About The Region
Less than an hour’s drive away from Vienna, Burgenland offers wide open spaces, idyllic rolling hills and vineyards, a paradise for water sports, a unique nature preserve near Lake Neusiedl as well as imposing fortresses and castles.
With Eisenstadt as its capital, Austria’s easternmost province is also the country’s smallest in terms of population.
Burgenland borders on Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia, incorporating many elements of these countries’ cultures into a rich and diverse cultural life. There's also an old Croatian colony.
Austria‘s flattest holiday region with more than 1500 miles kilometres of bicycle paths, 800 miles of horse riding trails
The sunny side of Austria with 300 days of sunshine each year!
outstanding wines & breathtaking winery architecture.
Home of the world famous music composers Joseph Haydn & Franz Liszt.
- One third of the entire province is protected nature reserves.
Lake Neusiedl National Park is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. 340 different species of birds!
One of the most amazing places on earth for sweet Botrytis affected wine.
- 28.56% of national production.
- Cultivated area,13,100 ha approximately .
- 44.4% white and 55.6% red.
- Average 33.6°C in summer and a minimum -10.5°C in winter.
- Sun exposure, 2142 hours per year.
- Average annual rainfall, 725mm with rainy days.
- Lowest elevation 117 metres, highest elevation 400 metres.
- Soils are a mix across the region from dense loams in the Mittelburgenland and Rosalia. The east facing slopes of the Leitha Range are limestone and slate.
some of the most typical varieties in Burgenland
- Blaufränkisch The most acclaimed Austrian red
- Cabernet Franc Hard to ripen but a most elegant animal
- Furmint The great Eastern white wine
- Neuburger a rather impressing "modest" variety
- Pinot Blanc The best wine for thinking
- Pinot Gris Alpine Pinot Gris is something else!
- Pinot Noir The most important red around the Alps
- Welschriesling The classic eastern European white
Burgenland is a large region to the east and south-east of Vienna, bordering Hungary, which comprises the sub-regions of Neusiedlersee, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland.
The specific wine regions of Eisenberg and Leithaberg have now been split off from "Burgenland" proper with their own DAC, but from a cultural and touristic view they remain Burgenland.
The eastern part of Burgenland, near the Hungarian border, is the hottest part of Austria and includes the areas around the Neusiedlersee, home to many fine Botrytis dessert wines.
This is red wine country par excellence. The exceptional Pannonian climate enables very high degrees of ripeness unmatched in most other parts of Austria, making big chunky reds possible. To the east of the Neusiedlersee, Zweigelt dominates, yielding strong, juicy red wines.
Blaufränkisch tends to be grown a little further south, around the southern and south-western shores of the lake, and further south still into Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland. There are also some international red varieties grown, including notably some Syrah, which does very well here.
There are also many useful whites, especially from around the shores of the Neusiedlersee, with varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer, Welschriesling, Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and the especially interesting Furmint. Conventional wisdom is that the soils on the west bank of the lake are more complex than those on the east and it's worth understanding the soil profile of the area around Rust, whose 440 hectares of vines follow a 100 year old classification system.
All the vineyards on the western shore of the Neusiedlersee are east-southeast elevation sites facing the Lake. The soils vary, even between close rows and can be differentiated into different types, taking Rust as the centre.
To the north, the soils are loamy, cool and dense, ideal for Blaufränkisch and humid-loving white wine varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc. To the north-west, lime-clay soils have a top layer of loess, which again is perfect for the native Blaufränkisch. Further towards the west the soils contain increasingly more chalk and are thus better for Burgundian varieties (e.g. Chardonnay). The soils of the vineyards to the south-west have a high portion of minerals, slate and quartz crystals, thus favouring aromatic varieties such as Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot.
The area right along the lake around the Neusiedlersee, a shallow steppe lake straddling the Hungarian border, is one of the most amazing places on earth for the production of sweet botrytis-affected wines. Only here, around the lake, and in Hungary's Tokajhegyalja does the Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, attack grapes so reliably every year.
Food and Traditions
While they have developed an international outlook, Burgenland’s chefs have not forgotten their roots. They rely on local produce such as Perch and catfish from Lake Neusiedl, beef from the salt marshes that surround the lake and from the mountains in the south, and pork from the black pigs that still abound in the central portion of the province.
The Burgenland cooks' partiality for paprika,in sausages, goulash or simply on the table as a seasoning,is evidence of the old Hungarian influence.
Stove and fireplace masonry in Burgenland
The villages of Neutal, Ritzing and Sigless (Burgenland) have a strong tradition of stove and fireplace craftwork. Even in families without direct links to this sector, their identification with these handicrafts is very strong.
Manual masonry skills have been passed on for decades within factories, working groups and families, though like most traditional skills is has declined. Nowadays, retired masons transfer their know-how with regard to this tradition to younger generations in Neutal’s Museum for Architecture and Planning which opened in 2005.
Indigo Blue Printing
Indigo blue printing in Burgenland involves the dyeing of fabric with the help of a special type of printing technique called “Reservedrucktechnik”. Traditionally, wood patterns and paste are used to apply the required design on to the fabric, which is subsequently dyed indigo. It is said that textile printing was probably discovered by chance and can now be traced back for centuries in countries such as Hungary, Turkey, the Czech Republic or Egypt.
In 1930, the Koó family purchased a roll pressure machine, which is still used today in its third generation for the production of double strike, the family’s speciality. The wood patterns used for printing are more than 100 years old. The Koó family has only a few written records on the composition of the paste as knowledge about its special components is passed down from one generation to the next.
Nature in Burgenland
The first national park in Austria came into being amongst reeds, small saline ponds and the swampy pastures which were formerly covered by Lake Neusiedl. The steppe lake itself lies at the lowest point of the Lesser Hungarian Plain, in a drainage basin which has no outlet. The lake basin today encompasses an area of around 320km²; of which 180km² lies in the reed belt.
Founded in 1993, the biodiversity of the National Park Lake Neusiedl-Seewinkel makes it one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in Europe. The open landscape of the Seewinkel area, which has an extensive network of paths, offers the visitor an incomparable wildlife experience. The majority of the almost 300 bird species can, with the aid of binoculars or a spotting scope, be observed here in their natural environment.
The National Park Information Centre is open all year round and is a point-of-call for all guests interested in the surrounding environment. It is also an exhibition and event centre for the national park region. Visitors can go on one of the excursions to different parts of the park to discover the wonders of nature for themselves.
Young naturalists can equip themselves with binoculars, tweezers and a magnifying glass and explore the ponds and pastures on a Children´s Excursion – water scorpions, brine shrimps, great egrets and much more await discovery.
Austrian Wine Regions