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High-end fare offered at Chateau Elan’s 21st annual Vineyard Festival
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Chateau Elan Winery and Resort will host its 21st annual Vineyard Festival on Nov. 5. - photo by For The Times

Southwest dishes like tamales and sopes, cheese and chocolate fondue stations, veal cheeks braised in wine and stuffed pasta purses will be offered this year at Château Elan’s 21st annual Vineyard Festival.

Executive Chef Cameron Udick of the resort’s restaurant named marc, said Sunday’s event is all about harvest.

Vineyard Festival

When: 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5

Where: Chateau Elan, 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton

How much: $95

“We are a resort, but we are a vineyard. We grow our own grapes and produce our own wine,” Udick said. “What you see around the property is inspiring the festival itself.”

Udick said marc, as well as Chateau Elan, is locally sourced.

“As a chef, I take pride in what I do and the food I put out. When the farmer has that same level of pride, it carries through” Udick said. “We have partnerships with a couple different local farms such as Brasstown Beef, Joyce Farms and we just started a partnership with White Sulphur Farms in Gainesville.”

Château Elan Winery & Resort’s fall event features an assortment of original menus by chefs, more than 100 domestic and international wines for tasting, as well as regional craft brews and distilled drinks from across the Southeast.

“I wanted to give more of a variety. I thought this year we would spread out the offerings all across the winery,” Chateau Elan Executive Chef Rodney Ashley said. “I encourage everyone to try to hit up all the stations. Don’t fall in love with one station; you have to keep it moving and try all of them.”

Stations include the Pavillion with sweet treats; the seafood-inspired Vat Room; the Cask Room, with fondue stations; the French-inspired winery; and the new restaurant, marc, featuring Southwestern foods. Marc opened in April.

“We have all sorts of different goodies in the pavilion, which is on the lower level, then we have a different array up top. I am hoping to get a flow of guests,” Ashley said. “It will be really exciting.”

The marc foyer will include an Artesian bread display, while marc will be serving mini sopes, which are shallow soft shells of masa fried and filled with red chile pulled pork, topped with pico de gallo, queso fresco and micro cilantro, as well as mini chicken verde tamales, seasoned meat wrapped in cornmeal dough and steamed or baked in corn husks.

“I have a red chile pulled pork, which is really fun and has a lot of kick, and the battered elote corn bites are a jazzy hush puppy,” Ashley said, adding that the marc station was inspired by his Southwestern roots.

“We also have some really cute sweets in the pavilion such as the cheesecake cones, which are the size of your ring finger, mini panna cottas, goat cheese lollipops and key lime tarts,” Ashley said. “I added something new this year, hand-passed hors d’oeuvres. As the guests are traveling about and partaking in wine and the different stations, we have servers that will be going around hand passing all sorts of different lovely little treats to kind of occupy their time and palate.”

The all-inclusive tickets also include cooking demonstrations and wine seminars hosted by professional culinary and wine-making teams, live music, a grape stomping booth and an assortment of locally sourced foods. Guests will also have exclusive access to the Cellar Door, where a variety of local artisan goods will be available for purchase.

“I like to think of this as Chateau’s little community festival,” Udick said, noting that there is a limited attendance of 2,000 guests. “We are trying to do a lot more with the community and we want to be a part, we want to bring the community back in to visit us. This festival is really a way for us to show the community what it is we have going on here, to experience us.

Château Elan Winery, with its 32 acres of vines, is located at 100 Tour De France in Braselton. On the 3,500-acre estate sits a 16th century-styled French château with a full-service winery and tasting bar, Inn and conference center, European spa mansion, 63 holes of championship golf, tennis center and six distinctive dining outlets.

For more information contact 678-425-0900 or visit

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