Weingut Prager Bodenstein
Meeting with a passionate winemaker !
Prager is an family owned Austrian vineyard located in the Wachau region (Prague), one of the most qualitative Austria’s terroir. Since the 90’s, it has been managed by Toni Bodenstein and his wife, who have succeeded in making their vines evolve both through family know-how, transmitted from generation to generation, and the opportunities of the present.
The history of the Wachau wine region began centuries ago with the monks who, convinced of the exceptional potential of the soil, had the ambition to produce the best possible wine. They were also seduced by the huge variations of terroir from one vineyard to another, and thus between each of the wines. Indeed, between the terroirs contrasts and the influences of a complex microclimate, the Prager’wines enjoy a unique quality and offer a large range of wines.
Currently the Prager vineyard is extended on 16 hectares. They are planted with 60% Riesling, the rest is devoted to the Grüner Veltliner.
Why is your terroir so specific?
Robert Bodenstein: The terroir of the Wachau valley is a big mystery. The geology, climate and soil of the Wachau is influenced by various factors. Starting with an autochthone mountain range, the geology of the Wachau is largely influenced by both fluvial and alluvial processes, therefore creating extremely diverse structures in a tight space. The climate is influenced by different climate-zones as well: in the Wachau valley, the Pannonian climate and the Atlantic climate meet and create a special sub-climate, that differs extremely inside the valley. For example, there is usually a 2 week difference in the phenology of the wine between the villages in the east and in the west.
What is your signature? What allows you to recognize your wines in blind tastings?
R.B.: The elegance and finesse, and sometimes the minerality (depending on the site). Our wines are produced without Botrytis and therefore especially show the difference between different vineyards or the inherent characteristics of a certain vineyard (e.g. Achleiten). Furthermore we don’t use any pectolytic enzymes or fining agents in our production in order to further show the vintage-typicity.
What is wine for you ? What does it represent?
R.B.: Wine represents for me life-quality, joie de vivre and hedonism.The joy of being. Wine is a wonderful union between the earth, the history and a man… it’s a blend of a special reality, a beautitful reality… Wine is the empathy of a man for his terroir…. It’s the hearth of a man. Wine is my way of life, my profession and my deep passion.
Describe your passion for wine in 3 words… R.B.: Himmel auf Erden (Heaven on earth).