In the vineyards of the Mittelburgenland wine-growing region, Blaufränkisch takes centre stage and articulates its origins perfectly in the region’s DAC wines. Four municipalities set the tone: Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Lutzmannsburg and Neckenmarkt. Mittelburgenland is also known as “Blaufränkischland”, due to it being Austira’s key wine-growing region for this grape variety.
Area under vine
Leading viticultural towns
Neckenmarkt, Horitschon, Deutschkreutz, Lutzmannsburg
Region & Wine
If you were to drive through the town of Sieggraben, south-west of Lake Neusiedl, and head towards the Hungarian border, you would land right in the epicentre of Austrian red wine culture. The initial impression of the viticultural landscape with its densely forested slopes makes it hard to believe that the influence of Lake Neusiedl is also quite significant here. The late 1970s and early 80s saw the first production of red wines with a clear expression of regional identity. To this day, the catalyst behind the great upswing is the Blaufränkisch grape variety.
Blaufränkisch grapes have enabled local winegrowers to create red wines with a distinctive character and regional typicity and this style has enjoyed DAC status in three levels of quality since 2005: Mittelburgenland DAC , Mittelburgenland DAC with a Ried (single vineyard) designation and Mittelburgenland DAC Reserve. When the wines are young, they have a dark, purplish violet colour and exude a characteristic, spicy, very fruity bouquet of wild berries. They show structure and character, becoming more multi-faceted and smooth with proper ageing.
The major strongholds of Blaufränkisch are the municipalities of Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsburg. From a geological point of view, Mittelburgenland is identical to the Oberpullendorf Basin. The vineyards are protected by the hills of the Bucklige Welt to the west, the Ödenburg Mountains to the north and the Güns Mountains to the south. With at least 300 annual days of sunshine and only around 600 mm of precipitation a year, climatic conditions are ideal for Blaufränkisch. Warm, dry winds are able to flow in freely from the Pannonian lowlands to the east. Mittelburgenland’s heavy loam soils have both a deep root depth and a good water storage capacity, which is ideal for growing Blaufränkisch – as well as Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot – because it lends the wines strength and a good structure. In some places, gneiss, crystalline slate and mica soils can be found on the upper slopes, while isolated sections with limestone appear lower down. Lighter soils with a sandy loam and limestone substratum are also predominant.
Mittelburgenland has also become an attractive destination for tourists, not least due to the thermal springs, which have literally shot up out of the ground in recent years. The region also offers a wide range of leisure activities for visitors of all ages.
(as of the 2005 vintage)
- Mittelburgenland DAC: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 May in the year following the harvest; sales as of 1 August in the year following the harvest
- Mittelburgenland DAC with vineyard designation (vineyard): Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 July in the year following the harvest; sales from 1 October in the year following the harvest
- Mittelburgenland DAC Reserve: Submission for the Federal Inspection Number from 1 January in the second year following the harvest; sales from 1 March in the second year following the harvest
- Mittelburgenland DAC: min. 12.5% vol (max. 13% vol.)
- Mittelburgenland DAC with vineyard designation: min. 13% vol. (max. 13.5% vol.)
- Mittelburgenland DAC Reserve: min. 13% vol.
max. 2.5 g/l
- Mittelburgenland DAC: fruity, spicy, powerful – vinified in traditional large oak cask, used barriques or stainless steel tank (little to no appreciable cask tone)
- Mittelburgenland DAC with vineyard designation: varietally typical: fruity, spicy, powerful – vinified in traditional large oak cask, used barriques or stainless steel tank (only light cask tone or none at all)
- Mittelburgenland DAC Reserve: fruity, spicy, powerful, vinified in traditional large oak casks or barriques (appreciable to dominant cask tone, new oak)
Indication of origin (incl. DAC) must be displayed on the front label, when no back label is available.
On the southern slopes of the Ödenburg Mountains, vineyards lie on the hard rock of the Austroalpine nappes, on acidic slate, paragneiss and coarse-grained gneiss. Towards the basin, these have been covered by a blanket of coarse, crystalline gravels, which, in turn, has been overlaid with loose (in some places, lightly cemented) quartz-rich sands. These were part of the marine development within the Inner Alpine Basins on the eastern edge of the Alps, which began about 16 million years ago. It was also at this time that the Leitha limestone in the vicinity of Neckenmarkt and Ritzing developed. Progressing inside the basin towards the south-east, the sediments become increasingly fine-grained, turning silty and clayey, with some almost pure clay deposits – such sedimentary deposits can only be found in Mittelburgenland. The carbonate content of these fine deposits varies greatly; they can also be completely non-calcareous, incorporating local enrichments of a ferric nature in the form of clay ironstone and limonite nodules. Layers of gravel occur within these sediments, but also as a top layer in the form of ledges of Pleistocene terrace remnants. In the easternmost part of the wine-growing region, most of the vineyards lie on loess and powdery loam, which covers the terrace gravels, or on fine-grained sedimentary deposits from the former Lake Pannon.
With its racy berry bouquet, the Mittelburgenland DAC is a wonderful wine to accompany powerfully flavoured meat dishes such as steaks, lamb chops or roasted calf’s liver – and especially for elegant, delicately roasted game dishes. Special effects can be achieved with spicy classics of Viennese cuisine such as roast beef with onions, a hearty Szegediner goulash or the traditional St Martin’s goose.
Links & Downloads
Legislative Decree Mittelburgenland DAC (German)