Our traditional barney at Venice airport (see our post of 25.1.09) consisted this time of an argument over whether Lugana was a grape or a district. We said a district and they said it was a grape. A helpful third party said Lugana was nothing more than Trebbiano, so back at the ranch we surfed Trebbiano, Lugana and much more and came up with the following;
The Lugana was the first DOC wine registered in Lombardy and was among the the very first in Italy. Despite the fact that the DOC denomination refers to the grape used as Trebbiano di Soave, locally known as Trebbiano di Lugana, recent research has found that the genoma of the vine from which the Lugana is made is different from both the Trebbiano Veronese and the one used to make Verdicchio in the Marche region. Thus, according to the Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan University), this is a native vine grown exclusively in this wine zone.
The historic denomination of this vine, selected during centuries of agriculture by the local vintners, is Turbiana, a name whose roots are lost in the past in the area known as Lugana. based upon these facts, the President of the Consorzio Tutela Lugana DOC (Consortium for the Protection of the Lugana DOC), Paolo Fabiani, have asked for the formal recognition of the vine, its addition to the Catalogo Nazionale delle Varietà (National Register of Vine Varieties), and the selection of authorized clones.
Wine Grape: Verdicchio Bianco
White wine grape generally thought to be native to Italy's Marche region; Verdicchio's origins are uncertain but ancient, as the Latin agricultural writer Lucio Giunio Moderato Columella mentions it as early as the first century A.D. Recent DNA studies have concluded that Verdicchio Bianco is from the same family as Trebbiano di Soave and Trebbiano di Lugana. A popular theory is that around the 15th century, a number of farmers moved from the Verona area to the Marche, bringing some vine cuttings with them. Over the centuries, the vine adapted itself to its new environment and developed new characteristics. In addition to still whites, verdicchio gives good results as sparkling wine. The name undoubtedly comes from the green (verde) color of the grapes, and the green hue in its wines.
Also known as Marchigiano, Marino, Peloso, Trebbiano di Soave, Trebbiano di Lugana, Trebbiano Veronese, Trebbiano Verde, Turbiano, Turviana, Uva Marana, Verdicchio Dolce, Verdicchio Giallo, Verdicchio Marchigiano, Verdicchio Peloso, Verdicchio Stretto, Verdicchio Verde, Verdicchio Vero, Verdone, Verzello
Albano, Biancone, Blanc Auba, Blanc De Cadillac, Blancoun, Bobiano, Bonebeou, Branquinha, Brocanico, Bubbiano, Buriano, Buzzetto, Cadillac, Cadillate, Castelli, Castelli Romani, Castillone, Chator, Clairette D'Afrique, Clairette De Vence, Clairette Ronde, Engana Rapazes, Espadeiro Branco, Falanchina, Greco, Gredelin, Hermitage White, Juni Blan, Lugana, Malvasia Fina, Muscadet Aigre, Padeiro Branco, Perugino, Procanico, Procanico Dell Isola D Elba, Procanico Portoferraio, Queue De Renard, Romani, Rossan De Nice, Rossetto, Rossola, Rossula, Roussan, Roussea, Rusciola, Saint Emilion, Saint Emilion Des Charentes, Santoro, Shiraz White, Spoletino, Talia, Trebbianello, Trebbiano, Trebbiano Della Fiamma, Trebbiano Di Cesene, Trebbiano Di Empoli, Trebbiano Di Lucca, Trebbiano Di Tortona, Trebbiano Fiorentino, Trebbiano Toscano, Trebbianone, Tribbiano, Tribbiano Forte, Turbiano, Ugni Blanc, Bouan, Beau, Thalia,  Trebbiano di Soave, Trebbiano Romagnolo, Trebbiano Gallo and Trebbiano d'Abruzzo.
Not to mention Bombino…(cf our post of 18.3.10)
So Lugana = Trebbiano = Verdicchio with some local adaptations, differences etc.
Someone also tried to tell us that Schioppettino was none other than Malvasia Nera but what he meant was Ribolla Nera. People should take more care. It is probably like this that rumours get started.
Finally, potentially good news for wine diversity. At Venice Marco Polo Airport there was something almost unbelievable considering this blog's obsession with the hitherto unknown (to us) variety Tocai (Tai) Rosso (post 26.3.10). Nothing less than a stand completely devoted to "Vini nuovi Tai"!
In fact this also referred to Tocai Friulano which are now also known as Tai Friulano as well as just Friulano and the wines of Lison Pramaggiore. Of these we tasted and subsequently bought and devoured an example from our fave Castello di Porcia whose 'Malbeck' we had so enjoyed a rather long time ago (post 5.7.08).
There, Maria Teresa Bett, presiding over the tastings and representing the Venezia Wine Forum whose initiative it was, told us that Tocai Rosso has nothing to do with Grenache! This was good news as we had drunk Tai Rosso wherever we could in Venice and bought two bottles in town necessitating the payment of extra money to check a case in on Easyjet.
So it would be an added bonus if our love of these wines was also a liking for a rare grape variety, not just Grenache.
Maria Teresa's pronouncement was music to our ears even with such formidable authorities as Nicholas Belfrage taking the opposite view. The jury is still out!