Weinhof Szemes

Mittelburgenland, Burgenland

Started as a wine trading company in 1948, the family business was passed down to Tibor Szemes, who transited the business towards becoming a negociant, producing wines from purchased grapes. His wife Illa & son Oscar continued the business, purchasing their own vineyards within Mittleburgenland.

Old vineyards that have been maintained over decades in well-known vineyards such as Horitschon, Hochäcker, Dürrau, Spiegelberg, Hochberg and Bodigraben provide up to 5,000 kg of grapes per hectare of optimal quality with reduced yield cultivation - because great wines begin in the vineyard.

The family business sees itself as an old-school wine producer. The wines mature in large barrels that are up to 70 years old and were built by their grandfather. Very much a Blaufrankisch specialist, their wines are characterized by this very traditional and simple vinification.

New wood is only used discreetly at Szemes in the form of 500 liter barrels. Oscar wants to produce natural and complex wines that stimulate the consumer to think, but should in no way overwhelm them. He wants to make elegant wines that are convincing in the first year. The preservation of the fruit and the varietal typicality in the wine are of particular concern to the family business.

Organic Vineyard Management

Mittelburgenland DAC

The entire Burgenland offers red wine the best conditions to reach perfect maturity. It is the warmest and sunniest region in Austria and therefore ideally suited for growing Austria's most important and interesting red wine variety - Blaufränkisch, which has been planted here for centuries.

The topography is dominated by the wide, warm Pannonian Plain, which covers much of Hungary and Slovakia. The major strongholds of Blaufränkisch are the municipalities of Deutschkreutz, Horitschon, Neckenmarkt and Lutzmannsburg

The continental climate in this part of Austria is warm, sunny and dry – a departure from the country's cool, alpine image. Hills in the northwest and south protect the area from cooling winds coming in from the foothills of the Alps.

Instead, warm Pannonian winds from the east prevail, bringing warming influences into the vineyards. The long, dry ripening season is ideally suited to the later ripening Blaufränkisch grape.

Mittelburgenland's landscape gently undulates, and is covered in pockets of dense forest. The loamy, clay dominated soils are heavy and deep. They retain enough water to keep the vines hydrated over the dry summers. Minerality and structure in Mittelburgenland red wines have often been attributed to these soils.

Hochäcker, Horitschon

The name does not, as one might assume, indicate a higher location that stands out from the surroundings. Rather, it refers to farmland or vineyards with "high yields"

The vineyards cover about 100 hectares on mostly heavy loam and loess soils with some gravel and in the lower areas alluvial humus. The vine rows are mostly laid out in a north-south direction. Here, mainly the red wine varieties Blaufränkisch (80%), Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are cultivated

Dürrau, Horitschon

On heavy, deep loess and loamy soils with some gravel, the red wine variety Blaufränkisch cultivated

Hochberg, Neckenmarkt

One of the highest vineyards in the Mittelburgenland region, it is part of the "Biiri" old vineyards. The southwest-facing vineyards are about 200 metres above sea level. The topsoil of Ried Hochberg is characterised by sandy to heavy loam, while the subsoil contains lime sandstone marbled with patches of gley and rust. The soil has a good water storage capacity, which is advantageous in years with little precipitation.

Hochberg belongs to the "Altes Weingebirge" vineyard, the steepest site in Deutschkreutz with a gradient of 190 to 240 m above sea level. Spiegelberg & Bodigarben are sub-vineyards within the Hochberg vineyard