Saturday, June 22, 2024

Lugana: The White Jewel of Lake Garda

If you’ve traveled across northern Italy and visited many of its great lakes you may have stumbled upon Lake Garda that straddles the region of the Veneto and Lombardy.  With such charm and beauty as well as great proximity to so many wonderful surrounding towns, it’s not a surprise that one finds themself falling in love with the area.  In addition, this area is home to so many great known wines of Italy to include Valpolicella, Amarone, Bardolino and the Lugana white wines we are talking about today. 

Lugana wine region 

It's a challenge to pick Italy’s great white wines with so many to choose from.  Time and time again when I have tried a bottle of Lugana I’m reminded how great these wines can be.  Lugana wines are produced in the southern part of Lake Garda split between the Lombardy and Veneto region. You will find these wines produced in the town of Peschiera del Garda on the Veneto side and in Lombardy Lugana is produced in Desenzano, Pozzolengo, Sirmione and Lonato. 

Lugana wine comunes at Lake Garda

Lake Garda is the ideal climate for growing these grapes.  It helps moderate the temperatures creating a rather mild climate with cool winters and breezes that help cool down the hot summers.  

Lugana is made from the native Turbiana grape.  Many of the wineries that produce Lugana will use 100% of the Turbiana grape, but there is an allowance of up to 10% non-aromatic white grapes.  

Turbiana grapes in Lugana wines
Turbiana grapes - copyright of the Consorzio Tutela Lugana DOC

Lugana wines are produced in a variety of styles: your standard still white, Superiore, Riserva, late harvest (known as vendemmia tardiva) and a sparkling spumante.  About 90% of the Lugana production is made in the standard still white wine version, but there is something for everyone with this one wine and it’s interesting to see it in its various styles. 

The wine I am sharing today is a Lugana DOC still white wine.  These wines are typically enjoyed young.  Beautiful floral aromatics with a possible hint of almond.  They’re fresh and bright on the palate showing citrus notes.  As you approach the Riserva and Superiore versions the wines will change in structure, texture and intensity of flavors.  

The Wine 

Monte Zovo’s Lugana vineyards are situated in the Lombardy region split between the Pozzolengo and Desenzano comunes set at the base of San Martino della Battiglia tower at about 100 meters above sea level.  

San Martino della Battiglia tower in Lombardy
San Martino della Battiglia - copyright of Wikipedia
The 2022 Monte Zovo Le Civaie Terralbe Lugana DOC is made of 100% Turbiana grapes. The soil of this area is morainic white calcareous clay that is rich in minerals. The grapes are hand harvested and chilled on the spot. The grapes macerate for 8-10 hours and are fermented at low temperatures for 15-20 days. The wine spends 5 months on the lees and 2 months in the bottle. 

The wine was straw colored with pretty aromatics of stone fruit with a touch of honey and petrol and some citrus. Light to medium-bodied, this wine was crisp with refreshing acidity and bright, tangy citrus. A nicely balanced wine with some saltiness on the finish. SRP $25

2022 Monte Zovo Le Civaie Terralbe Lugana DOC
Have you tried the wines of Lugana?  What about a visit to Lake Garda?  What are your favorite sites?  I love to hear from my readers so drop a comment.

You can shop on in support of Vino Travels and find a variety of Lugana wines to try for yourself.

*This wine was provided as a sample, but opinions are always my own.  

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