Carnuntum is one of the lesser known regions of Austria when compared with the mighty Wachau and Wagram. However, it is likely Austria’s most exciting and dynamic area of red wine production today. Zweigelt is widely planted, as is Blaufrankisch, and quality conscious growers are getting to grips with wines that combine fruit richness and full ripeness with the bright, crunchy alpine aromas that make cool-climate Austrian wines so attractive. Unlike the broad reaches of Burgenland, the Carnuntum vineyards are more mountainous with a complex range of soils, including sand, gravel, limestone and dense loam. Although the summers are warm and dry, most of the top vineyards are in close enough proximity to the Danube to benefit from its cooling influence. The Spitzerberg vineyards in the eastern part of the region are widely seen as the most propitious terroirs and its fabulous red wines are the driving factor behind Carnuntum’s rise from relative obscurity over the last decade. White wines are playing an increasingly important role, and around the village of Prellenkirchen Gruner Veltliner is particularly successful, digging deep into the mineral rich soils to produce wines of savoury, saline complexity as opposed to the more gourmand, fruity examples found elsewhere.

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