by Federica Benedetti for Lugana Wines
To talk about Lugana is to present Lake Garda, with hills framing the largest lake in Italy (in the north of the country), clay soil, ancient swamps, agriculture that remains a tradition and joins a more modern tourism, its Mediterranean climate and the charm of its landscape. Versatility and harmony, in a prestigious territory that never ceases to surprise its visitors.
“Lugana” is a small region of about 2,100 hectares, between the provinces of Brescia and Verona, which gives its name to a high quality white wine, over 148,000 hectoliters and 16,000,000 bottles are produced on the hills that frame the southern part of the lake. To date, the companies of the Lugana Consortium export 70 percent of their product, equal to about 17 million bottles, of which about 1 million are destined for the US market.
From ancient Selva Lucana
In ancient times, in what was once called “Selva Lucana”, that is, an area covered with woods and marshes, there was a marshy environment which was reclaimed, beginning in the fifteenth century. Historical testimony proves the existence of the vine in the Bronze Age. To return, however, to the wine – fruit and pride of this territory today, with its valuable and well established tourism – the name ‘Lugana’ was born in 1967, and was among the first in Italy. The Consortium of Protection was established later, in 1990, in Peschiera del Garda.
The white Garda DOC comes from a local variety of the Turbiana vine, which benefits from both the temperate microclimate of the lake area that constitutes a particularly favorable “climatic cradle”, and the the clayey soils typical of the territory. Drinking Lugana means choosing a white wine which is soft, fresh and harmonious, and which has many followers on social media, the so-called “Lugana Lovers”, whose numbers are growing in Europe and overseas. Lovers of Lugana, indeed the #luganalovers, are constantly increasing, especially in the United States, where the Consortium represents not only Lugana but all the beauty of the Garda area.
In addition to the traditional basic versions, Superiore and Riserva, the specification allows for two extremely interesting types: Spumante and the Late Harvest. Lugana is probably one of the most suitable Italian white wines for ageing, and several local wineries have embraced this philosophy with very good results.