Recently my travels took me to the outskirts of Long Island to visit with some wineries there. While the North Fork proved to be overflowing with tasting rooms, the South Fork contains significantly fewer wineries. The vineyards we found there, however, were definitely worth the trip. One such vineyard was Wolffer Estate.
A Horse is a Horse, of Course. The grounds at Wolffer are delightful, with a sprawling open air patio and lots of rustic European finishes. The property is home to three Clydesdales who happen to be the namesakes of several bottles of Wolffer wine. 120 acres of Wolffer contains riding facilities so it’s not uncommon to see horses roaming the vines throughout the day.
You say Potato, I say Governor’s Ball. The history of Wolffer is an interesting story. A young traveler, Christian Wolffer settled in New York with a vision and purchased a potato field. He turned that potato field, and several other acres around it over the next ten years, into what is now the fifty-five acres of Wolffer Winery. This wouldn’t have been possible, however, without winemaker, Roman Roth. Roman had a lifelong passion and dream to make wine. He studied in Sonoma and Australia before becoming Wolffer Estate’s winemaker at the young age of twenty-six. Now that Christian has passed, his children and Roman continue his dream and innovations at the winery, and honor his memory through “Christian’s Cuvee” a predominantly Merlot blend.
As intriguing as their past is, however, Wolffer’s present is just as exciting. Their wines are diverse and starting to gain popularity – their Sparkling Rose was even featured at the Governor’s Ball. Their Summer in a Bottle is aptly named – lots of grapefruit in the nose and peach on the palate. Plus, the bottle itself is a work of art, and let’s face it we’ve all picked out wine by the look at the bottle at least once in our lives! They even had a bottle named “Pearl” (named after one of their horses not after yours truly.) In this Pearl’s opinion, when visiting Wolffer, stick to a Sparkling or White wine for a wonderful tasting experience.
The Squirrels Are Partying, You Should Too. Wolffer appreciates the small vineyard traditions. Everything is harvested by hand and processed the same day. The whole team pitches in! They are also passionate about the land from which they produce, and that’s why they practice many sustainable farming methods. They use organic pesticides, and none that are pre-emergent. They maintain surrounding vegetation and they encourage local wildlife to party it up in the vines whenever they want (party it up is the technical term they used of course.)
And speaking of parties, Wolffer hosts several events throughout the year. In addition to the many, many weddings they host (trust me, the grounds are gorgeous), they also have a Rose Party, Lunches in the Vines, and a second location Wine Stand with live music every Friday and Saturday.
There’s a lot to experience at Wolffer, and the staff will make sure your trip is enjoyable. In this Pearl’s opinion, Wolffer Estate is definitely worth a trip out to Long Island this summer.