One of the things I love about wine is its history. I’m particularly fascinated by Europe which has vineyards dating back hundreds of years with wine production continuing through two world wars and many other insurrections. Vineyards burned or destroyed during conflicts are replanted and flourish years later.
Lugana is an area at the south end of Lake Garda just west of Verona Italy which produces a crisp white wine made from an indigenous grape called Turbiana. Some of the wineries in Lugana date back to the 15th century and have been handed done through generations. This is not a large wine production area as it only has about 2700 acres of vineyards and olive trees. Sadly, Lugana is currently under siege but not from an aggressor or invader but by progress.
The Italian high speed train system (TAV) has plans to remove 25% of the Lugana vineyards and use the land for a high speed rail system connecting Milan to Verona. Construction will undoubtedly take its toll on the surrounding vineyards, associated wine production and tourism. I find this situation somewhat sad and ironic that an area like this can be over run not by armed conflict but by the signature on a contract.
There are limited offerings of Lugana at the LCBO but if you come across a bottle in your travels, I would suggest you try it. It’s a small piece of Italian wine history that may not be available in years to come due to limited production.
2013 Zenato San Benedetto Lugana ($16.95 – LCBO 707158)
Lots of fruit like pear and apple with some residual sugar at the end to offset the crispness. It has a slight thick oily mouthfeel similar to some German Rieslings. Lugana wines should be served chilled and can be drank as an aperitif or paired with a sharp cheddar cheese.
The nearest LCBO that had some Lugana inventory is in the Stittsville LCBO.
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