Believe it or not, there are certain native grapes in Italy worth of high reputation, but not fully recognized in Italy among winelovers and professionals. This is even more a paradox, when we consider, among loads of native grapes, Lugana DOC, a white wine highly appreciated more abroad than in Italy. Here we go with some more information about this wine: about 1,700 hectares of vineyards and 18 mln bottles of wine per year(70% for export), about a hundred of wineries.
Lugana DOC comes from grapes Turbiana, a native grape, also known as Trebbiano di Soave or Trebbiano di Lugana, often compared to Verdicchio marchigiano, but definitely it’s different: there are roughly 65 different clones of Turbiana.
This wine is the fine result of the combination of soil composition and specific climate. This DOC collapses over two regions, located on the South of lake Garda, shared between Lombardia (Brescia province) and Veneto (Verona province). Vines are grown at low altitude (not over 150 mt a.s.l.) in clay soils (especially next to the lake) or sandy and gravel (those further from the lake). Turbiana grapes are grown in silty soils, coming from past glacial eras, in a very fertile and mineral area. Lake breeze is a gentle touch over the vines, just to move the humidity away: these are just the perfect conditions to grow healthy grapes.
The area of production of wines under the appellation Lugana DOC includes the town of Sirmione and part of Peschiera del Garda, Desenzano del Garda, Lonato del Garda, Pozzolengo.
The appellation system is simple and schematic. Lugana DOC requires at least 90% of Turbiana, but most of wines on the market are from 100% this grape. The remaining 10% may be from local non-aromatic grapes, grown in the region.
Lugana DOC can be of five different types:
Regular Lugana (2019 has just been released) is almost 90% of the DOC production. On the nose, it reminds white flowers, green apple and citrus flavours. On the mouth it’s crispy and immediate.
Lugana Superiore. It’s aged one year more than the regular (currently, we can find 2018 on the market). It may be aged in oak. On the nose, it’s more complex: from field herbs, tangerine, chlorophyll and spices. On the mouth it is fresh, mineral and tasty.
Lugana Riserva. It’s aged at least 24 months (either in big barrels or barriques). It’s deep gold and on the nose it results balsamic and flinty. On the mouth it’s definitely full bodied and persistent. There are several Lugana Superiore and Riserva worth of a long aging especially after being fermented with the yeasts (sur lies). Tasting these wines is a touching experience!
Late harvested Lugana. From over riped grapes, picked lately, between the end of October and beginning of November. This is a smooth wine, not very sweet, but it may remind the late harvested wines from Alsace.
Lugana Spumante. (Charmat or Champenoise method). We firmly prefer Champenoise, because of its creamy and persistent bubbles, as well as the enveloping exotic fruit flavours and the saltiness on the mouth.
At the end, Lugana DOC and its five different types are elegant, sensual, versatile wines, that go perfectly with lake fish dishes and more others.
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