Burgenland, Austria


While driving to the estate of Claus Preisinger, I was told that he started his winery in his early twenties out of his parent’s garage. When I got there, I was shocked at the behemoth winery that he finished building in 2009, with his own money, before age 30. Yeah, he’s that stud in the picture. You could call Claus a self-made man, a man of the world, or the world’s most interesting man. He is just as happy in his flip-flops, shorts, no shirt, with a backpack, hiking in places all over Asia, Africa and South America while stomping grapes in his biodynamically-run winery in his spare time. His life is filled with flavor and so are his wines. He crafts elegantly endowed versions Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch with tremendous cut and finish. He has been practicing Biodynamics since the beginning and you can taste the place they come from. They are generous wines with a beautiful balance of fruit and earth.

Lay Of The Land

Neusiedlersee is technically part of the broader Burgenland wine region. It stretches north from the town of Gols, down to the Seewinkel (the most southerly part of the region) that sits on the Hungarian border. The region is famous for its fruity red wines made specifically from Zweigelt, a style that reflects the region’s warm climate and unique terroir, which is characterized by sandy, loamy soils and gravel. The large Lake Neusiedlersee, acts as an important climatic regulator in the summer months. During the hot days, the lake surface absorbs the heat and then lets it off during the night so that the grapes retain a cool fruit character and relatively high acidity.