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Pratsch Grüner Veltliner: Cool off organically

This Austrian white wine is a great value and a summer chill.
This Austrian white wine is a great value and a summer chill.
T. Peiffer

While there are many interpretations of the meaning of “organic” winemaking, a common theme seems to be, “take wine from the land using only the ingredients that nature renews.” Seems simple enough, but making any farm self-sufficient enough to require nothing from elsewhere, is a tall order.

While every winemaking region claims wineries that have achieved sustainable status, one of the more interesting of these regions is in Austria (Lower Austria around Vienna). Although Austria’s wines are not as well known or widely distributed as those from other regions, higher quality products continue to make progress.

There, just northeast of Vienna, a family-run wine operation known as Biohof Pratsch has evolved from multiple generations of sustainable farming to produce very good wine values. And it seems that their introduction into the US market is early in its cycle, making for even better pricing.

So, even though organic operations seem like they should be more expensive, when it comes to establishing new markets, coming in with competitive prices is king. One of Pratsch’s wines that is following this trend is their “Grüner Veltliner”, named after the varietal that dominates their vineyards.

Right now, Phoenix area AJs is offering it for $10.99 as part of their Summer Spectacular. Considering the nice quality that this wine exhibits, this is definitely in value territory.

With citrus in the bouquet that is very much like a Sauvignon Blanc but with a little added apple and melon-vanilla, this is an excellent expression of a refreshing summer wine. With a crisp finish that hints of a Riesling influence, there are also several mineral flavor layers working together to make it a great seafood compliment.

Even their green & white label says “summer wine”. And it’s waterproof, so feel free to toss it in the cooler with the beer. The prominent flavors will stand up to a good chilling and it will open up right in the glass as it warms to the summer air.