Exploring Italian Whites: Lugana & 2012 Pratello – Terre Bianche – Lugana DOC

Exploring Italian Whites: Lugana

Today we are going to talk about Lugana. Lugana is one of Italy’s oldest appellation for white (and sparkling) wine. The wine is produced predominately with 100% Trebbiano but up to 10% of other white grapes are permitted, as well. Over the last few years, Lugana has become increasingly popular. The production center for Lugana is centered around the town of Sirmione, which is located at the southern edge of Lake Garda. The area benefits from the fertile Po Valley. The Po is Italy’s longest river with a length of over 650km.
Sirmione

Furthermore, the Lugana benefits from Lake Garda’s mild climate. It is worth knowing, that Lake Garda is the northernmost area where olive trees can still be planted. On July 21st 1967, Lugana was awarded DOC status, making it the very first DOC-wine from the Lombardy/Lombardia region.

Nearby appellations include Garda DOC, Bardolino DOC and Bianco di Custoza DOC.

Lugana is usually a crisp, dry, fruity white wine. It is especially popular during spring and summer. There are four types of Lugana: Lugana DOC (the standard version that is best served very cold at around 6° C), Lugana DOC Superiore (higher alcohol and at least one year of aging that is best served at around 12°C-14°C), Lugana DOC Spumante (sparkling wine) and Lugana DOC Vendemmia Tardiva (late harvest). Please note the different suggested serving temperatures between the varieties of Lugana (temperatures taken from the Association of Lugana wineries).

For many decades, Lugana has been unknown outside of Italy. Mostly because Veronese Pinot Grigio was mass-produced and exported on a large scale. The wine is also ideal for preparing Veneto Spritz, an Italian aperitif.

Because of its increasing popularity, hundreds of wineries jumped on the train and started manufacturing Lugana. Therefore it can be quite a challenge to find a winery that produces excellent Lugana. Ca’ dei Frati makes, in my opinion, the best Lugana. I have previously reviewed the 2011 Ca dei Frati – I Frati Lugana DOC (rated with 4.5/5 stars).

Pratello

Let’s take a closer look at another Lugana producer: Pratello. Azienda Agricola Pratello is located in Padenghe sul Garda around 15km from Sirmione.  The winery produces a variety of red, white, rosé and sparkling wines. Their focus however lies on whites and sparklers. A few years ago, the winery switched from conventional to organic agriculture. 

2012 Pratello Lugana DOCPratello also offers accommodations in their agritourism. The agritourism also includes a restaurant where they offer local dishes that are paired with their wines.

Tasting notes 2012 Pratello Terre Bianche

The wine is produced with 100% Trebbiano grapes. Terre Bianche aged in stainless steel tanks. In the glass, the wine had a pale yellow color. Terre Bianche’s label listed ABV was 12%. On the nose, there are aromas of herbs, flowers and fresh fruit, especially pear, lime, apricot and apple. In the mouth, there was a notable minerality and acidity. Terre Bianche was dry. The finish was of medium length. For my personal taste, the acidity was a little bit too dominate.

3.5 / 5 stars      

Terre Bianche is available for around 10€. The wine is recommended but I still prefer the I Frati from Ca’ dei Frati, which I mentioned earlier.

What is your favorite Lugana? Have you tried the Pratello Terre Bianche?

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15 comments on “Exploring Italian Whites: Lugana & 2012 Pratello – Terre Bianche – Lugana DOC”

  1. Francis Reply

    After my Pinot Grigio experiences, I decided to stay away from Italian white wine. Might have to try a Lugana or so.. Was just very disappointed by the Pinot Grigios that I tried.

    • vino in love Reply

      Francis,
      Don’t give up on Italian whites! You probably tried one of the mass-produced 2€ Pinot Grigio. Italy has so many different white wines. Lugana tastes quite different than Pinot Grigio. But don’t forget about excellent Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdicchio or Vernaccia whites from Italy (I probably missed a lot of other good Italian white wines)

  2. winetalks winetalks Reply

    Thanks for providing us with so much information about Lugana. For me that’s a completely new subject. Looking forward to try a few Luganas to improve my knowledge about them. Do you know how much the I Frati costs? I might buy that one since you rated it higher than the Terre Bianche

    • vino in love Reply

      Frank,
      The I Frati from Ca’ dei Frati retails for around 12€. It’s definitely worth trying and I like it more than the Terre Bianche.

  3. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    Good job, Julian! I always find your posts worth reading. Thanks for sharing your insights on Lugana and keep it up 🙂

    BTW is that a red wine glass? It looks like one to me 😛

    • vino in love Reply

      Wineking,
      Thank you so much! I am so happy that you enjoy reading my posts.
      It is indeed a tall red wine glass. I think that certain white wines express their bouquet better in a red wine glass.

  4. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    I checked wine searcher but it looks like neither Terre Bianche nor I Frati is available in Canada. I am always so disapointed when I find out that the wines that you review are not available over here.. I guess I have to imagine how they taste : -)

  5. Suzanne Reply

    Informative as always, after reading this I think I will give Lugana a try if I can find it in the US. I have developed a new found love of Italian whites, they are fresh and crisp in general and perfect for summer.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Suzanne,
      Thank you! Lugana is alright but I’d recommend you to try that Verdicchio, which I have reviewed a few days ago.
      I’m glad to hear that you have found a new love for Italian whites 🙂 Makes me always happy when my readers enjoy Italian wine!

    • foodwine88 Reply

      I agree so much with Urban Paleo Chef! The photo looks beautiful!

      Lugana is one of my favorite types of white wines and Pratello is a good producer. Would love to visit them some day!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Urban Paleo Chef,
      Thank you for visiting! I’m glad that you like the photo 🙂 I agree that it’s stunning but I can’t take credit for it..
      Lake Garda, just like the rest of Italy, is so beautiful. My favorite country to travel to 🙂

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