Racy Red Wines. Blaufränkisch with Character
Blaufränkisch is the leading grape variety throughout the 2,104 hectares of vineyards in the Mittelburgenland wine-growing region, and best represents the region-typical characteristics for Mittelburgenland DAC. The four main wine villages of Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Lutzmannsburg and Neckenmarkt, as well as two very modern co-operative wineries, support the view that large scale production and high quality is possible.
Principal grape variety
Leading viticultural towns
Neckenmarkt, Horitschon, Deutschkreutz, Lutzmannsburg
The centre of the red wine culture in Austria lies just after the small town of Sieggraben, south of Lake Neusiedl, and close to the Hungarian border. The view of dense forests amongst the vineyards might not give the impression that the climate conditions of the Neusiedlersee regions have any influence here at all, but they do. It was only during the end of the 1970's and early 1980's that the region began producing red wines with any form of regional typicity and character. Blaufränkisch is the variety that started off this red wine boom, despite its origin still being relatively unknown, and it is particularly significant that this variety has acquired such critical acclaim in both Austria and abroad.
The topographic and climatic conditions favour viticulture, and many of the vineyards are protected from the elements by the Buckligen Welt region towards the west, along with the Sopron Mountains in the north, and the Koszeg Mountains in the south. Thus dry and warm winds from the Pannonian Plain blow into the region from the east. The characteristic soils are mostly heavy, dense and deep loamy layers that absorb and retain water, an asset in dry vintages with little rainfall. Alongside Blaufränkisch, the red wine varieties of Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot display a full-body and supple structure, and perform very well as an international blend. Yet in recent years, the Blaufränkisch has achieved notable critical acclaim as a single varietal wine.
Two of the region's modern co-operative wineries have already recognised the Blaufränkisch trend, and have focussed their investments and energy into high quality red wine production, aimed at improving their chances of continued success in the domestic and export markets. Mittelburgenland has also become a popular destination for tourists, particularly those wishing to visit the modern thermal health spas, all having been constructed during the past few years, and this inviting region of Burgenland offers a wide selection of activities.