Verkaufslokal des Weingut Pragers

Wine-growing on the edge - Wachau terroir

The Wachau valley: an enchanting landscape, much like a huge man-made garden along the wide Danube river. Shoring up its topsoils of broken-up bedrock, weathered dry stone walls look down everywhere like the bastions of mighty fortresses, guarding the valley below. 

On these terraces, the Wachau wines grow: on thin soils, holding their own against encroaching forests and defying the cold that sweeps down over the rolling landscape from Bohemia to the Danube. It is here, in this marginal viticultural area, that fine wines of unique character and rare quality are made. 

The Dionysian expression of a unique landscape

The grapes are grown in vineyards with distinct features: sharp contrasts within small spaces, one-of-a-kind soil formations and complex microclimatic influences.

These specifics of the terroir impart a unique quality to the wines. There is an enormous wealth of subtle differences between the individual vineyard sites; with names like Klaus and Achleiten, Steinriegl and Hollerin, each of them has its own fine facets and nuances, as does "Wachstum Bodenstein", a Riesling that grows at an altitude of 460 meters above sea level.

While they are all typical of the Wachau, the crop of each vineyard is an individual – standing by itself, yet deeply rooted in its origins.

The fine art of wine-making

Centuries ago, monks living in the Wachau region began to recognize quality boundaries and drew up border lines. Not only were they motivated by the desire to make the best possible wine, they were also passionate about the variations – sometimes marked, sometimes barely noticeable – from one vineyard to the next and thus between their respective products.

Each of the vineyards ranged side by side in the Wachau may be described as a great soloist, and together they make up a grand orchestra.

Whether it's intuition or myth, emotion or reality, there's one thing we know: that the place, time and people have to be just right to make wine from a certain crop. And that is the fine art of wine-making.

Herr und Frau Bodenstein

From rock to wine

... is the motto of Ilse and Toni Bodenstein. Their goal: to make individual, one-of-a-kind wines that clearly reflect their origin. In working their vineyards and cellar, they follow traditional precepts, complemented by useful and necessary innovations, never losing sight of their aim to produce the highest possible quality.

Riesling and Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are held in particular regard at Weingut Prager. The first documented mention of the estate, dating from 1302, mentions the place name ritzling, which has given rise to some speculation that the Riesling variety may in fact have its origin in the Wachau. 

The root of the word "Riesling" is "reißen", the tearing away and trickling down of the flower petals, or so ampelography tells us. Riesling is regarded by many – and with some justification – as the king of white wines. With late-ripening grapes and high demands on soil and climate, it is a highly individual variety. Riesling wines are delicate and elegant, with mineral flavours and a white peach fragrance.  

Grüner Veltliner, also a very typical regional grape, is the second variety which has been grown at Weingut Prager for generations. Notably, vines of up to 60 years of age are cultivated in the Achleiten and Zwerithaler sites, resulting in wines of extraordinary density with strong mineral flavours. 

For Toni Bodenstein, the rich genetic diversity of the old vines is also a vital legacy. Each of these plants is different from the next, and together they make up an important gene pool for the future.

The secret of terroir 

Tradition and innovation are both strong points at Weingut Prager. Using the traditional knowledge that has been handed down over generations and the new opportunities created by the present, Toni Bodenstein works to uncover the secrets of terroir, to find out everything that lends itself to exploration, and to get a sense of what remains inscrutable. His passion is to make outstanding wines that mirror the unique qualities of the vineyards from which they come.

 

WEINGUT  PRAGER
A-3610 WEISSENKIRCHEN 48

Area under cultivation: 16.5 ha
60%  Riesling
40%  Grüner Veltliner