Riesling Federspiel Steinriegl 2016

Prager

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When Franz Prager co-founded the Vinea Wachau in 1983, he had already established a reputation as one of Austria’s best winemakers. The marriage of Franz’s daughter, Ilse, to Dr. Toni Bodenstein in the 1990s was the catalyst for sweeping renaissance at the winery. Bodenstein, a biologist, geologist and historian, spent years studying the geology of the region and focused much of his attention on preserving genetic diversity. His “Arche Noah” project, a planting of old Grüner Veltliner and Riesling clones is the result of his work. Bodenstein’s scholarly approach, passion for biodiversity, and brilliant winemaking has elevated Prager to the highest echelon of Austrian wine producers.

About the Vineyard

Steinriegl is Prager’s only vineyard west of Weißenkirchen and is planted to Riesling. The southwest-facing site is cool due to its proximity to the forest and its soil is a unique “kalksilikatmarmor,” a limestone silicate marble rarely found elsewhere in the Wachau. Bodenstein produces both an earlier picked Federspiel and a later picked Smaragd from this site.

Federspiel is a designation of ripeness for dry wines used exclusively by members of the Vinea Wachau and must fall between 11.5 and 12.5% abv. The grapes are hand-harvested, typically in October, and are sent directly to press where they’re fermented using natural yeasts. Since 1996, Prager wines have been vinified entirely in stainless-steel tanks.

Tasting Notes

Austrian Riesling is often defined by high levels of dry extract thanks to a lengthy ripening period and a pleasing freshness due to dramatic temperature swings between day and night. Steinriegl’s uniquely cool microclimate results in wines of elevated aroma and focused acidity, and its limestone soil provides compact structure and a flavor that is distinctive among Wachau Rieslings.

Food Pairing

Riesling’s high acidity makes it one of the most versatile wines at the table. Riesling can be used to cut the fattiness of foods such as pork or sausages and can tame a certain amount of saltiness. Conversely, it can highlight foods such as fish or vegetables in the same way a squeeze of lemon or a vinaigrette might.

Vineyard & Production Info
Production area/appellation:
Wachau
Vineyard name:
The Steinriegl vineyard
Vineyard size:
12 acres
Soil composition:
Calcareous, Rocky, and Silty-Loam
Training method:
Half High
Elevation:
820-1,120 feet
Vines/acre:
2,680
Yield/acre:
2.0 tons
Exposure:
Southern / Southwestern
Year vineyard planted:
1949-1990
Harvest time:
October
First vintage of this wine:
1953
Bottles produced of this wine:
25,000
Winemaking & Aging
Varietal composition:
100% Riesling
Fermentation container:
Stainless steel tanks
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
34 days
Fermentation temperature:
63 °F
Type of aging container:
Stainless steel tanks
Size of aging container:
4,000 L
Age of aging container:
7 years
Length of aging before bottling:
7 months
Length of bottle aging:
2 months

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