Featured Wine Region: Leithaberg DAC/Neusiedlersee-Hügelland

The Leithaberg region of Austria is DAC classified region also known as the Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Burgenland. It offers a plethora of wine styles coming from versatile wine producers ranging from expressive reds to luscious dessert wines featuring the grapes Chardonnay, Weißburgunder & Blaufränkish.

This versatility can be accounted for by the Leithabirge also known as the Leitha mountain range. Dry aromatic reds are found on the inclining slopes which have primary rock, chalk and limestone soils whilst sweet wines are prominent along the Neusiedlersee.

The only white wines allowed to use the Leithaberg DAC are: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Neuberger and Grüner Veltliner. Red wines must be made predeominantly from Blaufränkish, but up to 15% of Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and St. Laurent may be used for blending. Each wine baring this classification portrays mineral characteristics, including the sweet wines, and are relatively full bodied with moderate alcohol leves of 12.5-13.5% abv. Despite this classification, many wines that instead bear the generic appellation name, Burgenland, are also produced here.

Sweet wines of particular note include the Ruster Ausbruch which is an internationally known, iconic noble sweet dessert wine the epitomizes the region. “An association of producers for the production, quality, protection and heritage of Ausbruch sweet wines in the town of Rust.”

This area has become a mecca for wine tourists as it boasts many attractions to both locals and visitors. The famous Esterhazy Castle (whose winery lunch we attended a couple weeks back) is also located in this region and offers a draw to tourists.

White wines bearing the appellation Leithaberg DAC must be sent to a board for review between April and June of the year following the harvest for white wines whilst the reds must be aged in oak barrels for a people of time and are to be submitted for review between April and June in their second year after harvest. Only once the wines have been approved by the panel are they allowed to bear the Leithaberg DAC classification.

Whether you’re a red, white or sweet wine drinker, this area of Austria has something for everyone – it is a highly regarded and recommended visiting point within the Austrian wine making areas of the country. Click here to see some of the wineries that are found in this area.

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Categories: Regional Spotlights

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