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Description to Leithaberg DAC
One of the five specific wine growing areas in the Austrian province or generic wine growing area Burgenland. In 2016 a restructuring with changes in the designations as well as the area boundaries took place. Leithaberg comprises parts of the wine-growing areas Neusiedlersee-Hügelland (the name no longer exists) and Neusiedlersee. These are the Free City of Eisenstadt, the political district Eisenstadt-Umgebung with the municipalities Breitenbrunn, Donnerskirchen, Großhöflein, Hornstein, Loretto, Mörbisch, Oggau, Oslip, Purbach, St. Margarethen, Schützen am Gebirge, Siegendorf, St. Georgen, St. Margarethen, Wulkaprodersdorf and Zagersdorf, as well as the municipalities Jois and Winden (both previously Neusiedlersee). At its own request, the municipality of Rust is not included (no longer belongs to any area). In addition, some of the vineyards in Leithaberg have been assigned to the municipality of Neusiedl am See, while the rest of the Neusiedler Rieden belong to the Neusiedlersee wine-growing region.
Near Zagersdorf one discovered Celtic tumuli from the 7th century B.C. with grape seed remains. That is why the village is one of the oldest Austrian wine-growing communities besides Stillfried in the Weinviertel. A few centuries later Roman settlers planted vines and initiated viticulture. Burgenland was strongly affected by the Turkish invasions in the 16th and 17th centuries. From the time of the first Turkish siege of Vienna in 1529 also comes the well-known legend of the "Purbach Turks", who slept through the march of their troops due to excessive wine consumption. When he awoke, he climbed up a chimney and got stuck at the end. They let him live, he later married a Purbach woman and even became a winegrower.
One of the oldest documented mentions of a Trockenbeerenauslese, the so-called Luther wine, dates back to the parish of Donnerskirchen in 1526. And in Mörbisch the "Opera Ball Wine" was created for the famous ball in the Vienna State Opera. Well-known vineyards are Altenberg, Bandkräftn, Gmärk, Goldberg, Greiner, Mariental, Steinmühle and Tatschler. The Pannonian climate is characterized by mild springs, dry summers and mostly beautiful autumns. The area stretches along the border to Hungary along Lake Neusiedl, which regulates the climate and acts as a heat reservoir. The landscape is therefore also characterised by reed and water. The Leithagebirge as the last foothill of the Alps in the north forms a protective barrier against cold winds. The soils at about 400 metres above sea level consist of shell limestone and slate with a higher clay content at the foot of the slopes.
List of vine varieties
In 2017 the vineyards covered a total of 3,097 hectares of vines. The former Neusiedlersee Hügelland wine-growing region was considerably larger in 2009 with 3,576 hectares, but this is not comparable due to changed boundaries. The share of white wine varieties is 54.7%, the share of red wine varieties 55.3%.
From the 2008 vintage (red wines) and 2009 (white wines), the origin-controlled quality level Leithaberg DAC was introduced. All other quality wines must be marketed with the origin Burgenland, the regional wines under the Weinland wine-growing region designation. The Leithaberg Association is responsible for the administration and production of the level wines for quality assurance. There are red and white wines. The red wine must come from Blaufränkisch pressed, with a maximum total of 15% blending with the Pinot Noir, St. Laurent and Zweigelt varieties. It is matured in wooden barrels with a subtle wood note(toast aroma). They may be marketed at the earliest on 1 September of the year following the second year of harvest.
For the white wines, the varieties Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Neuburger and Pinot Blanc can be used pure or in any cuvée. They are mainly matured dry in wooden barrels (regardless of size) and should have longevity and development potential. The alcohol content must be at least 12.5 to maximum 13.5% vol. The taste should have local typicity with the attributes spicy, elegant and mineral. A superficial primary fruit and a noticeable wood tone(toast aroma) are not desired. The wines may be marketed at the earliest on 1 September of the year following the harvest.