Weingut Michael Opitz
Located in the easternmost part of Austria, next to the borders of Hungary. Where Austria’s largest lake is located.
The region has Austria’s largest lake called “Neusiedler See”. The lake along with its surrounding marshes encourages the formation of noble rot during the autumn due to the high humidity, giving birth to the region’s famous dessert wines. This part of East Burgenland experiences a continental climate moderated by the large surface area of water from the lake. West of the lake is the Leithagebirge or Leitha mountain ranges which is the easternmost foothills of the Alps .
Near the lake, the soils are rich, ranging from loess and loam to gravel and sandy sedimentary soil. West of the lake, the soils are a mixture of schist and gneiss. To the south of Burgenland, the soils are richer in iron, giving the red wines sturdier tannins. The Leitha mountain ranges are highly calcareous.
The Neusiedlersee DAC area produces dry red Zweigelt as well as many dessert wines made from Noble rot, a fungus that concentrates the grape berries’ sugars. You can also find Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat Ottonel. Down south in the Eisenberg DAC and Leithaberg DAC, Blaufränkisch plays a bigger role as a dry red. The cuisine here is influenced by Hungary due to its former relation to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Fish, Chicken, pork, polenta, beans and potatoes are common along with spices such as salt and paprika.
- The lake Neusiedler See is forty minutes southeast of Vienna. It is the largest closed lake in Central Europe covering 315 km²
- The lake is mostly surrounded by reeds, making it an important habitat for almost 300 species of bird. The Neusiedler See National Park is a great place to start exploring the different birds migrating between Europe and Africa.
- Blaufränkisch is quickly becoming the signature red grape of Austria. It’s strong dark fruit aromas and high acidity makes it a complement for fatty meat dishes.
- The Earth Market in Parndorf that takes place every first Saturday of the month is dedicated to promote local produce such as bread, vegetables, spirits, cured meats, honey and many other delicious handcrafted foods. Visit http://www.marktdererde.at/ to see their programs.