Gut Oggau is an impressive project based in the small town of Oggau, in Burgenland, Austria. No one from Laneway Liquor has ever been there, but we hear it’s pretty gut...
It all began in 2007, within the passionate and talented minds of Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe – probably the two best looking people in all of natural wine if you’re into that kind of thing.
Edward came from a conventional winemaking background in Styria, whereas Stephanie came from restaurants, which happily combined to make a unified whole that is thoughtful across the board and greater than the sum of its parts. The couple’s attitude towards sustainability, disparate backgrounds and great wines can draw parallels to Tim and Mon of Manon, here in Australia.
The wines are a true example of getting everything really, really right. The first thing you’ll notice is the fantastic labelling (not that that should really be a thing, but of course it is, let’s be honest). Each bottle features the face of a fictional family member that gives you an idea of the wine inside based on personality, rather than a tasting note.
The younger members are jovial, present, energetic. The parents, ripe and rich. The grandparents are stunning examples of biodynamically grown old vines. Only real legends collect the whole set.
On a more serious note, the farming is incredible with beautiful plots featuring some seriously old vines. The pair are dedicated to biodynamics. The story is magnificent too, arduously renovating an abandoned winery, including its hundred years old equipment.
Most of the vineyards are planted with several different varieties, so many of the wines end up as blends, not by design but almost by necessity. This lends more interest, more expression, more complexity. They work with 6 main grape varieties – Blaufrankish, Zweigelt Grüner Veltliner, Welchriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), and Gewurtzraminer. They are an incredible example of the quality of winemaking in Austria, coupled with a modern approach to the industry. There is a freshness and a vitality to the wines that far outshines many of their neighbours. They are magnificent, collectible wines. That have so much more to offer than a label.