The November thaw had taken a turn toward winter, but not yet too far a turn. Thanksgiving was in the rear-view mirror, and the holidays loomed ahead. Tis the season for . . . lights! And not just any lights. But thousands of them. And these were not strung on a tree or a house, but on the vineyard rows and gazebo. Time again for The Lighting of the Vines at Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack.
This festival of lights occurred on December 3, and included a silent auction of holiday wreaths, with proceeds from the sale going to Fighting Chance, a free cancer counseling center that has served the East End of Long Island since 2002. As always, winemaker and winery partner Roman Roth hosted and led the lighting countdown. He also joined Vanessa Trouble and Company, who provided wonderful holiday sounds throughout the evening, for a few songs ranging from Elvis to a splendid duet with Vanessa for “Baby It’s Cold outside.”
Holiday time, however, remained the evening’s focus, which reflected in all the wonder of the season on the faces of the children in the room watching the band perform beneath the Christmas tree. There was even a visit from Santa, who paused to hand out candy canes for all and pose for pictures for those who wanted them.
And then, the lighting of the vines, which brought most of the 300 or so guests outside to count down and to watch (NOTE: Rockefeller Center – you have nothing on this!). A flip of the switch later and all was aglow. As Roman noted, you can even see it from space! If you’re not up for a trip to the space station, however, do drop by Wolffer Estate Vineyard to enjoy some holiday wine, and especially to see the lights.