Discovering the wine region of Burgenland
Burgenland is a large wine-producing region on the eastern border of Austria. Despite the country's image as the producer of some of the world's finest white wines, Austria is also home to a thriving red wine culture: Burgenland, with its sunny, continental summers, is the country's key red wine region, with its wines based mainly on the Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt grape varieties. Sweet, botrytized wines are also a specialty of the region, particularly in the Terroir surrounding the Neusiedlersee lake.
The region occupies a narrow strip of land that runs from the Danube River down to Steiermark in the South.
On its eastern side is the border with Hungary, and to the west Lies the most eastern foothills of the Alps. Steiermark aside, Burgenland is one of Austria's southernmost wine regions, and topographically is more aligned with Hungary than with much of the rest of Austria.
Burgenland is home to four DAC appellations: from North to south; Neusiedlersee, Leithaberg, Mittelburgenland and Eisenberg. Within each of these zones, any wines which do not conform to the particular classification are labeled with the Burgenland appellation
Burgenland's Lake Neusiedl (Neusiedlersee) is one of the viticultural focus points of the region.
It stores summer heat from the Pannonian Plain, an expansive, Warm area which covers much of Hungary and eastern Austria, effectively lengthening the ripening season into autumn. Humidity from the lake promotes the spread of noble rot (Botrytis cinerea) in the regions of Seewinkel and Rust.
The Ausbruch, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese wines that are made near the lake are among the finest and most sought-after in the world. However the Neusiedlersee DAC applies to red wines based on the Zweigelt grape variety.