Falkenstein

Region: Trentino Alto Adige
Winemaker(s): Franz Pratzner

Winery Info

The estate has belonged to the Pratzner family for 400 years. It is located at 675 meters above sea level on a sunny hill near the village of Naturno, in the lower Venosta valley, 12 kilometres from the town of Merano in Alto Adige. The climate of this lovely valley is dry and windy. The soil is poor and difficult to cultivate. The altitude and the prehistoric rock of the soil are ideal for the production of white wines with great character and of delicate reds. The vineyards stand above the picturesque castle of Naturno and have been managed with a great passion for over 15 years by Franz Pratzner, the present owner, together with his wife Bernadette. Franz is the agronomist and the wine maker of the estate as well.

The vineyards, all with southern exposure, extend for 12 hectares and are planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Apple trees, peach trees and Schiava (Vernatsch) vines were previously cultivated in this location. The vine training system is espalier (Guyot) and the vineyard density is 9,000-12,000 vines/hectare.

Sustainable/integrated viticulture is pursued, grass is left on the aisles between the rows of vines, and specific leguminous plants are sown every 5-6 years. Copper and sulphur base products are mainly sprayed and only organic fertilizers are used. The cellar, with very modern equipment, has been totally renovated in the last two years. Acacia casks, of a capacity of 10-40 hectolitres, are used to vinify and mature the white wines, which are kept on the lees till bottling. Acacia wood is neutral so that the complex aromatics of the wines are maintained.

The wines are rich and structured, and the fruit is intense and complex with a lively and fresh acidity. The Italian and international specialised press consider the Riesling one of the best produced south of the Alps.

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