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David Morrisette
February 13, 2015 | Chateau Morrisette History and Interesting Facts | David Morrisette

A brief history of Chateau Morrisette

Chateau Morrisette is the result of a love affair between the Morrisette family and the rural Virginia countryside.  In 1978, I worked with my dad and mom, William and Nancy Morrisette to plant the first vines and the vision of Chateau Morrisette became a small reality. Mom stated in a news article back in 1988 that "the winery began as a hobby that soon got out of hand."

I'm a graduate of Mississippi State University’s first class in enology and viticulture.  After graduation, I came home to Virginia and became Chateau Morrisette’s first official winemaker.  In 1982, the first commercial wines were produced, a modest 2,000 gallons, under the Woolwine Winery label. 

As production increased, so did my duties and responsibilities.  Soon, additional winemakers were added to the staff to assist with increasing production work.   Skilled and talented winemakers hired throughout our thirty plus year history continue to bring style and complexity to Chateau Morrisette wines and enhance our original vision.

It was many years before Chateau Morrisette saw black ink on its balance sheet.  Wine production has increased rapidly each year and now surpasses 60,000 cases per year. Our exciting and consistent growth rate necessitated a new production facility.  My family invested a great deal in expanding and modernizing all aspects of the winery and in 1999, we opened a new wine production facility and a spacious hospitality center.  Blue Ridge Timberwrights constructed a unique building from salvaged timber from the St. Marie River to create one of the largest salvaged timber frame buildings in North America:  32,365 square feet with 135,000 board feet of Douglas fir recycled timbers. This one-of-a-kind building has given us room to grow.

Stainless steel tank capacity at Chateau Morrisette is approximately 130,000 gallons with an additional 50,000 gallon capacity in French, Hungarian and American oak.  The winery currently produces around thirty different wines, a wine for every palate, and utilizes production from over 150 acres of vineyards either on site or from growers throughout the Commonwealth. 

Chateau Morrisette remains an industry leader in quality wines and is located in a spectacular natural setting in rural Floyd County.  From a ‘small reality,’ we are now one of the largest wineries in Virginia.  Nationally, Virginia is ranked sixth in commercial grape production and grape bearing acreage.  The Virginia Commercial Grape Statistical Report shows 4,120 tons produced from 1,730 bearing acres.

Our location on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway has helped introduce thousands of visitors to premier Virginia wines. The restaurant and winery are open year round and special events are held throughout the year.  Chateau Morrisette is both a relaxing and exciting experience for anyone who enjoys fine wine, good food and natural surroundings.  It has become one of Southwest Virginia’s prime destinations.


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