Archaeologists have been excavating the rich soils of Carnuntum for ancient Roman artefacts for decades. To which we would add that the 906 hectares under vines certainly qualify as an equally remarkable ‘treasure of the soil’ – especially for production of Carnuntum’s regionally typical red wines. The ‘Rubin Carnuntum’ wines are produced by a dedicated society of the region’s most dynamic growers, whose labels carry the unmistakeable image of the Roman Heidentor (Heathens’ Gate); they embrace the region’s history while promoting excellence in wine.
The Carnuntum wine region stretches from Vienna in the west to the border of the Slovak Republic in the east. Its vineyards are spread out over three principal mountainous landscapes south of the Danube, among the Leithagebirge (Leitha Range), the Arbesthaler Hügelland (Arbesthal Foothills) and the Hainburger Berge (a range of mountains near Hainburg). The soil structures consist mostly of dense loam and loess and sandy gravels, which offer optimal conditions for red wine production, particularly the widely-planted indigenous Blauer Zweigelt, along with the international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Blaufränkisch is favoured by some producers, with great wines coming from vineyards on the Spitzerberg in the east of the region.
The Pannonian climate typically features hot summers and cold winters, an influence that, in combination with the moderating effects of the nearby Danube River and Lake Neusiedl, enable the clusters to reach full physiologic maturity. A new generation of local winegrowers have learnt how to capitalise on this advantage, producing modern, approachable red wines that present precise fruit and elegance structure, yet which have retained their individuality and sense of origin. These factors have given Carnuntum a highly regarded name for wine within a comparatively short space of time.
Carnuntum’s effective promotion of tourism has provided the region with a strategic advantage, an essential factor for wine sales, while the beautifully restored Marchfeld castles, the inviting Carnuntum archaeological park, the National Park Donauauen, as well as its close proximity to the Slovak capital Bratislava, provide plenty of opportunities to introduce tourists and visitors to the local wines.
The winegrowing villages of Göttlesbrunn, Höflein and Prellenkirchen, well known for their idyllic taverns offering local food and wine, have always been highly popular destinations, particularly for day-trippers from nearby Vienna. But now, increasingly more people are making a special trip to visit the ever-growing roster of critically acclaimed restaurants, especially since the local wines, prominent on all lists, pair so well with the regional cuisine.