Assembled in no time at all, a simple puff pastry zucchini tart is the perfect appetizer for a stylish Italian aperitivo.
Visitors to Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake with scenic shores dotted with many medieval villages and old castles quite likely will not take long to learn about the areas excellent Lugana wines.
Located to the south of Lake Garda, the roughly 2,500 hectares of Lugana DOC offers a unique soil profile of calcareous clay that results from melt water of an ancient glacier. It’s planted with the white Trebbiano di Soave grape (locally known as Turbiana or Trebbiano di Lugana) which by regulations of Lugana DOC must make up to 90% of Lugana wines.
Whether it’s the fresh and crisp Lugana DOC with light notes of citrus and white fruit, the more structured Lugana Superiore made from lower yields and aged for a year, or the Lugana Riserva, ages for two years of which six months in the bottle, this is a refreshing, food friendly variety perfect to be enjoyed during a warm lazy summer day by the lake.
Still somewhat under the radar, but truly enjoyable too, is the sparkling Lugana version which is now made by a growing number of local wineries.
Whether you are celebrating Italian National Day on the 2nd of June, Hirundo Lugana Brut is a fantastic sparkling Lugana wine to open either for a celebration or a simple aperitivo.
About Podere Selva Capuzza Wine Estate & Farm
The family-led estate located around four kilometres south of Lake Garda is the only local winery with vineyards in all three of the surrounding appellations Lugana, Garda Classico and San Martino della Battaglia.
Selva Capuzza strictly focuses on indigenous grapes, including the white Turbiana and makes Lugana wines in the three categories Lugana, Superiore and Riserva. Plus it makes an excellent sparkling Lugana too.
Selva Capuzza produces Lugana wines in all three categories of the appellation. Plus it makes two different styles of sparkling Lugana: Hirundo Bianco Brut Metodo Martinotti (Charmat method) and Hirundo Brut Metodo Classico, thus a version made with second fermentation in the bottle.
By the way, if you happen to visit, the winery’s beautiful 15th century country house is home to a small restaurant serving home cooked seasonal food.
Tasting Notes: Hirundo Lugana Brut Metodo Classico
Most local wineries might have started to embark on sparkling Lugana wine only recently. Not so Selva Capuzza. The excellent Hirundo Brut Metodo Classico is indeed around for more than one hundred years, with the first one made in 1908.
This excellent sparkler is made from 100% Turbiana grapes, hand-picked from the best Selva Capuzza vineyards. Fermentation is taking place in stainless steel tanks, followed by second fermentation in the bottle for 15 to 30 months.
In the glass, a bright yellow with golden hues.
On the nose, soft aromas of ripe apricot, green apples, and notes of citrus, bread dough and wild herbs.
On the palate, creamy and rich with a tangy acidity. Spicy notes of honey and walnuts.
This is an excellent sparkling wine to celebrate or simply enjoy as aperitivo, with antipasti or fish.
I have enjoyed the excellent Hirundo Lugana Brut for an al-fresco aperitivo, and in true Italian style prepared those totally easy and quick puff pastry tarts topped with zucchini and cheese.
Assembled in no time at all, these little bites are the perfect little snack.
Recipe: Zucchini Puff Pastry Tarts
2 medium sized zucchini, cut lengthwise into thin slices
6 sheets puff pastry (75 g each), frozen
80 g parmesan, freshly grated
300 g soft cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the frozen puff pastry sheets on the baking sheet and let defrost for about 30 minutes.
Mix soft cheese and half of the grated parmesan.
Spread the puff pastry with the cheese mixture. Place zucchini slices on top. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the remaining parmesan on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle with olive oil.
Bake for 15 minutes until the puff pastry turns golden-brown and the zucchini slices are starting to slightly brown.
Sprinkle with some more pepper.