Pratsch Organic Gruner Veltliner 2015
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At Biohof Pratsch, they all share the desire to live in balance with nature. On organically certified winery in the appellation of Niederösterreich they combine innovation and tradition with the principles of the organic viticulture and winemaking. The outstanding passion and innovative ideas of today’s young owner Stefan Pratsch are supported by his parents Wilhelm and Anneliese:
The background of their family goes back about 8 generations. Their ancestors had always lived in Hohenruppersdorf with a domain consisting of livestock, normal agriculture (wheat, barley) and a few hectares of vines. Wilhelm Pratsch, Stefan’s father, took over in the early 80s.
Today’s basis of a reliable clear quality began in exactly that period. At the time, the use of conventional agricultural methods was standard and taken for granted. Wilhelm wanted to improve the quality of the products he sold, and started thinking intensely about the role of the soil and how it could help improve the quality of the products.
With Stefan’s intense desire to develop the clearest and most complex wines and with the help of the organic viticulture, the wines have been earning some of the highest recognition on various international tasting panels.
Appreciated for superior wines made from indigenous varieties, Austria should be on the radar of any curious wine drinker. A rather cool and dry wine growing region, this country produces wine that is quintessentially European in style: food-friendly with racy acidity, moderate alcohol and fresh fruit flavors.
Austria’s viticultural history is rich and vast, dating back to Celtic tribes with first written record of winemaking starting with the Romans. But the 20th century brought Austria a series of winemaking obstacles, namely the plunder of both world wars, as well as its own self-imposed quality breach. In the mid 1980s, after a handful of shameless vintners were found to have added diethylene glycol (a toxic substance) to their sweet wines to imitate the unctuous qualities imparted by botrytis, Austria’s credibility as a wine-producing country was compromised. While no one was harmed, the incident forced the country to rebound and recover stronger than ever. By the 1990s, Austria was back on the playing field with exports and today is prized globally for its quality standards and dedication to purity and excellence.
Grüner Veltliner, known for its racy acidity and herbal, peppery aromatics, is Austria's most important white variety, comprising nearly a third of Austrian plantings. Riesling in Austria is high in quality but not quantity, planted on less than 5% of the country’s vineyard land. Austrian Rieslings are almost always dry and are full of bright citrus flavors and good acidity. Red varietal wines include the tart and peppery Zweigelt, spicy and dense Blaufränkisch and juicy Saint Laurent. These red varieties are also sometimes blended.
Fun to say and delightfully easy to drink, Grüner Veltliner is indigenous to Austria, where it has long maintained its status as the nation’s most important and most planted white grape. Somm Secret—About 75% of the world’s Grüner Veltliner comes from Austria but the variety is gaining ground in other countries, namely Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States.