Today on our way to Agrigento we stopped at one of the beacons of Sicilian winemaking, Planeta. Our hostess was none other than Chiara Planeta.
The Planeta family has been farming this huge swath of land for 4 centuries but it was only in 1985 that Chiara’s uncle, Diego, had the vision to create a high quality winery to represent the new wave of Sicilian
First, some interesting facts that Chiara shared with us: Sicily is very close to Africa; in fact part of Sicily is lower than Tunisia. Sicily has a wide diversity of climates and soil, and the longest harvest period in the world: from mid August until the end of October
Planeta uses only the grapes from its own estate and so has complete control of the quality of the grapes.
Our visit on a truly Spring-like October day started with a tour of the winery. Then we had a conducted tasting of 4 wines:
Cometa Menfi DOC 2018, produced from the Fiano grapes grown on Menfi’s clay soil, aged partly in large used oak barrels, exotic fruit aromas, matches very well with seafood, pale yellow color, good acidity, citrus flavor;
Chardonnay 2018, Planeta wrote the book on Sicilian Chardonnay, deep gold color, vanilla aromas, as well as banana and butter,pairs well with risotto, some people called it ‘the best wine of the tour so far;
Dorilli 2016 DOC Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG, a blend of Pinot Noir and Frappato (70/30), medium dark ruby red, dark red fruit, subtle acidity, medium dark ruby red color, dark red fruit, flavors, a soft gentle red, soft tannins;
Maroccoli 2015 DOC Menfi, a 3 Glass award winner, made from 100% Syrah, inky red, spicy, blackberry and black cherry, dry, not jammy, a well-balanced wine with fruit and acidity in equilibrium, tea leaves, tobacco, a delightful wonderful red wine.
Our appetizers were served al fresco on the terrace accompanied by the Brut Metodo Classico Carricante, a creamy toasty sparkler.
Our pasta course, Timballo di pasta, was homemade ziti with a baked eggplant crust, served with tomato sauce, paired with Terebinth 2018, 100% Grillo DOC Sicilia, medium yellow hue, aromatic, medium body, citrus taste;
our main course was sausage with wine grapes, vegetables, tomato, zucchini, accompanied by Sito dell’Ulmo 2014, 100% Merlot single vineyard, a great vintage, deep red color, aromas of licorice and dark berries, ripe, young tannins.
With dessert of poached melon, we were served the Moscato di Noto 2018, a passito wine with aromas of super ripe apricots.
We then ended the day with a guided tour of the Greek ruins in Agrigento.
Another trifecta day of wine, local cuisine and culture. Tomorrow we move to magical Taormina.