Lazy Southern Summer Sundays at Chateau Morrisette

lazysummerdaysThe spring and summer months are a great time to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway’s overlooks and breath-taking views are experiences unto themselves. One of the most entertaining overlooks can be found at milepost 171.5. Just off the Parkway, Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant offers great wines, food, special events, festivals and a spectacular view of the valley below.

Imagine a beautiful summer day, sitting on the terrace at 3500 feet above sea level, while taking in the view and indulging in a glass of wine and some deliciously prepared southern cuisine. This could be your reality any Wednesday through Sunday throughout the summer! Now take that one step further and imagine it’s a Sunday. Now you can enjoy Chateau’s renowned Sunday Brunch Buffet. Sunday Brunch begins April 20th and is offered every Sunday through October. Guests choose from over twenty items for the main plate and then another twenty items for the dessert course. Dave, a reviewer on Open Table, attests to the Chateau Morrisette Restaurant as being an enjoyable meal in a truly beautiful setting Kay S. from Eden, NC writes on TripAdvisor, each entree presentation is a feast for both eyes and palate. Sunday brunch is a Blue Ridge Parkway experience to savor.

Also available on Sundays at Chateau Morrisette is Sunday Sounds. Each Sunday from June through October, there is an artist who plays on the courtyard outside the Chateau Morrisette Winery. It is completely free for everyone and snack food and wine are both available for purchase. Want to pack a picnic? Bring it to Chateau Morrisette and spend some time in one of our gazebos and listen to the music. First come, first served and please, no outside alcohol during your visit. Sunday Sounds presents a different artist each week and each artist brings a different genre to the courtyard; the music ranges from jazz to bluegrass so there is something for

The Sunday of August 10th not only offers music and wine, but beer and bratwursts as well. Weeping Radish Brewery which hails from the Outer Banks, North Carolina comes to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains and brings along their delicious bratwursts and craft beer. It;s the Sunday following our Black Dog Summer Music Festival, so it makes for the perfect action-packed weekend. Between the beer and the wine, the brats and the brunch, and the Black Dog Festival and Sunday Sounds, there is something for everyone, no matter the preference.

Sundays are not the only day for fun at Chateau Morrisette. Summertime brings The Black Dog Music Festivals. These festivals are held on a beautifully landscaped field adjacent to the winery. Guests enjoy expansive views of Buffalo Mountain and the surrounding countryside. The day is filled with notable bands performing lively music, wine tastings from a number of different Virginia wineries, craft beers, and a variety of festival foods. Festival goers do not have to stay on the festival field because there are shuttles to and from the winery running all day, so guests have the opportunity to visit the winery, tasting room and restaurant too.

There are four Black Dog Music Festivals: Rhythm and Vine on July 5th with headliner Paul Thorn Band and opening performance by Alternate Routes. Next comes The Black Dog Summer Music Festival on August 9th featuring newgrass band Railroad Earth. September 13th brings The Black Dog Music and BBQ Festival featuring not only a music festival, but also some of the best Kansas City style BBQ around. Competitors come from all over the region to compete for best barbecue. Mountain Heart headlines the festival and The Greencards are back to open the show. And finally, Beach Music fans come out in droves for The Black Dog Beach Music Festival on October 11th where The Catalinas and The Embers will keep fans dancing all day long. Every festival features wonderful artists and artisans who bring the most unique handmade works to show and sell, making it a rewarding shopping experience too. The festivals are laid back, relaxed, and just an all around perfect outing. So bring your lawn chairs, your sunscreen, and your dancing shoes and have a good time. Oh, and by the way, your well-behaved canine companions are admitted for free!

Everyone has a weekend available once in a while, so there is no need to miss out on any of the fun! Sundays at Chateau Morrisette are enjoyable, relaxing opportunities to share with your friends and family. Time spent in the mountains, especially along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is always time well spent. Enjoy the summer mountain breezes, the majestic beauty, the laid-back, unhurried pace, along with some good wine, food, and song. There’s no better way to rejuvenate the spirit. Welcome to Floyd.

