A Long Island wine played an important role during a diplomatic meeting between world leaders earlier this month.
President Barack Obama became the third president to sip Wölffer Estate Vineyard’s wine at the White House when the vineyard’s 2012 Perle Chardonnay was served during a private meeting between the president and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Sagaponack vineyard’s wines have been served at the White House about a half dozen times for presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, according to Wölffer winemaker Roman Roth. This was the first time it was served to the current president.
A White House staffer had called the vineyard about 10 days before the Feb. 9 meeting requesting the wine, which is Wölffer’s flagship chardonnay.
“I got a call that they were interested in buying the wine for this meeting,” Roth said. “It was very exciting.”
The pairing was appropriate considering that Roth, who has been the winemaker at Wölffer for more than two decades, was born in Rottweil, Germany.
“Every time you hear these stories, there’s a lot of thought behind it why it gets picked,” Roth said. “Everybody does their part to make a state visit something special.”
The wine, one of the winery’s best, was shared during a working lunch followed by a joint press conference hosted by the two leaders.
“This is our top chardonnay” Roth said. “It’s very elegant and captures the Hamptons and yet it is very traditionally made, it’s barrel fermented. It’s as classic as it gets.”
The pair might have been drinking some refined vino, but they were apparently discussing heavy issues, according to a White House press release. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the fight against ISIS dominated the discussion.