Wine Dharma

Lugana DOC wine guide

Lugana DOC: wine, grape variety, history and organoleptic characteristics white Lugana DOC is the white wine of Lake Garda, or at least of the southern part, the nectar of great elegance, fresh, mineral, intense, produced starting from Trebbiano di Lugana, also known as Turbiana grape.

Lugana DOC wine production area

We will talk a lot about the Lugana area, because there are few wines so tied to a 2000 hectare plot of land, creating a truly unique and unrepeatable bond. Let’s start immediately by saying where Lugana DOC wine is produced because although it is made with a widespread and inflated vine like Trebbiano, this excellent white wine represents a happy case of adaptation of the vine to a unique terroir. The territory is not very large, we are talking about a real oasis with unique pedoclimatic conditions. It is divided by the border between Lombardy and Veneto, in the coastal and hilly area of ​​southern Lake Garda.

Sirmione, production area of Lugana DOC wine, Venetian white wine The production of the Lugana grapes is mainly entrusted to the Lombard part, in the municipalities of Desenzano, Lonato, Pozzolengo and Sirmione in the province of Brescia, while the winemaking and marketing find its beating heart in Peschiera del Garda. Not surprisingly, given that Peschiera has always been a crossroads of trade, a real commercial hub that interested both Verona and Brescia.

But what is so special about this lake terroir? First of all, the influence of Lake Garda, which with its breezes, the famous Ora, brings coolness in summer and warm gusts in winter. And then the very particular composition of the soil. The Lombard part, the one to the west up to Peschiera, the area close to Lake Garda, is substantially flat, but here the soil is clayey, heavy, dense, rich in minerals.

We point out small, but virtuous areas around Rovizza and Lugana to get to the most famous cru in San Benedetto di Lugana. And it is in this area that the lake’s influence is felt, the vines once reached the shores, rooted in the water and the symbiosis with the lake has always been fundamental. In this type of terroir, the wines are very mineral and complex, salty and dense.

If you move away from the coast and travel towards Pozzolengo and Lonato, the terrain becomes more pebbly and sandy, less compact and even the altitude rises slightly, we are talking about hills of up to 150 meters. It is not the Alps, but this change is radical, the wines relax, expanding the aromas, develop a vigorous acidity, thanks to the sandy soil and are also more alcoholic. It is truly wonderful to be able to savor the differences that a few kilometers of land can give to wine, making it a unique and unrepeatable fresco, millimeter witness of a splendid territory.

This is the strength of Lugana, having invested in the tradition of the land and the vine, freeing itself from Soave, updating the production to ferry it into the new millennium to offer cleanliness and elegance, but at the same time without giving up its own identity. And the prosecco area is not very far away and we know that success goes to the head.

We hope that the Lugana area does not allow itself to be tempted by an expansion due to the success that this wine is enjoying, an expansion that would lead to a loss of concentration and charisma. Especially now that the Lugana sparkling wine and the classic method are also gaining momentum, thanks to Turbiana’s outstanding qualities of freshness, minerality and grace.

Disciplinary of Lugana DOC

Thanks to the awareness of their abilities and the potential of the grape, many wineries now make their own Turbiana wine. It is a triumph for Trebbiano di Lugana, given that the disciplinary allows the blend with 10% of typical vines of the area, but the fact of believing in this project is giving courage to many. And the courage also comes from the fact that the production of Lugana can be declined in five types: Lugana, Lugana Superiore, Lugana Riserva, Lugana Vendemmia Tardiva and Spumante.

Everyone can choose what they want to invest in as they see fit, certain that their product will not fall into a huge sea of ​​wine, but will be conveyed by communication and solid support. The first is the entry-level wine, easy, subtle, citrusy, perfect to accompany cold cuts, Thai food or fish and fried food.

Lugana Superiore ages for one year in the cellar and has more pulp to withstand this aging. It is therefore more mineral and complex, has pulp, but maintains good freshness and excellent drinkability. Excellent with veal with tuna sauce and grilled fish.

Lugana Riserva is pure gold, a solid and structured wine that, before being marketed, rests for 24 months, two years, in the cellar, with 6 months in the bottle to find balance. The level of intensity rises, the minerality becomes the structure, the skeleton of the wine, outlining wines of excellent quality, deep, juicy and full of yellow pulp and references of stone, flowers and licorice. They can age easily in the cellar for more than 10 years, indeed their tertiary charm begins after 10, we don’t want to say like Chablis, but they are certainly not lean wines.

Lugana Vendemmia Tardiva includes the most epiphanic wines, the ones that amaze you. The Trebbiano di Lugana bunches are left to ripen on the plant until October, so that they concentrate sugars and flavors, while the water evaporates. Then they are harvested, pressed and vinified. The result is a wine with an Alsatian charm, sweet, but not cloying, thanks to the acidic shoulder still very present and always ready to cut the sweetness transversely.

Lugana DOC Spumante, wine refermented in the bottle, production characteristics Lugana DOC Spumante both produced with the classic method and with the Martinotti method. Both exploited the excellent acidity of Turbiana, its delicate bouquet based on flowers and citrus fruits and obviously the massive minerality conferred by the soil. Martinotti is fresh, easy to drink and immediate in fruity aromas. The refermented in the bottle is sapid, complex, full of nuances and with algid and sharp acidity, lots of salt, perlage more similar to a constellation and closes with the aromatic embroidery given by the yeasts. Production is modest in numbers, but the future is bright.

History of Lugana DOC wine

This territory is ancient and wine has always been produced here, a wine renowned since the time of the Romans, made famous by poets such as Catullus, a native of these lands, even if the cultivation of the vine is much older, so much so that artifacts have been found and Vitis Silvestris seeds in some pile dwellings in Peschiera del Garda. For years the Turbiana grape has been confused with Verdicchio, but in reality, it resembles, but on a genetic level there are no deep relationships. It is part of the great Trebbiano family, but in this case, the clone, Trebbiano di Lugana, is more expressive. The name that comes from Selva Lucana is curious, that is the name of this area once halfway between swamp and forest and not perfectly cared for and sunny as it appears today. It was the Republic of Venice in 1500 that began the agricultural reclamation works to colonize this splendid strip of land.

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