The Story

When Stephanie and Eduard Tscheppe - Eselböck took over the estate that became Gut Oggau in 2007, they wanted to let the terroir express itself as wine and communicate the differences in terroir through the wines' names and labels.

So the Gut Oggau family was born.

Each bottle’s label features a line-drawn black and white portrait of a fictional family character. The family has three generations - the younger generations come from vineyard sites which give a more lively, youthful character to the wines, whereas the older generations from vines that give a more grown-up, mature personality.

Back labels explain the imagined personality of the wine personified. We learn that Mechthild (a white wine, and the matriarch) is “the ‘kind-hearted grandmother’ of nostalgia that one trusts, but she can be secretive and polarise opinion”. We also learn that Atanasius (a red wine, a grandchild and “an attractive young man”) is “exceptionally popular” but that he “still retains some hidden qualities, which make him even more interesting”. Emmeram (a Gerwürztraminer), incidentally, is convinced that the daughter of Wiltrude - Theodora - is actually his. 

Whether you want to experience the energetic and bold children (Atanasius, Theodora and Winifred), their stronger bodied parents (Joschuari, Emmeram, Timotheus and Josephine) or the more traditional grandparents (Mechtild and Bertholdi), it is well worth getting to know to this fascinating family.

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The People

Stephanie & Eduard

The 20-hectare estate, in the small Burgenland town of Oggau (thought to be the first place in Austria to grow red grapes), is run by Stephanie and Eduard. They discovered the 17th-century winery in 2007 and painstakingly restored it, including its 200-year-old winepress. Having been abandoned for 20 years, the soils had been washed clean of the various chemicals used previously, allowing them to begin biodynamic production using the old vines.

The estate is Demeter classified. Each wine is a blend of indigenous grapes, including Bläufrankish, Zweigelt, Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Gewürtzraminer. Each wine has a distinctive personality, a distinctive character. 

Eduard’s background was in conventional farming, while Stephanie’s family business is the acclaimed restaurant 'Taubenkobel'. They realised that their unique terroir required careful treatment, and so set out to focus on producing high-quality wines from grapes that were vinified as gently as possible. The resulting wines are some of the most sought after in Austria.

 

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The Place

Austria, Burgenland

The soils and vines vary depending on the “generation” of the wine. The youngest generation is grown in gravel and a small amount of limestone, while the parents and grandparents have more sunlight and the soil is made up of schist and limestone. The oldest vines, some 60 years old, are reserved, naturally, for the older generation, as is the old restored winepress. Fermentation takes place spontaneously with indigenous yeast, and ageing takes place in old oak barrels. These wines are neither filtered nor fined. 

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