Full-bodied and rich red wines abound in the eastern region of Burgenland, under the influence of the hot, continental Pannonian climate. Within this area, there are many distinctions that play an equally important role. For example, the Eisenberg in the most southerly part of Burgenland enjoys a complex soil structure and touch of refreshing climatic influences from neighbouring Steiermark, which provide ideal growing conditions for Blaufränkisch and other red wine varieties with fine mineral-driven character and unmatched elegance. The legendary Ruster Ausbruch – the internationally renowned, nobly sweet dessert wine – epitomises the strong identity of the region.
The dense loam soils of Mittelburgenland and the winegrowing region Rosalia yield Blaufränkisch with particularly deep fruit and exceptional length. In the Leithaberg west of the 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, and also for complex white wines, especially Weissburgunder, Chardonnay and Grüner Veltliner. Exceptional dessert wines, such as the legendary Ruster Ausbruch, complete the trio of Burgenland’s best.
The indigenous variety Blauer Zweigelt tends to dominate on the eastern shores of Lake Neusiedl, where it produces powerful and juicy red wines, along with Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent, while the subregion of Seewinkel enjoys a unique microclimate, giving it the reputation as being one of the best places in the world to produce high quality nobly sweet wines.
A high amount of humidity is naturally created by the large lake along with a countless number of smaller, shallow lakes surrounding the vineyards, encouraging the development of noble rot (Botrytis cinerea) during the autumn, enabling the production of the great dessert wines Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese. Cherished varieties for these delicious wines include Chardonnay, Scheurebe, Traminer and Welschriesling, the latter having the potential to produce exceptional levels of quality.
The innovative and pioneering wine producers of Burgenland are the region’s 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.
Since the first regionally typical wine was established for Burgenland with the Mittelburgenland DAC (as of the 2005 vintage), it has been joined by Leithaberg DAC and Eisenberg DAC ; with the introduction of Neusiedlersee DAC in 2012, the systematic classification of origins in Burgenland is now complete.