By Paul Caputo

Turbiana is the new official name for Trebbiano di Lugana, long considered a biotype for the more recognised Verdicchio grape grown in Le Marche. Recent scientific testing suggests that although Turbiana (or Trebbiano di Lugana) is similar to Verdicchio it is in fact distinct. In many ways this makes sense. The wines of Lugana DOC (where the variety find its best expression) taste nothing like those of the various Verdicchio appellations further south.

Turbiana produces fresh white wines with delicate notes of tree fruit and white peach. In the Lugana DOC growing areas around the southern shore of Lake Garda the wines are all about purity in their youth while after a few years they develop a complex, nutty aroma.

Generally the wines are still, but the variety’s high acidity makes it a suitable contender for sparkling wines. I have not tasted too many of these yet, but general consensus is that they represent a worthy addition to Italy’s already strong sparkling wine category.