I am a Lugana Lover. And I have wanted to drink more wine from Lugana since I was first introduced to the Turbiana grape and the wine region in Italy two years ago. Lugana Turbiana checks all our boxes for beautiful white wine – mineral-driven, elegant and complex, with citrus, salinity and refreshing acidity. Consequently, these wines shine with personality and character in every single sip. They are versatile, approachable, age-worthy, food friendly and wallet friendly. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any during the pandemic. And I looked hard! So, you can imagine my joy when Vigneto Communications sent us this shipment of 2020 Turbiana. Read on to learn more about the region, the grape and the wine.
Lugana DOC is a small northeast wine region on the border between the two provinces of Brescia and Verona. It is on the southern tip of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake and one of the deepest in the world. The depth of the lake absorbs heat, while temperate breezes help keep the grapes healthy and free from pests. And the minor difference between day and night temperatures creates a “climactic cradle,” which is perfect for growing the Turbiana grape.
Italy established Lugana DOC in 1967. But farmers have been cultivating Turbiana grapes in the region since the Roman Empire. A unique terroir features mineral-rich soils predominantly made up of white clays and limestone. They are morainic, a result of a glacier that used to occupy the area. In other words, Turbiana grows in clay soil that covers a mineral-rich glacial moraine. The deep lake and the glacier are key to growing Turbiana.
Lugana Turbiana Wines
The Turbiana grape is also known as Trebbiano di Lugana. About 27 million bottles of Lugana Turbiana are produced each year, of which 70% are subsequently exported to 65 countries. Until recently, the Lugana wine region was a secret shared among thousands of tourists who enjoy the beaches, restaurants, Roman ruins, castles and golf courses at Lake Garda.
But as Lugana’s wine quality improved, word spread further. These days, the United States is Lugana’s third-largest export market. Germany is its largest market, possibly because a majority of Lake Garda’s summer tourists seem to come from that country.
More than 200 producers of Consorzio Tutela Lugana DOC craft five styles of Turbiana: Vintage, Superiore, Riserva, Spumante (Sparkling) and Late Harvest. But these classifications don’t represent a hierarchy of quality. The difference is largely stylistic – for instance, fresher versus richer-flavored and more complex. In addition, Superiore must age at least one year before release. Riserva must age for at least two years prior to release.
Lugana Turbiana Samples
Our shipment of 2020 Turbiana consists of three wines: Pratello Catulliano, Selva Capuzza San Vigilio and Tognazzi Cascina Ardea. These wines display a great balance between sweetness and acidity. And they typically cost between $10-$20.
Pratello Catulliano 2020 Lugana DOC
What a pretty wine. Aromas of limes and apples lead into flavors of peaches, pears, apricots and almonds. Pratello Catulliano features sweet, sour and salty flavors, but they are balanced and integrated. Catulliano pairs well with grilled fish, herring, and pasta with seafood and/or white truffle. Or drink it without food, as a refreshing apertivo or with cheeses such as parmigiano or gorgonzola.
Selva Capuzza San Vigilio 2020 Lugana DOC
This is a classic, traditional Lugana. Selva Capuzza San Vigilio 2020 is clean, crisp, floral and fruit- driven with a lingering, fresh finish. Selva Capuzza has produced this wine since the 1960s. It’s is a lively crowd-pleaser. Aromas of grass, herbs, citrus and apples are complemented with flavors of grapefruits, melons, salinity and minerality. Drink it now or put it away for a few years to showcase even more minerality and body. Pair it with salads, fish dishes or grilled chicken.
Tognazzi Cascina Ardea 2020 Lugana DOC
Tognazzi Benedetto’s farm is located on the east side of Brescia, which is world-famous for its marble used, for example, in the White House and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Rome. This family-run winery produces Cascina Ardea from the vineyards located in the heart of Lugana. Ardea opens with a delicate fragrance and flavors of apples and limes. Like all Turbiana wines, pair it with poultry or fish dishes, or even pizza, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian foods.
Lugana Turbiana Summary
We are proud Lugana lovers. And we are delighted that this wonderful white wine is more readily available in the U.S. again. We know we’ll be pairing it with our lakeside deck this summer. In addition, we will be serving it with a variety of meals all year round.
Above all, many thanks to Consorzio of Lugana and wine educator Susannah Gold of Vigneto Communications for the samples.
Previous stories about Lugana Turbiana:
- Lugana Lovers
- Warm Weather Whites 2021
- Favorite 50 Wines of 2020
- Holiday Whites 2020
- Warm Weather Whites 2020
Margot and Dave