Gut Oggau is a family run, biodynamic farm in the town of Oggau in Austria’s Burgenland. Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe are at the helm, but it is a family affair as you will see below. Before starting the winery, Eduard made conventional wine with his father in Styria, and Stephanie’s family owned and operated the Michelin starred restaurant Taubenkobel.
In 2007 they painstakingly restored the 17th century winery that had been abandoned for 20 years, including its’ 200-year-old screw press made around the trunk of a huge old tree. For 20 years the vineyards had been neglected but this was to their benefit as it meant 20 years without chemicals and pesticides. When they took over the farm they were able to restore the health of their vineyards very quickly using biodynamics. They are now fully Demeter certified and are known for their wild, beautiful vineyards with tall grasses.
As they began to produce wines in a natural way, they noticed each wine had its own personality and they decided to craft labels centered around these personalities. This allowed them to create a family of wines: each wine is given a name of one family member and the artist Jung von Matt draws a face for each label. Every year a new label is drawn, as the face of each family member changes as the years pass by.
The children, Atanasius, Theodora, and Winifred, are wines that are more forthright, light, bold and energetic. The parents, Joschuari, Emmeram, Timotheus, and Josephine, come from vineyards with a little more direct sun exposure and therefore more ripeness producing wines with more body and power. And finally, the grandparents, Mechtild and Bertholdi, are from two single vineyards of older vines that produce the most traditional wines from their lineup. Most of the vineyards are field blended, and therefore there is little mention of grape varieties here, but they do work with 6 main grape varieties– Blaufrankish, Zweigelt Grüner Veltliner, Welchriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Gewurtzraminer.
The wines are all made using similar techniques – both red and white. They are destemmed and see a short skin maceration without any pumping, pigeage or extractive techniques. The wines are aged primarily in large old oak vessels and are bottled unfiltered and unfined with either no sulfur or very little.
In 2018 a new line of wines were introduced called the Masquerade series. These are wines from new vineyards that are in the process of conversion to biodynamics so each face on the label is wearing a mask. Once the vineyards are fully biodynamic, the faces will be unmasked and join the rest of the family.
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