The Story

This wine story is a love story between Stephanie and Eduard Tscheppe. “It was love at first sight; I could have asked her to marry me immediately,” says Eduard “we knew that we wanted to do something together, but we didn’t have a master plan; becoming wine growers was fate”. It was the old 17th-century winery and surrounding vineyards that found Stephanie and Eduard back in 2007, and luckily for us, the rest is history!

Fortunately, there had been a year-long gap between owners, so the soils had the chance to be washed clean of the chemicals previously used. While the previous owners used to sell the grapes rather than to make wine in the late years, there was no reference in terms of quality or soil expression, which gave a completely blank canvas to work with.

What was important to Stephanie and Eduard was that they didn't change the vineyard but instead discovered its natural potential. Right from the start, their approach was to work alongside nature and treat the soil and the vines gently and sustainably. They were astonished at how much character came through the barrels, even in their first vintage; each wine seemed so alive, beaming with its own personality - and so the Gut Oggau family was born. Each bottle featuring a portrait of a fictional family member, communicating the differences in terroir through the portraits on the labels.

The portfolio is made up of three generations - the younger generation are planted on the gravel soils, which gives a more lively, youthful character to the wine. In contrast, the older generations come from vines planted in limestone & slate soils on the hillsides overlooking the village - they give a mature grown-up personality to the wines. The back labels explain the imagined personality of the wine personified. We learn that the family’s matriarch is a white wine called Mechthild - she is a kind-hearted grandmother who evokes feelings of nostalgia. She is trustworthy, but she can also be secretive and polarise opinion. Mechthild’s grandson, Atanasius, is a Blaufrankish / Zweigelt blend - known for his exceptionally good looks and easy-going nature. While his uncle Emmeram, a Gerwürztraminer, still firmly believes that he is the father of Wiltrudes's daughter Theodora...

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 this fascinating family.

Stephanie and Eduard have also released a limited-edition series of three field blends, a red, a white and a rosé in 1-litre bottles known as the Maskerade’s. They come from neighbouring vineyards that share a similar terroir to the other family members, but while they are in biodynamic conversion, Stephanie and Eduard wanted to allow the vines time to adapt until their true characters can be revealed!

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The People

Stephanie & Eduard

Today, not only are Stephanie and Eduard active members of the Biodynamic Demeter Association, but they also share a mission to make an “impact and a difference, to make this world a better, healthier, stronger and more vital place again. Together! With lots of love and spirit!” Their philosophy seeps into everything they do. “It’s not just about the grapes or the soil, the plants or the juice, it’s not just about our vineyards - it’s about everything - it’s about the cosmos, Mother Earth, the people working on the land, the animals, the farming - it’s everything. It’s a question of how you create life and how to live according to the rhythm of nature. As a result, the wines are an authentic expression of the region, derived from top quality biodynamic viniculture, making them some of the most sought-after wines from Austria.

Get to know Gut Oggau in more detail in our producer profile Q&A series here. You can also watch Eduard Tscheppe’s interview with 67 Pall Mall, where he introduces the family and the world of biodynamics.

And finally, Stephanie & Eduard invite you to their world via the Gut Oggau Essays, a series of short videos. In their words - "open the door, sneak a peek and discover how we live at the vineyard, how we make our wine, and why we do things the way we do."

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The Place

Burgenland, Austria

The soils and vines vary depending on the “generation” of the wine. The youngest generation is grown in gravel and limestone, while the parents and grandparents have more sunlight, and the soil is a mixture of slate and limestone. The oldest vines, some 60 years old, are reserved for the grandparents, as is the 200-year-old restored winepress. Fermentation takes place spontaneously with indigenous yeast, and ageing takes place in used oak barrels. These wines are neither fined nor filtered.