Meet the Winemaker

Exec­u­tive Wine­maker Simone Bergese

Simone Bergese is orig­i­nally from Alba, Italy and holds a degree in Oenol­ogy and Viti­cul­ture from the Turin Uni­ver­sity in North­ern Italy. After com­plet­ing his degree, Simone worked as Assis­tant Wine­maker for sev­eral winer­ies in Italy’s Barolo and Bar­baresco regions, as well as winer­ies in Aus­tralia. He was hired in 2003 as Chief Wine­maker at Patria Win­ery in Sicily, and then he pro­gressed in 2006 as the Chief Wine­maker for the pres­ti­gious Fir­ri­ato Win­ery, one of the best known winer­ies in Italy. Dur­ing his time with these two winer­ies, Simone pro­duced more than 18 mil­lion bot­tles of wine and was awarded sev­eral inter­na­tional awards.

In 2008, Bergese moved to the United States to join Potomac Point Win­ery in Stafford, Vir­ginia. As the Wine­maker at Potomac Point, he achieved over 60 awards for his wines in local, national and inter­na­tional wine com­pe­ti­tions, includ­ing the pres­ti­gious Inter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge and Decanter World Wine Awards where the wines were listed in the top 12 wines in Virginia.

Since Join­ing Château Élan in 2013, his wines have won over 50 awards at pres­ti­gious wine com­pe­ti­tions and he has brought the wine offer­ings to over 20 styles of wines.

In man­ag­ing the wine­mak­ing process and estate’s vine­yards, Bergese’s key respon­si­bil­i­ties include all wine­mak­ing activ­i­ties from har­vest through bot­tling, qual­ity assur­ance, con­tract nego­ti­a­tions, hir­ing and super­vis­ing, bud­get prepa­ra­tion, over­see­ing the tast­ing room oper­a­tions, whole­sale wine sales and long range brand plan­ning. He also coor­di­nates wine pair­ings for all eight of Château Élan’s restau­rants & lounges.

Focused on mak­ing qual­ity wines, Simone’s wine­mak­ing style achieves a bal­ance com­bin­ing new tech­niques with old world tra­di­tions. He enjoys pleas­ing the cus­tomer and says “I am prod­uct ori­ented but with ears open to the world.” He adds, “I make wine to inspire peo­ple. It is about cre­at­ing an emo­tional expe­ri­ence, not just a glass of wine.”

When not at the win­ery, or with his wife and daugh­ters Mola, Mailou and Gioia, Simone likes to com­pete in run in triathlon races through­out Geor­gia and cook, and drink wine with friends.

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