Historic sites. Zweigelt with vigor
Archeologists have been excavating the rich soils of Carnuntum for Roman ancient cultural remains for decades now. Equally remarkable as their findings is the 906 hectares of prime and fertile soil for red wines that reflect regional typicity. The 'Rubin Carnuntum' wine is produced by a selection of the region's dynamic producers. With the image of the Roman Heidentor (Heathen's Gate) imprinted on its label, it is a recognition of the region's cultural history.
Principal grape varieties
Leading viticultural towns
Göttlesbrunn, Arbesthal, Höflein, Petronell, Prellenkirchen
The Carnuntum wine-region stretches from Vienna in the west to the border of the Slovak Republic in the east. The vineyards are spread out over three principal hilltops and lie south of the Danube, these being the Leithagebirge (Leitha mountain ridge), the Arbesthaler Hügelland (hillside around Arbesthal) and the Hainburger Berge (mountain range around Hainburg). The soil structures consist mostly of dense loam and loess and sandy gravels, that offer the best conditions for red wine production, particularly the widely planted indigenous Blauer Zweigelt, along with the international varieties Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Even Blaufränkisch is favoured by producers, with some great wines coming from the Spitzerberg vineyards towards the east of the region.
The Pannonian, continental-like climate typically brings hot summers and cold winters, an influence that in combination with the moderating effects of the nearby Danube and Neusiedlersee (Lake Neusiedl) enable the grapes to reach full physiological maturity. A new generation of local winemakers have learnt how to capitalise on this advantage, and are producing modern, approachable red wines with precise fruit and elegance, yet have retained their individuality and origin.
These factors have given Carnuntum a highly regarded name for wine within a comparitively short space of time. White wines are also playing an increasingly important role here, particularly Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, that excel with their balanced structure and weight.
A strategic advantage for the area is its highly effective use of tourism, an essential factor for wine sales, and the beautifully restored Marchfeld castles, the action-packed Carnuntum archeological park, the Donau-Auen National Park, as well as its close vicinity to Bratislava, the Slovak capital city, provide plenty of opportunities to introduce tourists and visitors to the local wines.
The wine-growing villages of Göttlesbrunn, Höflein and Prellenkirchen, well-known for their idyllic Buschenschank offering local food and wine, have always been sought-after destinations, particularly for day-trippers from nearby Vienna. Yet increasingly more people are making a special trip to a ever-growing list of critically acclaimed restaurants, especially as the local Carnuntum wines, prominent on all wine lists, pair so well with the regional cuisine.