Last month members of the wine and food media and VIP’s attended a luncheon and tasting of Lugana wines, held at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, to sample a collection of their unique wines from northern Italy. Lugana Italy also scheduled a similar gathering in New York earlier in the week to introduce their wines. The campaign was designed to introduce Lugana D.O.C. in the United States. Currently more than 70% of Lugana D.O.C wines are exported mainly to Germany, Belgium, Northern Europe, China, Japan and UK.
Lugana is a small appellation region that sits on the border between Lombardy and the Veneto on the south end of beautiful Lake Garda, where the PoValley plain merges into Northern Italy’s lake region and the Alps. Guest at the luncheon were given a complete history on the wines of the Lugana Region, as well as the climate and earth constitution which lends to its unusually fine quality. The tasting was lead by Ian Blackburn, CSW, LAWine, and representatives from the Lugana D.O.C. shared their personal information on the history of these wines, as well as their vision for the future.
The region appears to be making strides in taking advantage of the complexity of their different soils and altitudes to create a new classification of the soils within the restricted borders of the region. There is a mineralty about this wine that is rather seductive. The enthusiasm on the part of the Lugana wine makers regarding its delicious crispness and light clean quality was seconded by everyone at the luncheon.
Wines of Lugana region include:
- Basic Lugana – fresh, fruity, dry, is for early consumption, and is mainly consumed within Italy.
- Superiore produced since 1998, requires 1 year maturation (not necessarily in oak) and offers lower yields.
- Reserva is aged for minimum 24 months; six months in bottle and oak maturation is not mandatory.
- Vendemmia Tardiva is a late harvest containing approximately 12 g/l residual sugar, and is only made by three wineries.
- Spumante (sparkling) is a very limited production of both Charmat and Metodo Classico Lugana grape varieties.
Food and wine writers agreed the light and clean Lugana wines would be welcomed in California for ideal pairing with favorite dishes enjoyed by locals. The wine is perfect with light plates such as antipasti, salads or seafood, but also works well with pasta, charcuterie or desserts.
Following an informative lunch, paired with the Lugana wines, we shared our farewells with our charming delegation of hosts from Lugana, Italy, who were leaving to catch the next flight to San Francisco to give their presentation to the local wine writers and VIP’s in the ‘City by the Bay’ and then immediately return to Italy.
For information please visit: www.consorziolugana.it.
By Bonnie Carroll