In recent years the interest and excitement for Sicilian wines have been on the rise, thanks to the pioneering efforts of producers like Planeta. Planeta is a family-owned business representing seventeen generations of heritage in Sicily. They are one of the most prestigious boutique wineries in Sicily that showcase the varied and unique terroir of the region. Planeta wines take you on a journey through Sicily from the east to the west exploring the unique grape varieties of the sunny island.
Planeta today encompasses six distinct wine estates in five regions across Sicily; Ulmo at Sambuca di Sicilia, Dispensa at Menfi, Dorilli at Vittoria, Buonivini at Noto, Sciara Nuova on Etna at Castiglione di Sicilia, and the newest addition, La Baronia at Capo Milazzo. Each vineyard site is carefully cultivated with grapes that best compliment the local terroir.
Planeta forged their winemaking vision in the mid-1980s, Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta, under the guidance of Diego Planeta, began their winemaking venture. Diego played a leading role in modernizing Sicilian winemaking, essentially helping put Sicily on the international wine map. Planeta has invested in promoting indigenous grape varieties and modern technology in the pursuit of the best quality wines. They are leading the way in innovation and sustainability, helping to elevate the quality of Sicilian wines.
Over the last 30 years, the landscape has changed dramatically in Sicily. Winemakers have emphasized unique sites and terroir which has resulted in a broad-based transformation in the wines that are produced today. In recent years, winemakers have shifted their focus to producing high-quality wines, placing emphasis on terroir and cultivating more indigenous grape varieties. Diego Planeta was one of the key players, he was instrumental in elevating the perception of Sicilian wines.
I had the privilege to have lunch with the dynamic winemaker of Planeta, Patricia Toth in New York City. We tasted the remarkable wines of Planeta paired with delectable Italian fare from Marea.
Patricia Toth – Winemaker Planeta Wines
Patricia Toth officially joined the winemaking team of Planeta in 2008. Born in Hungary, Patricia has adopted the Sicilian way, after spending over 15 years in Sicily. She graduated from the University of Corvinus in Budapest with a degree in Food Science specializing in wine, beer and spirits.
After graduation, Patricia began to work as a winemaker for various well-known wineries. During the 2005 harvest she first collaborated with Planeta and in 2008, she officially joined the winemaking team. Today, she is responsible for the Buonivini and Dorilli Cellars and has successfully coordinated the startup for the estates on Mount Etna and Capo Milazzo. She is also responsible for Planeta’s sustainability program.
Planeta – Explore The Magic Of Sicily In A Wine Glass
Planeta Allemanda Bianco Noto DOC 2021
Allemanda is a baroque opening dance, imagine your evening opening with Moscato Bianco, as a perfect aperitif wine. Made from 100% Moscato Bianco grapes grown at the Buonivini Estate, where white limestone soil and the breezes arising from the meeting of two seas, create the best conditions to produce great wines.
The slight effervescent in the wine has aromas of jasmine, rose petals and grapefruit. The palate is balanced and elegant with savory notes. This wine is a contemporary interpretation of the very ancient tradition of making white Moscato wines in the Noto area.
Planeta Eruzione 1614 Carricante Sicilia DOC 2018
The history of Etna is marked by the historic eruptions which have shaped it. That of 1614 is legendary, it lasted 10 years, the longest ever recorded, which halted just on the border of the Sciaranuova vineyard. The name of the wine is evocative of the Cru of Etna, made primarily with Carricante and a small addition of Riesling. The vines used to make this wine actually grow on the lava flow.
The wine combines softness and strength with notes of lemon peel and green apple. The volcanic soils impart a distinct minerality to the wine that transports you to the slopes of Etna.
Planeta Frappato Vittoria DOC 2020
This is a rare and exclusive grape variety cultivated in only a few hectares in the whole of Sicily, which reaches its ultimate expression in the red sands of Vittoria, not far from the sea. Planeta Frappato is an aromatic and pleasing red wine, the perfect synthesis between tradition and new trends. Fresh and delicious with notes of rose and violets. In the background, there is a hint of red fruit with a smokey undertone.
Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2020
Planeta’s Cerasuolo di Vittoria is produced from the countryside around Dorilli, between the sea and the Iblean mountains. The wine is produced from the indigenous varieties Nero d’Avola and Frappato. An intriguing wine with extraordinary energy based on wild fruits, strawberries and pomegranate. This is a gastronomic version of Cerasuolo that is marked by its meaty peppery notes. In the mouth, you re-encounter the black pepper mixed with carob and sweet cherries.
Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese Sicilia DOC 2018
The history of the volcano is marked by the eruptions which have shaped it. The eruptions of 1614 are legendary; they lasted for 10 years, the longest ever recorded. Nerello Mascalese is grown on these black soils at a height, for an intensely aromatic red wine with an elegant structure. The tannins of compact texture are extracted with elegance.
Planeta Nocera DOC 2017
This noble vine is cultivated on just a few hectares in the province of Messina, facing the sea and of historic importance. La Baronia on Capo Milazzo is a spectacular vineyard surrounded by the sea, ancient olive trees and views of the Aeolian islands. A marine red wine, with aromas of Mediterranean macchia, myrtle and garrigue.
Aromas of white pepper, geranium and summer fruits exude the glass. On the palate, it is soft and persuasive. An exceptionally unique and special wine from the magical island of Sicily.
Planeta Mamertino 2017
Mamertino is a delicious blend of 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Nocera. Mamertino, whose name dates back 289 B.C. to when the Mamertinis produced this wine described by Pliny and loved by Julius Caesar in Milazzo. It is a Sicilian blend of Nero d’Avola and Nocera grapes grown in The Baronia vineyard in Capo Milazzo. The Barone Lucifero Foundation, the owner of the fund, uses part of the proceeds for socio-cultural and recreational activities for children in the Milazzo area.
Brilliant, intense ruby color with dark violet hues reflect in the glass. There is an explosive nose with notes of blue fruits and jammy berries. On the palate, there are refined tannins that are well integrated with the oak. A superbly delicious wine that is classic Sicilian.