Falkenstein (Franz Pratzner)

Falkenstein (Franz Pratzner)

At the age of 20, Franz put his first wine in the cellar. A fascinating experience that leaves its mark and ignites his inner fire. And the desire to become a winemaker becomes irresistible.

A dream that does not come by chance: here, Schiava grapes were pressed for the family Inn in the past. There are mentions of the Falkenstein wine region and the vineyard dating back to the 12th century, and the Pratzner family can celebrate more than two hundred years of existence.

Until 1989, the landscape of the Falkenstein wine-growing area was dominated by apple orchards. In the beginning, wine-making was only intended to be a secondary activity for the family. But the call to realize a long-cherished dream became increasingly strong. So, in the end, Franz and Bernadette Pratzner ventured together in a new and very different direction: they abandoned fruit and fully devoted themselves to viticulture. Sedimentation and marketing, all in one (family) business. Being a winemaker is more than just a job: it’s a vocation. And that is exactly how it should be because it’s the only way to produce sophisticated wines.

A traditional outlook and attention to detail. These are words full of meaning for the Pratzner family. The constant daily activities are based on manual work, with the machines only there to provide support. Since 2003, all the wines have been vinified in the new cellar. White wines age in large acacia wood casks in the cellar carved into the rock. Excellent quality vines, such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir, grow on 14 hectares (600 to 900 m above sea level). About 90,000 bottles are produced every year.

Franz and Bernadette have transmitted their joy and passion for wine to their two daughters, who have witnessed the tireless efforts of their parents and are proud of what they have created. However, in the beginning, neither of them was interested in the agricultural training.

The passion also sparked in the heart of Magdalena who, after several trainings – which even took her as far as Australia - and oenology studies, joined the family business in 2019. Michaela studied business economics and, from abroad, now supports the social media channels and the sales of the Falkenstein business.

Wine reflects the winemaker and the passion and philosophy with which the vine is treated. The Falkenstein winery wants to continue producing naturally and respect the environment. A company that remains faithful to the intergenerational motto: live in close contact with nature and appreciate it, but never underestimate it.

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