The Planeta family has been one of the most dynamic influences in improving the quality of Sicilian wines in the last 30 years. Diego Planeta first planted vines in 1985, in his home town of Sambuca di Sicilia, and began commercial production under his own label in 1995. There are now 93 hectares of vines here, but Diego has expanded his vineyard sites across the island, and produces wines from six separate vineyard locations.
The largest of these is a 120-hectare site in Menfi, his wife’s hometown, where the soils are particularly well suited to growing fiano as well as international grape varieties like syrah. This is now the site of Planeta’s main winery, and for many years Diego was also president of the Settesoli co-operative here.
After settling in Menfi, Diego acquired 34 hectares of vines in the south-east at Vittoria, where he had long had land for growing tomatoes, and here he specialises in two native grape varieties, nero d’Avola and frappato. There are 51 further hectares of nero d’Avola further east at Noto, and more recently Diego has invested in six hectares on Etna, making sparkling and still carricante.
Planeta remains very much a family business, with seven children and 15 cousins on hand to assist Diego, six of whom are fully involved in the business.