On the seventh day of Austrian wine, we received liquid gold! More literally, we received Ruster Ausbruch- a noble sweet wine from the town of Rust, Burgenland that is unlike any other in the world.

Austria’s Burgenland region has been long known for its sweet wines that showcase an intoxicating balance of sugar and acid. The reason Rust and much of Burgenland is a world reknowned sweet wine-producing area is due to Lake Neusidl which accounts for the heavy mists that promote the growth of noble rot (botrytis cinerea) – a welcomed fungus that concentrates the grape’s sugars.

Ruster Ausbruch is comprised solely of late-harvested grapes that have been affected by noble rot. Because of this, the grapes selected for these wines must be picked by hand; this also helps to control the quality of the wine. This highly selective and tedious process also accounts for the small amounts of Ruster Ausbruch produced annually. Despite the low quantity of wine produced, the style Ruster Ausbruch is included in Austria’s Prädikat (special quality wine) nestled between Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) and Eiswein and, therefore, must follow specific guidelines in order to be considered one of these wines. The wines must also come from the town of Rust without exception.

The grapes in this white dessert wine may include Furmint*, Muskateller*, Chardonnay, Welshriesling, Neuberger, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris or Traminer, most popularly those that are starred. In fact, it is in Ruster Ausbruch that Furmint is used most often in Austria.

Ruster Ausbruch can be enjoyed immediately upon release or us to 60 years later – it’s a perfect occasion wine for this holiday season and also a perfect present for the young family members to enjoy at a later date.