Jul 03, 2022
The Italian wine scene includes over 350 officially registered varieties of indigenous vines and this brings us to the first place worldwide. The meaning of the autochthonous term, reserved for a grape, means that that particular vine was born and grew in that territory, developing and adapting not only to certain Regions, but also to specific areas or micro zones ideal for its particular grapes. It will therefore have a strong link with its territory, and if planted in a different area, it will not give the same result and will not have the very precise and typical organoleptic characteristics of the primary place of origin.
Each vine planted in ancient times differs from the others in the shape of the bunch, the color of the grain and the leaves. Some autochthonous grapes, consolidated Italian heritage of great value, are well known; unfortunately others are in danger of extinction, while some are not even registered. This great ampelographic richness (a discipline that studies, classifies and identifies the varieties of vines) should be further enhanced, as a distinctive feature. Wines produced with indigenous grapes are nowadays appreciated as per a consolidated tradition, because they are rich in personality and territorial value. In Italy the most cultivated vine, which covers 10% of the national territory, is Sangiovese. The allochthonous or international vines, that is widespread in other regions or countries than the one of origin, have great adaptability in integrating into even different territories for different climatic situations, preserving their own peculiar characteristics. An example of this type is Chardonnay, a grape of French origin but today widespread in many areas including Sicily, a region in which it has adapted perfectly, giving rise to excellent wine results.
Coldiretti has drawn up a special Top Ten relating to the first 9 months of the year 2022, and then disseminated on the occasion of Vinitaly in Verona, of the 10 Italian wines produced from native vines best-selling in Italy. In the first place we find the Lugana with an increase in sales of 49%; a very old Veneto-Lombard white wine that is produced in an area overlooking Lake Garda and takes its name from the town of the same name. Traces of its presence have been found even before the ancient Romans and it was also mentioned by the famous poet Catullus. Stilt houses were found in Peschiera del Garda dating back to the Bronze Age, in which seeds from Trebbiano di Lugana were found.
The cultivation of this wine is very influenced by the position of the territory near the lake which, with its lake breeze, gives off freshness in the summer and warm gusts in the winter, an important role for productivity. The conformation of the soil varies according to the position, the Lombard part (Desenzano, Sirmione, Pozzolengo and Lonato) is flat with clayey soil rich in minerals; in the easternmost part, in Peschiera del Garda, the area is hilly and the soil more sandy. Lugana is produced with the Turbiana vine, also called Trebbiano di Lugana, and there are 5 types: Lugana DOC, Lugana Superiore, Lugana Riserva, Lugana late harvest and Spumante. A wine with a straw yellow color with greenish reflections tending to golden after aging, with a very pleasant savory flavor, slightly acidic and dry. However it is a "simple" wine, with good drinkability and freshness with hints of flowers and almonds.
We see below the main characteristics of the 5 types of Lugana produced.
Lugana DOC is a wine that requires 1-2 years of aging; it is indicated as an aperitif and goes perfectly with grilled fish, as well as being excellent with polenta and pizza, pasta or rice first courses seasoned with vegetarian or seafood sauces.
The Superiore version, on the other hand, is a soft, citrusy and persistent wine. It is aged for 1 year and is excellent with first courses seasoned with elaborate sauces, with fresh cheeses. Its aroma also goes perfectly with scalloped white meats and veal with tuna sauce.
As for the Lugana Riserva, this has at least 2 years of aging and 6 months in the bottle. It is defined as "pure gold", a wine that has the ability to develop its tertiary charm after the tenth year of aging. It is of excellent quality, juicy and structured, deeply savory with hints of licorice and flowers, as well as hints of toasting.
The sparkling wine is simple but very pleasant, slightly acidic, savory and dry. It can be tasted as an aperitif or as the end of a perfect evening. The Charmat Method goes perfectly with fish appetizers, tuna and salmon canapés.
Finally, the late harvest Lugana is a wine that ages at least 12 months and is characterized by its strong personality. The bunches of the Turbiana vine are harvested in October-November, when almost all the water contained has evaporated, leaving the berry rich in sugars and flavors. The result is a fascinating wine able to amaze thanks to its still present acidity that compensates for the sweetness in a balanced way. With its full, harmonious and velvety flavor it finds the perfect combination with cheeses with a particular taste such as gorgonzola, with savory bruschetta.
Now you just have to find out our selection of Lugana and savor this wonderful wine in all its versions.