We all share the desire to live in balance with nature. On our organically certified winery in the appellation of Niederösterreich we 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 our family goes back about 8 generations. Our ancestors had always lived in Hohenruppersdorf with our 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.
After a few years of experimenting, he converted to fully certified organics in the early 90s. This was something unusual at the time and resulted in his colleagues regarding him as a bit out of the ordinary. After his initial successes of achieving the kind of soil build up he wanted to have, Wilhelm studied the possibilities of organics and its effects more closely. He found that the most important issue in the plant health and production of high quality products is the continual access to water and the finer minerals. This can only be maintained through the continual build up of humus in the soils and is decreased through fertilizers and chemicals. In the first few years it was difficult to observe the build-up, but after several years it became more obvious, that the soils and the quality of the products were coherent.
Whereas Wilhelm decided to sell the livestock in 1983, wine had always been produced. After Stefan had turned 15 years old in 2000, he took over the wine making and persuaded Wilhelm to go more into the production of high end quality. The next years took Stefan through wine school, doing various interns and at the same working at home to develop the wines, while his parents Wilhelm and Anneliese were taking care of the vineyards and the farm.
Until today the vineyards have been treated organically with the result that the soils have a high amount of nutrients and retain water much better than the neighboring vineyards, thus adding to the continual stability of quality of the grapes and therefore the wines. 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.
To make wines of the highest quality is a prerequisite for us. Our main varieties are Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Sankt Laurent, Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir. We grow these every year with a lot of feeling and passion.
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