One of the many great things about wine is discovering new things and investigating about them. There is so much stuff about wine and so many different styles of wine that staying true to just one of them is like watching the same painting of Van Gogh day in and day out, not the rest of his body of work or any other painters.
When enjoying a new wine, the best thing is to know where it comes from, who is its producer… and many times, after doing this research, write about it.
When discovering Austrian Weingut Andreas Tscheppe and his wine, I continued to explore about Orange wines. Andreas is member of an association of five growers called Schmecke Das Leben (Taste of Life). This is a community of five Styrian winemakers. Five winemakers living their dream. They share an understanding of nature that it is transmitted into their wines. They are crafted by a respectful and sustainable treatment of soil and vine stocks.
A couple of those winemakers are Roland and Alice Tauss. They run Weingut Tauss. They produce three different orange wines as well as others you’d never think (or at least me) they are produced in an Austrian area close to the border with Slovenia. When thinking about Austria, cold and snow half of the year always comes to mind, yet the Tauss elaborates charming wines employing varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Chardonnay.
The Tauss make wines worth discovering. In the white wines they produce four different styles: Line Opok, with single varietals Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and two local varieties: Welschriesling and Weissburgunder. The Line Hohenegg offers a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. The Orange wines are elaborated with Sauvignon Blanc, Roter Traminer and Grauburgunder. Finally they produce a Sekt wine, a Rosè sparkling one.
The red wines are both single varietal and blends. Line Opok offers a single varietal Blaufränkisch and a sulphur-free Blaufränkisch. In the Line Hohenegg they also produce the Blaufränkisch and the sulphur-free Blaufränkisch plus a single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Blaufränkisch blend. They also have a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend.
Weingut Tauss has six hectares of vines organized in three parts with exposure to the south and southwest on an altitude of 390-480 meters. There is a vineyard called Hohenegg (-H-) named after a chapel that overlooks the area from the top of the hills. The soils are lime marl, a calciferous, sandy argillaceous land with diverse minerals such as biogenic materials or mica. It is also called “Opok”, a term that is colloquially derived and that means “packed together”.
There are 2,500 to 5,000 vine stocks on each hectare of land; the yield per hectare is approximately 3,000 kilograms.
We will talk to Roland about his winemaking philosophy but we will say now that he has a deep passion for biodynamic and organic farming and minimal intervention by his hand, just accompanying the wines as they grow and prosper.
The Tauss allow Energies being present in their wines: Fire represents liveliness and strength of the wine. Earth represents the soil; Water stands for the mental change, purity, clarity and depth of the wine (psyche) and finally Air stands for the solid structure of the wine that derives from the depth of the soil.
Weingut Tauss is also certified as biodynamic agriculture winery by Demeter International, the largest organic certifier. The name Demeter refers to the Greek goddess champion of harvest and fertility. The Demeter Biodynamic Certification is used in over 50 countries to verify that biodynamic products meet international standards in production and processing.
More information about Taste of Life here: www.schmecke-das-leben.at
Sepp and Maria Muster www.weingutmuster.com
Andreas and Elisabeth Tscheppe www.at-weine.at
Ewald and Brigitte Tscheppe www.werlitsch.com
Franz and Christine Strohmeier www.strohmeier.at
Photos © by Weingut Roland and Alice Tauss