The Grapes of Roth by Wolffer Estate

About Roman Roth

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The creative force behind the Grapes of Roth is talented winemaker Roman Roth, whose training and experience are a blend of several wine cultures spanning three continents.

Born in Rottweil, Germany to a winemaking family, his appreciation for good wine began at an early age. In 1982, he began a three-year apprenticeship in winemaking, which involved practical work at the Kaiserstuhl Wine Cooperative in Oberrotweil and theoretical studies at the “Berufsfachschule” in Heilbron.

Turning 20, and looking for fresh influences, Roth traveled to the United States in the summer of 1986, ending up in the heart of Carneros, California to work at the respected Saintsbury Estate, a winery known for its impressive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.

Next, he traveled around the world to Australia, to work at Rosemount Estate, famous for its Chardonnays and Shiraz, and to take part in the harvest of 1988.

Roth returned to Germany in 1988, working at the Winzerkeller Wiesloch in Baden. During his tenure there, the winery earned wide acclaim for its award-winning releases, notably the Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Méthode Champenoise wines.

1992 was a significant year in Roth’s career. He received his Master Winemaker and Cellar Master degrees from the College for Oenology and Viticulture in Weinsberg.  In August, he made his move to the “New World”, accepting the position of winemaker at Sag Pond vineyards, then a start-up winery in the Hamptons, Long Island. This was a winemaker’s dream- to be part of a new and growing wine region with the chance to create something new, to leave a footprint at the grassroots level. 

He quickly established a temporary winery and tasting room and began the exacting task of bringing forth the Vineyards’ first vintage. Over the next several years, Roth managed the expansion of SagPond Vineyards into “Wolffer Estate”, a 50 acre property with a state of the art winery with production of a wide range of award winning wines that embody the essence of the Hamptons appellation. Under Roth’s meticulous direction, the Estate has grown into a Hampton’s landmark producing wines of excellent caliber and reputation.

With his growing reputation, Roth has been asked to consult and make wines for a number of well respected producers and help establish them as some of the best on the east coast. They include Martha Clara Vineyards, Roanoke Vineyards, Shinn Estate Vineyards and Cru Cellars.

A pinnacle of Roth’s career came in April 2003, when he received the award of “winemaker of the Year” presented by the East End Food & Wine Awards (judged by the American Sommelier Society). This reflected the excellence of the wines he produced as winemaker and as a consultant, and was a recognition of his contribution to quality winemaking on Long Island as a whole.

Over the years Roth had another dream that was slowly evolving- the creation of his own wine, The Grapes of Roth. The goal was the garagiste philosophy of creating small quantities of hand crafted wines with impeccable character. The focus is on individuality, local character and the highest quality possible. To this end, Roth seeks relationships with the best growers on Long Island and follows the chosen vineyard lots through the growing season with meticulous care, to ensure that only the ripest fruit is harvested. The grapes are hand picked, hand sorted and vinified at Wolffer Estate under his exacting care. The result is a full bodied, luscious and yet elegant wine with character. In July 2006, the first release of the Grapes of Roth came with a bang, receiving 91points for the 2001 Merlot and a 92 point rating for the 2002 Merlot, the highest rating given to NY State wines by David Schildknecht in Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate.

2007 is yet another milestone for Roth. With the addition of a Riesling, Roth has captured perfectly the other New York signature grape.

Since January 2013, Roth has become a partner at Wölffer Estate with Marc and Joey Wölffer, making the bond between the Wölffer Family and him even closer. Since then, the Grapes of Roth is sold and marketed through Wölffer Estate.

Roth lives with his wife, Dushy, a physician from Australia, and daughter Indira in Sag Harbor, New York. The Grapes of Roth takes its name from Steinbeck’s book which is one of his favorites, and of course as Steinbeck was also a Sag Harbor resident. The family is closely involved in the local wine world, and the Grapes of Roth is truly a grass roots, family business. Indira started with stomping grapes at the age of four months!

Consulting Positions:

Martha Clara Vineyards:
From 1998 to 2002; produced the first 4 vintages and helped establish the Estate on the north fork of Long Island.

Roanoke Vineyards:
Winemaker since 2000 for this quality driven, small production vineyard. Roth works closely with proprietor Richard Pisacano to create Long Island’s leading Cabernet Sauvignon.

Shinn Estate Vineyards:
Winemaker for the 2004 and 2005 Vintages for this top notch producer who works with bio dynamic farming methods. Consultant to proprietors Barbara Shinn and David Page on continued excellence of quality.

Cru 22
Winemaker for Kurt Eckert since 1998. Eckert works as a “negociant” to create small lots of high quality wines from Long Island.

Leslie Alexander – B&L Farm
Custom produce special bottlings for special occasions from this unique vineyard.

Gramercy Vineyards
Winemaker and Consultant for Carol Sullivan and Erich Moenius who's beautiful Merlot Vineyard on the North Fork is very special

Scarola Vineyards
Scarola Vineyards wines are hand-crafted with care and passion in the Scarola family spirit of"la Masseria" – the small family farm.


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