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.
Am Berg, or “From the Mountain”, is an easy-drinking and refreshing number that qualifies as a LoFi hit, no question. It's got bangin' peach and pink grapefruit flavours leaning into juicy melon, quince and yellow apple. There's tense slate minerality across a little bit of a yeasty, slightly lactic quality and finishing with a hint of ginger and saline. The texture is rounded and generous, while the wine is crisp and lithe. In the background, there's suggestions of white pepper and smoke. The balance is unbelievable but the acidity feels like a thunderbolt crackling across a dark sky, brightening everything in its radius like daylight. Absolutely outstanding! And a clear indication of why the winery, as a whole, is praised so effusively.
Gruner is the somm's secret for food pairings. If you're ever stuck trying to pair a wine with a tricky dish, get the Gruner. The pairing possibilities are nearly limitless but just to get your brain juices flowing with some ideas we'd recommend chicken schnitzel, fried artichokes, sushi, veggie-heavy quiche, Vietnamese food, anything with goat cheese, smoked salmon fattoush salad, grilled chicken or even some simple grilled sausages (maybe Brats???).