Planet Wine has been to Italy before, but not Sicily! This beautiful sloping hillside of vines–fortuitously caught by the Google Street View cam at the moment of sunset–is part of the Ulmo vineyard, one of the wineries in the Planeta family of wineries in Sicily. Just down the road from this spot is a farmhouse called the Baglio, constructed in the 16th century which has since then continuously been the home of the family who lives here. It’s hard to imagine a more picturesque exemplar of the ancient Sicilian wine tradition.
Planeta, established in 1995 from several historic wine properties, has given over each of its six wineries to specific varietals. Here at Cantina Ulmo they produce a chardonnay (Chardonnay Planeta), a merlot (Merlot Sito dell’Ulmo) and a syrah (Syrah Maroccoli). As one of Planeta’s most spectacular wineries, it also caters to visitors and people who come to learn about wine–which would be nice to do while strolling through the vines, glass in hand, or touring the winery’s production facility where over 700 barrels of fine Sicilian wine are aged in the basement.
Wine is one of the great traditions of Italy, stretching back all the way through the Roman period and even before. Looking at this view I could easily imagine myself strolling through a Sicilian vineyard 1500 or 2000 years ago and it would probably look much the same. This is the essence of “Planet Wine.” I’d love to try some of Planeta’s stuff!