Lugana, situated along the Southern shores of the freshwater Lake Garda, and extending across the provinces of Brescia and Verona, and the regions of Veneto and Lombardy in Italy, produces wine from a single late-ripening, autochthonous white varietal. One grape might not sound like much, but that’s plenty when it’s the crisp and elegant Turbiana (Trebbiano di Lugana).
Lugana’s winemaking history spans almost 1.5 millennia. The area came into existence after the glaciers that had helped form Lake Garda over 10,000 years ago receded, leaving soil and stone-rich moraine hills that eventually became infused with clay. Turbiana is grown on this limestone-dominant soil, where an abundance of clay and minerals (with increasing concentrations of sand at higher elevations), helps to produce thick-skinned, tightly clustered grapes. Northern and Southern breezes coming from Lake Garda help to moderate the temperature, and minimize the potential damaging effects of excessive heat and humidity.
Lugana is DOC winemaking territory. There are a total of 180 grape growers cultivating Turbiana on 2,500 hectares of vineyards that are concentrated in five communes, including Peschiera del Garda, Desenzano del Garda, Lonato del Garda, Sirmione, and Pozzolengo. They work with 90 producers to make 185,000 hectoliters (24,584,933 bottles) of Lugana wine annually. Five styles of wine are permitted within the DOC zone including Lugana DOC Spumante, Lugana DOC, Lugana DOC Superiore, Lugana DOC Riserva, and Lugana DOC Vendemmia Tardiva.
Turbiana has bright acidity, moderate alcohol levels (around 12%), a refreshing minerality, and a balanced salinity. It also exhibits an enticing floral, and lively citrus and orchard fruit, as well as a softly herbaceous, and mildly nutty flavor profile. Turbiana is a truly versatile grape, with the potential for myriad interpretations. The inherent high acidity of Turbiana also makes it a white varietal that ages exceptionally well. About 70% of Lugana production is exported to Germany and other neighboring European countries. Good thing for us, they are taking initiatives to make Lugana a household name in North America.
The Consorzio Tutela Lugana DOC launched Destination Lugana in New York City on November 2, 2022 as part of a month-long initiative involving 13 restaurants and 2 clubs in Manhattan. Masterclasses focused on the grape, wine, and region, as well as special Lugana wine and food pairing menus, will be held at these venues throughout the month.
Here’s a list of participating restaurants where you can enjoy the best of what Lugana has to offer.
ALICE-126 W 13th St, New York, NY 10011
ARNO RISTORANTE-141 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
CACIO E VINO-80 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
CAFFÈ DEI FIORI-973 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10021
IL DIVO-1347, 2nd Av at, E 71st St, New York, NY 10021
IL FIORISTA-17 W 26th St, New York, NY 10010
MISIRIZZI-36 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
NONNA BEPPA-290 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
OSTERIA 57-57 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011
OSTERIA CARLINA-455 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014
PASTA EATER-9 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
SCAMPI-30 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011
TARALLUCCI E VINO-15 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003