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Wölffer Estate Vineyard Stays in the Family

Two of Christian Wölffer's children assume full ownership of Sagaponack vineyard.

Sagaponack's Wölffer Estate Vineyard enters its 25th anniversary year with Christian Wölffer's legacy being carried on by two of his children.

Brother and sister Marc and Joey Wölffer announced at the vineyard's tasting room Monday morning that they have bought out their siblings' interests in the 71-acre vineyard. After being overseen by the executors of the late Christian Wölffer's estate since his death, Marc and Joey Wölffer took the reins with the completion of the transfer on Jan. 1.

Christian Wölffer died at the age of 70 in a swimming accident in Brazil on New Year's Eve in 2008. According to The New York Times, he founded the vineyard, then called Sagpond, in 1988. The estate took on its current name in 1997 with the opening of its winery and tasting room.

"I see what my father’s built, and I’m so proud of him," Joey Wölffer told Patch.

“It’s important for us to continue our father’s legacy, but at the same time make it our own dream," she said.

Her sisters, Andrea and Georgina Wölffer, have other pursuits, she said. “For Marc and I, it’s more of our passion. We’ve really grown to love this place. Our sisters have other things that they’re focused on.”

Joey Wölffer lives in New York City and Marc Wölffer lives in Europe, based out of Mallorca, Spain.

“We will oversee everything; however, we will not be involved in day-to-day,” Joey Wölffer said.

The management team, including general manager John Nida and winemaker Roman Roth, will be kept in place. Joey Wölffer noted that since 2008, Wölffer Estate Vineyard's gross wine sales have increased 66 percent — “so they’re not going anywhere."

“The only thing that we can do is grow, and continue to improve our quality, and spread as much as we can — turn this into a lifestyle brand,” she said.

One area she would like to expand is the vineyard's role as a cultural venue, to attract the 21- to 35-year-old crowd — the 30-year-old's own demographic. "We’ve done a little bit of ballet, we’ve dabbled in music,” she said.

A series of events are expected to mark the 25th anniversary, and a number of special edition wines will be released.

The 25th anniversary wines are 2010 Christian Cuvee Merlot, to be released in August; Descencia Botrytis Chardonnay 2012, to be released in June; Claletto 2012, to be released in September; Fabiana Botrytis Rosé 2012, to be released during the summer; and Grandioso Rosé 2012, to be released in May.

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