The Rocky Knob American Viticultural Area (AVA) is located on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Approved in 1983, this AVA encompasses 9,000 acres. This Virginia wine region receives about 43 inches of rain each year. The well drained soil and elevations from 1,500 to 3,500 feet are excellent for growing grapes, and as a result some outstanding Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines are produced here. The Chateau Morrisette Winery makes its home in the Rocky Knob AVA.
Two wineries operate in the Rocky Knob AVA, although one, Villa Appalachia, does not use the AVA on its wine labels (this is because some of its vineyards do not fall within the AVA.) The other winery, Chateau Morrisette, produces wines that are from this Virginia AVA and others. Keep in mind that the modern wine industry in Virginia is considered by some to still be in its infancy (although over four thousand tons of grapes are grown here annually), as research is still being done into what wine varieties will grow best here. Chardonnay is the number wine grape grown in this wine region, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Cabernet Franc and some French-American hybrids also seem to grow well in Virginia, too. Below is more information on the wines of Virginia’s Rocky Knob AVA’s Chateau Morrisette.
Chateau Morrisette Winery – History. The first vines were planted in 1978 on this Virginia vineyard. It produced its first wines in 1982 (2,000 gallons) under the label Woolwine Winery. David Morrisette, owner and winemaker of Chateau Morrisette, hired the chief winemaker away from Clos Du Bois Winery in California in 2001, and the winery expanded rapidly from there This Virginia winery now produces over 60,000 cases of wine each year, with a stainless steel tank capacity for fermenting wines of 130,000 gallons and another 50,000 gallons of French and American Oak. One of the largest wineries in Virginia over 15 different types of wines are produced here from over 150 acres of Virginia vineyards. Chateau Morrisette is an industry leader in Virginia wines.
Chateau Morrisette Winery – Wines. Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. This velvety red wine is an excellent example of the fine wines produced in Virginia. It has cherry and black currant aromas, followed by flavors of more cherries and black pepper. To enhance this wine’s complexity, small amounts of Chambourcin, Tannat and Cabernet Franc were added. Their Reserve Merlot is another outstanding red wine from Virginia. The soft tannins of this red wine have been enhanced by a small amount of Cabernet Franc. Made from grapes grown in their Rocky Knob vineyard, this wine has aromas of violet and plum, and flavors that include black cherry and caramel.
For the Love of Dogs. Chateau Morrisette Winery also sponsors a program for research benefitting dogs with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency). The Virginia winery contributes a percentage of the sales of these wines to non-profit veterinary school canine genetics labs that perform EPI research. Both red and white wines are available for purchase for this important cause. Click here for more information on this program or to purchase these specialty wines.
Chateau Morrisette also has an elegant tasting room, a terrific restaurant, and is a gorgeous place to hold a wedding or other special event. Their beautiful dining room and outside patio have incredible views of Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains.