Sustainability News Wine

Carnuntum & organic - it’s a match

by Bettina Bäck
An organic vineyard in Carnuntum in all its splendour - environmentally conscious wine production in Carnuntum is something to be proud of.

The red wine region in the east of Austria has taken on a pioneering role in organic farming. At first glance, Carnuntum may seem a tranquil place, but this small wine region is also one of the most dynamic in Austria: by the 2024 vintage, 64 % of the total vineyard area cultivated by the Rubin Carnuntum group of wineries will be organic. 

Comparison of figures  

Organic vineyards accounted for 22 % of Austria's total vineyard area in 2022, making the country one of the pioneers of environmentally conscious wine production by international standards*. 

The 34 Rubin Carnuntum wineries account for 504 hectares of the total 830 hectares of vineyards in the Carnuntum winegrowing region. With the 2024 vintage, 324 hectares of this will be farmed organically. This means that an incredible 64 % of the Rubin Carnuntum vineyards are already organic! Another 16 hectares are currently under conversion, with ten hectares due to be certified organic in 2025 and six hectares in 2026.**  

How did it come about?  

How did the small wine region of Carnuntum come to be the organic frontrunner in Austria? It is probably due to the rapid overall development of the region. It all began with a large-scale geological study in 2006, when the vineyards of Carnuntum were analysed over a period of four years. Findings about the different geological soil development in the various vineyards, water binding capacity, lime content and similar parameters helped the winegrowers to understand their practical experience with the vineyards in a scientifically robust manner. This work led to a focus on single-vineyard wines, ultimately to the classification of the vineyard sites and, at the same time, to the definition of the Carnuntum DAC, which was implemented in 2019. It was just a small and logical step from the intensive examination of the vineyard sites to organic cultivation. In this way, Carnuntum has implemented incredible changes over the past two decades and reinvented the entire winegrowing region.  

It’s a match 

Carnuntum is one of the driest regions in Austria, with an annual average rainfall of less than 400 millimetres in some places. The area is also extremely exposed to the wind. The strong air currents through the Brucker Pforte resist the bad weather fronts moving in from the Atlantic, meaning that rain clouds rarely reach Carnuntum. These are basically challenging conditions for viticulture – but they are an advantage for organic farming. But probably the greatest success factor is the spirit of the winegrowers to face the challenges of organic farming together and in close cooperation with each other.  

Natural development  

The positive changes in vineyards and vinification are enormous. The main focus is on the soil – in order to counteract more frequent droughts, it is necessary to build up humus through intensive compost work. In this way, moisture can be better retained in the soil: a game changer in an area with low rainfall. Vitality in the vineyards increases and the vines become more resilient. At the same time, growth is slower and the grapes become smaller and looser-berried. The vines increasingly begin to regulate themselves. And the diverse life in the soil grows.  

Holistic thinking also has an impact on the cellar work. The grapes are more harmonious in their ripeness and therefore less intervention is usually required. Fermentation takes place spontaneously using wild yeasts and significantly less sulphur can be used.   

Can you taste the difference?  

YES, the winemakers agree. Not from day one, of course, but over the years you can clearly tell that the acidity is slightly higher and is in a natural balance with the tannins. The overall impression of the wine becomes more harmonious from year to year. Less sulphur is needed in the vinification process and the longevity of the wines increases. 

Peter Artner
© Steve Haider

"For us, organic is a way of life. We have taken a careful approach and step by step converted the entire business to organic. Since then, our vines have become more vital and robust."

Peter Artner from Artner winery
Caroline Taferner
© cmvisuals

"If you work with the soil as intensively as we do, organic farming is not far away."

Caroline Taferner from Taferner winery
Philipp Grassl
© Steve Haider

"We have slowly introduced organic farming and closely observed what it does to the wines, but also to us and our employees. The positive effect on many levels has been convincing."

Philipp Grassl from Philipp Grassl winery
Christina Netzl
© Julius Hirtzberger

"For many years, we didn't label our organic production methods on the bottle because we were put off by the red tape. In the end, we followed our customers’ wishes for more visibility of our organic way of working and set our official course in this direction."

Christina Netzl from Franz & Christine Netzl winery
Hanna und Walter Glatzer
© cmvisuals

"In 2016, we were one of the first wineries in Carnuntum to decide to switch to organic, because for us, organic viticulture is more than just a cultivation method – it's a way of life. The sustainable way of farming is not only good for the environment, but also for our future and that of our children."

Walter Glatzer from Glatzer winery
Robert Payr
© cmvisuals

"Organic was never the actual goal - it was rather the logical consequence of constantly improving the quality of the region and expressing the typicity of origin even more clearly."

Robert Payr from Payr winery

Fit for the future  

However, all the wineries believe that the most important goal is to secure the vitality of the soil with plants that are as resilient as possible in the long term in order to meet the challenges of climate change with ever more extreme weather events.  

Rubin Carnuntum wineries with organic or sustainable cultivation:

  • Weingut Artner, Höflein (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Auer, Höflein (Organic certified from autumn 2024)

  • Weingut Böheim, Arbesthal (Sustainable Austria certified)

  • Weingut Manfred Edelmann, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified from the 2025 vintage)

  • Weingut Glatzer, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Gottschuly-Grassl, Höflein (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Philipp Grassl, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Grassl Nepomukhof, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

  • Weinbau Gratzer-Sandriester, Prellenkirchen (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Lager, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Lukas Markowitsch, Göttlesbrunn (Sustainable Austria certified)

  • Weingut Gerhard Markowitsch, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Dorli Muhr, Prellenkirchen (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Franz & Christine Netzl, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Martin Netzl, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified from autumn 2024)

  • Weingut Oppelmayer, Göttlesbrunn (Sustainable Austria certified)

  • Weingut Robert Payr, Höflein (Organic certified)

  • Weingut Gerhard Pimpel, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified from autumn 2024)

  • Weingut Pitnauer, Göttlesbrunn (Sustainable Austria certified)

  • Weingut Michaela Riedmüller, Hainburg (Organic certified from 2026)

  • Weingut Taferner, Göttlesbrunn (Organic certified)

*Source: https://www.austrianwine.com/our-wine/environmental-consciousness-in-austrian-viticulture/organic-viticulture

** The 34 Rubin Carnuntum wineries cultivate 60% of the vineyards in Carnuntum. Other organically certified wineries of a substantial size (bottle fillers as well as grape producers) work in Carnuntum without being members of the association. An estimated 40% of the area as a whole is certified organic. There are no publicly available figures.  

About Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter

The Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter represent 37 winegrowers from Austria's Carnuntum winegrowing region. The group, originally founded in 1986, spent the following decades laboriously profiling the remarkable geological and climatic elements of their region. Those efforts crystallized in 2019 into an official Carnuntum DAC. One year earlier, in 2018, twenty members of the Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter joined the Österreichische Traditionsweingütern (ÖTW) as a group.

Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter
Fischamender Straße 12/3
2460 Bruck an der Leitha

Rubin Carnuntum Weingüter

Media contacts:


Bettina Bäck: +43 664 150 72 82, [email protected]

Elisabeta Aftin: +43 676 852 092 221, e.aftin@wine-partners

Bettina Bäck von Wine+Partners
Bettina Bäck
Senior Project Manager

Bettina has been with Wine+Partners since 2002, with countless projects domestic and international under her belt. She currently manages sommelier world champion Marc Almert, the culinary think tank Koch.Campus, the Styrian wineries Weingut Muster.Gamlitz, Weingut Langmann and the STK wineries, the culinary concept store Kärntnerei and the Kozlović wine estate in Istria.