The southernmost part of Burgenland is home to the state’s purest and most natural viticultural landscape, stretching between Rechnitz in the north and Güssing in the south, with a total area under vine of around 511 hectares. The regionally authentic red wines, especially those made from Blaufränkisch with the protected designation of origin Eisenberg DAC , are characterised by a particular mineral spiciness. Elegant, piquant white wines set the regional tone here, as does the local speciality of Uhudler.
The structure of the wine industry in Eisenberg is quite remarkable, as the region’s small area under vine is mostly cultivated by winegrowers as a sideline, with only a few larger wine producers. A large proportion of the wine produced here is sold in the numerous traditional Buschenschank wine taverns. The region has even christened itself as a “wine idyll” – and rightly so! This is where the continental and Mediterranean climates meet, and where the East transitions to the South. Landscapes, climates and cultures blend into a unique, calm amalgam that sometimes comes across as secluded. The Eisenberg hill – after which the region is named – has great historic significance and is considered the viticultural epicentre of the region, alongside Deutsch-Schützen Weinberg. Christened after the region’s most distinctive peak, the red wines of southern Burgenland have been referred to as “Eisenberger” since time immemorial. This name has always been associated with mineral-driven, earthy Blaufränkisch wines with a very individual piquancy that is replicated nowhere else.
The steep hillsides are predominantly characterised by slate soils, which yield wines with crystal-clear fruit and a palpable element of minerality. At the foot of the slopes, the soils offer deeper root depth, with highly ferrous loam leading to earthy wines with a fascinating tannin structure. Regionally typical Blaufränkisch from Eisenberg has been marketed under the Eisenberg DAC designation since the 2009 vintage ( Eisenberg DAC Reserve since 2008). Spicy minerality is the characteristic feature of classic Eisenberg DAC wine. Together with a fruity, refreshing varietal bouquet of cherries, morello and blackberries, these wines possess an elegant structure that is not overpowering, as well as charming tannins and refreshing acidity – all of which represent the attractive characteristics of their origin.
Blaufränkisch that is harvested later in the season, or wines from warmer vineyards, develop a denser character and vibrancy (at least 13% abv), meaning that they require a longer period of maturation to become well-rounded and balanced. These wines are sold as Reserves and are matured in large or small wooden casks. The area between Rechnitz (in the north) and Moschendorf (in the south) is known for particularly fruity and zesty Welschriesling and Pinot Blanc wines that are marketed under the Burgenland designation of origin. Also, on the Csaterberg mountain near Kohfidisch and along the Pinka Valley Wine Trail from the Winten Weinberg through the vineyards of Kulm and Gaas, there are beautifully idyllic surroundings with many little cellar houses (Kellerstöckl) producing interesting wines.
Although this region is still an insider’s tip far away from the main and very crowded wine-growing towns, it is attracting increasing numbers of tourists who come here for the thermal springs, the festival at Güssing Castle and the romantic scenery – without destroying the area’s idyllic ambience.
- EisenbergDAC: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 August in the year following the harvest, released from 1 September of the year following the harvest
- EisenbergDACReserve: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 February in the second year following the harvest, released from 1 March in the second year following the harvest. Élevage in large oak cask or in barrique.
max. 4 g/l
- EisenbergDAC: fruit-driven, mineralic-spicy, hardly any noticeable cask tone
- EisenbergDACReserve: fruit-driven, mineralic-spicy, robust
The majority of the vineyards here are located on loose, recent sedimentary deposits from the former seas and rivers of the Styrian Basin, which merges with the Pannonian Basin to the east. These deposits are mainly silty, but also sandy and gravelly in places. They not only vary greatly in terms of their grain size, but also in the carbonate content of their lime and dolomitic components.
In the northern and central part of the wine-growing region, on the southern slope of the Günser Mountains and in the area around Hannersdorf, Königsberg, Eisenberg and Csaterberg, vines are rooted in various rocks from the Paleozic and Mesozoic. These include calciphyllite, greenschist and serpentinite from the Penninic zone of the Alps. Similar rocks to those around Rechnitz and on the Eisenberg also form Austria’s tallest peak: the Großglockner. Freshwater opals are an additional particularity that can be found in the vineyards of the Csaterberg. The vines that grow on the Hannersberg and Königsberg are rooted in soils that have formed from hard rocks such as dolomite, calcareous schist and clay schist that date further back than the Penninic and belong to the Austroalpine nappes.
Thanks to its refreshing acidity and charming tannins, the Eisenberg DAC (preferably slightly chilled) is a gifted companion for numerous culinary applications. The classic Eisenberg DAC , for example, fits perfectly with Austrian all-time favourites such as meat rice with pork or sautéed veal kidneys. More robust dishes such as roast beef with onions find their congenial partner in a slightly mature Reserve – but on the international dance floor, a high-quality Blaufränkisch from Eisenberg can be absolutely marvellous, for example, with delicate and buttery Wagyu.