The fascination of writing about wine is that there is always something new to be discovered. This was proven once again yesterday when we attended a tasting of Italy's Valpolicella and Lugana wines at The MacArthur in Los Angeles.
Valpolicella is a well known Italian red wine. Not so with Lugana which is a white wine made from a local variietal named Turbiani. P:roduction of both Valpolicella and Lagana is clustered around Veneto in Northern Italy.
To learn more about Lugana we had the opportunity to meet with Carlo Veronese who is director of Consorzio Tatela Lugana DOC.
The popularity of Lugana is fairly recent and now is growing at a very fast rate especially in export markets including Germany, the Northern European countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, but also in Japan and the U.S.
This growing popularity is also due to the fact that through the last decades Lugana has expanded into five varieties. These are Superior, Reserve, Late Harvest, Sparkling and Basic.
All these use only the Turbiana grape.
Many of the Turbiana vineyards are clustered around the southern shores of Lake Garda. Carlo explained that the lake's effect on the climate produces its own terroir with milder winters and cooler summers.
In our tasting at The MacArthur we did not neglect Valpolicella and also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Olga Bussinello who is director of Valpolicella Consorzio Tutela Vini.
Olga told us that the popularity of Valpolicella is such that 75 per cent of the wines are exported with eleven per cent of that total to the U.S. with California followed by New York as the best markets for the unique red wine.