The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 75

DINING | CHATEAU MORRISETTE

but opted to join the family business. He earned a degree in grape growing and wine making from Mississippi
State, then came home and ripped out every vine his
parents had planted. He replanted Niagara grapes-a
native American variety that renders a sweet wine much
beloved in the South. Morrisette says it was their Sweet
Mountain Laurel wine made from the Niagara grape that
carried the winery through those early years.
When Morrisette's family first opened the winery (licensed in 1978) Floyd was barely a dot on the map.
"Floyd wasn't a cool town when we first opened," says
Morrisette. "There was one B&B and one diner. People'd
come here and ask, 'Where's there to eat around here?'"
It was the Morrisette's inability to provide a good
answer that led them to open a restaurant-of sorts.
THEROANOKER.COM

They started as a drivethru diner offering grilled
cheese sandwiches and
vegetable soup. Morrisette points to different
parts of the current restaurant (that began as the
original winery, restaurant
and Morrisette's home) describing how diners would
order at one window and pick-up at the next.
"We started doing this in '88," he says. "And it just
crazily grew from there."
I'd say. Chateau Morrisette is now a fully orbed, farmto-table, fine-dining experience. They hire chefs on a
rotational system, bringing in new chef blood every one
to three years. In this way, Chateau offers guests different cooking styles while maintaining its commitment
to the farm-to-table experience. Morrisette says chefs
seem to like it, too.
When hiring a new chef, Morrisette looks for attitude
first, and clean food next.
"I don't like food drowned in heavy sauces," he explains. "Let the food speak for itself." As part of the

Wine and Fine Dining
The menu at Chateau
Morrisette has come a
long way from grilled
cheese sandwiches and
vegetable soup.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 | 75


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker September/October 2017

The Roanoker September/October 2017 - Intro
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - Cover1
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - Cover2
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 3
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - 4
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The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA1
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA2
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA3
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA4
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA5
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA6
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA7
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA8
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA9
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA10
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA11
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA12
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA13
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA14
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The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA16
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA17
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The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA19
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA20
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA21
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA22
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The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA24
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The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA27
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA28
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA29
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA30
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA31
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - RVA32
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The Roanoker September/October 2017 - Cover3
The Roanoker September/October 2017 - Cover4
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