Chateau Elan Winery’s Bianco American Riserva Makes History as First Georgia Wine Honored at San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Chateau Elan Winery’s 2017 Bianco American Riserva has been awarded the esteemed Specialty Sweepstake Winner in the 2022 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (SFCWC).

Obtaining the honor of Sweepstake winner is the highest achievement in the competition, and Bianco’s accomplishment was made possible due to its novelty, balance and power. For the past 22 years, SFCWC has become one of the world’s most highly publicized and prestigious wine competitions.

SFCWC offers both large-scale and boutique wineries the opportunity to showcase their wines to a wide-reaching audience. This year, over 5,800 wines from more than 1,000 wineries throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico were entered with the hopes of bringing home recognition as one of North America’s finest wines of the year.



"This award is even more incredible because it is the first time in the history of the competition that a Georgia wine, made in part with our southern native grapes, makes it to the very top. This achievement is made possible by outstanding teamwork, great efforts and a lot of passion," said Simone Bergese, Executive Winemaker and Winery CEO, Chateau Elan Winery. "This represents an immense accomplishment for many reasons but mostly it is the result of a lifetime dedication to produce wine with extreme quality, character and authenticity."

The Bianco American Riserva is a unique wine that can be classified as a white port. It is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Muscadine, a grape native to the American South, which is grown in Georgia. The fermentation process begins once the grapes are harvested and crushed. The wine is then fortified before completing the fermentation, leaving a considerable amount of residual sugar and an alcohol content of 19%. Its color is an intense amber, and the flavors are powerful toffee notes with suggestions of caramel, honeyed in texture, and earthy in its evocation of nuts, smoke and alcohol. Bianco embodies Bergese's sustainable winemaking style by having extremely low sulfites, no additives and no filtrations, enhancing the regional character through a traditional old world style approach.

To sip the award-winning Bianco American Riserva for yourself, you may visit the winery’s tasting room in-person Monday-Sunday. Reservations are required for winery tours and advance tickets are encouraged for tastings. Chateau Elan’s tasting room details can be found at You can also purchase a bottle of the port wine online at