While studying Business and Law at University College Dublin, located near Terroirs shop, the young Franz Prechtl bravely knocked at our door to introduce his family wines. Although he came unannounced, we tasted three of his Grüner Veltliners, and straight off we decided to import the wines.

Weingut Prechtl is located an hour’s drive North West of Vienna, in the village of Zellendorf near Retz, roughly ten kilometres from the Czech border, within the wine growing region of Weinviertel. The winery was founded in 1839 by Karl Prechtl. Today, winemaker Franz senior represents the fifth generation running the estate and he is now assisted by his son Franz, who is intermittently studying oenology.

The 15-hectare vineyard is widely planted with white grape varieties, including ten hectares of Grüner Veltliner, together with Riesling, Gelber Muskateller, and Sauvignon Blanc, to name a few. Some of the vines are over 30 years old, giving the wines a complex style. As for red grapes, the vineyards are planted with Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, and St. Laurent.

The Prechtl’s farming ethics are close to nature and they have implemented sustainable vineyard practices, eschewing the use of chemical fertilisers and herbicides. The grapes are hand picked and all their wines are produced with the grapes grown on the estate. They are vinified in stainless steel so as to retain the typicality and freshness in mind.

Grüner Veltliner, like Riesling, is a grape that creates an incredible array of wines from richly dense, fruited wines to high-toned, electric, and racy versions.

The wines produced by father and son are fantastically dry, fresh and aromatic, with mineral characteristics, supple texture, and delivering lovely complexity on the palate.

Tasting some of Prechtl’s back vintages in Vienna was a revelation. Their 2006 Sauvignon Blanc was arguably reminiscent of the greatest Sauvignons of the Loire.

Profile © Françoise and Seán Gilley

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