Ottella Wines from Lugana, Italy

The challenge that Lodovico, Francesco and Michele Montresor decided to take on in Lugana was based on the firm conviction that gifted, high-class wines from quality strains must be recognizable from the way they are produced. This is the basis for the creation of conceptually modern wines with absolute respect for the vital combination of soil and vine.

Trebbiano di Lugana, known locally as “Turbiana”. It is genetically similar to Verdicchio, according to many experts, but in phenological, agronomical and enological terms, it stands apart. Recent studies at Milan University confirmed that the genome of “Trebbiano di Lugana” has characteristics that cannot be attributed to other Trebbiani.

The traditional system is double bow Guyot with around 18 buds. More recent systems have increased the number of vines per hectare. As a consequence, there are fewer buds, around 10 to 12. The vine is not very vigorous, given that the first two buds are unproductive. Expanded forms of cultivation are excluded.

The soil is of certain glacial origin. The descent of ice and the detritus it carried towards the valley formed an amphitheatre of moraine hills, leaving the Lugana basin in its wake.

This land is made up of separate strata of sediment and, seen in cross-section, the soil appears to have been formed by innumerable relatively thin strata of loamy clay, with an initial stratum of 60/80 cm of rough clay.

The so-called “leopard’s spots” structure is typical, since the clay content of the soil varies a lot from place to place.

This explains how an “apparently normal” vine, in combination with the purest of clay, can be turned into a spectacular white wine, vivacious in its expression of its particularities.

Young wines like Lugana Doc and Lugana Doc Le Creete possess freshness, flavour and crispness that are exclusive to them. Fine and unusual, they have a salty, spicy, smoky taste. The acidic vein gives energy and flavour, which, with time, becomes more expansive, exaggerated and attractive. But the real spirit of Lugana emerges in the wines after ageing.

In the bottle, Lugana Molceo likes to change its skin a little at a time, undergoing a transformation that fully allows the mineral notes to emerge. The hydrocarbons come to the fore, evolution brings ageing. This is not a problem, since the clay will bestow unexpected longevity on the wine.