Leithaberg DAC - Minerality in white and red
The winemakers along the Leithagebirge (Leitha mountain range) and west of Lake Neusiedl have also agreed on a regionally typical wine style. The foundation for Leithaberg DAC wines are the geological conditions around the Leithagebirge: shell lime, slate and high loam content at the foot of the hills give the wines a distinctive taste. These wines are more elegant than powerful and captivate with their fineness, minerality and succulent fruit. The legally defined viticulture area for Leithaberg wines stretches from Jois at the northernmost foothills of the Alps to Mörbisch, and as far as the rolling hills of Rust known locally as “Ruster Hügelland”.
In the Leithaberg region white varieties are equally as popular as reds, hence the decision to produce a Leithaberg DAC white and a Leithaberg DAC red wine. Local geographical characteristics are reflected above all in the white wine varieties. White Burgundian varieties such as Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay or Neuburger are particularly common due to the lime-rich soil. On top of this, the Grüner-Veltliner-„island“ near Donnerskirchen means that this popular variety is also widespread. When it comes to red wine, Blaufränkisch is the leading grape variety in the Leithaberg region.
The soil and the local climate provide the foundations for wines that are tightly knit, spicy, elegant and mineral. Leithaberg wines are dry wines. Reds have to be matured in oak but, as with the red wines, oak notes in the wine are undesirable.
The Leithaberg white wines aren’t put on the market until an entire year after the harvest. The decision regarding which grape varieties a Leithaberg white can be made from was made with regionally typical varieties in mind. It was decided that Leithaberg DAC whites can be pressed from Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay or Neuburger varieties, which are all wines that are ideal for the “reserve” category. This choice reflects the most commonly planted grape varieties in the region. Small barrels are hardly used; instead the wines are aged in large wooden casks. It’s important that oak tones don’t overpower the minerality.
As with the white wines, Leithaberg DAC red wines are also given adequate time to develop and mature. For this reason, Leithaberg DAC red is put on the market two years after the harvest. A Leithaberg DAC red is produced from the Blaufränkisch variety, the top varietal of the region. These wines are matured in oak although the oak notes shouldn’t overshadow the wine’s character, elegance and tension.