For our second trip with the Press Lounge staff, we hopped on the jitney and headed the the South Fork, aka “The Hamptons.” It was another gorgeous early autumn day with bright sun and a brisk sea breeze. We sat on the terrace of Wolffer Estate with the verdant rows of grapes stretching in front of us. We truly felt transported to a vacation mindset.
We went through the autumn tasting, beginning with a dry riesling. This riesling is a wine that has roots quite literally with the wine maker Roman Roth, who hails from a wine making family in Rottweil, Germany. The low alcohol content and crisp fruit made it the perfect refresher to open up our palates. Another standout later in the tasting was their Caya – Cabernet Franc which can best be described in the winemaker’s own tasting notes: “Dark red brick in color. The aroma is elegant with fine cassis and blackberry notes and hints of prunes, figs and mushrooms. The mouth-feel is concentrated and fruit-forward with dried berries, fine licorice, dark chocolate and a wonderful solid, soft tannin structure. The wine has great intensity and good acidity and a long finish with classic minerality and texture.”
It was a busy day that the vineyard as harvest was in full swing. When we arrived large containers of grapes were being dropped off by forklift near the press. Suellen, the Retail Sales Director, was able to take us on a quick tour to see the crush in action. She even let us dip our glasses into the freshly pressed merlot juice that would go into the vineyards signature rosé. She also showed us the barrel room where french barriques are used to age nearly all of their wines. She also pointed out that they were mostly empty since everything else from the previous vintage had been bottled and most of it sold. In order to keep up with high demands, the vineyard does source fruit from surrounding Long Island vineyards and makes an additional rosé with a partner vineyard in Argentina. All in all, it is inspiring to see how Wolffer has cultivated such excitement amongst consumers for Long Island wines and their terroir.
Although we could have basked under the pergola all day, we rambled down the Montauk Highway to the Multi Aquaculture Farm, aka “the Fish Farm” to enjoy a rustic local seafood lunch on the water. The farm’s own oysters, briny and freshly harvested, started off a parade of shared plates. Local seared Montauk scallops and Long Island yellowfin tuna were some other highlights along with the summer classic – the lobster roll. We toasted with Wolffer wine and cider to this successful first field trip and to future vineyard visits. Where will we head next? Perhaps further afield to the Finger Lakes in the spring. After all, everyone had developed a new love for dry riesling!