On the Hamptons Wine Trail
June 20, 2012 | East End Eats
Hamptons vineyards have a unique grape-growing advantage: their proximity to the ocean allows for richer soil that holds water better—that’s according to winemaker Roman Roth of Wölffer Estate Vineyard. Roth describes East End wines as being “more elegant” on account of this fact.
With his gorgeous reds, Roth proves that you don’t have to go to Napa for a good pinot noir. He also grows chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc on his 50 acres of vineyards, where he makes interesting blends of reds and rosés.
In addition to Wölffer, there are two other Hamptons vineyards that reap the benefits of their marine surroundings, Channing Daughters Winery (Bridgehampton) and Duckwalk Vineyards (Water Mill). And the wines these vineyards produce couldn’t be more distinct from one to the next.
Duckwalk Vineyards has a winery in Southold in addition to its Water Mill location. While the Southold winery attracts more serious oenophiles, its Water Mill sister reels in tasters who just want to relax with a glass of chardonnay. With more than 20 wines, the Southampton White, a blend of cayuga and chardonnay that’s often compared to to Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, is Duckwalk’s fan favorite. The beachy, vintage label doesn’t hurt, either.
At Channing Daughters, partner and winemaker Christopher Tracy leads wine education, with a focus on conducting wine appreciation and knowledge classes for small groups. The wine selection is quite unusual, ranging from clones, a blend of 10 different chardonnay clones, to mosaic, a blend of six different white grapes that Tracy calls, “the expression of the Hamptons wine trail.”