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Gabriele Rausse

by Nannette Eaton on April 9, 2011

“Good wine is a necessity of life for me.” — Thomas Jefferson


I became acquainted with the wines of Gabriele Rausse during my sojourn in Virginia last year. Of all the magnificent wines Virginia has to offer, I think Gabriele Rausse might very well be my favorite.  An Italian immigrant, he is a pioneer of modern Virginia wine making. The Southern Foodways Alliance did a lengthy interview with Gabriele Rausse which is worth the read. Now considered the patricharch of Virgina wine, he was considered a maverick when he began his quest in the 1970’s. And he’s still bucking the trends. Cyber-illiterate, the winery does not have a website, isn’t open to the public and it’s challenging finding the wine outside the Charlottesville area. But absence and lack of access makes the wine even more desirable and exclusive, and the Wine Harlots are always up for the challenge. Trust me, procuring a few bottles of Gabriele Rausse is worth the quest. Road trip, anyone?

Rausse makes twelve wines,  I’ve had the pleasure of sampling six. My favorite is Rosso, a red blend with a distinct European style. The perfect pairing is Venison Chateaubriand With Red Currant Wine Sauce. To mix with the wine and the meal, the music match is “Antebellum” from Vienna Teng from the album Island Territory.