to visit this winery when we get the chance.
We went from vendor to vendor trying all the wines before heading over to the bread and cheese display which was fantastic! There was also another food stand there which had mini tamales, mini sopes, and battered elote corn bites, which I loved!
We tried a few more wines, Will’s parents had a few tastes of liquor (Ian and I had to drive, so we steered clear), and then we hung out on Chateau Elan’s patio, which was so nice! The weather was absolutely perfect that day. After hanging out for a bit, Ian and I went down to check out the grape stomping. We didn’t participate since we both had pants on, but I snapped a video of someone else doing it and it also happened to be her birthday!
|LOVE this picture – it’s the perfect capture of fall at the vineyard, in my opinion|
At that point, it was about 4:30, so we headed down to the Cast Room, or I like to call it the dessert room, ha! I only tried the cheese cake cones because I was so full, but they also had chocolate covered goat cheese lollypops, and mini panna cotta, too. We finished VineyardFest off by watching people dance to live music in the pavilion, which was so fun, and after VineyardFest was over, we headed over to Paddy’s, their Irish Pub to finish sobering up and have some fish and chips to eat! YUM.
To sum everything up, the event was perfect. The chef really did outdo himself – the food was out of this world, I loved getting to try not only Chateau Elan’s fabulous wines, but also wines from other Georgia wineries, and the entertainment was flawless. I cannot wait to attend next year and hopefully we will get the chance to stay at Chateau Elan and experience their other restaurants and spa very soon.
Where’s Ian?! 😉
Have you been to Chateau Elan or VineyardFest? Will you be there next year?
Thank you so much to Chateau Elan for providing complimentary tickets to VineyardFest 2017 – it was such an amazing event and we are very grateful!