Native wine grapes of Italy
Lugana:The Italian white wine of greater success

Lugana:The Italian white wine of greater success

The Lugana Doc is having a great commercial success, it has become one of Italian white wines more "fashionable". I would like to share some of its recent history. I'd like to star from a common trait with Lessini Durello, which I dedicated a recent post. Both varieties with a great aciditythat made them very difficult.The challenge that was generated was to believe in their potential to create wine "smoothen" adaptable to current taste.

There is another element that actually combines the two stories, being a native grape varieties that only if grown in their territory , which historically have been present in wine are able to express in the wine the best characteristics and identity that makes them unique .

The opportunity to learn more about the recent history of this DOC on the border between the provinces of Brescia and Verona was an event organized by the Section of Vicenza ONAV  and Lugana was the protagonist of the special evening where Carlo Veronese, director of the Consortium for the protection of Lugana Doc, was spokesman.

Lugana is a wine that has found in the export, especially in Germany, its channel of business growth, that is demonstrated by the numbers: only 25% of the production of Lugana ( about 12 million bottles ) remains in Italy, while the rest of 75 % goes abroad. Germany (especially Bavaria), is the largest market share 40% of total production.

If you think the German white wines , from Riesling , it is not surprising that the Lugana meets a lot of favor in Germany. Certainly the presence of tourists in the area of Lake Garda has allowed many Germans knows this wine, but in the Garda area there are other DOC ( Doc on the Garda Lombardy side, Bardolino and Custoza on the Verona side to activate a little more along towards the Valpolicella and Soave) which haven't  the same success .

Double- regional as well as double-provincial (shared between Brescia and Lombardy - where it produces about 80% of the annual production of 120 thousand hectoliters, and Verona and Veneto), this Doc territorially crushed by the great Doc Verona on the one hand, and favored by a certain " coolness " of local consumption in the territory of Brescia on the other hand, it's necessary to find commercial markets in the north. The success was great that stocks of Lugana end in September leaving the producers without the production to sell during the winter, therefore this grape become the most expensive white grapes in Italy, with a quote last harvest between 140,00 and 160,00 euro for quintal .

Turning instead to the characteristics of Lugana wine, remember that it is made from a single variety of grapes as Trebbiano di Lugana grapes, it's also knows as Trebbiano di Soave , which in this Doc can be considered native, and today takes the name of " Historic" Turbiana .

The choise to riname the wine Turbiana, as well as to confirm the native character, it follows from the desire to stand out of the eyes of foreign consumers , from other varieties such as Trebbiano ( Abruzzo di Romagna, Tuscany, ... ) which indeed genetic studies have excluded a relationship , but that does appear to exist with the Verdicchio.

The territory included in the DOC goes from the shores of Lake Garda to the nearby moraine hills, and is mostly flat , characterized by a strong presence of clay.The combination of grape Turbiana and clay soil creates the strength of the identity characteristics of the Lugana wine, which, in addition to the aforementioned high acidity, the presence of salt decided the mineral notes .

Going back to where we started , or the tame the acidity too exuberant , the success of the Lugana wine derives from a specific project, which aims to preserve as much as possible fragrance and freshness of the wine, and the soften sensation of acidity through a sugar residue.

Although today among manufacturers you may encounter different philosophies of wine production, there is no doubt that in the advent of winemaking reduction (which prevents oxidation and promotes the maintenance of varietal aromas) , as well as by the carefully controls of temperature since the conferment grapes harvested and techniques of soft pressing , is the great change that has brought the Lugana wine to be identify as a more " attractive ", it is excellent for aperitif, particularly if associated with a certain residual sugar which balances and softens the feeling sour and mineral.

If vinified without residual sugar and subjected to aging (as of version Reserve), perhaps also using wooden containers , Lugana may instead surprise for structure and become no longer suitable for an aperitif , but to accompany pasta dishes with fish lake , fin'anche to accompany certain meat dishes. Or , in the version with late harvest ( done after one or two nights of frost in the month of November) to accompany cheeses.

Lugana is not only versatile , but it can be taken as an example of how an Italian white wine can be long-lived, capable of maintaining for several years the feelings of freshness and minerality. As evidence of this was brought in a bottle of wine tasting Ca ' Lojera of 2002, which has really surprised everyone as he was still able to express in the mouth ( for completeness story also list the wineries of the other wines in the tasting brought Montonale , Desenzano del Garda , Azienda Agricola Turina of Moniga , Olivini Desenzano del Garda , estate Roveglia Pozzolengo and Fraccaroli of Peschiera del Garda) .

In conclusion, the Lugana Doc is certainly a wine that deserves must be know not only in its various expressions but also through of beauty places where it is, invites you to  take the opportunity to visit some wineries directly so you can touch the passion and the history of the people who have made it a well researched product of our culinary tradition.

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