Austria’s Neusiedlersee wine-growing region, situated to the east of Lake Neusiedl, stretches from the hills and the wine capital of Gols, over the flat Heideboden, and down to the melancholic Seewinkel area. 6,110 hectares of vineyards on the banks of Lake Neusiedl – a shallow steppe lake – are home to a wealth of different grape varieties. The Neusiedlersee DAC has been recognised since the 2012 vintage and is synonymous with fruity, harmonious red Zweigelt wines that reflect the region’s climate and soil. This designation of origin also includes a Reserve category.

Area under vine

6,110 ha

Leading viticultural towns

Gols, Mönchhof, Halbturn, Podersdorf, Frauenkirchen, Illmitz, Apetlon, Andau

Region & Wine

The Neusiedlersee DAC region encompasses the political district of Neusiedl am See, with the exception of the municipalities of Winden and Jois. It extends from the area north of Lake Neusiedl and round the eastern side of the lake, and has a total of 6,239 ha under vine – 1,501 ha of which are planted with Austria’s most widespread red wine variety, Zweigelt. This makes it the most expansive region with wines of protected origin in all of Burgenland. The terroir is characterised by sandy, loamy soils with varying proportions of gravel. Lime-rich gravel soils can also be found here, as well as lime-deficient pure gravel soils, ranging across the spectrum to salty and light, sandy soils.

The wine-growing region sits right at the heart of the Pannonian climate zone and is characterised by hot, dry summers with moderate rainfall and cold winters with little snow. Lake Neusiedl, the largest steppe lake in Central Europe, has an important influence on the microclimate. In summer, the large expanse of water heats up during the day and slowly releases the stored warmth into the surrounding area at night. The slight nocturnal reduction in temperature promotes the development of cool fruit notes and maintains the necessary acidity that gives this wine its distinct character.

The dry Neusiedlersee DAC wines produced from Zweigelt are fruity, spicy and harmonious, featuring the characteristic aroma of heart cherries on the nose, with fine, underlying notes of dark berries and subtle herbs. Zweigelt is expressed in a multi-faceted, dense style in the red Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve wines, which display a clear aromatic spectrum ranging from black cherry and blackberry to elderberry. This fruit is complemented by notes of spice and mineral tones. These wines are only released to the market after maturing for more than a year, and they offer great storage potential. The DAC wines that express typicity of origin here also include the region’s world-famous Prädikatswein: Spätlese and Auslese wines at the Neusiedlersee DAC level, as well as Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese as Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve wines.

Particularly in the vineyards between the numerous small salt-water lakes, or “Zicklacken”, in the south of the Seewinkel region, high humidity and autumn fogs favour the onset of the desired noble rot (Botrytis cinerea), which enables the production of nobly sweet Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve, specifically from Welschriesling. These specialist wines have made a significant contribution to raising awareness of the Seewinkel region throughout the world. The Burgenland designation of origin encompasses red wines of international stature produced from other varieties of grape, such as Blaufränkisch, Sankt Laurent and Pinot Noir – either monovarietal or as a cuvée blend. Well-balanced white wines with an attractive body are also marketed under this designation of origin.

Besides Welschriesling, key grapes here include Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as several aromatic varieties. To counterbalance the fine food and wine on offer in this region, visitors can partake in various activities, such as cycling, horse-riding and water sports. Schloss Halbturn presents a range of cultural highlights throughout the year with its annual programme of exhibitions and concerts.

The image shows Neusiedlersee
The image shows Neusiedlersee

Neusiedlersee DAC

(dry: as of the 2011 vintage, sweet: as of 2020)

Regional delineation

Comprises the political district Neusiedl am See except for the municipalities Winden and Jois.

Grape varieties
Quality Levels
Alcohol
Residual sugar
Flavour profile
Labelling

Designation of origin (incl. DAC) most be shown on the front label, if there is no back label available. The smaller designation of origin "Seewinkel" for nobly sweet Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve is allowed, if the grapes come from the municipalities Apetlon, Illmitz and/or Podersdorf.

Geology

The wine-growing region of Neusiedlersee is characterised by the nearly flat gravel terrain of the Seewinkel region and the Parndorf Plain. The latter is formed from several levels of valley floors of the Danube dating back to the Pleistocene, which get progressively lower and more recent towards the south-east. The gravels are silty and sandy, rich in quartz, have a low carbonate (limestone, dolomite) content and are invariably covered with loam. The basement of the gravel is composed of fine sedimentary deposits from Lake Pannon, which can either be calcareous and dolomitic, or silty and clayey – or sometimes even sandy. It is these deposits that form the soils of the vineyards on the north-west to south-east-facing hillside that descends from the plain to the lake. The Seewinkel gravels are also rich in quartz, but they contain a significant proportion of carbonates (limestone, dolomite), are less weathered and only overlain in a few places by fine-grained, mainly calcareous sedimentary deposits.

Culinary tip

With their depth of fruit, these wines go perfectly with classic Pannonian cuisine, such as roasted cuts of beef, or the traditional St Martin’s Day goose. Reserve wines can also be effectively combined with braised game dishes or assertive beef preparations. Due to their exquisite balance, Neusiedlersee DAC wines acquit themselves just as handsomely alongside international dishes.

 

Links & Downloads

Legislative Decree Neusiedlersee DAC (German)

Maps

Gallery

 

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