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Lugana

The Lord of the Great Lake: this is the nickname given to Lugana wine, which originates in a strip of land covering about 1,200 hectares between the provinces of Brescia and Verona. This location, developed on a morainic plain, has been home to vines since the Bronze Age, as archaeological evidence confirms. The main grape variety is a local one called Turbiana or Trebbiano di Lugana, which has found its ideal terroir between the regions of Lombardy and Veneto: on the one hand, the mild climate of Lake Garda and, on the other, fertile clayey soils of a sedimentary nature, rich in limestone and mineral salts. This is where white wines with structure and softness, freshness and sapidity, vigorous and distinct aromas ranging from citrus to almond are born. It is a "climatic cradle" with a strong winemaking tradition, home to wines that have become famous in Italy and throughout the world.

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The Lord of the Great Lake: this is the nickname given to Lugana wine, which originates in a strip of land covering about 1,200 hectares between the provinces of Brescia and Verona. This location, developed on a morainic plain, has been home to vines since the Bronze Age, as archaeological evidence confirms. The main grape variety is a local one called Turbiana or Trebbiano di Lugana, which has found its ideal terroir between the regions of Lombardy and Veneto: on the one hand, the mild climate of Lake Garda and, on the other, fertile clayey soils of a sedimentary nature, rich in limestone and mineral salts. This is where white wines with structure and softness, freshness and sapidity, vigorous and distinct aromas ranging from citrus to almond are born. It is a "climatic cradle" with a strong winemaking tradition, home to wines that have become famous in Italy and throughout the world.

The Lord of the Great Lake: the Charm of Lugana

Lugana is produced in a limited area to the south of Lake Garda, between Veneto and Lombardy, and is named after the historic toponym by which the entire area, once populated by dense woodland, was known. In this wild and sparsely populated area some important historical events took place, such as a battle between the armies of Constantine and Maxentius in 312 AD and the legendary encounter between Pope Leo the Great and Attila, leader of the hostile Huns, in 452 AD. Over the centuries, the monks carried out agricultural reclamation works and the forest disappeared definitively at the beginning of the 16th century, when the Republic of Venice reclaimed the whole area for the cultivation of cereals. The clayey, morainic and very mineral soils are particularly suitable for growing vines, which have been cultivated here occasionally since the Bronze Age.

The first evidence of viticulture dedicated to the production of quality white wines dates back to the Renaissance: during the 15th century Isabella d'Este Gonzaga saw 'beautiful grapes' near the ruins of a Roman villa in Sirmione; Andrea Bacci in his 1595 work 'De naturali vinorum historia' refers to the 'exquisite Trebulani', and in 1693 Ottavio Rossi from Brescia praised a white wine produced in the area. Over the centuries, farmers and producers in the area have focused especially on the cultivation of a single grape variety called Trebbiano di Lugana or locally referred to as Turbiana. Despite its name, this indigenous variety of grape differs substantially from the Trebbiano family on the Italian peninsula in terms of intensity, aromatic complexity and low productivity.

The close connection between Lugana wine and the territory on the southern shores of Lake Garda, and its great international success, have led to the coining of the fascinating and significant nickname of 'Lord of the Great Lake'. Due to its unique and inimitable characteristics, this wine has been protected by a controlled designation of origin since 1967. It was the first denomination in Lombardy and has been supported by a consortium since 1990. Today it is one of the most well-known and appreciated Italian denominations, partly due to the tourist appeal of this area, of which the Lugana DOC is a symbol.


Two Provinces, Two Regions, One Single Territory

Lugana DOC is produced in an area of breathtaking beauty that has become an important tourist destination in recent decades. It is a double-sided territory as it is divided into two regions: on one side it falls under the province of Brescia, in Lombardy, and on the other under the province of Verona in the Veneto region. The territory, however, represents unique and homogeneous characteristics, with some minor differences.

The Lombardy side, where most of the vineyards are concentrated, has a more compact and leathery clay soil and mainly comprises the municipalities of Desenzano, Sirmione and Pozzolengo. This is the home of the more lakeside and savoury style of the denomination, from which some of Cà dei Frati's famous wines are made, as well as the Lugana Zenato, considered one of the best of the type.

The eastern part of the area is in the Veneto region, and is characterised by a slightly hilly landscape with sandy clays. The most important municipality is Peschiera del Garda, within which there are the prestigious vineyards of the hamlet of San Benedetto, considered to be a true and proper cru. Among the most famous types of wine produced here are the excellent products of the Ottella winery.


From the Lake to the Table

The temperate and constant microclimate that benefits from the gentle and pleasant breezes of Lake Garda has proved to be a very positive influence on vine cultivation and wine production. It is a real climatic cradle that has allowed the Turbiana grape to reach great expressions. Depending on the vinification method and the ageing time, it is possible to produce light, fresh and drinkable expressions, but also full-bodied, soft and developed interpretations.

The youngest versions are characterised by a pale straw-yellow colour, delicate and fragrant aromas of fresh almonds and white flowers and a fresh, light, smooth and thirst-quenching taste. This type is the most famous and widespread, and was even praised by the contemporary poet Roberto Mussapi who, in some verses, describes it as "ice cream", "white in the transparent glass jug". It is ideal for a wide range of culinary combinations and is very versatile. It is perfect as an aperitif, with appetisers and savoury canapés, but also with starters, cold dishes and delicate fish dishes.

The more complex, rich and evolved interpretations are those that bear the ‘Riserva’ label and are often the result of long ageing on the fine lees, in steel or in wooden barrels. In fact, regulations require the Riserva to be aged for at least 24 months, 6 of which in the bottle. These expressions release intense scents of yellow fruit, citrus fruits, honey and, in some cases, toasted almonds. Lugana has a soft, enveloping, harmonious and quite persistent taste, always marked by a good freshness. In this case the standard pairing is with roasted or grilled lake fish, but also sea fish, first courses with fish or vegetable sauces and medium-aged cheeses.

On Callmewine you will find a fine selection of this variety: excellent wines from great wineries and small producers for sale online. Discover Lugana wine prices, characteristics and detailed descriptions by our sommelier, and purchase your favourite bottles at unbeatable prices on Callmewine's online wine shop.