Burgenland - unrivalled diversity
Burgenland is renowned for producing some of the richest and most full-bodied red wines in Austria. These flourish under the influence of the hot, Continental Pannonian climate which prevails in Austria’s most easterly province. While the climate certainly plays an important role, Burgenland’s winemakers are blessed with a great variety of distinctive natural conditions to work with.
The indigenous Blauer Zweigelt variety tends to dominate on the eastern shores of Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedlersee), where it produces powerful and juicy red wines. Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent also produce exceptional results in this area. Just south of the lake, the Seewinkel is reputed to be one of the best places to produce high quality noble sweet wines in the world. This is due to the unique microclimate. High humidity caused by the lake and countless smaller, shallow lakes encourages the development of noble rot (botrytis cineria) during the autumn, and these grapes go on to make fine Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese dessert wines. Cherished varieties for these delicious wines include Chardonnay, Scheurebe, Traminer and Welschriesling, the latter having the potential to produce dessert wines of outstanding quality.
The soils on the east-facing slopes of the Leithagebirge (Leitha mountain range) consist principally of limestone and slate, providing unique terroir for Blaufränkisch, yet also for complex white wines, especially Weißburgunder, Chardonnay and Grüner Veltliner. Exceptional dessert wines, such as the legendary Ruster Ausbruch, complete the range of Burgenland´s wine-producing competence.
The dense loamy soils of Mittelburgenland and the area around Pöttelsdorf north of the Rosaliagebirge produce Blaufränkisch with particularly deep fruit and exceptional length. The Eisenberg hill in the most southerly part of Burgenland boasts a complex soil structure and enjoys refreshing climatic influences from neighbouring Steiermark. This provides ideal growing conditions for Blaufränkisch and other red wine varieties with fine mineral characters and unmatched elegance.
The innovative and pioneering winemakers in Burgenland are the region’s biggest asset and most certainly the reason behind the success of the wine industry. Wines from Burgenland have received a great array of awards and accolades in recent years, with international varieties and full-bodied red wine blends doing particularly well.
Effective from the 2005 vintage, Mittelburgenland DAC was the first wine in Burgenland to be given DAC-status. Mittelburgenland DAC has since been joined by Leithaberg DAC and Eisenberg DAC. With the introduction of Neusiedlersee DAC in March 2012, the DAC family in Burgenland is now complete.