Check in after 4pm at the Chateau Inn and receive a champagne reception. This is a winery after all and the champagne initiates guests to the full flavor of the resort. Fireplaces warm visitors with cushy seating in the lobby that overlooks the renovated Versailles restaurant which is an open ceiling atrium. Every floor hallway has an open railing for a pretty view below and the open ceiling with high glittering chandeliers above.
This is the new Chateau Elan. Original founder Don Panoz sold it to his general manager, an Englishman, then another group came in and bought it. Don’s partner and wife Nancy is still on the board and first quality service remains the same at the Chateau Elan in Brazelton, a town once owned by Kim Basinger.
The grape stomping statue and fountain in front of the winery are iconic and the tastings and tours worthy of any amateur wine lover or connoisseurs alike. The pool area with cypress and circular chairs reflects a page out of an Italian travel guide. Food and beverage servers are attentive. Several more restaurants avail on property. The most central is the Versailles. On the pricey side, a wide variety of selections make it a dinner destination for special occasions for many Georgians. The delectable sea bass and green lentils paired well with the Chateau Elan Pinot Noir while the short rib and beef strip eaters enjoyed the Chateau Elan Muscadine. Also, inside the Inn is Louis’ House of Bourbon, speakeasy style and Marc Restaurant, a chophouse. Paddy’s Irish Pub is an original design from Dublin transported to the property and reassembled for good food, lively music and pub fun.
Two of the 23 courses on the Georgia Golf Trail are right here, the Chateau and Woodlands Courses. The redesigned clubhouse includes Sarazen’s Bar and Grill with elegant bar stools and tables inside as well as a large covered porch overlooking the 18th green. Wooden wine bottle tee markers are labeled by varietals on the courses – Brut for the tips, then Muscadine, Barbera and Port for the forward tees. The Chateau Course is an architectural study of regal homes in a wooded preserve with diverse breeds of ducks on the waterways. Number 14 passes by the golf villas, comfortable housing options for foursomes of any ilk. Green fairways edge a pond fringed with red bushes beyond. No matter the score along the way, the finishing short par 5 for a par or better ensures a happy ending.
By Alice & Danny Scott