This Sicilian winery may be a byword for innovation and knowing the market now, in the mid-1990s they didn't even have a label for their wine.
What they did have was a vision that has played a key role in revolutionising the image and quality of Sicilian wines, founded on an unrivalled knowledge of the land forged by many years as grape growers.
When the change was made in the 1990s, expertise came from a source that is as surprising as it is illustrative of the breadth of the Planeta vision: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian, Carlo Corino, but one who had learned the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets in Mudgee, New South Wales. Planeta's wines have captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily's grapes ever since.
This, at the time, unconventional approach extended to the winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay at a time when most Italian white wines were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter.
That early success gave Planeta the credibility to open the world's eyes to the charms of Sicily's indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d'Avola as it does to the winery's signature Chardonnay.
The ever-dynamic Planeta continue to move their inspirational projects forward. They have launched a wine made with grapes grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, began an environmental project called Planeta Terra, and opened a resort hotel, La Foresteria, in Menfi. Nothing stands still for Planeta!
Vines of Syrah and Nero d'Avola are trained with the vertical trellis cordon spur system with a density of 5000 plants per hectare.
The Syrah grapes come from the Planeta family's Dispensa winery and are harvested slightly earlier than usual. The grapes are destemmed and soft crushed after 4-5 hours of maceration in the press; the juice is clarified through cold settling overnight and then inoculated with selected pure yeast. Fermentation and ageing in stainless steel vessels.
Inspired by a pink Sicilian sunset, this wine has a light and attractive nose with notes of rose petals, pomegranate and strawberries. On the palate, the wine is silky smooth, light and fresh with no angularity and a beautiful finish.
This wine has few limits: excellent as aperitif, with light pasta dishes or even with fruit, fillet of grouper with tomatoes, spaghetti alla Norma, warm octopus and potato salad, pasta with fresh tuna and courgettes, sea-food, oysters, raw sword fish and sushi, salami made with black Nebrodi pork, fresh hard 'tuma' cheese.