Burgenland is made up of 4 "sub-areas" and covers 19,215 hectares, which is about 48,000 acres. The dominating geographical influence here is the Neusiedler Lake (Neusiedlersee), and the 4 subdivided areas are called Southern Burgenland (Südburgenland), Central Burgenland (Mittelburgenland), Neusiedler Lake (Neusiedlersee) and the Neusiedler Lake Highlands (Neusiedlersee-Hügelland).
From the northernmost Neusiedlersee area comes full-bodied white wines, including the countries best Chardonnays. This is also an area where great red wines are produced, including those from the "Pannobile" co-operative who age their wines in oak.
Due to the vineyards proximity to the lake and their location in the hot Pannonian climate zone, their grapes more often than not develop the "noble rot" (botrytis cinerea) which creates heady dessert wines. The region stretches along the Hungarian border, right across which Tokaji is being made.
The town of Rust, in the Neusiedler Lake Highlands, is where the famous Ruster Ausbruch dessert wine is made. This is also where storks come to roost every year, building their enormous nests on the roof of every building along the main roads. They make a clicking sound which is somewhere between a woodpecker and a jackhammer, and as you sit at the Heuriger (wine garden) drinking the afternoon away, the potential cacophony becomes something of a symphony.
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