Grapevine & Vintner Profile, Wining & Dining

Chateau Morrisette

Chateau Morrisette is located along the crest of the Blue Ridge at 3,500 feet above sea level in beautiful Floyd County. Just a short distance from the Blue Ridge Parkway, Chateau Morrisette features 38 acres of estate vineyards, a 33,000 square foot cellar and tasting room, as well as a four-star restaurant named one of the top 100 restaurant views in America by Open Table.

William and Nancy Morrisette, along with their son David, planted the first vines in 1976 and opened their first winery in Woolwine, Virginia in 1978. In 1983, the winery moved to its current location and construction of the cellar, one of the largest reclaimed timber structures in America, got underway in 1997.

Chateau Morrisette produces about 70,000 cases annually of 34 distinct wines, some of which are the very popular sweet wines such as Red Mountain Laurel, White Muscadine and Sweet Mountain Apple. However, Chateau Morrisette also produces a diverse selection of Virginia varietal wines as well as several sophisticated blends, including the brand new Archival 1, a delicious blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

The winery recently hired Brian Cheeseborough as the new oenologist and winemaker. Having produced wine in California, France and Argentina, Cheeseborough brings a touch of the old-world to his very new-world style of winemaking at Chateau Morrisette.Visitors to the winery enjoy a tasting of ten wines for $8, and they can opt to keep the distinctive dog-themed souvenir glass for $2.

The tasting sheet changes daily and during the slower periods, a guest may request to taste a specific wine. For a more intimate experience, guests can make advanced reservations for an elite wine tasting that pairs wines with cheese and chocolate and includes a more in-depth description and personal wine tasting experience.

Tours of the cellar are complimentary and offered every day at published times. Once the tasting is complete, guests often browse the tasting room gift shop in search of unique pet-related items, clothing, gourmet packaged foods, or a variety of wine and entertaining accessories.

The Restaurant at Chateau Morrisette offers a special dining experience. Chef Sterling Steffans prepares rustic southern fare presented in a casually elegant atmosphere. With an estate garden providing many of the vegetables served in the restaurant, Chateau Morrisette provides a farm-to-table dining experience with a menu that changes seasonally. Signature entrées like shrimp and grits and pork tenderloin are almost always available along with seasonal specials such as spare ribs, duck dumplings and quinoa stuffed peppers. In warmer months, guests enjoy the view from the outdoor terrace, and in colder months, fireside dining is the perfect complement to any dining experience.

Chateau Morrisette is also known for its special events like the summer Black Dog Music Festivals in the summer and fall that attract thousands to hear nationally acclaimed bands and to enjoy wineries from around the region. There are free concerts every Sunday afternoon from June through October. Winemaker Dinners, Open Air Shakespeare, Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, Outdoor Adventure Activities and a host of other options can be enjoyed throughout the year. The winery is also an ideal location for weddings, corporate events and private parties.

The winery ships to 39 states, with free shipping on orders over $150 (handling fees apply).

Chateau Morrisette
287 Winery Road, SW
Floyd, VA 24091

Written by: Frank Britt
Publisher Official Virginia Wine Lover e-Newsletter “THE Source for Virginia’s Wine news.” (Complimentary to OTC readers).

A Recipe from Chef Sterling Steffens of Chateau Morrisette

The Grit Cakes
¼ cup butter
2 cups stone ground grits, dry
8 cup whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
2 T chopped scallions
4 eggs

Melt butter in large stock pot and add dry grits, mixing well. Cooke grits in butter about five minutes to “toast” then add milk and bring to a boil, stirring often. Bring heat down to a simmer and add salt and pepper. Stir often until all liquid is absorbed and grits are tender, then add cheese and mix well. Let cool. Mix in eggs and scallions and spread grit mixture in shallow, 7×11” baking dish and bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned. Cool completely and cut our rounds.

The Shrimp
1 T olive oil
½ cup Andouille sausage (diced)
1/2cup Tasso ham (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 green pepper (diced)
1 tomato (diced
24 (31-40 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Heat sauté pan and add one T of olive oil. Sauté ham and sausage about a minute. Add onion, pepper, tomato pieces and toss over heat for another minute. Add shrimp and sauté about two minutes. Add whipping cream. Reduce to desired consistency and shrimp are done. Pour over grits and enjoy.

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