Archaeologists have been producing evidence of ancient Roman culture within the historic region of Carnuntum for many years. But what is as astonishing: the ‘mineral treasures’ inherent to these approximately 906 hectares of vineyards, especially as expressed in the regionally typical red wines from Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grüner Veltliner also yield DAC white wines of appreciable character.
Carnuntum may be widely known for its archaeological treasures of classical antiquity, but the region’s wines are anything but antiquated in style. On each of the three quality levels “Gebietswein” (regional wine), “Ortswein” (“villages” wine) and “Riedenwein” (from individual vineyards), its reds and whites all exhibit an inherent finesse and power. Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch (whose focus lies in the eastern end of the region on the Spitzerberg) both express an elegant, robust character in a lively and refreshing style. White Carnuntum DAC may be vinified from Chardonnay, Weissburgunder or Grüner Veltliner, and marries opulent fruit with firm structure. Monovarietal Carnuntum DAC wines must be vinified exclusively from these grape varieties and cuvées from at least two thirds, with the rest made up of other permissible Qualitätswein (quality wine) varieties.
Long ago, the ancient Romans recognised the winegrowing potential of the approximately 900-hectare region in what is now easternmost Niederösterreich. Named after their military installation and the civilian/administrative city that grew around it, Carnuntum offers ideal conditions for red wine with its heavy loam and loess soils, as well as with its sandy-gravelly vineyard sites. On the Spitzerberg, limestone soils offer ideal conditions for cultivating vibrant Blaufränkisch. But white varieties such as Grüner Veltliner and the Pinot family also feel quite at home in Carnuntum. Another favourable factor for viticulture is the climate: the vineyards are planted between the Danube River and Lake Neusiedl, and these water surfaces exert a balancing, regulatory influence during the hot Pannonian summer and cold winter.
Carnuntum DAC wines prove to be versatile companions to fine dining, ranging from traditional Austrian to adventuresome international cuisine. The white wines – with their attractive balance between body and structure – are ideal companions for heartier vegetarian preparations, fish dishes and a variety of pasta possibilities, whether it be pasta al pesto, spaghetti alla carbonara or the Austrian favourite Schinkenfleckerl (square pasta with ham and onions, often baked with cream or cheese). And of course the red wines from Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch make formidable accompanists for meat dishes of all kinds: from the classic Austrian Zwiebelrostbraten (roast beef with crispy fried onions) to the delicate ‘low and slow’ BBQ, to a perfectly grilled steak.
from 2019 vintage
- White: Chardonnay, Weissburgunder, Grüner Veltliner (blends have to consist of min. 2/3 of those varieties, rest: other Qualitätswein varieties)
- Red: Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch (blends have to consist of min. 2/3 of those varieties, rest: other Qualitätswein varieties)
- Ortswein: Submission of the white wine to the Federal Inspection Number tasting commission from 15 March in the year following the harvest, submission of the red wine from 1 November in the year following the harvest
- Riedenwein: Submission of the white wine to the Federal Inspection Number tasting commission from 15 March in the year following the harvest, submission of the red wine from 1 November in the year following the harvest
- Red: min. 12.0 % vol.
Origins of Ortswein (multi-communal municipalities):