The Rosalia region on Burgenland's border with Lower Austria is home to red and rosé wines full of character. Austria's smallest wine-growing region also attracts visitors with its beautiful nature and cultural highlights.
The fact that opposites often complement each other positively is shown in a particularly fine way in the west of Burgenland. Because here - along the border to Lower Austria - the sunny, Pannonian climate combines with the cool nights that make the proximity to the mountains noticeable. An interplay that shapes the ripening of the grapes in the Rosalia wine-growing region and endows the wines with a special elegance and spiciness. The area is named after the Rosalia Mountains, one of the north-eastern foothills of the Alps. The Celts already recognised the outstanding potential that nature provides and began cultivating wine in the region over 2,500 years ago. Today, there are about 240 hectares of vines in the growing area, and the vineyards rise up to 750 metres.
Two factors play the leading role here in the border region - and in more ways than one. For the Rosalia vineyards form the basis for powerful, spicy red wines as well as for finesse-rich, elegant and delicate rosés. The cultivation of Blaufränkisch dominates. It is planted on half of the vineyard area, followed by Zweigelt. Since the 2017 vintage, these two grape varieties have been allowed to bear the protected designation of origin Rosalia DAC; the abbreviation DAC stands for Districtus Austriae Controllatus. The Rosalia DAC designation applies to red wines made purely from Blaufränkisch or Zweigelt as well as from both as a cuvée. Under the designation Rosalia DAC Rosé, however, other red quality wine grape varieties may also enrich the spectrum. This is how Rosés are created that combine the typical characteristics of the region - and at the same time show that this colour is a fitting addition to the Austrian wine scene.
To underline these special features, the winemakers of the region have also chosen a distinctive identifying mark for their red and rosé wines. This is because the secret ambassador of the Rosalia DAC wines, which has also appeared on the labels since the 2022 vintage, is the rare pygmy owl, which makes its home in the meadow orchards of the Rosalia area. It is the "heraldic animal" on the bottles and is considered a symbol for the responsible viticulture of the winegrowers.
Nature forms the foundation for their wines: Besides the climatic conditions, it is the diversity of the soil that makes up the smallest of all Austrian DAC regions. The subsoils are as diverse as the styles of the winegrowers. They vary from loamy soils with a high proportion of loess, which are characterised by a high water storage capacity, to deep sandy soils and shell limestone, which plays a significant role. In the southwest there are crystalline rocks, in northeast direction Neogene sediments of the Vienna Basin join them. Sandy-loamy binders are followed by clayey-silty ones, sometimes covered by gravelly sands. These formations form the basis for the vineyards that extend south and west of Mattersburg and near Draßburg.
The lower sites as far as Schattendorf are also founded on such deposits of a former sea that washed around the edge of the Rosalien Mountains until about 16 million years ago. Younger, sandy soil structures follow in the north and northeast, which merge into even younger, sandy sediments. The sites of Pöttelsdorf, Sigleß and Bad Sauerbrunn as well as the vineyards north of Antau rest on them. Around Neudörfl, gravel soils dominate and help the Blaufränkisch to be juicy and beautifully fruity. The chalky vineyards, on the other hand, produce high-quality rosés.
Rosalia DAC Rosé is the only DAC designation of origin for rosé wines in Austria. The grapes for the Rosés and the red wines with DAC status must originate 100 percent from the Rosalia region. In addition, these regulations apply:
The permitted grape varieties are Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt. Subdivided into area wines (submission for testing from 1 January of the year following the harvest) and local and single vineyard wines (submission for testing from 1 November of the year following the harvest). The wines must have a minimum alcohol content of 12 % vol. and a maximum residual sugar content of 4 g/l. Their colour must be strong and dark red, the taste fruity, spicy, aromatic and full of finesse.
Rosalia DAC Rosé
Rosalia DAC Rosé wines may be produced from one or more red quality grape varieties. They can be submitted for testing from 1 January of the year following the harvest. They must be dry and have a bouquet of red berries. Their taste profile ranges from fresh and fruity to spicy.
From the highest elevation in the region, the Heuberg at almost 750 metres above sea level, you can see far across the wine-growing region in good weather: To the west to the Alps, to the east to Lake Neusiedl and even far into the Hungarian lowlands. The hills and vineyards of the Rosalia region lie at the feet of the Heuberg. A panoramic view that is emblematic of the varied tourist destinations the area offers.
In addition to excursions to the two cities of Eisenstadt and Mattersburg, which entice with history, culture and shopping offers, it is nature itself that invites you to exciting activities. Attractive bathing lakes, an extensive network of cycling and hiking trails as well as many gastronomic establishments provide variety. Magnificent castles and palaces as well as three nature parks complete the offer. Austria's largest thermal spa, the Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg, is also located in the region. Music lovers get their money's worth at festivals in summer, and the castle plays at Kobersdorf Castle are also known for their top-class productions. The best way to round off all these activities is with a glass of wine - the liquid ambassador of a special part of Burgenland.