Lugana is a small, treasured wine region in Northern Italy. The region produces beautifully elegant white wines. It is a charming area at the base of Lake Garda with beautiful azure water and the Alps as a dramatic backdrop.
Americans typically drink Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, but Lugana wines are a great alternative. The wines are fresh and low in alcohol, The wines are not powerful, they are more restrained and elegant with their crispness, bright aromatics, and an interesting balance between fruit and minerality. Lugana gets better and better in the bottle and ages with complexity and balance. When looking for your next bottle of white wine, be sure to reach for a bottle from Lugana.
What Sets Apart Lugana
Lugana is positioned on the beautiful southern Italian shores of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy sitting at 370 km, forming more than 10,000 years ago thanks to glacial activity. This resulted in a unique microclimate perfect for winemaking.
Lake Garda is the biggest lake in Italy formed by glaciers. The soils are composed of fossils, clay, and limestone. Lugana lies at the bottom of the Lake on the southern end. It is a small region approximately ten kilometers by ten kilometers. The climate is Mediterranean, with winds from the lake to keep the region warm.
Meet Turbiana, An Ancient Native Variety
This indigenous white grape called Turbiana dates all the way back to ancient Roman times and thrives here in low-lying plains. It has thick skin, densely packed bunches, and great acidity. Turbiana prides itself on the ability to maintain high levels of tartaric acid, lending freshness to young wines while giving reserve wines an impressive aging potential of up to 10 years and more.
Marvelous Microclimate of Lugana
Densely packed, light-colored clay soil which sits on top of a mineral-rich bed of glacial moraine foothill creates the perfect scene for winemaking. The favorable diurnal range of temperature is also thanks to the Peler (cold night wind from the North) and Ora (the warm breeze from the South) that comb through the vineyards alternating crucial sun and rest in addition to keeping stagnant air at bay.
Lugana Wine Style
Lugana wine is fresh and approachable while offering an important acidity, giving the wines the potential for aging. Lugana is made in 5 different styles, demonstrating the versatility of the Turbiana grape, all with DOC designation: Lugana, Superiore, Riserva, Vendemmia Tardiva (late harvest), and Spumante (sparkling).
Wine & Food pairing
The rich body balanced with lively acidity and a floral bouquet pair well with comfort food from the sea. Think grilled shrimp and pasta, fresh oysters, and lake trout. The aromatic qualities and nutty notes also make it a perfect aperitif by itself.
Four Lugana Wines To Try Now
Famiglia Olivini Metodo Classico Millesimato Lugana Brut DOC 2018
This sparkling wine is made in the classic method. There are aromas of tropical fruit and delicate floral notes. This bubbly is creamy and full at the same time. Excellent as an aperitif, but it can be served as a wine to accompany an entire meal. Excellent with antipasti, grilled shrimp or creamy pasta.
Bulgarini Cà Vaibo Lugana DOC
Ca Vaibo Lugana from Bulgarini, is an incredible white wine that has light aging in oak barrels that creates a wine that has a dense straw yellow color with beautiful accents of warm gold. On the nose and mouth a typical fruity aroma with notes of apricot and peach with a smooth forward taste. A deep profile with good structure thanks to the powerful length at the finish.
Zenato Lugana Riserva DOC 2016
Zenato Winery is located in the heart of Lugana, with one of the oldest vineyards in the area, Santa Cristina in San Benedetto di Lugana. The proximity to Lake Garda and the Alps allows for a mild microclimate. Brilliant gold in color, Sergio Zenato Riserva offers an intense yet elegant floral bouquet. Beautifully layered on the palate, this wine tantalizes the senses with notes of stone fruit, vanilla, and white flowers.
Cobue ’31 Ottobre’ Vendemmia Tardiva Lugana DOC
This is a “pure” late harvest 100% Turbiana that was left to overripe on the vines, without any further drying. This luscious wine was harvested on 31 October 2019, it is only produced in the best years possible. The Cobue Vendemmia Tardiva has hints of candied fruit and apricot. It is full and sweet and is balanced with bright acidity.