Saturday, September 10, 2016

Wölffer Estate winemaker creates a gin mill

Roman Roth is branching out. The winemaker/partner at the noted  Wölffer Estate Vineyard earned a degree in distilling and enology in Germany more than two decades ago, but the distilling part of that skillset has taken a backseat to his winemaking efforts -- until now.

Roth has come up with Wölffer Pink Gin, which uses Wölffer Estate Rosé wine as the base. The main flavoring comes from juniper berries hand-picked on the Long Island estate. The rest of the flavoring bouquet includes anise, fennel, coriander, cumin, cardamom, and mint.

Roth utilizes a copper pot still from the German manufacturer Christian Carl, distilling at a slow pace since this is just a minor part of the Wölffer business. The pink color of the gin comes from a small amount of grape skin extract.

"Using our rosé wine as the base gives us a clear advantage over grain-based gins," Roth says. "The aroma is much more playful and fruit-driven, and because of our strict and more generous cuts, we have a fine gin!"

Incidentally, don't confuse this gin with the drink called Pink Gin, an English concoction consisting of Plymouth gin, a dash of dark red Angostura bitters that provides the pinkish look, and a lemon rind garnish.

Wölffer Pink Gin is available from the winery boutique and at retailers around the East End at a suggested price of $34.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard is located at 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, in the Hamptons area. Phone: (631) 537-5106.

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