Beverage Production Experimental Learning Analysis

As an hospitality industry professional it is very important to understand the importance of wine beverage management. Coming from a background that did not include wine consumption at all, the “Wine and Beverage Management” introductory course has piqued my interest spontaneously.

As a way to further experience step by step the making of wine, I decided to visit a vineyard who is “committed to producing premium, distinctive wines, ciders and spirits through a dedication to quality, penchant for style and celebration of place.” Although it was a long trip, this experience provided lots of information which was enhance due to the file of knowledge that has been built in the course.

Wölffer Estate Vineyard was founded in 1987 in the heart of Hampton, Long Island by Christian Wölffer who’s heart was captured by the world of wine. The vineyard has been known for its sustainable wines.

The vineyard is located in the South Fork of Long Island, very closed to the coast (North Atlantic Ocean). According to “Long Island Sustainable Wine Growing”, the organization states that “…its depth, good drainage and moderate to high available water-holding capacity that make this soil well-suited to farming.” Due to the large bodies of water, the temperature is able to moderate the temperature within the soils and environment as a whole.

The vines at Wölffer Estate Vineyard are approximately 30 years old which allows the grape vines to be matured. They have 25 acres of Chardonnay, 14 acres of Merlot, 6 acres of Pinot Noir, 1/2 acre of Trebbiano, and a bit high of Vignole. According to”In the Wine Country of Long Island a Rising Star: Merlot”, Florence Fabricant stated that “Merlot is attracting a lot of attention because it seems to be emerging as the best red grape for this area.” This is proven due to the fact that Wölffer widest red grape variety grown is Merlot.

Merlot Wine tasting

During this experience I had the privilege of having a tour with the Sommelier, Pamela, who has worked at Wölffer since 2007. While describing the canopy practices, Pamela was well descriptive with the history of wine as an overall concept. She described the causes as to how phylloxera was spread throughout the world (practically) and why it led to grafting  the vitis labrusca and vitis vinifera. 

Some of the viticultural practices that they take is manipulating their grape vine from having 18 canes to only 2 (sometimes 4). They also drop about 1/3 of the leaves to allow enough heat and sunlight to ripen the grapes. They drop fruits to increase quality of the grapevines occasionally. During the wine production, they hand pick their grapes and destemmer. Their wine age on an average of 18 months on oak barrels (red) and vessels for (white). Pamela explained that they punch the must and skins during fermentation to allow both to have contact.

Vessels Fermentation

Oak Barrels

During the testing, we tried a white, rose and and 2 red wines (one was fuller than the other). The white wine was a chardonnay had notes or the core of a pineapple, lemon zest and tart unripened pear; it had a medium acidic level.It pared well with a Shrimp cocktail. The rose, honestly was not one of my favorites as it was extremely light. It was a blend of chardonnay, merlot and pinot noir (was very dry on palate). Both of the reds were very similar. One was a pinot noir and the other was merlot. Although completely different grapes, it felt as if I were drinking the same wine. Both contained notes of plums, blackberries, and a bit of apricot. The Merlot paired well with mushroom truffle.

Wölffer sells their wine internationally to Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. A fun fact to know if that their labels are named after each of the horses that Christopher once owned. I am very excited to perhaps visit the vineyard again when the grapes start to grow.

Bottle of Merlot


Fabricant, F. (1990, August 22). In the Wine Country of Long Island, a Rising Star: Merlot. Retrieved April 30, 2019, from

Fabricant, F. (2019, January 14). Brandy, From a Long Island Winemaker. Retrieved April 30, 2019, from

Our Soil. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2019, from



“Thirst Wine Merchants”-Retail Wine Assignment

“Unique” and “Intimate” are some of the words that come to mind when thinking of “Thirst Wine Merchants”, which is located in downtown Brooklyn. When deciding where I wanted to emphasize my wine research, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to visit a place that stands out not by quantity of selections but by quality of the wines provided. This is when
“Thirst Wine Merchants” became my number one choice.

One of the Shelfs of “Thirst Wines Merchants”

Noah who is a sales representative at “Thirst Wine Merchants”, was able to answer all questions I had about the business and beyond. He had previously worked at a vineyard site, which allows him to have extensive knowledge about the vinification and viticulture procedures for some of the wines that they carry.

When browsing the shop, I realized that they do not have much “shelf talker” wines. Noah later explained that they do not follow “shelf talker” procedures being that they prefer the personal one on one conversations with their guest about the wines. They believe that through speaking to each individual guest about the wine, it is more likely for the guest to purchase the wine. There happened to be one example of a shelf talker that day:

The only “Shelf Talker” at Thirst Wine Merchants

Noah kindly introduced me to one of their Red wine from Valle De La Orotava, Spain. This wine is produced by Dolores Cabrera Fernandez, whom he highly recommends wine from. Surprisingly, this is one of their most selling red wine from Spain at a cost of $23 dollars per bottle.


Red Wine from Spain

As I continued to browse the store, I realized that there were wine tastings taking place. That’s when I came across the Jour Fixe, which is a sparkling wine that comes from Germany. It was amazing to see that the dominant white grape variety in Germany was also being used for a sparkling wine. Again, Noah explained that this was a common purchased wine.

German Sparkling Wine

After learning of so many different wine regions, the most surprising one was Georgia. Being that I did not grow up with family drinking wine, I had minimal knowledge before taking this course. I was always aware that European countries have mass production of wine, everything outside of that was rare. Noah and Haley who is another sales associate informed me that although it is not sold as often, wines from Georgia are very unique due to its historical content and quality of the grapes.

Wine from Georgia with Historical Content

Overall, what I captured from my visit to Thirst Wine Merchants is that their service is highly personalized and focuses on determining exactly what fits best according to the guest preferences and needs. The staff at this retail shop is well rounded and knowledgeable about all the wines that they carry. They are also well educated and were able to answer all questions regarding their target market, purchasing decisions, etc. Catering to a market of people from ages 26-42, management at Thirst Wine Merchants strive to accommodate their guest with high quality wine ranging from $26 dollars to $199 per bottle. While keeping sustainable practices within their establishment (by carrying all organic wines), Thirst Wine Merchants makes a great impact on society and those who they surround. Everything was extraordinary and I would not change a thing about my experience.

German wine which is the most expensive wine that Thirst wine Merchants carry; cost $200.