Neusiedlersee is the latest addition to the Austrian “appellations”. In Austria they are called DAC, or Districtus Austriae Controllatus. On March 28 the Austrian agriculture ministry approved the promotion of Neusiedlersee to DAC. The Neusiedlersee DAC can be used already from the 2011 vintage so we will soon see bottles appearing on the market. Interestingly, this will be a DAC that is focussed mainly on red wines made from the zweigelt grape variety. Sweet whites made from welschriesling can also be made.
Neusiedlersee DAC covers 7649 hectares This makes for eight DACs in Austria. The other are: Weinviertel, Mittelburgenland, Traisental, Kremstal, Kamptal, Leithaberg and Eisenber.
More information on the Neusiedlersee DAC here.
Here below is the full text of the press release from the Austrian Wine Marketing Board.
(Please note that the photos here are from the Rust village on the west side of Neusiedlersee. It’s not part of the Neusiedlersee DAC that is on the other side of the lake. We didn’t have any photos from there so we hope this is close enough.)
Neusiedlersee DAC released on the market
A decree issued by Austria’s agricultural and environmental ministry has declared that, as of March 28 2012, certain region-typical quality wines from the Burgenland starting with the vintage 2011 can be released on the market under the appellation Neusiedlersee DAC. While the Neusiedlersee DAC is now the eighth Austrian appellation with DAC status, it is also the first DAC to focus on the dominant domestic red grape variety, Blauer Zweigelt. “Through the new Neusiedlersee DAC, fruity and harmonious red wines marked by local climate and soil characteristics should be emphasised and their level of awareness raised”, says Andreas Liegenfeld, head of the Regional Wine Committee in Burgenland.
The DAC Family in Burgenland
With the introduction of Neusiedlersee DAC, the family of DACs in Burgenland is now complete: The new appellation joins fellow Burgenland members Mittelburgenland DAC, Leithaberg DAC and Eisenberg DAC. Neusiedlersee DAC focuses on Austria’s best known red grape variety, Zweigelt, which also is the most widely planted grape in Burgenland – in 1,812 of its vineyard hectares. Like all of the other DACs, Neusiedlersee DAC is subject to the general requirements and regulations for Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) and will comprise two levels:
This category stands for a variety-typical, fruity, spicy and harmonious Zweigelt, which can be matured either in wooden barrels or in steel tanks. The alcohol content must be a minimum of 12 % by volume and declared on the bottle label. These wines can be released as of March 1st of the year following the harvest.
Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve
Neusiedlersee DAC can be brought to the market also with the additional designation of “Reserve”. The wine can be either a pure Zweigelt or a Zweigelt-dominated cuvée (blend). In the cuvée, the Zweigelt portion must be of at least 60%, with the remaining 40% comprised of autochthone varieties. The wine must have been matured in traditional big wooden casks or in barriques, and the alcohol content must be a minimum of 13 % by volume and declared on the bottle label. Neusiedlersee DAC Reserve wines can be released as of March 1st of the second year following the harvest.
DAC in Austria
Since the creation of branch organisations as well as the legal anchoring of the designation “DAC”, Austria has followed a new way of wine marketing. With the introduction of DAC (Districtus Austriae Controllatus) wines, designations of origin stand for clear taste profiles as well as help to ease future buying decisions for consumers.
Since the 2003 vintage, a number of Austrian wines bear a specific indication of origin with the DAC designation. The new Neusiedlersee DAC is now the eighth wine-growing area – following the Weinviertel, Mittelburgenland, Traisental, Kremstal, Kamptal, Leithaberg and Eisenberg – to implement the DAC system.
The three letters, DAC, indicate that in the bottle is a wine whose origin is clearly defined. Much more important than the three letters is the name of the region. This name should be associated with the taste of the wine. However, wines with the same indication of origin do not taste exactly the same because they are made by different producers. The connecting factor is a wine style that is typical for the particular region. DAC wines, like all Qualitätswein, must undergo a strict testing procedure and in addition also have to pass an official tasting to prove that they reflect the regional typicity in the wine.