Virginia Wines Would Make Thomas Jefferson Proud
|Chateau Morrisette is located in rural Floyd County, Virginia|
The Morrisette family may not have realized that they were playing a part in the reestablishing of the Virginia's wine industry when they planted the first vines in 1978 on their property in the rural Virginia countryside. What first started as a hobby become a more serious business idea when David Morrisette enrolled in a brand new program offered by Mississippi State University in enology and viticulture. Among the first class to earn a degree from the program, David then did a brief stint working for classmate Bob Burgin's winery in Mississippi before coming home to Virginia to become Chateau Morrisette's first official winemaker.
In 1982, the first commercial wines were produced--a modest 2,000 gallons. In 1994, the fledgling winery saw the first black ink on its balance sheet, and wine production has increased rapidly each year since. Production is now in excess of 70,000 cases, and Chateau Morrisette has established its reputation as an industry leader in quality wines. By the way, David is now President of Chateau Morrisette, and his friend Bob Burgin is Executive Vice-President & CFO. In addition to the grapes produced from its own vineyards, Chateau Morrisette is one of the largest buyers of grapes in the state. Chateau Morrisette houses over 160,000 gallons of stainless steel tanks, 50,000 gallons of capacity in French and American oak barrels, a 22 ton press and state of the art bottling line.
In the dry white category, we were particularly impressed with the Viognier. In the reds, the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon were surprisingly complex and enjoyable. The character and distinction of its wines are enhanced by the beautiful ambiance of the winery and its restaurant.