By Austrian Wine, another certified “Good Food Fighter

Mittelburgenland is one of the most important DAC regions for red wines best know for the racy character it imparts on its Blaufränkisch and other red wines. Wines made from Blaufränkisch, however, are the only wines that may be classified in this region and this grape is also the most widely produced.

Despite the dense forest conditions in the area, it is greatly affected by the nearby Neusiedlersee. The region is ideal for red-wine viticulture as it is largely protected from the north, south and west – only the warm winds from the Panonnian Plain are able to enter from the north. Most of the soil consists of deep, heavy and dense loam that account for water retention which are of great assistance to the vines in periods in drought.

Despite the regions focus on Blaufränkisch, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zweigelt can also be found in the region and account for highly acclaimed international blends. Increasingly, however, Blaufränkisch is being released a single-variety wine.

Blaufränkisch is bottled in two quality levels: Klassik and Reserve.

Klassik: Wines produced under this classification must be submitted for review by May 1st of the year following the harvest and ready to be released to the consumer by August 1st of that same year. The wines must have between 12.5 and 13% abv with the exception of those wines from a single vineyard site which must have between 13 and 13.5% abv. These wines are expected to be full-bodied, spicy wines with full fruit flavors. Klassik wines can be vinified in stainless steel, neutral oak casks or small oak barrels.

Reserve: Wines produced under this classification must be submitted for review by January 1st of the second year following the harvest and available to the consumer  by March 1st of that same year. Reserve wines must have a minimum of 13% abv – no standardizes maximum exists. Wines under this title are also full of fruit and spice with a full body, but are required to be matured in large oak casks or small oak barrels.