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 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.
Zwerithaler is a sub-site of Buschenberg and sits to the east of Weißenkirchen. The name Zwerithaler, meaning "nestled between the valleys," is a near monopole of Weingut Prager. It has a complex soil of paragneiss with alternating layers of dark and calcareous rock. Zwerithaler Kammergut is a 0.34-hectare parcel planted before WWI. The wine from these ungrafted, 100-year-old vines was bottled separately by Prager for the first time in 2015.
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.