Blaufränkisch puts its stamp on Mittelburgenland – The wine country postage stamp series for 2016 is here!
July 18, 2016 - The special issue postage stamp series of the Austrian federal mail service has already established a tradition: every year, a different Austrian wine-producing region is brought into focus. This year, the “Post” is presenting the Mittelburgenland, the region in the heart of Burgenland which is also known as “Blaufränkischland”.
The homeland of Blaufränkisch
The wine-producing region Mittelburgenland, with its gently rolling landscape, lies nestled between an area known as “the land of a thousand hills” to the west, the Ödenburg mountain range to the north and the Günser Range to the south. From the east, warm and dry air from the Pannonian lowlands streams into Mittleburgenland and creates an outstanding climate for producing red wines. Here Blaufränkisch rules undisputedly as king over the 2,117 hectares of vineyard area under cultivation, growing around the wine production centres Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Lutzmannsburg and Neckenmarkt.
A red wine variety with many talents
The late-ripening Blaufränkisch is an indigenous Austrian grape variety, already being described in the 18th century as a particularly fine variety for producing wine. Blaufränkisch yields dark, powerful and earthy red wines with fine tannins and a distinctively vivid varietal bouquet. Its characteristic aromas are those of blackberries, dark cherries and raspberries, with spicy highlights of herbs and mint, typically showing a pronounced core of tannins in the finish. Blaufränkisch is also a perfect food companion, pairing beautifully with wild game, lamb, steaks or hard cheeses. Lightly chilled, it also does very nicely alongside grilled dishes in the summertime.
The nature of the soil in Mittelburgenland is ideal for Blaufränkisch: sand and gravel soils, but above all heavy, deep loams that store a great deal of water and facilitate the production of full bodied and highly flavoured red wines. The top-quality regionally typical Blaufränkisch wines of Mittelburgenland are arranged according to the three-tier DAC model: Mittelburgenland DAC, Mittelburgenland DAC with vineyard designation, and Mittelburgenland DAC Reserve. Fine wines from Blaufränkisch show very good potential for aging, and can be cellared for up to fifteen years without losing expressivity.
Kobersdorf Castle: past and present
The pictorial theme of this year’s special issue stamp shows Kobersdorf Castle – in the eponymous Mittelburgenland municipality – in the middle of a red wine glass. The original medieval fort was first mentioned in the 13th century and around 1529 remodelled into a castle while also being expanded as a fortress. From the 18th century onward the building with the striking round towers deteriorated appreciably, suffering damage from both flooding and fires. It was not until architect Martha Bolldorf-Reitstätter acquired the property in the 1960s that a comprehensive restoration was undertaken – the Mannerism-style knights’ hall is certainly worth a visit. Since 1972 a series of dramatic productions known as the “Schlossspiele Kobersdorf” have been performed in the castle.
The special issue postage stamp “Mittelburgenland” is available as of 16th July in Austrian post offices as well as from the online shop of the Post, in the value of 0.80 Euro.
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