Claus Preisinger ‘Puszta Libre’ Zweigelt/St Laurent 2018 (Burgenland, Austria) "...blackberries, spice, cranberries..."
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.
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.
‘Puszta’ is the Hungarian name for the Pannonian Steppe, a vast plain that covers an area of 50,000km in Hungary and stretches all the way to Neusiedlersee. This wine is a blend of 70% Zweigelt and 30% St. Laurent. The fruit is destemmed, a portion of the grapes is carbonically fermented, while the rest are pressed directly. The wine is spontaneously fermented and aged in 3000 litre foudres, and bottled without filtration.