After the master class, several VieVinum attendees headed over the VieVinum Cup and following dinner of Vienna Whites and Lower Austrian Reds, but a couple of my new found companions and I opted to take advantage of one of the separate programs taking place that evening: dinner in the Roman ruins of the Carnuntum wine region featuring traditional Roman cuisine and an array of Zweigelt. Truth be told, I wish it had been possible to attend both – but that just wasn’t possible!

The event was hosted by Wine & Partners of Austria who picked up a small group of us, twelve or so, in the city center of Vienna and whisked us away to the vineyards of Carnuntum. Our first stop was the Glatzer winery which was set up to showcase the wines of the region. Present were:

Weingut Walter Glatzer – Zweigelt 2008; Grüner Veltliner 2009
Weingut Gerhard Markowitsch -Zwiegelt 2008; Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2009
Weingut Robert Payr – Zwiegelt 2008; Grüner Veltliner Rothenberg 2008
Weingut Gerhard Pimpel – Zwiegelt 2008; Chardonnay 2009
Weingut Franz & Christine Netzl – Zwiegelt 2008; Weissburgunder Selection Barnreiser 2009
Weingut Lukas Markowitsch -Zweigelt 2008; Savignon Blanc 2009
Weingut Johannes Trapl – Rubin Carnuntum Zweigelt 2009
Weingut Franz Taferner – Rubin Carnuntum Zweigelt 2009
Weingut Stefan Ott -Zweigelt 2008
Family Grassl, Nepomukhof – Zweigelt 2008
Family Artner – Zweigelt 2008

After tasting through and a brief introduction to the region we traveled to the town of Carnuntum which hosts the preserved sit of Roman ruins. Our tour guide explained to us that everything we saw there was as close to real as it possibly could be… the coolest part? We could touch everything! The other cool part? Our dinner was actually held in one of the houses that had been preserved and reconstructed. How many people can say they’ve wined & dined IN ancient ruins?

To begin the dinner, we met outside of the ruins and were served a traditional, mead style beverage of white wine infused with honey paired with a hearty oat bread. Once we shuffled inside to take our places, we found many of the winemakers waiting for us to join them at dinner. The dinner consisted for four courses and each course was paired with three wines.

Ham with a crust of honey served with a wax-creamy egg and a pine nut & lovage sauce
Grüner Veltliner Arbesthal 2009 – Stefan Ott
Grüner Veltliner Selection 2009 – Neopmukhof Grassl
Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben 2008 – Hannes Trapl

Carnuntum green asparagus with mint
Rubin Carnuntum 2008 Zweigelt – Walter Glatzer
Rubin Carnuntum 2008 Zweigelt – Gerhard Markowitsch
Spitzerber 2007 Blaufränkisch – Robert Payr

Braised lamb served with “Liquamen” and dried plums
Zweigelt Selection 2007 – Gerhard Pimpel
Cuvee Lukas 2007 – Lukas Markowitsch
Anna-Christina 2007 – Franz & Christine Netzl

“Globuli-Topfenknödel” served with strawberry salad
Sauvignon Blanc 2009 sample of the barrel – Family Artner
Gelber Muskateller 2009 – Franz Taferner

After the dinner we met back outside to taste through more wines and share a closing cigar before being carted off to Vienna again (which ultimately ended in a trip to the famous Wien & Co. there is a regular occurrence.)

It was really interesting to experience the wine region in such a manner – however touristy it may have actually been. Carnuntum is a lesser- known region of Austria, but is really producing some great wines with a focus on the reds. For more information on Carnuntum, check here.