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The quintessential entrepreneur, Hamburg-born Christian Wölffer is fluent in six languages, he moves effortlessly around the world, from Europe to the U.S., from the Far East to South America. His career encompasses investment banking, venture capital, real estate, agriculture and entertainment parks.
Wölffer's one-time weekend getaway on the East End’s South Shore now embraces more than 170 acres and includes Wölffer's acclaimed 55-acre Wölffer Estate Vineyard as well as his home, stables and grazing land for this avid equestrian’s thoroughbreds.
The winery, the jewel in Wölffer's crown, is another summit in a long career that began when he was a teenager in post-war Hamburg. In 1955, at age 17, Christian’s formal education began in the workplace, as a trainee at a bank, and then at an import/export company. Later he worked for BASF, the German chemical company, in Mexico as manager of the sales force. A new position with Intergráfica, a company selling printing and packaging equipment to commercial printers, publishing, newspapers, and packing industries worldwide, sent him back to Mexico where he managed sales forces in Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela.
In 1971, Wölffer became a full-fledged entrepreneur. Moving to Canada, he set up a real estate operation that acquired and sold buildings to European investors and then moved into real estate development, mainly indoor tennis and squash centers throughout Canada.
Moving to the U.S., he founded Euro Investors, Inc., a venture capital company that finances a variety of enterprises in Oahu, Hawaii, and Orlando, Florida.
In 1997, Christian completed work on his state-of-the-art winery. The rustic, Tuscan-style building, with its warm ochre walls, is set on a rise overlooking the vineyards to the east and the gently rolling Hamptons landscape to the west. The massive, rough-hewn front door, framed by two potted conifers, is the image imprinted on the labels of most of the Wölffer Estate wines—the new name for what was formerly known as Sagpond Vineyard.
Besides the winery, the Wölffer property hosts the 100-acre Wölffer Estate Stable. The 60-stall facility has the largest indoor riding field on the East Coast and can accommodate up to 100 horses. The stable's manager Frederico Stzyrle competed on Who Knows Lily , one of Christian's horses, for the Argentinian Team during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Wölffer is also one of the sponsors of the renowned Hamptons Classic equestrian show, staged each year in nearby Bridgehampton.