Michael Oster – traditionalist and creative professional
“Tradition & Zeitgeist” for Michael Oster and the whole vineyard of Walter J. Oster is more than just a strapline, it sums up the philosophy of the young winemaker and his family. This recurrent theme can be found throughout all sectors of the family venture and can even be tasted in Michael’s wines. Referring to wine “Zeitgeist & Tradition” means for him to give the grapes the time they need to gain the optimal ripeness and their distinctive taste; the typical minerality innate to the steep slopes that marks his elegant Riesling wines.
The philosophy behind the wines
For the young viticulture engineer there is no compromising in that point. An attitude that he had to acquire after his academic studies at university of Geisenheim and his introduction into family business in 2009. Not the market but he alone decides when his wines are ready for sale, always with regard to the best possible quality he wants to offer to his customers. A quality that is ensured by the use of genuine grapes and grape varieties only. His Wines from the premium sites of the Calmont region, the steepest slopes along the Mosel and of whole Europe, stand out each year due to their unique stylistics and gain their character through this very special “Terroir”.
Michael wants his wines to be pure pleasure and addresses both the beginner and the wine connoisseur. Therefore he and his family carefully reorganized the family winery and developed quality-lines on their own that enable everyone to deliberately experience the differences in stylistics and character of the wines and not only in price. All of his wines from the “Alltagsklassiker“ line with its fresh and fruity wines for every day to the “Edition“ line that lets you feel the special Mosel character up to the “Premium” segment with Michael’s unique handwriting stands for this philosophy.
The white wines
Despite of all those traditional factors in Michael’s work he is never lacking innovative ideas, is always keen to experiment and dares to go new ways in vinification. So, adjacent to Riesling and Rivaner the most popular grape varieties along the Mosel, you can find rare grapes at the Vineyard Walter J. Oster. At the moment for example Michael takes special pride in his Sauvignon Blanc and alongside with Weissburgunder, Gewürztraminer and Bacchus, his newest project, a Muskateller will soon complete the range and set a new course.
The red wines
Not only with his white but also with his red wines the young winemaker strikes a rather unconventional path. The reds meanwhile amount to almost one quarter of the whole production. In this field Michael collaborates closely with his parents Petra Fadi-Oster and Walter Oster and benefits from their know-how and perception for great wines. Thus especially the red wines bear the whole families unique signature. Aged for up to 48 months in barrique barrels these outstanding wines are given time to develop their unique character. Especially their Cuvées have been highly decorated at AWC-Vienna and Mundus Vini wine awards.
Unique as this winery and the family that runs it is the region where it is situated. The Mosel as a place with a long and eventful history and Ediger as one of the most beautiful little Mosel villages also provide the platform for a diversified cultural life. Year in and year out the winery Walter J. Oster constitutes an attraction pole for a culturally interested scene of wine-lovers from near and far that gathers for readings, concerts or the well-known “Jung & Steil” wine party every July. It’s this special Mosel lifestyle that the Oster family makes accessible to their guests. By offering events like wine and liquor tastings, guided tours through their cellars and steep slopes or the surrounding villages the family gives their guests an idea of what it’s like to live the life of a winemaker along the Mosel, of the fragility of the regions nature and last but not least the love to wine.
More than just a vineyard
It’s this special appreciation and bond that can be found throughout all divisions of the family business and also in the family owned holiday houses close to the vineyard or their 4 vinotheques. Those affectionately arranged locations win over a successful mixture of mod cons and ambience on the one hand and antique furniture and traditional winemaking tools on the other. Exactly those ubiquitous contrasts between old and new, family venture and modern vineyard – simply “Tradition & Zeitgeist” is what makes this vineyard so attractive and represents Michael’s unique formula of success.