A Love Affair with Lugana: An Invitation for #ItalianFWT


This October, you’re invited to join the Italian Food Wine Travel group to discover LUGANA, a white wine made from the Turbiana grape and grown in the Lake Garda region of northern Italy about two hours from Milan, one hour from Verona, and 90 minutes from Venice on the coast.

The largest lake in Italy was formed by glaciers coming down from the nearby Dolomites at the end of the last Ice Age. When the glacier receded, it left a large moraine which dammed and retained the melt water. Before agriculture, a dense, marshy forest called “Selva Lucana” covered the land.

According to the Consortia Tutelar Lugana, the soils are “stratified clays of morainic origin while sedimentary in nature are Calcareous and rich in mineral salts, with more sand in the hillier part of the D.O.C. Difficult to work, the soil compacts easily, becomes hard during drought, and soft and muddy when it rains. “However,” they point out, “it is these very chemical and physical features that make it the source of Lugana’s organoleptic qualities, because they give the wine clean, powerful scents that combine hints of almonds and citrus fruits, as well as acidity, tanginess and a well-balanced structure.”

Turbiana is related to Trebbiano di Soave which grows nearby but on volcanic soils.

As a large body of water, Lake Garda regulates the temperatures in the vineyards by providing consistent cool breezes to moderate the heat which makes for a more balanced wine with plentiful acidity but generous fruit.

Lugana wines come in five styles:

  • “Lugana” — recently released
  • Lugana Superiore — aged at least one year
  • Luguna Riserva — aged  at least 24 months, 6 of which are in bottle
  • Lugana vendemmia tardiva — late harvest
  • Spumante or sparkling

I first learned about Lugana wines at the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference at the opening reception: the wines poured floored me, and I was stunned at what happens to this wine with age: the mouthfeel was incredible and it was still so vibrant and special.

It was the start of my love affair with Lugana… and I was so much in love I suggested that the Italian Food Wine Travel group investigate it more with me and I offered to host! (Scroll down for how YOU can join us!)

At WBC17 I attended a tasting seminar led by Deborah Parker Wong which was educational, insightful and enjoyable, and this piqued my interest more.

Here’s a few tweets from that event to give you a better “taste” of Lugana. If you click on the tweet, the photo will be larger.

Then I was fortunate enough to sit at the table during the live blogging session where a Lugana was poured!

And this year at the Wine Bloggers Conference which takes place the first weekend of October, as we are posting about Lugana, the fortunate attendees will also be tasting it as they will again be participating in WBC18 being held Oct 6 in Walla Walla WA.

This month for #ItalianFWT, I am happy to be hosting our flirtation with Lugana — and I hope you will fall in love too! Here’s HOW TO JOIN US:

  • Contact me to tell me you’re in by commenting on this post below! You can also email me. Include your blog URL, Twitter handle,  and any other social media details. If you know your blog post title, include that…but you can do that later. We’d just like to get a sense of who’s participating and give some shout-outs and links as we go.
  • We encourage you to prepare a dish to pair with your chosen wine. Write up your experience and get ready to post and share.
  • Consider discussing whether you’ve been to Italy, and specifically to Lake Garda.
  • Send your post title to me by noon Tuesday, Oct. 2 to be included in the preview post. I will prepare a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. Your title should include “#WinePW.”
  • Publish your post between noon Friday October 5 and  8 a.m. Saturday, Oct 6. You can always schedule your post in advance if you will be tied up.
  • Include links to the other #WinePW participants in your post and a description of what the event is about. You can get it off my preview post or in our Facebook group, I’ll provide the HTML code that you can easily put in your initial post — which will link to people’s general blog url — then add the updated code for the permanent links to everyone’s #winePW posts.
  • Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers’ posts to comment and share. We have a Facebook group for participating bloggers to connect and share, too. (If you aren’t a part of this and want to be included, please mention that when you contact me.)
  • Twitter chat 8am Pacific Sat. Oct 6: Please join us online for our monthly twitter chat. I will create a set of questions to guide our discussion which will be posted in our Facebook group. You can schedule your answers but it’s more fun to join us live! All are welcome — you don’t have to have a blog post. We love it when producers share their knowledge with us!
  • Sponsored posts are OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample.

Just because you are drinking an Italian wine, don’t be afraid to experiment with different cuisine! This wine is very versatile depending on which one of the five types you are drinking. We generally go with the premise of what is grown together goes together. But we tried fish tacos as well as crab cakes and eggplant and it worked with a biodynamic 2016 – Perla del Garda – Lugana DOP – 13% alcohol. More details on the wine and the pairing soon!



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