Written By:
Ashley Adams

Local Minister Wins Wedding Award

kanta-bosniac-384Rev. Kanta Bosniak is the recent winner of the Wedding Wire Couples’ Choice Awards for 2014, as determined by reviews from past clients. The award recognizes her business as amongst the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide. Bosniak specializes in personalized and meaningful ceremonies. “I love to create custom ceremonies that reflect the bride and groom as individuals, as a couple and that celebrate their love story,” she says. In addition, Bosniak taps her talents as an author and artist in unique perks she offers her wedding couples. A prolific writer in the mind/body/spirit and inspirational genre, she has published twentytwo books and audiobooks.

“I officiate many weddings for ‘spiritual/not religious’ couples,” she explained. And I found a need for readings that work for these couples. I love the oft-used quote on marriage by Khalil Gibran, and I wanted to provide additional resources. All four of my books of original sacred love poetry, Love Poems, Awakened Love, Twin Flames, and Sacred Love contain poems that can serve as wedding readings, as well as whimsical illustrations and classic love quotes by authors such as Rumi and Hafiz. I made the fifth love-themed book, The Love is Everywhere Coloring Book to serve, like the other four in the Love Collection as a fun romantic gift, and I give each couple a copy of their favorite book from the collection. Bosniak paints couple portraits, which couples may commission or request as wedding gifts. In addition, she also offers a unique art gift exclusively to her wedding clients.

“Virginia’s certificate is very plain. I thought, ‘I could do better!’ So, I did. With the help of my graphic artist, who also shares a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage, I created six art prints from original paintings in my colorful folk art primitive style. l sign and give couples the Virginia one, of course, as well as whichever one of my folk art certificates that they choose. I love receiving notes from brides who’ve framed the certificates and tell me they serve as happy reminders of their special day. It feels like such a blessing to me to have contributed.” Rev. Kanta Bosniak is an author, artist, coach and interfaith minister with 44 years’ experience as an educator in Spiritual Growth. She illustrates her publications with playful drawings and vibrant, colorrich cover art, so that readers and listeners can enjoy owning her work. She officiates weddings in Floyd and in venues throughout the region. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Women. Contact: (540) 577-8854

Unique breed of Suffolks Draft Horses munch down in Floyd Virginia

If you enjoy the scenery of a country drive in Floyd County, you’ll sure count it a treat to view the White Oak Grove area of Floyd.

The panoramas are breathtaking during any season of the year, and besides being a loop of the Virginia Mountain Birding and Wildlife Trail, it is also home to Hope and Grace Lynn, two Suffolk draft horses owned by Roger and Cathy Thompson of Red Rooster Farm.

We halted the vehicle and approached Roger as he was allowing the girls to munch down on some grass, and he shared with us a few tidbits while we wondered over the beauty of these very large girls, and stroked them, mane and neck.

“They’re purebred and registered, only a few of their kind in Floyd County,” two of a draft breed which is one of the least numerous in the U.S. Indeed, they were fine specimens, notable even with the American Suffolk Horse Association. I viewed photos of Glenhaven Hope and Grace Lynn Haven from when they were younger on the ASHA website,

Roger told about the uniqueness of the breed, how the Suffolks originated in eastern England, and how useful they were for draft and farm use. He utilizes Hope and Grace Lynn in the same way the old English farmers did, allowing their power to work and to pull, to help tend to his land.  They seem to enjoy their work, and they’re docile and friendly with him.

Their beautiful chestnut color is the single color of the breed, and the thickness and weight of these horses is massive. Roger also pointed out the round and the heftiness of the “behind”, which is a desirable quality of the Suffolk. Despite their heavy build, he told us that they don’t eat so much.

