Bernhard Ott

Bernhard Ott is a grower and winemaker with a determination to do things his own way. Since taking over the management of the family wine business in 1995 he has expanded the vineyard area and made improvements to the cellars.

He also bottles all his wines under stelvin caps to retain the freshness he gains from harvesting earlier than his forbears and initiated a policy of farming sustainably, without any chemicals, herbicides or pesticides that is seeing many of his vineyards converted to biodynamic cultivation.

This philosophy of farming as naturally as possible follows through to the winemaking, and he has even imported the clay vessels called qveri from Georgia in the Caucasus, where they are traditional, in which he ferments some of his grapes to make a wine that is tannic in structure and in some ways a return to the methods of history.

Based in Feuersbrunn in the Wagram region Niedösterreich, Austria, he focusses on grüner veltliner, which makes up 90% or so of his plantings, and riesling, and has become something of a pioneer of new techniques in the region, indeed throughout Austria. Alongside grapes the estates is renowned for its apricots, which are sold to one of Austria's leading, Michelin-starred restaurants or made into an excellent eau de vie by a local distiller.