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A Tour of Wolffer Estate's Winery With Winemaker Roman Roth


It turns out that making Hamptons Gatorade, also known at Wolffer Estate Vineyard's dry rose wine, is not as simple as mixing red and white wine. Wolffer's gold label rose is actually a blend of six different grapes: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a little bit of Riesling. About 70 percent of the 'secret recipe' consists of red grapes, and the remaining 30 percent comes from white grapes. 'Because we use six different flavors and textures here, even though it's a simple, fun rose, it makes a complex rose and that's the key,' said Roman Roth, Wolffer's Master Vintner. A rose wine made from just one grape varietal can get on your nerves, as it only pushes one button on your tastebuds, Roth added. Wolffer's rose wines are similar in style to the French Provencal roses, and a long way from the sweet white Zinfandel wines that were so popular in the U.S. a few decades ago. Roth refers to those wines as 'garbage can roses.' Lightly pressing the skins of red grapes gives rose wine its pretty pink color. The darker the rose, the more that the red grapes are handled in the process of making the wine. Wolffer's most popular rose is an extremely pale pink hue, sometime described as grapefruit colored. 'Our rose we want fresh and light. So, we are very gentle. Pick a little earlier when the grapes are still fresher. That's what gives our classic elegant light style,' Roth explained.