Wolffer Estate Vineyard | A mainstay of the bustling Long Island wine scene
Who founded Wolffer Estate?
Christian Wolffer was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1938. With a background in banking, import-export company and a German chemical company, he began his entrepreneurial career in 1971, selling Canadian real estate to investors from Europe. Later on in the 1970s, Wolffer moved to the United States and founded two venture capital projects. Eventually, the avant-garde vision of this self-made venture capitalist brought him to Long Island, where he purchased a 14-acre parcel of land, originally home to a potato field and a small farmhouse. It is on this land that Wolffer founded his estate in 1988, originally named Sagpond Vineyards. In 1997, with the inauguration of its 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art winery, it was renamed Wolffer Estate Vineyard. The estate, whose ochre stucco and terra-cotta walls resemble the rustic architecture of the Tuscan wine region, is known as one of the most beautiful estates on Long Island.
While Mr. Wolffer passed away in 2009 at the age of 70, his presence is still very much felt as one of the leading “second wave” vintners of Long Island. He was known by many in Long Island’s East End as a joyful bon vivant who spoke six languages, as well as a fierce and very public champion of the region’s wines.
Today, the estate is owned and operated by the founder’s children, Marc and Joey Wolffer and Partner/Winemaker Roman Roth who has been at the estate since 1992. German-born Roman Roth was the one to establish the distinctive character of Wolffer bottlings by combining a certain European elegance with Long Island’s unique terroir. Roman has worked closely with the experienced Vineyard Manager Richie Pisacano and they have crafted over 20 vintages together. These days, the Wolffer Estate spans 470 acres, including 55 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards in Sagaponack, NY, 52 acres on the North Fork of Long Island, 200 acres in Mendoza, Argentina and 2.5 acres in Mallorca, Spain. Another 160 acres are managed in collaboration with other winegrowers of North Fork.
Wines, Ciders, Spirits... a broad range of products
Wolffer Estate has been crafting high-quality wine, ciders and spirits in the heart of the Hamptons on Long Island. Today, Wolffer Estate reigns over a total of 470 acres across Long Island, Argentina and Spain.
Long Island’s unique climate, loam soils and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean breeze allow for a variety of grapes to thrive. Wolffer Estate grows classic varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon but also comprises a few small plots with not-so-typical varieties like Trebbiano and Vignole. Hailing from Germany, the winemaker Roman Roth uses estate-grown and locally sourced fruit to create food-friendly wines that are elegant yet structured and ageworthy. All Wolffer Estate wines display a mix of traditional European sophistication with a Long Island innovative flair.
Wolffer Estate is very well known for their rose wines that will transport you to a sunny beach in the Hamptons with just one sip. The Wolffer Estate Summer in a Bottle is exactly that: the excitement and joy of summer bottled up into a perfectly pink drink. The provencal-style wine is as distinct and bright as the decorative bottle that adorns the fine liquid. The Wolffer Estate Rose highlights a classic style from Provence with refined notes of floral and bright fruit. It is best enjoyed on a beautiful warm night with appetizers and good company.
Wolffer Estate: A unique terroir on the Atlantic Coast
The heart and soul of Wolffer Estate Vineyard lies in the 55 acres of estate vines, managed by Richie Pisacano. These vines of Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Trebbiano, Pinot Noir and Vignole are cultivated using sustainable farming practices. In fact, the estate has been certified 6 years in a row by Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing. Here, the region’s emblematic Bridgehampton loam soil and the breezes blowing off the nearby Atlantic Ocean (just 2.6 miles from the estate) contribute to the maritime climate of the area. This specific climate is largely responsible for that balance of ripeness and acidity that marks the signature style of Wolffer Estate Vineyard bottlings.
The winery, completed in 1997, is equipped with the latest technologies, including massive, computerized stainless steel tanks, a laboratory, riddling rooms, an Old World-style barrel room in high-vaulted caves, a bottling line and a cellar in which the wines are stored before distribution. The estate has also invested in a tasting room, which stays open 7 days a week, welcoming visitors to live the full Wolffer Estate experience. The beautiful estate can also serve as a dreamy wedding location or the perfect place to host any other joyous event.
The signature style of Wolffer Estate Wines
Wolffer Estate Vineyard produces a wide range of red (single-varietal Cabernet Francs, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, as well as a blend), white (single-varietal Riesling, Chardonnays, Trebbiano, Sauvignon Blanc and blends), sparkling wines and ciders. However, it is for their signature rosé wines that they are particularly well known.
Cotes de Provence-style wines in the heart of the Hamptons
The aptly renowned Summer in a Bottle Rosé by Wolffer Estate Vineyard is also a blend, this time comprising Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Cabernet Franc for the most recent release. The 2022 vintage is showcased in a colorful and sophisticated bottling, adorned with a beautiful and summery floral design. The Riesling and Gewurztraminer in the blend add beautiful floral notes, as well as a fresh acidic note, while the Merlot mellows the wine out, adding body and notes of fresh red fruit. A perfect summertime sipper to be enjoyed by the poolside or on its own, paired with pool-side food or with fish or pork dishes.
The wines of Wolffer Estate are typically described as continental in style, and fruit-forward without being too sweet. They offer the perfect opportunity to taste the terroir of Long Island’s East End, expressed in all of its purity in each and every sip.