This is a wonderful example of why Long Island's signature wine is Merlot. This is a rich, pleasing and fleshy red wine that exudes autumn/winter comfort. From a classic Bordeaux blend of grape varieties, yet with a richness not often found in Bordeaux.
Wolffer Estate Vineyards is part of a beautiful estate on the South Fork of Long Island, in the renowned Hamptons area. The founder, Christian Wolffer, spent weekends retreating from his busy entrepreneurial lifestyle and, in 1978, finally bought a 14 acre plot with a farmhouse and potato fields. He had a vision to create an equestrian centre (now the best on the East Coast training and stabling Polo and Dressage horses in particular) and a vineyard and meld his two greatest passions: wine and horses. Today, this vision is a reality, with one of the most successful vineyards in Long Island.
The estate now spans 170 acres, with 55 acres of vineyards. It has recently been returned to the family and now Christian's son Mark and daughter Joey, continue his legacy. The wine labels reflect this marriage of Christian Wolffer’s passions. The Wolffer Estate philosophy is to uphold their founder's passion for wine, continuing the tradition of fastidious attention to detail, producing the best wines possible from their terroir – many of which are award-winning.
The winery itself is arguably one of the most beautiful and stylish on Long Island. The state-of-the-art winemaking facility is equipped with massive, computerized stainless-steel tanks, a laboratory, riddling rooms, a bottling line and a cellar to hold the wines before distribution. In keeping with the European tradition, the barrel rooms are constructed of high-vaulted caves where wines are aged in imported French oak barrels.
Winemaker Roman Roth was also originally from the founder's birthplace, Hamburg, Germany and has been making wine at Wolffer Estate since the beginning in 1982. Highly experienced, he has spent time at Rosemount in Australia, was the chairman of the Merlot Alliance in Long Island. He also likes to serenade his wines in the barrel and can often be found singing in the winery with him booming tenor voice!
The grapes are grown on undulating west and south facing vineyards and care is taken in the vineyard to green harvest and remove damaged grapes, to ensure maximum ripeness. Grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks and 1.5 ton fermenters. The fermentation takes place at up to 32C. Maceration continued for 32 days on one lot and 20 days on the other three. 100% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. It was aged in 10% new and 90% older French barriques, for 12 months and was racked 5 times. It was bottled in January 2012.
View Larger Map