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Carnuntum premieres its Erste Lage sites!

The very first Erste Lage reds

29.08.2019

When the doors of Grafenegg Castle opened today to the numerous sommeliers, wine merchants & journalists from all over the world, the guests of the ÖTW Preview Tasting were treated to a premiere: the Austrian winegrowing region Carnuntum presented its Erste Lage wines for the first time. And these wines not only stand out because of their colour (red!). Which vineyards have in fact been classified? Here in the video, you can see the answer:

Systematic research into origins and the vineyard-classification process has been going on in Carnuntum for more than a decade. A detailed exploration of the region’s geology, ongoing rounds of tasting and discussion among the winegrowers, work-groups addressing the characteristics of individual vineyards… All that adds up to a total of twenty Rubin Carnuntum estates being accepted into the membership of the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter (ÖTW) in 2018. Thus their long-term ambitions and detailed research into the region’s individual vineyards has become enshrined in law. As is customary with the ÖTW, various factors of relevance are examined – the historical significance of a site, the international reputation of the wines, and their status in the market – before a vineyard could finally be classified as ÖTW Erste Lage. From now on, wines from nine vineyards in Carnuntum may bear this distinction, so long as they are vinified from the grape varieties Zweigelt or Blaufränkisch, or are cuvées based on these varieties.

ÖTW Erste Lage Aubühl © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Aubühl 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Aubühl 1ÖTW

Ried Aubühl ascends as a gentle ridge from Höflein in the west to the beginning of the Ellender Forest that lies above. The subsoil of the vineyards is composed of predominantly sandy, partly silty-clay Miocene sediments. In the southeastern and northwestern segments there is some topsoil of loess – rock dust that was blown in and redeposited by the wind during the sparsely vegetated glacial periods. Here, the soils are deep and rich in lime. Due to the cooling influences of the forest above, the wines retain their freshness and spice despite the hot soils and the warm Pannonian climate.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Bärnreiser © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Bärnreiser 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Bärnreiser 1ÖTW

Ried Bärnreiser is situated on the eastern edge of the Danube gravel terrace of the Arbesthaler Hills, and is not directly demarcated by any woodland. Its name comes from the Middle High German »Reisern«, which indicates that the natural vegetation consisted only of scrub and brushwood on this barren, gravelly and hot site. The upper slope is covered with quartz gravel – finely crushed stone, which in places also covers the finer-grained Miocene deposits (dating from the Pannonian stage) of clayish silt and sand lower down. The soils are quite rich in lime and very deep beneath the pebble and gravel layers, which gives the wines particular complexity.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Haidacker © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Haidacker 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Haidacker 1ÖTW

Ried Haidacker is the gentle spur of the Danube gravel hills in Göttlesbrunn. The site, rising very gradually to the northeast, is composed of predominantly sandy and partly silty clay, as well as gravelly Miocene sediments. As a rule, the soils are very rich in lime and rather deep, coming from an extensive landscape of lakes and rivers that were covered with riparian forests about 10 million years ago. In Ried Haidacker one feels the warm Pannonian influences as well as the cool winds and nocturnal moderation in temperature brought about by the Danube to the north and the expansive Ellender Forest on the plateau atop the hills.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Kirchweingarten © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Kirchweingarten 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Kirchweingarten 1ÖTW

Ried Kirchweingarten is a gently sloping south-facing hillside directly below the church in the municipality of Höflein. The vineyard is covered by silty clay Pannonian (upper Miocene) deposits, and partially by layers of loess – and these clay deposits are quite rare in Carnuntum. The soils are deep and very rich in lime, yielding wines that are characterised by their pithiness, fresh acidity and firm structure.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Rosenberg © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Rosenberg 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Rosenberg 1ÖTW

Göttlesbrunner Rosenberg is a south-facing site, sheltered against the wind, which is embraced by the mixed forests that provide a cooling influence. On the upper part of the slope one finds limestone-poor gravel deposits from the ancient riverbed of the Danube. In the lower parts of the slope, however, lie calcarous sediments of the ancient lakeand river landscape, built of clay, silt and sand.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Schüttenberg © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Schüttenberg 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Schüttenberg 1ÖTW

