Donnerskircher Blaukirsche is the local term for a soft, juicy bird cherry found in the municipality of Donnerskirchen in the Burgenland. The fruit skin and pulp are colored dark red. An intensely colored reddish-brown juice is extracted upon pressing. When at peak ripeness, the cherries are intensely sweet with a slight subtle sourness. The variety is early ripening and pest resistant. The fruit is quite small and slightly heart-shaped. The Donnerskircher Blaukirsche originates from Breitenbrunn, one of the five municipalities of the cherry-growing region Leithaberg. The cultivation of cherries (Prunus avium) in the region dates back to the 18th century. The traditional cultivation is of tall trees in vineyards or on farmland. This form of mixed cultivation is typical for the regions of the Northern Burgenland and unique in Austria. The Leithaberge cherry Genuss-Region (“gourmet region”) lies within the UNESCO World heritage area of the Fertö/Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape. The favorable growing location causes local cherries to ripen earlier than elsewhere in Austria. This advantageous location has been perfectly used by planting mainly early-ripening cherry varieties that are maturing from late May to mid-June. Annually, a few hundred kilograms of Donnerskircher Blaukirsche are harvested and often sold as juice, mixed with other cherry varieties. Today, demand is low and the cultivation is very labor intensive. Once, the cherry production of Leithaberg region served mainly for the sale on the markets of Vienna. The cherry growing had its economic prosperity in the region in the intermediate and post-War period. Between 10,000 and 15,000 cherry trees were found in each community. The population has now fallen to 5000 trees throughout the whole region and the number of producers is decreasing as well. There is currently only one single professional commercial operation, and so if this operation stops for any reason, there is great danger that the Donnerskircher Blaukirsche variety will disappear quickly.