One of the more beautiful of Long Island’s tasting rooms—with fabulous views of its vineyards—has gone through a transformation to take advantage of those views and make the space more comfortable for a new generation of Long Island wine drinkers.
Built in 1997, the Wölffer Estate Vineyard‘s tasting room and winery had the feel of a Mediterranean villa, with a stucco facade and columnar trees flanking the entrance. Inside a tile floor hosted small tables and a wooden bar. All clearly the aesthetic of the winery’s founder, Christian Wölffer.
Now Wölffer’s daughter, Joey, a designer and owner of the Styleliner, a clothing shop in Sag Harbor and a host of pop-up stores, has changed the interior to reflect her sensibilities. The new room has more casual sitting areas with backgammon and large upholstered chairs. A wall is hung with family photos. Banquettes have been added.
Now visitors who sit at the inside bar will be able to look out over the vineyard, thanks to a new window. The bar is now a place to sit and have drinks; one of the winery’s more popular products, a rosé sparkling cider, is on tap.
“It’s now one big room” says Jill Heisler, the winery’s marketing director. “There’s so much more seating that includes two high-top family style tables. And we’ve changed the way we pour tastings.”
Before, customers would selects flights and servers would stop by to fill glasses for the next wine, which sometimes caused delays when the room got busy. Now tasters are presented with a flight board and carafes so they can direct their own tastings. Heisler adds food offerings have expanded. In addition, the retail space is a complete wine shop with a rosé wall, a wine for which Wölffer is famous. In addition to the pink cider, Wölffer makes a pink gin. (Who hasn’t heard winemaker Roman Roth say, “Everything I touch turns pink”?
A Sag Harbor architect, Alden Senwick, was in charge of the renovations in according with Joey’s vision of “modern boho luxe,” says Heisler.
Wine club members still get complimentary tastings at the main winery and a 15-percent discount on wine purchases in the retail shop.