Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Passion And Perfection Of Italy’s Lugana DOC Wines

IMG_20200607_134531_310Are you a lover of Italian wine? It’s time to become familiar with the Lugana DOC.

Learning Lugana

I’m a Certified Specialist of Wine. I’ve spent countless hours studying obscure Italian grapes and memorizing the location of wine regions from the top of the Italian boot to the tip of the toe. Yet I must admit I drew a blank when the name of Lugana was raised.

Keep up with the latest. Follow us on Instagram!

Lugana DOC is a small wine region that straddles the border between Lombardy and Veneto in Northern Italy. It produces white wine only and uses the high-quality Turbiana grape variety, also known as Trebbiano di Lugana. during a recent Wine Studio education program, we dug into the finer points of these wines and this unique region.


Lake Garda Grown

Lugana lies just south of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake and one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in Northern Italy. Centuries ago the area was covered by “Selva Lucana”, a really dense marshy forest. 
Vines in the area date back to the Bronze Age. As early as 1595, Lugana was praised by philosopher and author Andrea Bacci as “lusty, agreeable wine.”

The soil is sedimentary clay deposited by movements of the glaciers. It is chalky and rich in limestone and mineral salts. The wines are some of the top whites in the country. They have clean, powerful scents that combine hints of almonds and citrus fruits, as well as acidity, tanginess and a well-balanced structure.

Lugana rocks in the “climate cradle” created by Lake Garda. The lake moderates the temperature with breezes that are mild and fairly constant. There is little difference between day and night temperatures, making it ideal for the grape Turbiana.


The Turbiana Touch

For years Turbiana, also called Trebbiano di Lugana, was confused with Verdicchio. Studies have shown that it is indeed its own unique cultivar. The grapes are medium-sized and thick-skinned with a lower yield than other Trebbiano.

Winemakers produce five different styles of Lugana DOC wine: standard Lugana, Superiore, Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva (Late Harvest) and Spumante (Sparkling). Ninety percent of Lugana wine is the “standard” Lugana – fresh and young with citrus and floral notes.

Lifting A Glass Of Lugana!

We had a chance to taste through four bottles of Lugana. Here are the food pairings and tasting notes:

Citari 2019 Sorgente - We started with a raw summer squash ravioli with vegan almond "ricotta" followed by linguini in a white clam sauce. The Sorgente is a light-bodied white wine with tart citrus and bright acidity. There are floral and starfruit notes on the nose.

Lugana DOC Wine
Marangona 2017 Tre Campane - The Marangona 2017 Tre Campane is fresh with citrus notes of orange, a body that mellows in the glass. Blossom notes and a dash of salinity. Tre Campane means 'Three Bells.' The wine is aged in cement -- no hiding the great flavors behind oak! Our culinary team whipped up Tomato and Corn Whole Wheat Rotini and White Bean & Beet Green Sauté.

Olivini 2016 Brut - Our meal choice was white pizza with herbed Alfredo sauce and lemon garlic kale. The wine has floral and apple notes and a good savory side thanks to 48 months on the lees. The metodo classico is used. That's the same way Champagne is made, with a second fermentation in the bottle.

Cà Maiol 2018 –
This was the most complex of the Lugana wines we tried. It starts with a nice aroma of flower blossoms in the rain. It is tangy with waves of salinity and minerality. Flavor notes include apples and roasted fruit. Served with chicken and penne pasta in pesto cream sauce and a beet salad with herbed goat cheese and walnuts.

Lugana is a premium white wine that should be on your radar in your hunt for elegant Italian wine. It’s food friendly with a lively flavor profile that’s sure to please.

No comments: