WINE TRAVEL: Exploring Burgenland, Austria

Burgenland is an Austrian wine-producing region located in the easternmost part of the country and  known for producing some of the richest and most full-bodied red wines in Austria. The primary grape varieties here are Blaufrankisch and Zweigelt

The geography of Burgenland is noteworthy. It is located on the famous Pannonian Plain in Central Europe. To the east is the Hungarian border, and to the west are the eastern foothills of the Alps. Burgenland occupies a narrow strip of land that extends from the Danube River down to the southern wine region of Steiermark. Due to its location, Burgenland has sunny continental summers.       

Burgenland is home to four DAC appellations: from north to south; Neusiedlersee, Leithaberg, Mittelburgenland and Eisenberg. Within each of these zones, any wines which do not conform to the particular classification are labeled with the Burgenland appellation.

To discover this wine region, we would suggest to taste Gut Oggau Josephine 2017, a stunning example of high quality Austrian Biodynamic wine.

Gut Oggau is a project in the small town of Oggau in Burgenland, started by Eduard and Stephanie Tscheppe in 2007, when they took over an old-established property. The 18 hectares of vineyards are cultivated using biodynamics. Most of the vineyards are field blended, where 6 main grape varieties are grown – Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt Grüner Veltliner, Welchriesling, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Gewurtzraminer.

Working with the wines, they noticed that each wine seemed so alive with its own personality, that they decided to craft labels centered around the personality of wine. 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 younger vines, the older generations from older vines.

The children, Atanasius, Theodora, and Winifred, are wines that are more forthright, light, bold and energetic. The parents, Joschuari, Wiltrude, 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.

Gut Oggau Josephine 2017 is an elegant, rich, well balanced and beautiful wine, blend of Blaufrankisch and Roesler. Grapes are hand harvested and destemmed, and then fermented in large barrels. The wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with zero addition of sulfur.

Josephine is the wife of Joschuari and has his maturity but not quite a much weight and intensity. Josephine is more subtle but is still a very serious lady. Super concentrated cherries and ripe fruit, with lively acidity and very light tannins. Being extremely deep and incredibly lovely, she has a long life in front of her. This wine is really exceptional and shows the incredible potential of Austrian wine to excite the wine enthusiast!

Amsterdam, December 16th 2019