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Virginia’s oldest winery--Chateau Morrisette

The legendary Our Dog Blue Chateau Morrisette wine
Thomas Wilmer
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Chateau Morrisette is Virginia’s oldest winery. It's 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 Morrisette, 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.

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.

This interview was originally posted as an NPR digital media podcast back in November 2015, but the popularity of David Morrisette's conversation about his winery and its history demanded a reprise posting.

 

David Morrisette at Morrisette Winery
Credit Thomas Wilmer
David Morrisette at Morrisette Winery
Morrisette Winery Stainless steel tanks and oak barrels
Credit Thomas Wilmer
Morrisette Winery Stainless steel tanks and oak barrels
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