WINEMAKER SIMONE BERGESE’S WINES HAVE WON OVER 220 AWARDS IN JUST THREE YEARS
BRASELTON, Georgia – In the past, Georgia hasn’t been known for incredible wine, but Executive Winemaker Simone Bergese is changing that. With over 220 awards won since his first harvests in 2013, including multiple best-of-class, double gold and gold medals, Château Élan Winery’s vision of greatness has become a reality. Bergese is taking on some of the West Coast’s best wineries and coming out ahead. In just three years, Château Élan has become the most awarded winery on the East Coast.
Château Élan has been making wine in North Georgia for three decades, but it is Simone Bergese who has launched the Winery into a whole new era. Bergese joined the Winery as executive winemaker in 2012 and brought a compelling vision. With a $2.5 million winery renovation to complement his two decades of winemaking experience, he pledged to transform the Château Élan Winery into something worthy of its own spotlight.
Originally from Alba, Italy, Bergese commenced the Winery’s transformation by first replanting the vineyards with disease-resistant native Muscadine grapes. The challenge of growing classic European varieties in the region had taken its toll on the vines, and Bergese’s vision left no room for sacrificed quality. For the classic European varieties, Bergese tours vineyards in California seasonally and hand-selects about 15 locations with the highest quality grapes. “Great wine starts with great grapes, so we tapped into the nation’s best territories,” he said. He writes about winemaking and his philosophy in a column for the bi-monthly magazine, Southern Distinction.
His first harvests were bottled in 2013, at which time he began sending samples to national wine competitions. The response was amazing: Château Élan Winery hasn’t left a single competition unawarded. Remarkably, Bergese’s first 2013 vintages of the double gold-winning Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and Muscadry sold out within a year. As a result, the popularity and production of Château Élan wines has dramatically increased. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is featured in the September issue of Wine Enthusiast with an Editor’s Choice award and score of 91 points.
The winery is on track to bottle 35,000 cases in 2016, four times the 2012 production. The catalog of wines also doubled, as Bergese crafted a diverse catalog of 27 wines. Among the new wines is the line of acclaimed super-premium Fingerprint reds. These signature wines boast the highest quality, most extensive winemaking processes and complex techniques.
About Château Élan Winery & Resort
The Winery, with its 32 acres of vines, is located at 100 Tour De France in Braselton, GA just 40 minutes north of Atlanta. Château Élan Winery & Resort is North Georgia’s premier meeting, event and vacation destination. On the 3,500-acre estate sits a 16th century-styled French château with a full-service winery and tasting bar, a AAA Four Diamond Inn and conference center, a 35,000-sq ft European spa mansion, 63 holes of championship golf, tennis center, seven distinctive dining outlets and more.
Château Élan is a proud member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts group. For more information call 678-425-0900, visit us online at www.chateauelan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.