Claus Preisinger’s winery is nestled in the village of Gols by Lake Neusiedlersee in Burgenland. Claus first started making wine with this father as a hobby, but after working with Hans Nittnaus, a neighbouring winemaker for a few years, decided that wine was his true calling. In 2004 he was one of the founding members of the Pannobile group of winemakers, a group that uses respect for the land and terroir to preserve traditions in Burgenland. His first vintage was in 2000, and since then he has expanded his father’s 3 hectares to the 17 hectares of vines he cultivates today. His vineyard work is meticulous and he is deeply in touch with his land. He uses a mixture of techniques including homeopathic teas, compost from cattle and horses and works strictly from Steiner philosophies. His vines are spread across 58 parcels and are largely planted to indigenous varieties such as Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent.
More recently Claus has started working with Grüner Veltliner and Weissburgunder, producing distinctive, skin fermented white wines. Despite the modernity of his striking winery everything done inside is hands-off and inherently natural, with indigenous yeasts taking control of each years ferments. Claus’ priority has always been to produce wine that is pure, balanced, and expressive of his terroir. His winemaking methods are very much guided by instinct rather than set formula, and he is perpetually experimenting and evolving, making wine that is markedly different in style to the classic interpretations coming out of the region. Claus was one of the first Austrian winemakers to start experimenting with skin contact wines fermented in Georgian amphorae. His 2009 Weissburgunder from the Edelgraben vineyard was the first vintage he bottled in this style, and since then he has been vinifying the whole Edelgraben range in amphorae.
Claus is deeply committed to working in harmony with nature, and has been certified biodynamic since 2009. He also keeps his cellar interventions to a minimum, strongly advocating for wines that achieve balance naturally. Very little sulphur is added to his wines - Claus decides just before bottling if it is strictly necessary.
Claus is spearheading a new wave of great young Austrian producers with a non-apologetic, genuine and credible approach. Indigenous varietals take staring roles in his production and his examples are bright, pure and instinctual.