At some 280 metres, the Schüttenberg is the uppermost elevation in the Arbesthaler Range and – nomen est omen – quite markedly characterised by terrace gravels from the original river bed of the primeval Danube, today about 130 metres lower-down. A gravel layer some 2 million years old and 50 cm thick lies atop sandy-loamy Pannonian sediments with deep calcareous soils. The high proportion of gravel and stone, in conjunction with the cooling edges of the forest, yields particularly firm wines.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Spitzerberg © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Spitzerberg 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Spitzerberg 1ÖTW

The core and mountain crest of the Spitzerberg are composed of Mesozoic limestone and dolomite. On the terraced southern slope one finds mainly sandy and silty clay sediments. The upper part of each terrace is steep and exhibits light-coloured, calcareous deposits. In the lower part, towards the next terrace level, the terrain becomes flatter due to washed-out sediments and humus. Here the soil is darker and more finely grained with little limestone content. The solitary position of the mount amid the gateway between the Alps and the Carpathians ensures extreme aridity. Strong air currents from the southeast do not give rainy Atlantic weather any chance at all, while constant thermal updrafts dry up any moisture in no time flat.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Steinäcker © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Steinäcker 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Steinäcker 1ÖTW

Ried Steinäcker is situated on a ridge that was formed from limestone-poor to limestone-free, pebbly gravel of an old watercourse of the Danube, and runs gently down toward Höflein. The gravel reposes upon clayish sand and subordinate gravel-bearing Miocene deposits, and is blanketed to the northwest by loess – rock dust blown in and redeposited by the wind during the sparsely vegetated Pleistocene Epoch, of floury consistency and always calcareous in nature. The vineyard is located closest to the Danube and benefits from substantial cooling during the night. The name refers to the dominant Danube gravel, which stores the heat of the day, but also brings a taut structure to the wines.

ÖTW Erste Lagen Stuhlwerker © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst
Ried Stuhlwerker 1ÖTW © Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter/ Robert Herbst

Ried Stuhlwerker 1ÖTW

Ried Stuhlwerker is a gentle arc of hills that was formed by sediments of the ancient lake and river landscape and the course of the Danube millions of years ago. The slope is bordered on three sides by the Maria Ellender Forest, which manifests its influence particularly in the cool nocturnal winds, in synergy with the Danube River to the north. At the foot of the slope one finds mainly finegrained calcareous sediments and sand. Upward on the slope, the soil is loamier with a layer of red Danube gravel.

And these are the 20 ÖTW Carnuntum Wineries, whose wines are to be tasted for the first time in Grafenegg:

Weingut Michael Auer www.weingut-auer.com
Weingut Familie Artner www.artner.co.at
Weingut Johann Böheim www.gut-boeheim.at
Weinbau Christian Dietrich www.weinbau-dietrich.com
Weingut Walter Glatzer www.weingutglatzer.at
Weingut Günther Glock www.weingut-guenterglock.at
Weingut Gottschuly-Grassl www.gottschuly.at
Weingut Philipp Grassl www.weingut-grassl.com
Weingut Gerhard Markowitsch www.markowitsch.at
Weingut Lukas Markowitsch www.lukas-markowitsch.com
Weingut Dorli Muhr www.dorlimuhr.at
Weingut Franz und Christine Netzl www.netzl.com
Weingut Martin Netzl www.netzl.net
Weingut Franz Oppelmayer www.oppelmayer.at
Weingut Robert Payr www.weingut-payr.at
Weingut Horst u. Irene Pelzmann www.weingut-pelzmann.at
Weingut Gerhard Pimpel www.gerhardpimpel.at
Weingut Familie Pitnauer www.pitnauer.com
Weingut Taferner www.tafi.at
Weingut Johannes Trapl www.trapl.com
PICTURES (downloadable)