Nestled off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Chateau Morrisette, boasts stunning mountain views, award-winning wines, and a very dog-friendly atmosphere.
Unlike most establishments that claim to be dog-friendly, Chateau Morrisette goes above and beyond to ensure that your doggo is having just as good of a time as you are!
This past weekend, my boyfriend and I decided to make the one hour trip from downtown Roanoke, VA and to bring our best bud, Albus, along for the ride. Here’s what happened.
A Brief Black Dog History
David Morrisette produced the first commercial wine in 1982 with the help of his ever-trusty companion, Hans, a black Labrador Retriever. Hans was instrumental in encouraging the Morrisette’s to persevere in their hobby-gone-wild venture by offering moral support, a warm muzzle, and a friendly handshake through thick and thin.
Hans inspired the Chateau Morrisette crest: two dogs standing on their hind legs holding up a grape vine-adorned “M” shield. Hans was also the inspiration for The Black Dog wine. Other dogs have followed Hans and continue to uphold his high standards: Our Dog Blue, Blushing Dog, Frosty Dog and many more.
Customers swarm to the web site: “thedogs.com” and often ask twice, thinking they have misheard. “Who doesn’t like dogs?” David says – they continue to play an integral part in the winery that welcomes novices and snobs alike in a friendly high-altitude setting.
The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room at Chateau Morrisette is located in a stand-alone, absolutely gorgeous building. Once you make your way inside the tasting room, you’re greeted with beautiful wooden beams and welcoming rustic decor.
Best of all, is that your best dog friend is also welcome inside the tasting room with you. Conveniently placed in the corners around the tasting room, are complimentary dog water bowls. Is your pup being a good boy? Also available, are doggy treats for purchase.
As we stood by the wine counter, sipping our $10 wine samples (only $10 for 8 samples and a free wine glass!), Albus quietly laid down on the cool tile floor and had himself a nice rest.
As the patio is the only area that dogs are allowing within the restaurant, the very first thing we did when arriving, was to make reservations for outdoor seating. There was still an hour before the restaurant opened, and we wanted to make sure that Albus would be able to join us for dinner.
The outdoor seating area was breathtaking, with rolling mountain views, accompanied by a cool mountain breeze. Each table was had it’s own umbrella for some much-needed shade against the southern heat, and they even provided Albus with a water bowl. Overall 10/10!
I have to be honest though. I think my favorite part of dinner, was when we first sat down, and the waiter provided us with the “Terrace Rules”. Now, being a dog parent, I automatically tensed and thought “well so much for being dog friendly!”
I immediately ate my words, once I started reading the small instruction card, with a cute little bone treat attached. Here’s what the card said and the reason that I 100% knew that this was going to be the best experience for all.
“Welcome Furry Friends! You must keep your leash on at all times. Other than that, come as you are, there’s no dress code! Be respectful of other guests and don’t make any noise. If your human makes too much noise, please muzzle your human.”
Scattered throughout the property are several places and nooks for couples, friends, and families to sit, relax, and sip on wines. One of my favorite places that we came across were the gazebos which were set on the hillside. There are three gazebos with tables and chairs, and yep, you guessed it, doggy water bowls!
After a long, worth-wile day, of walking around the winery, we made camp at one of the gazebos to enjoy the scenery and wind down before our drive back into Roanoke. There was a nice breeze in the air, and all of us had a pretty good time lounging in companionable silence.
Overall, visiting this dog-friendly winery was a great experience. One that we would gladly do over and over again.