We always talk about wines have individual personalities.
Well, these wines take that metaphor and run with it – there’s an entire Gut Oggau family tree and each label sports a portrait of the family member the wine represents. The children are the lively, easy, breezy wines. Then there are the parents, three brothers and their wives, which are each a bit more serious. And then the grandparents, which are from single vineyards made up of older vines. There are affairs, questions of paternity, and perhaps a few other hidden secrets. The labels give little more information than a name and a portrait – and each vintage, that portrait is re-drawn to age ever so slightly.
This liquid family springs from the minds and hearts of husband/wife Eduard Tscheppe and Stephanie Tscheppe-Eselböck. He made wine with his father in Styria. She’s from a family with deep roots in hospitality (her parents, and now her sister and her husband, own the Michelin-starred Taubenkobel in the Burgenland.) Together, they restored a 17th century winery that had fallen into neglect, working biodynamically and bringing the vines to Demeter certified levels of happiness.
The wines in a glass, preferably backlit, are gorgeous. They simply glow: the whites like a sunrise, the reds like rubies, and the roses like liquid pink neon. Of course, this all looks fantastic on Instagram. A bottle of Gut Oggau is an easy way to blow up your feed.
Plenty of wineries pile on the style, but there’s something cynical about so much of it, something calculated, something not quite genuine in the appearance of genuine-ness. But the Gut Oggau wines, despite all that style and attention to detail and fairytale backstory, appear to be the real deal.
Strip away the hype and you’re left with wines that are just damn charming. I want to roll my eyes. I want to just walk past the mob scene in front of their table. I want to declare them overrated. But I just can’t do it. Because these wines bring me joy. They make me happy when I drink them.
So ignore the hype… and buy a bottle or two anyway… because I bet they'll make you happy too.