Markus Altenburger

Leithaberg | Jois

Neusiedlersee-Hügelland is a sub-region of Burgenland, and it is home to the DAC region of the Leithaberg.  The Leithaberg is a low mountain range to the west of Lake Neusiedl with a unique mix of marine limestone and mica schist soils.  The region is dominated by these two geological features: the lake moderates the temperatures and produces a lot of humidity; the mountain range is a funnel for cooler air at night.  This is why so many varied wines are produced in this small region, from the famous sweet wines of Rust grown in the silty sand soils along the lake, to the minerally, straight and juicy red wines grown in the limestone and mica schist of the mountain.

Markus’ family has been in the region for over 500 years, and like most of the farmers in the area, the ancestry farms were mixed-use with animals, agricultural crops and wine.  In the 1990s, Markus’ father moved the entire production to wine and Markus joined the winery in 2006.  Markus converted the 11 hectare winery to nearly 75% Blaufränkisch, and started experimenting with organic production when a young woman named Bernadett came from Upper Austria to work the harvest.  She had completed courses on wine theory and wanted practical experience in wine making.  She never left, and now they are married and in their third year of organic conversion.

Soil Reports

  • Mica-schist
    Mica-schist

    Mica-schist

    Apart from chalk there is ample mica schist on Leithaberg. Blaufränkisch from schist is more feminine and much fruitier, especially when drunk young.
  • Limestone
    Limestone

    Limestone

    In the middle of the slope you’ll find the so-called “Leithakalk" which is the regional Limestone, which basically consists of fossils and ancient marine crustaceans, as the entire region was below sea level for millions of years. This limestone gives the Blaufränkisch grip, length and tension.
  • Loess + Loam
    Loess + Loam

    Loess + Loam

    There is loam containing high proportions of chalk in the foothills; this is where most of the basic wines come from. Chalky loam imparts primary fruits rather than serious depth and length. This is what you find in wines growing on the slopes of the hill.

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