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Meet the Winemaker: Brian Smyth at Chateau Morrisette

By:

The Winemaker: Brian Smyth is the winemaker at Chateau Morrisette and has been making wine in various positions for seven years. He began as a vineyard hand at Keswick Vineyards while studying at Virginia Tech. He worked for several years making pinot noir in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, squeezed in an Australian vintage in Clare Valley, moved back to South Australia to obtain his Masters of Oenology while working at the Australian Wine Research Institute and finally landed at Chateau Morrisette, just a few hours from where it all began.

“I consider this part of the country my home, so it is nice to be back.”

Philosophy: “Wine can be nuanced, complex, beautiful and serious; it can also be fun, fruity and straightforward. I do not believe that wine needs to be pretentious or intimidating. In fact, it shouldn’t be. Regardless of the rewards, reputation or price, good wine starts on the farm. My job is to draw from my experience and education to sensibly utilize the tools and people available to elevate the season’s fruit into the best possible wines.

A Word of Wisdom: Think about wine like music. If you always have a song playing in the background but never take the time to listen to the words you’re missing some of it—sometimes a lot of it. Try spending a moment really focusing on your sense of smell and taste when you have your next glass of wine.

The Winery

Overview: The Morrisette family planted their first vines in Virginia in 1978 and were producing wine commercially by 1982. In the time since, Chateau Morrisette has expanded from a modest 2,000 gallons to be one of the state’s largest wineries. They produce wines that are approachable to new wine drinkers as well as wines that will satisfy the wine aficionado.

Offerings: Chateau Morrisette currently offers eight white wines, 10 red wines and three fruit wines. They make a wide range of styles to suit many different tastes, whether you prefer dry, off-dry, sweet, sparkling, varietal, hybrid or fruit wines.

Their tasting includes 10 different wines. There is a 4-star restaurant on the estate ranked by Open Table as having one of the top 100 restaurant views in America. Private event space is available. The winery hosts a variety of events throughout the year but is perhaps best known for its Black Dog Music Festivals. There is free entertainment on the courtyard every Sunday June through October. The entire winery is pet-friendly except where prohibited by law. Picnic areas are available; first come first served. The winery is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Chateau Morrisette
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 171.5
287 Winery Road SW, Floyd
540-593-2865
TheDogs.com

VisitVirginia
Author: VisitVirginia

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