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The Black Dog Blog

Chateau Morrisette is among the oldest and largest wineries in Virginia. The award-winning restaurant has a 95% recommendation rate on OpenTable. With fresh vintages, flavors, and events at the winery, restaurant, and vineyard, we will keep you abreast of all the great happenings and the people who make up Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant in this blog and through our social media pages Facebook and Instagram.


Keith Toler
May 31, 2016 | Keith Toler

Chateau Morrisette Featured in Travel the Parkway

Chateau Morrisette recently hosted Bruce and Valerie Cadle here at the winery as part of their journey the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The couple wrote a wonderful article about their experience and took some lovely photos uring their visit.

Here's the first thing they had to say!

"Have you ever had one of those afternoons where everything is so wonderful that it is almost surreal?

That’s what we enjoyed yesterday at Chateau Morrisette Restaurant!  Ah, Spring had sprung—even the parking lot was a’bloom!  Flowering bushes and trees greeted you everywhere!  And the view—that never gets old."

Click here to read the article and view the photos of a visit to Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant.

Time Posted: May 31, 2016 at 12:06 PM Permalink to Chateau Morrisette Featured in Travel the Parkway Permalink
Keith Toler
May 20, 2016 | Keith Toler

Chateau Morrisette appears on Daytime Blue Ridge to discuss the Winemaker's Dinner

Brian Smyth hosted Lindee Katdare and her cameraman in the cellar at Chateau Morrisette.  They sampled a couple of foods prepared by Chef Cooper Brunk and talked about the intricacies of pairing wine with food.  You can see the entire interview here.


Time Posted: May 20, 2016 at 1:39 PM Permalink to Chateau Morrisette appears on Daytime Blue Ridge to discuss the Winemaker's Dinner Permalink
Shannon Atkins
May 19, 2016 | Shannon Atkins

Adventure Weekend on ESPN's the Drive

Mountain Adventure Weekend, June 4 and 5, encourages Chateau Morrisette patrons to enjoy the wilder side of Floyd County, with the Vine Wined 5k trail run benefiting Floyd Humane Society, skeet shooting in the Nancy Morrisette Festival Field, kayaking on the Little River with On the Water of Floyd, and horseback riding through the vineyard with Ride-A-Rescue. Shannon talks with Paul VanWagoner of ESPN about the weekend.

Time Posted: May 19, 2016 at 6:00 AM Permalink to Adventure Weekend on ESPN's the Drive Permalink
Keith Toler
May 17, 2016 | Keith Toler

The Daily Beast mentions Chateau Morrisette

Ripped from the headlines!

Trump Wine Is Built on Acres of Lies

The GOP frontrunner’s claim that he owns ‘the largest winery on the East Coast’ is not true when it comes down to the amount of wine he makes.

Read the entire article - click here.

Time Posted: May 17, 2016 at 1:03 PM Permalink to The Daily Beast mentions Chateau Morrisette Permalink
Keith Toler
May 13, 2016 | Keith Toler

Bella Magazine Writes about Chateau Morrisette

We all recognize “the dog” while walking through the grocery store and can’t help but wish that we were spending the afternoon at one of the prettiest wineries in Virginia, Chateau Morrisette! Since first crafting wine in 1978, Chateau Morrisette has made a name for themselves through their involvement in the community and their dedication to excellence. Whether you prefer red, white, sweet, or dry they have the perfect bottle just for you. If you’re celebrating, they have extra-dry sparkling wine for that too!


Thanks to Beck Media Group for including Chateau Morrisette!

Time Posted: May 13, 2016 at 11:31 AM Permalink to Bella Magazine Writes about Chateau Morrisette Permalink
Keith Toler
April 9, 2016 | Keith Toler

Chateau Morrisette Named a Don't Miss Stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway

What an awesome designation from the Charlotte Observer.  We have many Wine Club members from the Charlotte area and we're only 2.5 hours away, so we see a lot of visitors from the Queen City too.  This makes being named one of the top ten don't miss spots by the Charlotte Observer even better.  Here is what they said:

"One of Virginia’s oldest wineries, Chateau Morrisette is a bit of a secret outside the region. But the wine’s good and the bistro and live music series ( make a stop even more worthwhile."

Read the whole article here: Charlotte Observer

Time Posted: Apr 9, 2016 at 11:33 AM Permalink to Chateau Morrisette Named a Don't Miss Stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway Permalink
Keith Toler
April 4, 2016 | Keith Toler

Big Fun in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains

Norma Meyer recently visited Chateau Morrisette and wrote a nice segment about her entire visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway region near Roanoke, Virginia.  She is a travel writer and contributor to the Creators Syndicate.  Here is what she had to say about Chateau Morrisette:

"Those favoring fermented grapes and pooches over hooch should head to Chateau Morrisette winery, where the Black Dog red blend is "well bred" and the owners' late black Lab, Hans, graces wine labels and souvenirs. (We're told he was great at lapping up wine spills.) The winery's lauded restaurant is dogged in epicurean details (pomegranate Merlot salad dressing, Chardonnay tomato jam) and provides an intoxicating mountain view."

You can read the entire article and learn more about the region, including Roanoke, VA, Patrick County, Floyd County and Franklin County.



Time Posted: Apr 4, 2016 at 6:43 AM Permalink to Big Fun in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains Permalink
Keith Toler
February 11, 2016 | Keith Toler

Valentine's Day Weekend at Chateau Morrisette

Natalie Faunce and Lindee Katdare, the hosts of Daytime Blue Ridge on WSLS TV 10 came to visit us at Chateau Morrisette to get a preview of the Puppy Love Dinner menu and the Wine and Chocolate pairing event this Valentine's Day Weekend.  The two sat down and sampled some of Chef Cooper Brunk's specialties and then enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing with our tasting host Robert Longo.  Check out the segment they aired on Daytime Blue Ridge this week.




