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Falkenstein Winery

Cirlano/Tschirland, Naturns/Naturno, Meran/Merano and environs
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In the late 1980s, Franz Pratzner took a risky step. He turned his back on solid fruit growing and transformed his operation to focus completely on wine. He turned an apple farm into the Falkenstein Estate Winery in Naturno.

If Pratzner is asked why he replaced his last apple trees with grapevines in 1989, he make reference to a societal development. “Just like others, I realized at that time that wine had gone from being a routine food accompaniment to a gourmet item and for that reason, other wines were coming into demand than was the case before.” By the age of twenty, he had already made his first own wine and felt the fascination that comes from the profession of being a winegrower. “It has to be more than just a job,” he says. “Only then will challenging wines be successful.”

Today, the Pratzner family of the Falkenstein Estate Winery manages no fewer than 12 hectares of grape growing areas at elevations between 550 and 900 meters which are planted with Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir, but first and foremost Riesling. The entire harvest is made into wine in their own winery – according to Pratzner’s own philosophy: “Wines are like children,” he says. “During their development, they both need support until they are mature enough to assert themselves on their own.”

Thus at the Falkenstein Winery, 90,000 bottles are made every year which are now sold all over the globe and also brought to the table at their own Buschenschank farmhouse inn. So the risky step from fruit to wine has proven to be worthwhile. Especially for the guests.
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