Before Château Élan at The Vintage, there was Château Élan in Braselton, Georgia.
The prestige brand was conceived in 1981 when entrepreneurs Don and Nancy Panoz were challenged to grow grapes in a region considered too hot and too humid. So, Château Élan actually started life as a winery – the first in this region of the southern United States since Prohibition.
As part of a grander vision, however, the property was expanded by the Panoz team: today, it is a highly-regarded five-star destination resort, featuring the winery, a hotel styled as a French château, conference centre, four golf courses, restaurants and European-style health spa.
On one of their annual visits to Australia, Don and Nancy were immediately taken with The Vintage golf course, a residential development with a Greg Norman-designed course at its heart. They were especially inspired by the property’s winelands location and the potential for developing a Château Élan style product – and in 2006, they acquired an interest.
In 2007, plans were tabled for a development based on the Braselton model, and in April 2009, building commenced on a resort project tailored to the Hunter Valley experience. This included the 18-room Spa at Château Élan, one of the biggest spa complexes in Australia, and ten luxury villas.
Château Élan at The Vintage is a three-phase project. Phase One saw the construction of the Spa, Spa Villas and Carriage House; Phases Two and Three will see expanded conference facilities and new accommodation and entertainment facilities.