The region has reached agreement on the three levels Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine), and continues to emphasise the traditional and highly prized varieties: white wine vinified from Chardonnay, Weissburgunder or Grüner Veltliner, red wine from Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch.
The family of Austrian winegrowing regions with DAC status continues to grow: after thorough consideration and regional consensus, the winegrowing region Carnuntum submitted a draft DAC regulation, which has now been signed by the Federal Minister for Sustainability & Tourism Maria Patek. This makes Carnuntum the fourteenth Austrian winegrowing region with specific protections in place for regionally typical wines.
Willi Klinger, managing director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) summarises: ‘With the DAC regulation that has now been enacted, Carnuntum is also embarking on the successful path of origin-based marketing. The winegrowers have succeeded in working out a profile that will unmistakably express and convey the characteristics of their region in both red and white wine, and will ensure even greater distinctiveness’.
Three levels, regionally typical grape varieties
Like the Steiermark, Kamptal, Kremstal and Traisental, the region Carnuntum – located in the eastern part of Austria between Vienna and the Slovak border, encompassing an area of 906 hectares under vines – will henceforth implement a three-level DAC regulation: Gebietswein (regional wine), Ortswein (‘villages’ wine) and Riedenwein (single-vineyard wine). The varietal palette focuses on the region’s marquee players: for white wines Chardonnay, Weissburgunder and Grüner Veltliner, and the reds Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch. Monovarietal Carnuntum DAC wines must be vinified exclusively from these varieties, while blends must contain at least two thirds of one of them. This means that cuvées can also contain up to a third of other approved Qualitätswein (quality wine) varieties – for example, in a red wine, Sankt Laurent, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
Carnuntum has been showing very well now for quite some time, with distinctive red wines and robustly structured whites. The new DAC regulation stipulates that all wines must conform to the flavour profile ‘dry’, and that red wines must also have an alcohol content of at least 12%. In addition, Ortswein and Riedenwein must be given adequate time to develop their distinctive and expressive character: the application for obtaining a Federal Inspection Number may not be submitted before 15 March for white wine and not before 1 November in the year following the harvest for red wine.
Rubin Carnuntum will remain
The established brand Rubin Carnuntum will remain in place parallel to the DAC regulation, and will continue to provide a guarantee of special and regionally typical wines vinified from the variety Zweigelt.
Was does DAC signify?
Districtus Austriae Controllatus (DAC) is a legal indication of origin for regionally typical Austrian Qualitätswein. So if a wine label features the name of a winegrowing region in combination with ‘DAC’, one is guaranteed a wine of quality that is typical of the region. A DAC wine may only be produced from the grape varieties specified for that DAC region and must comply with all requirements of the regulation established by the region. There are currently 14 DAC winegrowing regions in Austria. Wines that do not meet the DAC requirements will bear the name of the respective federal state as an indication of provenance, as part of the variety of available wines at this level of origin.