The winegrowing region Neusiedlersee is situated on the eastern shores of the large, shallow steppe lake, the Neusiedler See or Lake Neusiedl. The designated vineyard area stretches from the wine town of Gols in the north, through the level terrain of the Heideboden and on down to the Seewinkel, adjacent to the Hungarian border. A wide variety of grapes flourish on its 6,675 hectares. Since March 2012, the new Neusiedlersee DAC stands for fruit-driven, harmonious red wines made from the variety Zweigelt and that reflect the region’s climate and soil. The wines are also produced with the supplemental designation ‘Reserve’ either as monovarietal Zweigelt or as a Zweigelt-based blend. The Neusiedlersee DAC region includes the political district of Neusiedl am See, excluding for the communities of Winden and Jois.
White wines bearing the designation of origin Burgenland are impressive for their beautiful body and fine balance when they come on the market as Qualitätswein The new generation of dynamic winegrowers in this region are successful above all with powerful red wines, and the distinctive microclimate in the Seewinkel produces some of the greatest nobly sweet wines in the world with impressive frequency.
These vines, planted in vast, protected vineyards thrive on long hours of sunshine. An extended growing period is encouraged by the Pannonian climate of hot, dry summers and cold winters, as well as the moderating effects of the large surface area of water from the vast Lake Neusiedl and the numerous, shallow brackish lakes found scattered in between many of the vineyards. Regular autumn fog and high humidity therefore provide the ideal conditions for the benevolent noble rot (Botrytis cinerea), essential to production of high quality dessert wines such as Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese, especially made from the white variety Welschriesling. These sweet specialities have undoubtedly contributed to the international recognition of Seewinkel, despite the region being much younger than other, more traditional Austrian winegrowing regions. Diversity in the soils, from loess and loam to gravel and sandy sediment, provides the conditions for a wide range of varieties to flourish.
Alongside the region’s leading white variety Welschriesling, a wealth of white wines are produced from Weissburgunder, Chardonnay and the aromatic varieties. The favoured red variety is Blauer Zweigelt, followed by Blaufränkisch, Sankt Laurent and Pinot Noir, as well as a selection of more recently planted international grape varieties. The red wines from Neusiedlersee are clearly on the right road to success, and come in a wide variety of styles from unoaked, fruit-driven bottlings to those matured in oak, and either as a monovarietal wine or a blend.
To balance out Neusiedlersee’s numerous culinary attractions, there are many opportunities there for physical activity: cycling, horseback riding or various water sports; the choice of comfortable accommodations offers many possibilities in all categories for an overnight stay. The winegrowing towns include Neusiedl and Gols on the northern shore, Andau, Frauenkirchen and Mönchhof towards the east of the region, while southwards lie the quaint villages Podersdorf, Illmitz, Apetlon and Pamhagen. Schloss Halbturn also holds regular concerts and cultural exhibitions throughout the year.