One of the eight specific wine growing areas in the Austrian province or generic wine growing area of Lower Austria. In 1993, the districts Donauland (since 2008 Wagram) and Carnuntum, which until then had formed a common wine-growing region, were separated. Already the Celts and later the Romans cultivated wine here. In the middle of the first century the former Celtic kingdom Noricum became a Roman province. The Romans built a legionary camp and a civilian town with a large amphitheatre near the village of Petronell, where the Amber Road crossed the Danube. Around 100 AD, the town had a population of about 40,000. The border against the Germanic tribes was fortified with a wall, the Limes. Extensive excavations took place in the 20th century. Outside the town a former 20-metre high triumphal arch reminds of the Imperial Conference in 308. Around 400 Carnuntum was destroyed by the Germanic tribes.
The hilly landscape extends south of the Danube east of Vienna to the border of Slovakia. The vineyards are located at the foothills of the thermal line and also benefit from the temperature equalization of Lake Neusiedlersee and the Danube. The Pannonian climate influence, which is already strongly felt here, ensures high average summer temperatures and above-average grape ripeness, which creates excellent conditions for red wines. Sandy, loamy, loess and gravel soils predominate, which are mostly due to deposits of the Danube. Geologically, the area is part of the Vienna Basin.
The vineyards are sometimes widely scattered, but there are two major concentrations of contiguous areas. The sunny southern slopes of the Spitzerberg form a small red wine island near Prellenkirchen. The second larger area lies around the three communities of Göttlesbrunn, Arbesthal and Höflein. Other winegrowing communities are Bruck an der Leitha, Hainburg and Stixneusiedl. Well-known vineyards in the Carnuntum wine region are Altenberg, Bärnreiser (Bärenreiser), Birnzipf, Bühl (with Subrieden Aubühl, Kirchbühl), Geizbillen, Gsetzen, Hagelsberg, Haidacker, Kräften, Neuberg, Rosenberg, Scheibner, Schüttenberg and Stuhlwerker.
List of vine varieties
In 2015 the vineyards covered a total of 907 hectares of vines. Compared to 2009 with 910 hectares there was no change. The share of red wine varieties is 54.3% and the share of white wine varieties 45.7%. It is dominated by Zweigelt with a quarter of the total area, followed by Grüner Veltliner, Blaufränkisch and Merlot.
From the 2019 vintage onwards, the origin-controlled quality grade Carnuntum DAC was introduced. All other quality wines must be marketed with the origin Lower Austria, the regional wines under the Weinland wine growing region designation. Special rules apply in addition to the generally applicable DAC conditions. The established Rubin Carnuntum brand for regionally typical Zweigelt wines will continue to exist parallel to the DAC regulation.
There are three levels of wine: regional wine, local wine (from cross-local winegrowing communes, up to 15% from neighbouring communes) and vineyard wine (reed registered in the vineyard register, up to 15% from neighbouring reeds). The wines must be dry. Red wines must have an alcohol content of at least 12% by volume. In addition, local and Rieden wines should be given sufficient time to develop their independent and expressive character. The application for obtaining the State examination number may not be made before 15 March for white wines and 1 November of the year following the harvest for red wines.