William Morissette began experimenting with grape growing in the early 1970s on the advice of the Virginia Tech Fruit and Science Department. After graduating from Mississippi State University's Viticulture and Entology program, David Morrisette returned to Virginia and ripped out the vines that his father planted. In 1978, William, Nancy and David Morrisette planted the first vines, starting the Chateau Morrisette Winery. Chateau Morrisette was one of the six wineries started in Virginia prior to 1980, making it one of the oldest wineries in the state. David Morrisette became Château Morrisette’s first official winemaker. In 1982, the first commercial wines were produced, beginning with approximately 1,500 gallons. Wine production is now in excess of 60,000 cases. The Winery underwent an expansion and modernization in 1999, including a new wine production facility and hospitality center. Blue Ridge Timberwrights constructed a building from salvaged timber from the St. Marie River and from a Seattle warehouse to create one of the largest salvaged timber frame buildings in North America: 32,365 square feet (3,006.8 m2) with over 132,000 board feet of recycled Douglas-fir timbers.