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Leithaberg

Description to Leithaberg

One of the six specific wine-growing regions in the Austrian province or generic wine-growing region of Burgenland. It was restructured in 2016 with changes to the designations and area boundaries. Leithaberg includes parts of the Neusiedlersee-Hügelland (the name no longer exists) and Neusiedlersee wine-growing regions. These are the free city of Eisenstadt, the political district of Eisenstadt-Umgebung with the municipalities of Breitenbrunn, Donnerskirchen, Großhöflein, Hornstein, Loretto, Mörbisch, Oggau, Oslip, Purbach, Rust (special regulation since 2021; see below under DAC system), St. Margarethen, Schützen am Gebirge, Siegendorf, St. Georgen, St. Margarethen, Wulkaprodersdorf and Zagersdorf, as well as the municipalities of Jois and Winden (both previously Neusiedlersee). In addition, Leithaberg was also assigned some vineyards of the municipality of Neusiedl am See, the rest of the Neusiedler vineyards belong to the Neusiedlersee wine-growing region.

Leithaberg - Donnerskirchhen mit Riede Reifring

History

Celtic burial mounds from the 7th century BC with grape seed remains were discovered in the municipality of Zagersdorf. This makes the village one of the oldest wine-growing communities in Austria, alongside Stillfried in the Weinviertel. A few centuries later, Roman settlers planted vines and thus initiated viticulture on a larger scale. Burgenland was heavily affected by the Turkish invasions in the 16th and 17th centuries. The well-known legend of the "Purbach Turk", who overslept the departure of his troops due to excessive wine consumption, dates back to the time of the first Turkish siege of Vienna in 1529. When he woke up, he climbed up a chimney and got stuck at the end. He was allowed to live, later married a woman from Purbach and even became a winegrower. One of the oldest documented mentions of a Trockenbeerenauslese, the so-called Luther wine, comes from the municipality of Donnerskirchen and dates back to 1526. And the "Opera Ball Wine" was created in Mörbisch for the world-famous annual ball at the Vienna State Opera.

Climate & Soils

The Pannonian climate is characterised by a mild spring, a rather dry summer and usually a beautiful autumn. The region stretches along Lake Neusiedl on the border with Hungary, which has a positive effect on viticulture by regulating the climate and storing heat. The landscape is therefore also characterised by reeds and water. The Leitha Mountains, the last foothills of the Alps to the north, form a protective barrier against cold winds. The soils lie at around 400 metres above sea level and consist of shell limestone and slate with a higher proportion of clay at the foot of the slopes. Well-known vineyards include Altenberg, Bandkräftn, Gmärk, Goldberg, Greiner, Mariental, Steinmühle and Tatschler.

Leithaberg - Landkarte

Grape variety index

In 2022, the vineyards covered a total of 2,875 hectares of vines. Compared to 2017 with 3,097 hectares, this was a reduction of 222 hectares (7.2%). The proportion of white wine varieties is 53%, the proportion of red wine varieties 47%. The red wine variety Blaufränkisch dominates with a fifth of the total area, followed by Grüner Veltliner, Welschriesling and Zweigelt.