Time Posted: Feb 11, 2016 at 11:56 AM Permalink to Valentine's Day Weekend at Chateau Morrisette Permalink
Keith Toler
December 17, 2015 | Keith Toler

National Public Radio Podcast Interview with David Morrisette

From the Journey's of Discovery webiste.  Listen to the Podcast by clicking here (PODCAST)

Here's the printed intro for the Podcast.

Chateau Morrisette is Virginia’s oldest winery is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 3,500 feet above sea level, an hour from Roanoke and two hours from Greensboro, North Carolina. When the Morrisette family opened their Floyd, Virginia winery in 1978, it was the only one in the state. Today there are more than 288 Virginia wineries, but the vast majority are small-lot boutique producers with total average annual production of less than 2,000 cases. At Chateau Morrissette, it was a long and painful road discovering the ideal grape varieties, and perfecting their wine processing but today they annually produce more than 75,000 cases with distribution to nine states and overseas to China. Morrisette produces a broad array of wines. A sampler of their reds include Pinot Noir to Petit Verdot, their sweet and blush includes Vin Gris and red and white Muscadine. Sweet fruit wines include cherry, blackberry, and apple. They offer a sparkling wine, and a range of whites from Chardonnay to Viognier. Come along and join David Morrisette as he shares  his family’s incredible wine making and grape growing journey, and their parallel evolution in to the culinary scene with their estate restaurant that has specialized in farm-to-table locally sourced, organic offerings since long before the hip-restaurant phrase became a trend.

Subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel podcast, Journeys of Discover with Tom Wilmer via: iTunes, NPR ONE,, and numerous other podcast sites.



Time Posted: Dec 17, 2015 at 7:54 AM Permalink to National Public Radio Podcast Interview with David Morrisette Permalink
Keith Toler
December 2, 2015 | Keith Toler

Chateau Morrisette in Good Hands!

by Karl H. Kazaks

FLOYD, VA – Chateau Morrisette stands tall in the Virginia wine industry, being both one of the largest producers in the commonwealth and one of its longest-standing. The winery took root in 1978 when David Morrisette and his parents Bill and Nancy planted vines on their estate here, adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Chateau Morrisette is just one of six active Virginia wineries founded before 1980.

After graduating from Mississippi State University’s first class in viticulture and enology in 1982, David made the winery’s first commercially available wines.

The winery makes dozens of wines and is distributed widely, a testament to the favor the winery’s products have found among consumers. The winery makes over 60,000 cases of wine annually, using fruit from its vineyards as well as from other growers in Virginia and North Carolina.

This year’s harvest at Chateau Morrisette is the first being helmed by Brian Smyth. “It’s been incredible,” Smyth said. “The ferments are all tasting great.” Smyth attributes the success of the vintage and the winery in general to the long-standing team in place at the winery, starting with David Morrisette and including the entire winemaking team. “It’s incredible that we’ve been able to retain this talent in southwest Virginia,” he said. “You could take any one of these guys or gals and put them in Napa, Bordeaux, the Barossa Valley and they’d be at the top of their game.”

Smyth knows something about foreign winemaking cultures, having earned his master’s degree in enology from Australia’s University of Adelaide, after spending a previous stint in the country working a harvest.

“The first time I went to Australia I didn’t know I’d go back,” he said.

Smyth, a North Carolina native, studied at Virginia Tech. While an undergraduate, he spent one summer at Keswick Vineyards, where he caught the wine bug. After graduation, he worked at some custom crush operations in Oregon. Then he decided to pursue his advances studies, choosing the University of Adelaide because he liked the practicality of the program.

The winery at Chateau Morrisette is impressive, housed in a 32,000 square foot timber frame building built with salvaged Douglas fir timbers. Its numerous stainless steel tanks have a combined capacity of approximately 130,000 gallons, and an additional 50,000 gallons can be kept in American and French oak barrels.

“It’s an absolutely incredible facility,” Smyth said. “Some of the equipment we have, it’s amazing.”

On the crush pad there are two bladder presses. Nearby is a refrigerated trailer, used to hold fruit prior to crush. The trailer helps both to facilitate the logistics of handling many tons of fruit as well as to help improve wine quality. Cooling white varieties out of the field, Smyth said, leads to “fewer phenolics and less astringency in the finished wine.” Inside, a cross-flow filter is used on all wines pre-bottling, something that’s especially important for the winery’s sweet wines.

When fermenting reds, Smyth likes to start pretty warm, to ensure a healthy yeast population. Once the ferment is going, he looks more at the rate of fermentation — shooting for an average of 2.5 Brix per day — rather than a set temperature. At that rate of fermentation, he knows the wines will have enough time on skins to get good extraction.

As for cold soaking, Smyth is experimenting with its affects. He separated one batch of Cabernet Franc into two tanks, one of which was cold soaked, one of which was not. “The color’s the same, but the taste is different,” Smyth said. When fermentation is complete, the lots will be blended together at pressing.

With its fast-ripening conditions, this year has been a good year for Virginia wine grape producers. Smyth credits the winery’s vineyard manager Steve Van Sutphin as well as the many growers the winery works with for producing high quality fruit. “They make my job easy,” he said.

Smyth then repeated his praise for his winemaking team, who during a rain-delay in harvest were preparing to filter the lees from a batch of cold-settled Niagara. “They make this place run.”

Here;s the link.


Time Posted: Dec 2, 2015 at 6:33 AM Permalink to Chateau Morrisette in Good Hands! Permalink
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