The season of awakening
As the sun’s rays finally break through the clouds, the Blaufränkischland wine region awakes from its winter slumber. And the Lang family winery, housed in a 300-year-old farmhouse complex on the south-east face of the Ödenburger uplands, makes its final preparations for the year ahead.
The season of growth
Deep loamy soil, the wonderful Pannonian climate and hundreds of hours of sunshine encourage the grape to develop just as nature intended. The Lang family keeps a patient and watchful eye on the vines as the blossoms turn to ripe fruit.
The season of work
On long nights – often too long – the grapes are destemmed, crushed, fermented, and pressed using the most up-to-date machinery. The focus is on sustainability: with an eye on the future, but without forgetting the past. Even though they use state-of-the-art equipment, Andrea and Stefan still set great store by tried-and-tested values
The season of waiting
The days are getting cooler and shorter. Peace and quiet slowly returns to Neckenmarkt. As the wine matures silently in oak casks, the family get back to living their normal lives. We can take the time to do the things we want to
The season of enjoyment
Everyone is a welcome visitor to the winery when it’s time to taste the new vintage. For the family, it marks the successful end of the season – and, at the same time, a new beginning. Because it won’t be long until the vines burst back into life after their winter slumber.
If you make wine, you need people you can rely on.
And it’s especially nice when those people are your own family.
Stefan likes looking down on people – but only when he is whizzing through the air on his hang-glider. He’s a real outdoor type, and he enjoys running and karate. Stefan has overall responsibility for the vineyard and the cellar.
Andrea handles the marketing, sales, bookkeeping and presentations, and loves music. She is a passionate singer and loves dancing. And another of her passions is nature. There’s nowhere else she’d rather spend her free time than outdoors.
Theres has a dark secret, but her parents generously turn a blind eye to it: she loves horses more than good wine! When the fully qualified riding instructor isn’t busy with her dear animals, she studies biology at Vienna University, and plays the flute and the piano.
Anna likes cooking, and spending time with her friends. She also keeps the family on their toes with her boundless energy. That won’t be the case from September though, when she starts a course in professional catering in Tyrol.
Stefan has the sunniest disposition of all the family members. He enjoys skiing, motocross and tennis, and is a very good trumpet player. When he needs a breather from all that, he goes to school (he’s currently in the first year of middle school).
If you make wine, being a passionate winemaker just isn’t enough. You need to almost obsessively fuss over your creations. It takes years of trial and error to find the best locations for vineyards and the ideal varieties – and until you are ready to make your own, personal wine.
Winemaking starts with the idea of a taste – the desire to create a taste that is all your own work. And then, of course, you need a piece of land in a good location. But finding the right plot is no different than it was 1,000 years ago.
In recent times modern wine making has enjoyed something of a renaissance. There are a large number of producers who, like us, aren’t copying old styles, but attempting to carefully enhance classic types of wine.
And that requires patience. You need to produce a variety of wine for at least two decades before you have enough experience, before the knowledge passes from your brain to your hands – and before you manage to achieve the tastes and nuances you always dreamed of.
But after that you can’t just stop dreaming – because the world is full of flavours that no palate has yet tasted
Our vineyards are situated on the foothills of the Sopron mountains, where the Pannonian climate and many hours of sunshine play a decisive part. There are two main types of soil in our vineyards.
Terroir in the top-quality vineyards
(Hochberg and Sonnensteig)
Here, mineral topsoils rest on partly solid, partly loose silicate bedrock. These soil types are very warm. They retain heat particularly well, and radiate it during the night. Weathered orthogneiss rock shapes the wine in a very special way, lending it a subtle mineral note.
Terroir in the remaining vineyards
The terroir of the rest of the vineyard ranges from gravelly to heavy loam soils. They guarantee that the grapes achieve full ripeness, even in extremely dry years, which is reflected in the intense fruity aromas in the wines – especially our Blaufränkisch.
Loam gives the wine depth and strength, and sumptuous, powerful fruity notes. Additionally, the loamy subsoil acts as a water reservoir (especially in July and August), enabling the grape to reach full physiological ripeness, and giving the wine body and an elegant touch of spicy fruitiness.
Both of these soil types are ideal for producing first-rate wines full of character and finesse, both in very wet and in average years.