Grape variety
Austrian
Main name

in Austria
authorised synonyms

colour

HA
2022

%
2022

HA
2017

%
2017

Blaufränkisch - red 588 20,4 637 20,6
Grüner Veltliner Weißgipfler white 402 14 520 16,8
Zweigelt Blauer Zweigelt, Rotburger red 313 10,9 348 11,2
Welschriesling - white 277 9,6 353 11,4
Chardonnay Morillon - not used in Bgld white 217 7,6 161 5,2
Pinot Blanc Pinot Blanc, Klevner white 150 5,2 142 4,6
Merlot - red 111 3,9 86 2,8
Sauvignon Blanc Muscat Sylvaner white 109 3,8 80 2,6
Pinot Noir Pinot Noir, Pinot Noir red 92 3,2 82 2,6
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 91 3,1 88 2,8
Muscat Ottonel - white 60 2,1 65 2,1
Müller-Thurgau Rivaner white 55 1,9 97 3,1
Muscat Yellow M., Red M. / Muscat Blanc white 54 1,9 34,3 1,1
St Laurent - red 44 1,5 57 1,8
Neuburger - white 43 1,5 60 1,9
Traminer Gewürztraminer, Roter T., Gelber T. white 32 1,1 25,3 0,8
Syrah Shiraz red 30 1,0 30,4 1,0
White Riesling Riesling Rhine Riesling white 27 0,9 29,5 1,0
Blue Burgundy - red 21 0,7 32 1,0
Grey Burgundy Pinot Gris, Ruländer white 20 0,7 8,1 0,3
Bouvier - white 18 0,6 17,5 0,6
Furmint - white 17,5 0,6 0,6 -
Roesler - red 16,3 0,6 15,5 0,5
Cabernet Franc - red 15 0,5 15,7 0,5
Scheurebe Seedling 88 white 11,1 0,4 12,0 0,4
Gold burger - white 6,3 0,2 22,6 0,7
Gold muscatel - white 4,1 0,1 - -
Rathay - red 2,8 0,1 2,3 ,01
Muscaris - white 1,4 - - -
Rose muscatel - red 1,3 - - -
Frühroter Veltliner Malvasia white 1,1 - 5,4 0,2
Blossom muscatel - white 1 - - -
Blue Portugieser - red 0,8 - 7,2 0,2
Sylvaner Green Sylvaner white 0,4 - 0,6 -
Roter Veltliner - white 0,4 - 0,3 -
Souvignier Gris - white 0,3 - - -
Rotgipfler - white 0,2 - 0,2 -
Jubilee vine - white 0,1 - 0,8 -
remaining varieties - white/red 45 1,6 65 2,2

WHITE VARIETIES

white

53

1.524

1.693

55

RED VARIETIES

red

47

1.351

1.404

45

TOTAL

2.875

3.097

DAC system

From the 2008 vintage (red wines) and the 2009 vintage (white wines), the origin-controlled Leithaberg DAC quality level was introduced. In addition to the generally applicable DAC conditions, special rules apply. All other quality wines must be marketed with the Burgenland designation of origin, while the regional wines must be marketed under the wine-growing region designation Weinland. The Leithaberg Association is responsible for the administration and production of the quality wines for quality assurance purposes. There are red and white wines. The red wine must be made from Blaufränkisch, whereby a blend of up to a maximum of 15% with the Pinot Noir, St. Laurent and Zweigelt varieties is permitted. It is matured in wooden barrels with a subtle hint of wood (toast flavour). They may be marketed on 1 September of the second year following the harvest at the earliest.

For the white wines, the varieties Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner, Neuburger and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can be used as single varieties or in any blend for cuvées. They are mainly matured dry in wooden barrels (regardless of size) and should show longevity and development potential. The alcohol content must be at least 12.5 to a maximum of 13.5% vol. The flavour should have local typicity with the attributes spicy, elegant and mineral. A superficial primary fruit and a noticeable woody note (toast flavour) are not desirable. The wines may be marketed on 1 September of the year following the harvest at the earliest.

Following the restructuring in 2016, the municipality of Rust initially did not participate in the DAC system and marketed the wines under the Burgenland origin. However, since the 2020 vintage, Rust winegrowers have been authorised to market dry red wines made from Blaufränkisch and white wines made from Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Neuburger and Grüner Veltliner or cuvées from these four grape varieties that comply with the DAC regulations as Leithaberg DAC.

Producers

Well-known producers in the Leithaberg wine-growing region are Bachkönig, Bayer Josef, Bichler Hans, Braunstein Birgit, Elfenhof, Esterházy, Feiler-Artinger, Fink Hermann, Giefing Erich, Gmeiner Bert, Grenzhof-Fiedler, Hammer Markus, Hartl Toni, Heinrich Gernot, Höpler Christof, Humer Gert, Kaiser Rudolf, Kloster am Spitz, Klosterkeller Siegendorf, Kollwentz, Kraft Harald, Kugler Josef, Leberl Alexander, Liegenfeld, MAD Haus Marienberg, Mariell, Moser Hans, Nehrer Johann, Piribauer, Pretterebner Rolf, Prieler Georg, Rainprecht Christian, Rebhof Sommer, Schandl Peter, Scheiblhofer, Schindler Franz, Schindler Harald, Schönberger, Schröck Heidi, Schuster Rosi, Seiler Georg, Sommer Franz, Sommer Leopold, Tinhof Erwin, Triebaumer Ernst, Triebaumer Günter, Weinmanufaktur Follner and Wenzel Robert. See also the producers under the municipality Rust.

Donnerskirchen: © ÖWM - Marcus Wiesner
Map: © ÖWM

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