Claus Preisinger Heideboden 2008

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Austria produces some of the greatest white wines in the world and yet they are nearly impossible to find in North America. In British Columbia, I can count the number of worthwhile Austrian wines available on one hand and the bottles are generally relegated to the “other” or “eastern europe” section of the wine store.

The sad reality is that these wines are hard to sell, probably due mostly to lack of knowledge. For those in the know, however, you can get world class wine that pairs very well with B.C.’s pacific northwest cuisine for the price of mediocre wine from California, Australia, and, yes, British Columbia.

Fresh but Serious

Claus Preisinger is a young guy, born only in 1980, and yet he is making some brilliant wines farmed biodynamically. This wine is predominantly Pinot Blanc, harvested from vines planted in 1964 in flint soils and blended with some Chardonnay.

This is a delicious wine and well balanced. The Pinot Blanc characteristics show strongly – pear and pear skins, spice – and the wine also carries a touch of apple and minerality from the Chardonnay. This is fruitier than straight Chardonnay up front, but with considerable minerality on the back end and a touch of savory spice that brings the wine into a more serious territory than a simple sipper. 13% ABV.

$33 at Kits Wine Cellar


  1. Ron van Schilt
    February 8, 2012

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    I know this wine. It is wonderfully delicious. Austria does produce some of the greatest white wines in the world, along with Germany, and, don’t forget, Switzerland. I have an Gruner Veltliner I want to import which blows what is available here out of the water, but it comes in a one litre bottle and I have been told that implies it should be “cheap,” as in well less than $12 or $15 a 750 litre bottle. I believe it has to do with marketing. When was the last time you had the opportunity to go to a tasting of German or Austrian wines where the wine makers are there for you to meet and talk to? Something like what Chamber Street in NYC would hold…. The problem in BC is not unique to BC but is endemic to the rest of Canada and the US. The few German and Austrian wines you see here, you see wherever you see German and Austrian wines in North America. And you rarely, if ever, see Swiss. A German friend of mine told me years ago that the best German wines never leave Germany. Which is a crying shame — they are to die for. Makes the chard most people drink seem like crap. Like,when was the last time you saw, or for most people even heard, of Franken riesling — dry or off? Again, I’m told there is no market here. Sounds like marketing. I think its time to change that, don’t you?

  2. Shea
    February 11, 2012

    Yes, it would be nice to see more risk taking. Of course, like any risk it requires effort to sell and promote and get people interested. I’m not sure that effort has been put in.

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