Burgenland is a hidden gem wine district
While 70% of Austria’s wine is white, there’s a secret pocket of reds located on its eastern border with Hungary. Known as Burgenland, this Austrian wine district was part of Hungary until 1921. (Amazingly, even today to get expediently from some parts of Burgenland to another area of this wine region, one has to cross the border into Hungary and then re-enter Austria from another location.)
Burgenland, located just one hour south of Vienna, is very popular with Viennese seeking a weekend getaway. The wine district is rural with small wine-centric villages dotting its bucolic rolling hills. Adding to the relaxing landscape is a series of small lakes which offer opportunities for weekend tourists, but also provide an enormous effect on the terroir for wine.
Burgenland's lakes help moderate its climate
Full bodied red wines are the hallmark of Burgenland. Hot summers ensure ripe fruit with complex flavors. Humidity from the lakes offer cooling during the summer nights so that vines can rest. Limestone, mixed with sand and clay add to the terroir and provide good grape-growing soil.
Burgenland’s grape varieties offer an interesting experience for Americans in that the region offers varietals not grown in the US. Blaufränkisch is the flagship grape. It makes complex, berry-driven wines. Zweigelt is the widely planted grape in the district. This varietal creates lighter-bodied red wines with a major cherry profile.
Best producers of Burgenland? Look no further than Feiler-Artinger and Weingut Gunter & Regina Triebaumer. Wine-Knows will be visiting both wineries on its sold-out tour this autumn.