Blaufränkisch is the leading grape variety throughout the 2,104 hectares of vineyards in the winegrowing region Mittelburgenland, ideally representing the regionally typical characteristics in Mittelburgenland DAC . The four main wine villages of Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Lutzmannsburg and Neckenmarkt – as do two very modern cooperative wineries – support the view that large-scale production and high quality are not mutually exclusive.
The centre of the red wine culture in Austria lies just beyond the small town of Sieggraben, south of Lake Neusiedl and close to the Hungarian border. The first impression of its wine-landscape with densely forested hillsides might not lead one to believe that the climatic influence of Lake Neuisiedl is important at all here, but it is. It was only during the end of the 1970s and early 1980s 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 renaissance, despite its origin still being relatively mysterious, and it is particularly significant that this variety has garnered such critical acclaim, both in Austria and abroad.
Topographic and climatic conditions here are favourable to viticulture, and many of the vineyards are protected from the elements by the hills of the region Bucklige Welt toward 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 dense, deep loamy and water-retentive soils of Mittelburgenland are perfect for the grape variety Blaufränkisch, and are also ideal for Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, imparting body and structure to the wines. In individual vineyard sites, there are layers of gneiss soil with crystalline schist and mica on the upper slopes, with limestone on the lower slopes and in isolated pockets. There are also other soils with less-dense soil structures of sandy loam over limestone bedrock. In recent years, Blaufränkisch has achieved notable critical acclaim as a monovarietal 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 spa Lutzmannsburg, constructed during the past few years, and this inviting subregion of Burgenland offers a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages.