Lake Neusiedl is fringed with charming estates that offer much more than just the famous Ruster Ausbruch, says Stephen Brook. Read his Burgenland travel guide here.
My perfect day in Burgenland
Eisenstadt, the regional capital of the Burgenland, is dominated by the huge four-square Schloss of the Esterházy family. Joseph Haydn lived here as the court composer, so it’s not surprising that the Schloss is used for musical and cultural events. It’s worth visiting the frescoed Haydnsaal, and some of the special exhibitions often held here. Walk down into the old town with its baroque houses, including the Haydn Museum. For refreshments, drop in to Café Henrici opposite the Schloss in what looks like a stable block.
Drive 15 minutes east to Schützen and visit the Prieler winery – known for Pinot Gris and vibrant Blaufränkisch. Then drive north to Neusiedl. Along the main road, you’ll see the Nyikospark* restaurant. Despite an unimpressive exterior, it serves excellent regional food with a modern twist, and offers a wide range of wines by the glass.
Drive down the eastern side of the lake to Illmitz, home to many of the world’s best sweet-wine producers. Visit Hans Tschida’s Angerhof winery (‘Angerhof’ differentiates his winery from the other Tschidas in the neighbourhood). Here you can taste exquisite beerenauslesen and TBAs of wonderful purity: don’t miss the Welschriesling and Scheurebe TBAs. Then walk off any sugar overload by taking the lane that leads down to the lake itself.
Return to Neusiedl for an aperitif at the vinothek called Weinwerk* on the main road, before driving down to Mole West*, a modern bar and restaurant that juts out into the lake. Here you can sink into an armchair on the jetty with a glass of wine before dinner. The food is sophisticated and generous, mostly local but with some international dishes too. Dine outdoors or inside the glass- walled restaurant. From here it’s just a short drive back to Hotel Nyikospark*, which has modern, air-conditioned rooms.
For details of places marked with an asterisk (*), see the next page