The Wines of Burgenland
The wine produced throughout this province is some of the best in Austria, due in no small part to the 300 days of sunshine per year, rich soil and excellent drainage. Although classic white varieties have a higher profile, the area’s reds are more unusual, and the finest of the local wines is arguably the red Blaufränkisch, whose 18th-century pedigree here predates its arrival in the Danube region and Germany.
Middle Burgenland, especially around the villages of Horitschon and Deutschkreutz, has a long tradition of Blaufränkisch, which is also at home in southern Burgenland.
Sweet wines are also produced here. Eiswein (wine made from grapes picked late and shrivelled by frost) and selected late-picking sweet or dessert wines join Schilfwein, made by placing the grapes on reed (Schilf) matting so they shrivel in the heat. The guru of Schilfwein is Gerhard Nekowitsch from Weingut Gerhard Nekowitsch.
Austria's smallest wine region, the Neusiedler See, is also known for its innovative and pioneering wine producers, many of them opting to create biodynamic, natural or minimum intervention wines. This booming and often youthful scene makes for some great, and far more local and laid back, wine experiences than those along the Danube. One of the best ways to go tasting here is to hire a bicycle in Neusiedl am See and pedal south through the vineyards towards the national park.