It has taken some time to convert an old, traditional ‘Streckhof’ farmhouse into a modern winery with a press house and production cellar – three generations, to be a little more precise.
Our vineyard was run by Stefan’s grandparents as a mixed agricultural business. The only wine produced was cask wine in bulk. When Stefan’s parents took over, the businesses from his mother’s and from his father’s side were merged.
At that time Andrea’s grandfather also founded the local winegrowers’ cooperative, and Stefan’s parents supplied it with grapes.
Stefan began producing cask wine in 1983, and three years later, after completing his training at the higher education college in Klosterneuburg, he decided that he wanted to bring his own produce onto the market.
It was a long, hard slog, but finally, in 1992, we bottled our first vintage. We didn’t have to wait long for the first award: in the same year, our wine won the accolade of Salon Austrian Wine champion. For us, this was both recognition of our work so far and an incentive to carry on.
A year after taking over the business in 2000, we started converting the traditional Burgenland farmhouse complex (the ‘Streckhof’) into a winery, and building a new press house and production cellar.
We had two main priorities during the development project: first, installing state-of-the-art equipment to ensure perfect processing of the grapes; and second, creating a stylish, comfortable and relaxed setting for our customers.
The winery reopened in 2003. We retained and revitalised the old vaulted cellar, and added a new building with a press house and cellar, which allowed for a blend of modern and traditional grape intake and processing.
Our aim was to find the right mix of tradition and progress in all areas of the business. And we feel that we achieved that goal.
Neckenmarkt is a hidden treasure. To find out more about the town and its traditions and customs, visit www.neckenmarkt.eu
(And if you want to know why there is a statue of a flag thrower in the town centre, just ask one of the locals. They’ll proudly tell you the story behind it.)
The region around Neckenmarkt is known as Blaufränkischland. You will find everything you need to know about this wonderful region, its special wines, and the winegrowers who make them at www.blaufraenkischland.at .
Sonnentherme Lutzmannsburg thermal spa
H2Oooooohhhhhh! The thermal spa at Lutzmannsburg will take your breath away, with its water slides, baby pool, sauna complex and much more. For all ages from 0–99! www.sonnentherme.at
Sonnensee bathing lake, Ritzing
Pack your swimming trunks! The Sonnensee in Ritzing is set among meadows and forests, with thrilling water slides and crystal clear water. www.sonnensee.at
How about a cycling tour on rails? Impossible, you say? Not at all! Austria’s unique Draisine tour – the handcart with a twist. www.draisinentour.at
Classical concerts, interactive exhibits and a fun-packed kids programme – there’s always something going on at Lackenbach Palace! www.naturspur.at
Photo: Esterházy Betriebe
Built in 1625 and renovated in 1966, Schloss Deutschkreutz is still well worth a visit for its magnificent stucco work and original frescoes. Our tip: a guided tour with the owner, artist Anton Lehmden. www.schlossdeutschkreutz.at
Schloss-Spiele Kobersdorf open-air theatre
The curtain rises on this well-known programme of theatre performances in July and August. The festival director is Wolfgang Böck, an Austrian actor known for his role as a Viennese policeman in a popular TV series – and a convivial wine lover. www.schlossspiele.com
Photo: Schloss-Spiele Kobersdorf Panorama © Albrecht Ziggerhofer
The Liszt Centre, Raiding
Happy birthday, Franz Liszt! The celebrated composer’s 200th birthday is this year. Visit Liszt’s birthplace at the Liszt Centre in Raiding (www.lisztzentrum.at), and take in a top-class concert during the Liszt Festival from March to October (www.lisztfestival.at).
Photo: Liszt Zentrum Raiding © Ulrich Schwarz
Over 300 wines from 50 growers, in spacious, modern, air-conditioned cellars. Where? At Vinatrium: www.vinatrium.at
Photo: Ernst Möderl
Have you ever been to Sopron? No? Then make sure you discover this friendly town, with its pretty wine taverns, just a 20-minute drive from Neckenmarkt. www.sopron.hu
Visit www.sonnenland.at to find out what else there is to enjoy in Neckenmarkt and the surrounding area.
We wish you and your family a pleasant stay with us.
The Lang family