The Ott family has been growing and producing wine in the region of Wagram in Lower Austria since 1889. Bernhard Ott is of the fourth generation and has managed the winery since 1993 when he took the helm from his father. When he came home to the winery as a 21-year-old, he was interested in producing wines of the highest quality. Bernhard wanted to prove that elegant and long lived wines could be produced from Grüner Veltliner grown on loess soil, specifically from Rosenberg vineyard. Bernhard replaced the old wooden casks with stainless steel and began working the vineyards with an aim for the highest high quality. In 2018, nearly 30 years after taking over and switching all vinification and élevage to steel, Bernhard began working with varying sizes of Stockinger fuders.
Harvest is done 100% by hand, something that is very important to note in a region who’s rolling hills and flatter landscape allow for machine harvesting. After picking and a strict selection, the fruit is crushed in the press and maceration is done inside the press. The length of the maceration depends on the vintage, but also on the vineyard and the quality of the fruit. Bernhard uses closed pneumatic presses and has several different sizes. “This is how the press used to operate – there was only one pressing per day, so there was a maceration in the press,” explains Bernhard. The juice is “browned” and racked into stainless steel or Stockinger fuder where it is fermented by native yeasts without temperature control. Minimal amounts of sulfur are used at harvest and bottling and the cellar is very cold, inhibiting the development of malolactic. The resulting wines are some of the very finest in Austria, straddling a juicy character with strong soil signatures.