India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Planeta’s Sicily- Island of Wine

Posted: Thursday, 05 January 2012 18:59

Planeta’s Sicily- Island of Wine

Jan 05 : Sicilian wineries like Planeta have helped change the reputation of Sicily as a bulk wine producer and a searing desert that it was portrayed in Clint Eastwood’s Spaghetti Westerns in the sixties or the seat of Mafia as portrayed in a couple of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather movies. It has changed a lot, says the winemaker Alessio Planeta according to a story in the Miami Herald.

 “Sicily is not as hot as people think,” Planeta says. “And we have plenty of rain.” Although he has to explain to people about the grapes that they have never heard of (I say Nero d’avola, and people say, ‘What’s that’ ), but at the same time he admits that his travels to the US and several other countries have convinced him the once-obscure native Sicilian grapes are catching on. “Young people see Nero d’avola as trendy,” he says, according to the newspaper.

Although the Planeta family has lived and farmed in Sicily since the 1600s, it was only in the 1980s that , a new generation of Planeta cousins- Alessio, Francesca and Santi  broke away from the tradition of making bulk wine and began planting international varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot as well as native varietals such as Carricante, Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Fiano, according to the paper. Alessio’s uncle and Francesca’s father is the President of the biggest co-operative Settesoli and he has been vanguard in the new phenomenon that took place around 1985.

At first, their chardonnay put them on the map, earning praise from Europe’s wine writers. But as wine fans around the world came to sample their native varietals, they became more important, today making up 80 percent of their production of 2 million bottles.

Nero d’avola grape, named for the southern Sicilian town of Avola, is fruity and spicy, similar to the syrah grapes of France. Carricante, a powerful, acidic white grape, is native to Mount Etna. The wine called Cerasuolo (Italian for cherry red) di Vittoria is a blend of Nero d’avola and Frappato, a light red grape similar to Sangiovese. The Fiano grape, from Italy’s Campania region, is a powerful white grape that dates back to Roman times.

Planeta family owns five vineyards and wineries today that are scattered in the island’s four corners plus the black lava slopes of the active, volcanic Mount Etna. The younger cousins decided to end the family’s tradition of making bulk wines for the rest of Italy, and began ambitious efforts to improve the quality of their native grapes.

The viticulture practice used by the other Sicilian producers who have quality as the objective, is also the motto at Planeta. “The grapes have improved through modern clonal selection of grape vines, pruning, modern production methods,” says Alessio 

Today universities on the island are researching what they call “antique” grape varieties. Staffers have visited every old vineyard and winery on the island, interviewing the oldest employees about the possibility of obscure native varietals still growing there in tiny quantities.  “We already have 19 new “antique” varieties, and we expect as many as 20 more,” says Planeta.

The article goes on to recommend  2010 Planeta Carricante, IGT Sicilia ($40) Planeta Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG Sicilia 2010- a blend of 60 % Nero d’avola, 40 %  Frappato ( $22).

Sicily’s Institute of Vines and Wines (IRVV) in conjunction with Michele Shah and Indian Wine Academy has organised for the first time in India- Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune, Master Class- Sicily which will cover such topics many of the topics above, including the soil, terroir, grapes and wines of Sicily. Conducted by Cav. Subhash Arora, assisted by Michele Shah and another Sicilian wine expert , each Master Class will facilitate a select group of invited wine professionals and connoisseurs in these cities to understand and appreciate that  Sicily is not a bulk wine producer only and it is not a locale for the Spaghetti Westerns, but a tourist paradise with hundreds of years of culinary tradition, assimilating different  cultures and history. It will also showcase wines made from the indigenous grapes like Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccino that make the wines from producers like Planeta a unique wine drinking experience.


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet