Burgenland (13,840 ha) - Powerful wines from the land of sunshine
Full-bodied and rich red wines are produced under the influence of the hot, continental Pannonian climate, in the eastern region of Burgenland. Within this area, there are many distinctions that play an equally important role. For example, the Eisenberg hill in the most southerly part of Burgenland, enjoys a complex soil structure and touch of refreshing climatic influences from neighbouring Steiermark, that provide ideal growing conditions for Blaufränkisch and other red wine varieties with fine mineral characters and unmatched elegance.
The dense loam soils of Mittelburgenland and the area around Pöttelsdorf north of the Rosaliagebirge produce Blaufränkisch with particularly deep fruit and exceptional length. In Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, on the west shores of Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl), the variety produces wines with expressive minerality and gripping tannins.
The soils on the east-facing slopes of the Leithagebirge (Leitha mountain range) consist principally of limestone and slate, providing a 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 indigenous Blauer Zweigelt variety tends to dominate on the eastern shores of Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl), where it produces powerful and juicy red wines, along with Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent, and the region of Seewinkel enjoys a unique microclimate, giving it the reputation as being one of the best places in the world to produce high quality noble sweet wines.
A high amount of humidity is naturally created by the large lake along with a countless number of smaller, shallow lakes around the vineyards, encouraging the development of noble rot (botrytis cineria) during the autumn, enabling the production of great Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese dessert wines. Cherished varieties for these delicious wines include Chardonnay, Scheurebe, Traminer and Welschriesling, the latter having the potential to produce exceptional quality levels.
The innovative and pioneering wine producers in Burgenland are the regions biggest asset and most certainly the reason behind their successful wine economy. This is often why their wines have received so many awards and accolades in recent years, even with international varieties and full-bodied red wine blends.
Effective from the 2005 vintage, Mittelburgenland DAC was the first wine in Burgenland to be given DAC status, and has since been joined by Leithaberg DAC and Eisenberg DAC. With the introduction of Neusiedlersee DAC in March 2012, the family of DAC's in Burgenland is now completed.