Thursday, August 4, 2016

Austria 2016 - Austrian Wine Regions - Central Burgenland

ISSUE DATE: 16 July 2016

As part of the “Austrian wine regions” series, Austrian Post is celebrating Central Burgenland, the region at the heart of Burgenland which is also known as “Blaufränkisch land”. The wine producing centres of the region are the municipalities of Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Lutzmannsburg and Neckenmarkt. The sandy and gravelly soils and, in particular, the heavy, deep loamy soil, can store large quantities of water and are thus ideal for cultivating Blaufränkisch varieties and also other red wine grape varieties such as Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The climatic conditions are determined by the Bucklige Welt to the West, the Ödenburger Mountains in the North and the Günser Mountains in the South, whilst the warm, dry air of the Pannonian lowlands streams in from the East. The Central Burgenland wine producing region with its gentle hills comprises around 2,117 hectares of arable land. 

The Blaufränkisch grape variety accounts for around seven per cent of total wine production in Austria, and is thus the second most prolific red wine variety after Zweigelt. This late ripening variety is grown not only in Burgenland, but also in the Lower Austrian wine producing region Carnuntum. Blaufränkisch is an autochthone Austrian grape variety and was described as a valuable grape variety as early as the 18th century. The Zweigelt and Blauburger varieties, and some other new hybrid varieties, were produced by crossing Blaufränkisch with another grape variety. Blaufränkisch is a strong, earthy red wine with a typical bouquet. The wine is dark with a high tannin content. The designation Mittelburgenland DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) is used for three categories of high quality traditional Blaufränkisch wines which are typical of that region. Typical characteristics are aromas of blackberries, dark cherries and bilberries with spicy accents of herbs and mint and a juicy, prominent tannin core in the finish. The grape variety matures well: wines in the category DAC Reserve with a minimum alcohol content of 13 per cent by volume can be stored for up to 15 years. Blaufränkisch wines are often served with game dishes, lamb, steaks or strong cheeses. The stamp design shows Kobersdorf Castle, from the market town of Kobersdorf in Central Burgenland, depicted in the centre of a red wine glass. The original fortress was first mentioned in the historic records in the 13th century. It was converted into a castle in around 1529, its defensive capabilities being extended at the same time. From the 18th century onward the building with its distinctive round tower increasingly fell into disrepair, and also suffered greatly as a result of fires, floods and at the hands of the soldiers who were quartered there. It was only in the 1960s, when the castle was bought by architect Martha Bolldorf-Reitstätter, that comprehensive restoration work was started: the carefully styled Knight’s Hall is well worth seeing, for example. The castle is still owned by her family. Since 1972 it has also been the venue for the Kobersdorf Castle theatrical performances.



Stamp images and description thanks to Austrian Post - Österreichische Post
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