Roger mentioned that horses were brought to the U.S. by JC Penney, which is now a nationwide chain of stores that sells a variety of products (nearest location is at New River Valley Mall, Christiansburg) but was once a farm store. James Cash Penney strongly believed that stores should be run with honesty and a deep respect for the customer, the way many of the businesses in Floyd are founded. He was also born in a farming community, and his first store was called The Golden Rule.

Story by: Dee Wallace

The Black Water Loft Coffee House — Floyd Virginia

One of my favorites wifi spots in Floyd VA is the Blackwater Loft located just steps from the traffic light on south locust street. Amazingly someone just walked in and said that she just found this place a few days ago. Hard to believe but true. This cozy place serves fresh organic and fair trade coffees and teas, delicious smoothies, variety of locally-made desserts, sweet candies and gifts found no where else.

In the loft you will find a few artist exhibits and plenty of room to sit back, sip coffee and for me, get a little work done online. I’m planning to rent the back room once a month to have SendOutCards opportunity meetings for folks looking for a home business. If you follow the spiral staircase downstairs you will land in noteBooks and find books and CDs by local authors and musicians, bestselling fiction and nonfiction, books for children and young adults, as well as area maps and guides. Follow your nose to Red Rooster Coffee Roaster located in the same building

The Black Water Loft serves up:

Hot Beverages

Freshly Brewed Coffee (Made with freshly roasted organic beans)
Cafe au Lait
Cafe Latte
Chai Latte
Cafe Americano
Cafe Mocha
Redeye (Coffee with an espresso shot)
Hot Cocoa
Select Organic Teas

They are proud to serve organic and fair-trade coffees!

Cold Beverages

Iced Coffee
Iced Mocha Cappuccino
Iced Mocha
Iced Latte
Iced Americano
Iced Chai Latte
Freshly Brewed Iced Tea
Italian Sodas
Orange Juice
Apple Juice
Bottled Water

117 South Locust Street
Floyd, Virginia 24091

(540) 745-LOFT


Red Rooster Coffee Roaster

Beautiful Appalachia – A Floyd County Story

What is Appalachia?  It is our area, and our culture – a region of the eastern U.S. of which we are a part.  The historical facts and the accompanying stories are both stirring and endless. We have an abundance of many things:  rural resources, picturesque landscapes, and a unique and talented population.

One Floyd County resident, Jason Gallimore, writes his story of appreciation –

Perched high atop a plateau in the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge, you will find one of the most beautiful rural areas in the country.  An uncommonly pristine place, which inspires not only those that live there, but many others who’ve passed through on their travels.  A place where people know their neighbors by name, and passing strangers always get a warm welcome. A place where time has stood still in many ways, without its people turning their backs on the future.  Does this sort of utopic place sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not too good to be true.  Welcome to Floyd County.

I grew up in Floyd County, and it was very much the ‘Mayberry’ experience that many imagine.  With an old-timey hardware store, ice cream parlor, barber shop, supermarket and a few local diners, Floyd provided a respite from the suburbia and sprawl that many Americans had come to know.  On any Saturday morning, breakfast at the Blue Ridge Diner was no less than a local meet and greet.  A stop at the local supermarket was sure to have you mired in conversation, a different neighbor in every aisle, stopping to speak as if they haven’t seen you in years.

I suppose my childhood wasn’t all that different from most, with one exception worth mentioning:  I was part of the last generation of children to grow up in an environment where most of the old Appalachian traditions were still being practiced.  That is not to say that the people of Floyd County have in any way shunned tradition.

To the contrary, people in Floyd take pride in their past and do a great deal to preserve it when possible. But, as technology has progressed and our lifestyles have been increasingly influenced by convenience and efficiency, we’ve lost so many of the important threads that were once a part of this amazing fabric we call Appalachia.

