Wine and clothing run in Joey Wölffer’s genes. Her father, Christian Wölffer, was a pioneer in Long Island’s wine industry, and her maternal great-great-grandfather founded British retailer Marks & Spencer. A co-owner of Wölffer Estate Vineyard, she also designs handbags and runs the Styleliner, a mobile luxury boutique that roams the Hamptons and offers her creations alongside treasures sourced from her travels. She lives in the Hamptons with her husband, Max Rohn, and their daughter, Nell Christiana.
Was wine always a part of your family life?
I grew up in a family with European parents, and they would say, “Try the wine,” but I wasn’t really interested. As I got older I became more interested, and when my dad passed away, I was forced to make a decision. I was 26 and living in New York City. I had to make a decision to give up my career. Now I love wine, and I’m passionate about it and constantly learning, but it wasn’t a huge part of my early life.
It is obvious from your design sense that you love to travel. What are a few of your favorite cities or places around the world for wine and food?
Paris is the No. 1 in terms of classic cities that I like to go to in order to be inspired by fashion, as well as the food and the wine. I love South America as well. Rio [de Janeiro] is one of my favorite cities, and Buenos Aires has a great fashion sense, mainly in the sense of inspiration. I love the colors and the vibe—and the wine and food are great there, as well. Marrakech is great, and Fez was really exciting, too.
Paris is the No. 1 in terms of classic cities that I like to go to in order to be inspired by fashion, as well as the food and the wine.
Closer to home, what are some of the New York wines you enjoy?
We love to try our neighbor’s wines at Channing Daughters, and others from the North Fork. We tend to stick to the big grapes and wines of Long Island, though: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and, of course, rosé. One standout we drink is the Merliance 2013. This is from a collaboration of vineyards on Long Island [that] all get together and show off how their best Merlot grapes can be blended together, to show what Long Island can offer. Bright, elegant and great with food, we have this regularly with dinner.
Besides Wölffer’s iconic rosé, what is your favorite Wölffer wine?
I really like our Lombardo Merlot, and I make a mean turkey Bolognese, which I love with it. Roasted chicken goes well with it, too. The rosé cider on ice is also a favorite of mine. I will throw in some mint or cucumber, but I drink it on its own.
Did you have a hand in Wölffer’s “Summer in a Bottle” rosé label?
We work with an incredible designer. I gave him the inspiration, the story and the background, but I did not design the bottle. I can take credit for Summer in a Bottle, but not for the label design. People used to say to me, “You know, Wölffer is summer in a bottle,” so we threw that around and did an ad campaign, but it was [Wölffer winemaker/partner Roman Roth’s] idea to make it an actual bottle. It works with our aesthetic. It’s fresh and spirited, and really works for the area.
Speaking of travel, how did your globetrotting influence your Styleliner boutique?
The Styleliner is a curated bazaar of designs from my travels. It includes a lot of up-and-coming European designers, a lot of American designers, and I’m working on building my own lifestyle brand as well. It’s a collaboration of all the designers I find, market finds and then my own designs. In addition to the Styleliner, we have a shop in Sag Harbor, one in Nantucket, and this spring, we have a new shop in LA that will be open through the end of June, but we may keep it open longer. It’s an exciting opportunity in Culver City, in an area that is getting popular, which is great, but also nerve-wracking.