An Evening in the Vineyard

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Nothing conjures summer like a bottle of rosé, and for anyone spending summer in the Hamptons, nothing says rosé quite like Wölffer Estate Vineyard. The iconic vineyard, situated in Sagaponack, recently introduced a slightly rosier version than usual called “Summer In a Bottle.” What an apt appellation. If ever we could bottle up summer, it would bear a Wölffer label.

It was only fitting, then, that Quest chose to kick off the season on the Wölffer property. The 55-acre vineyard is part of a 175-acre estate that includes boarding stables, paddocks, an indoor jumping ring, and a Grand Prix field. Unmistakably European, the vineyard’s style can be traced back to its founder, Hamburg-born international businessman Christian Wölffer, whose creative vision transformed his beloved Long Island retreat into a leading producer of Long Island wines.

Today, it continues to be a family affair at Wölffer Estate, with Christian’s children Joey and Marc acting as co-owners, while Joey’s husband, Max Rohn, serves as general manager. (Yes, Joey is the same Joey Wölffer behind the Styliner fashion brand, the world’s first mobile accessories boutique, which just opened a brick-and-mortar store in Sag Harbor.) Roman Roth, who is both winemaker and partner, has been such a part of the Wölffer operation—since 1992—that he, too, is family. Like Christian Wölffer himself, Roth is a man of vision and innovation—and that, more than mere genes, is what drives the soul of the wines and the beautiful grounds where they are made.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard is open every day of the year and welcomes guests to daily tastings. It is also a highly sought-after venue for weddings and special events, and during the summer months takes flight with a busy calendar of culinary fundraisers and local charity galas. In spite of Wölffer’s nearly packed schedule, Quest managed to get on the vineyard’s calendar to host, along with Joey Wölffer and Max Rohn, a private dinner party with friends and family. Treated to a three-course meal by Deena Chafetz, chef of the soon-to-open Wölffer Kitchen in Sag Harbor, Quest and guests took in an early-summer evening among the verdant grounds and toasted to the season every course with a glass of rosé, white, or red wine personally selected by Roth himself. Though it may be rosé season, Fatalis Fatum, a 2012 red named after a horse stabled on the grounds, was uncorked at dinner for the very first time and emerged as a hands-down winner. As the first to delight in this Bordeaux-style blend with aromas of cassis, prunes, figs, sandalwood, and vanilla, we’re placing all bets on Fatalis Fatum. Call it destiny.

To see the dinner as it appeared in the July 2015 issue of Quest, visit us on Issuu.