Does anyone really churn fresh butter anymore, aside from a demonstration at a local festival? Does anyone still tie their own brooms, from straw gathered in a local field? How many people still get their water from a mountain spring? Or wash their clothes with a lye soap made from leftover lard? While it’s true that we’ve moved beyond these things due to the progress of man, it is also important to be reminded of the beautiful simplicity that once governed everyday life in Floyd County.  It is fortunate that, for some of us, this simplicity remains, and to a greater degree than you’re likely to find most anywhere else.

I feel privileged to have grown up in Floyd, and feel just as privileged to be from Appalachia.  Life is not perfect no matter where you are…  After the joyous and carefree years of my adolescence came the usual angst.  You know that stretch of time during the teenage years, when one is overtaken with the notion that “I just have to get out of here”.  I was no different.  From the time I reached my early teens, I decided that getting out of these mountains was something I just had to do. One might consider such a notion to be strange, considering all the fond memories that I associate with growing up in Floyd.  But, like many other young people in the mountains, I set off on a journey of self-discovery far away from Floyd County.

In 2008, I was living on the coast of Maine.  Having grown tired of the long and brutal New England winters, I made plans to move somewhere warmer.  I wasn’t sure where I wanted move, but my plans were to come back to Southwestern Virginia and visit with family and friends for a few months, taking time to plan my next adventures. While I was packing my belongings in Maine, I came across a poem that I had written a few years earlier upon the death of my grandmother in Floyd. The poem reminded once again of the heart-warming sentiment that I still had for this place.  The poem went something like this:

Sometimes we drank Dr. Pepper,
sometimes we drank Sweet Tea.
Sometimes we’d pop popcorn,
how she did it still puzzles me.
She would stand by the stove,shaking the pan,
‘till each kernel was popped with love.
Then we’d sit down to watch some TV
and talk about whatever came up.

We would sit on the porch,
in a weathered old swing,
and sing until the sun went down.
But then it was time to get all fixed up,
for a square dance was happening in town.
She’d take me out on that wooden dance floor,
we would tap and shuffle our feet.
It’s moments like these in the eyes of a child,
that are just plain hard to beat.

After church on Sunday,
Grandma would always cook lunch.
What a feast she would always prepare.
Fresh from the garden she’d tended all week,
no restaurant could ever compare.
The green beans, the pickles, the biscuits,
the bread… nobody’s were better for sure.
We’d all sit around her small kitchen table;
her soul food was always the cure.

Since she’s been gone, I think to myself,
how lucky I was back then.
To look back and see the love she gave me,
I’d give anything to be there again.
So if you’re passing through our part of the mountains,
stop by—come over and see!
Her spirit will be out tending the garden…
growing love…
like the kind she gave me.

Soon after arriving back in Virginia, I was given an opportunity to live in my grandmother’s old farmhouse on Beaver Creek in Floyd.  No one had lived in the house since her death in 2006, and it seemed like this might be the adventure I was looking for. But was I ready for life in a rural holler of Floyd County? After thinking long and hard about the situation, I began to realize that maybe I was ready for another shot at life in Floyd County.  After all, there are so many things you take for granted as a child that you learn to appreciate as you grow older.  The beautiful culture of Appalachia in Floyd County is one of those things.

After moving back, I quickly realized that I had made the right choice. Floyd has so much to offer to those who are tired of the hustle and bustle of city and suburban living.  Floyd has a true sense of place, a true sense of the importance of the simple things in life.  In many ways I find myself re-living those wonderful memories that I wrote about in that poem.  And now I find myself sitting on that very same weathered porch swing, singing as the sun goes down.  It’s funny how life comes back around full circle. I’m just blessed beyond measure that my completed circle has landed me back in Floyd County.

Jason Gallimore is a producer, writer and founding member of Festival Farm Productions, LLC  in Floyd. In his free time he enjoys hiking, local history, playing music, book collecting and enjoying all the wonders of this special place on the planet that we call Floyd County.

This story was published in Floyd Magazine Spring/Summer 2011 ~Dee Wallace, Luis A Garcia