Franz Prager, co-founder of the Vinea Wachau, had already earned a reputation for his wines when Toni Bodenstein married into the family. Bodenstein’s passion for biodiversity and old terraces, coupled with brilliant winemaking, places Prager in the highest echelon of Austrian producers.
Smaragd is a designation of ripeness for dry wines used exclusively by members of the Vinea Wachau. The wines must have a minimum alcohol of 12.5%. The grapes are hand-harvested, typically in October and November, and are sent directly to press where they spontaneously ferment in stainless-steel tanks.
Ried Achleiten sits east of Weißenkirchen and is one of the most famous vineyards in the Wachau. The steeply-terraced vineyard has existed since Roman times. Some sections have just 40 cm of topsoil over the bedrock of Gföler Gneiss, amphibolitic stone, and slate. “Destroyed soil,” as Toni Bodenstein likes to say.
Prager’s stylistic signature is that of aromatic complexity coupled with power and tension. High-density planting and long hang times ensure ripe fruit flavors and concentration, yet allowing leaves to shade the fruit lend vibrant aromatics of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers. Minerality is a constant feature of any Prager wine.
With minimum alcohol of 12.5%, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd is a robust and full-bodied dry white wine. Its intensity of flavor and ripeness of fruit make it ideal with high-integrity ingredients such as seared white fish or sautéed spring vegetables. Grüner Veltliner is a classic accompaniment to Wiener Schnitzel.