Until this year, wines from Gabriele Rausse Winery have been difficult to find, but definitely worth the search. We first happened upon one of his wines a few years ago and loved it and have continued to buy his wines whenever we found them. Gabriele is one of the founders of the Virginia wine industry, first coming to the United States in the 1970s. His first position at a Virginia winery was at the new Barboursville Vineyards, in 1976. He left there in 1979, and has since helped get many other wineries on their feet, either by working there or just consulting. In 1997, he established his own winery, where he continues to make wine with his two sons Tim and Peter.
Also, he is Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello, and cares for the vineyard there. Grapes, like Sangiovese, can be seen on the terraced vineyard below the gardens.
This year, we were pleased to discover that Gabriele Rausse Winery had opened a tasting room. While the hours are limited (only open Thursday, Friday, and Sunday), it is well worth the planning to fit it in your schedule if you are visiting. When we visited, we discovered a charming facility with a wide variety of wines to try. Tim Rausse served us and shared information about the wines. Our favorite was the Nebbiolo, an Italian grape, that produces a full-bodied, elegant red wine.
Our tasting experience was great and we will be sure to plan more visits there in the future. I recommend it.
Last year, while visiting southern Virginia, we discovered a wonderful winery in North Carolina. The grounds are amazingly beautiful, the Tuscan style tasting room is impressive, and the wine is amazing. The winery was established by members of the Raffaldini family which dates back to 1348, in the town of Mantua, Italy. They visited many sites before choosing the Yadkin Valley, between the Brushy Mountains and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains as a locations for a vineyard and winery in the United States. The Ronda, North Carolina, winery is surrounded by gorgeous views in all directions. After buying the land in 1999, the vineyard was planted in 2000, and the tasting room opened in 2004.
Raffaldini’s wines are all Italian varieties. Montepulciano, the grapes in the photo, creates a wine that is full-bodied with a distinct fruity flavor. The winery also produces a Montepulciano Riserva. Vermentino Riserva, a white varietal, is one of their most popular and comes from the oldest Vermentino vines on the East Coast. Both Riservas are developed using the Appassimento drying process to give them a richer character. Appassimento is an ancient Italian method of using a portion of dehydrated grapes in the making of the wine, to create a wine with different structures in the flavors. A Girasole, sunflower in Italian, is created with free run juice from Sangiovese and Montepulciano. The wine is a dry, medium-bodied rosé, which is very popular especially in the summer months. Other wines include a Pinot Grigio, a Sangiovese, Rossi (a red blend), and La Dolce Vita (a Moscato, Asti style). For more information go to my link page.
Jay Raffaldini has created a bit of Tuscany in the mountains of North Carolina and is making some of the best wines I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. It’s about an hours drive from southern Virginia and a two hour drive from Asheville, North Carolina. If you are in the region, be sure to visit. Wine lovers will feel right at home and return again and again.
We visited Barboursville Vineyards during our annual trip to Virginia last week. As always, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed all of the wines we tasted. Barboursville Vineyards got its beginnings with the planting of a vineyard in 1976, opening the winery soon after. The vineyards and winery have grown over the years, as has the number of wineries in the state of Virginia. Today, there are nearly 200 wineries, making Virginia the fifth largest wine producer in the United States. Only California, New York, Oregon, and Washington have more. Barboursville Vineyards remains one of Virginia’s premier wineries with a multitude of awards from national and international competitions and recognition by wine experts around the world. Check out my link page to visit their website.
It seems like Barboursville gets lovelier with each visit; there’s always new grape vines and additions to the tasting room or the other buildings. Walking around the grounds, exploring the ruins that are featured on the labels of the wine, dining at the Palladio Restaurant, or just stopping by the tasting room for a chance to try the new vintages or enjoy a glass of wine, your visit will be memorable. This visit we tried many wines and found many we enjoyed. I would have to recommend the Vermentino Reserve, which won a Double Gold at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition. It is a relatively new varietal for the winery and is an excellent medium bodied, dry white wine, with aromas of pears and flowers. We also enjoyed our old favorites: such as Barbera Reserve, Sangiovese Reserve, and Nebbiolo Reserve. While the new vintage of Octagon was not available for tasting, we enjoyed a couple of glasses while relaxing at the winery.
As we were getting ready to leave, we ran into Luca Paschina, the winemaker, and were treated to a visit to the library tasting room and a special tasting of a 2008 Octagon. This wine is one that ages well and the 2008 was very smooth.
If you are ever visiting in Central Virginia, Barboursville Vineyards is a must for any wine lover.by admin