The Chateau Elan Story

History of the Chateau Elan Winery

1981

Idea first discussed by Don and Nancy Panoz

1983

First vineyards planted

1985

First (1984 Vintage) of wines released

1985

Chateau Elan opens to public in August

1988

The Chateau Winery Visitors Center opens

1993

Chateau Elan Inn & Conference center opens with 144 rooms

2008

Chateau Elan completes $11 million renovation on Inn Rooms & Conference Center

2012

Winemaker Simone Bergese joins Chateau Elan to run the Winery Program

2013

Vineyards replanted

2015

Outside of Winery Renovated

2016

Chateau Elan becomes the most-awarded winery on the East Coast and Tasting Room renovation is completed

Meet the 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 200 awards at prestigious wine competitions and he has brought the wine offerings to over 20 styles of wines.

Château Élan Awards

Château Élan Awards

Don & Nancy Panoz

Don & Nancy Panoz

Panoz Museum

Panoz Museum