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.
Wachstum, meaning “Growth” or “Cru,” is a nursery for Toni Bodenstein who planted 110 different clones of Grüner Veltliner in an abandoned terrace at the top of Achleiten. When initially planted in 1997, the goal of Wachstum Bodenstein was to preserve biodiversity. It is now one of Prager’s most sought-after wines.