The almonds, pistachios and raisons were a delight - fresh is the first word that came to mind, the taste was pure, delicious inspiring and complimentary to the Planeta wines we were tasting in the rustic romantic wine cellars lite by flickering candles and surrounded by dusty treasures waiting to be uncorked.
Blogging and journaling are a process that don't always match the time frame of when things happened but are a reflection of what's on our minds and in our hearts.
|Where in Sicily the grapes are grown for the Planeta Wines|
The almonds that we nibbled on in the wine cellar of Planeta, grown on their own estates, and fresher than fresh, stand out in our minds and palates as some of the most memorable tastes of a trip with a very high bar in terms of tasting treasures.
The CuisinEtc Culinary Team travels the world exploring the culinary perspective in order to bring that back to our clients and to expand our understanding of global cuisines and trends. Places like Sicily are rich in multicultural blending of cuisines and history - influence from years of trading and conquerers .
Along the way we experienced the influence of North Africa with lesson in cooking fish "cus cus" aka cous cous from a personable expert
and charming restauranteur, Pino Maggiore in Marsala,
where we also toured the fabulous Cantine Florio, learning by taste that not only are there wines called Marsala that are delicious digestif high above the vin ordinaire of typical marsala cooking wine, but also why the Sicilian's created Marsala when the wars with Spain cut the English off from obtaining
the Port they had come to love from Spain and Portugal,
delicate almond pastries from such masters as Maria Grammatico in Erice,
Cannolis - the most eretheral
ever in Modico at L'Antica Dolceria Bonajuta
It was the Arabs that brought sugar cane to Sicily in the 9th century - changing the game as far as sweeteners went away from the more traditional mediterannian honey sweetened pastries to the array of sweet treats Sicily is famous for up until and including today. No trip to Sicily is complete without experiencing a REAL cannoli .
But this post today will focus on the Planeta WInery and the incredible hospitality, knowledge and tastes the owner, Alessio Planeta and his family shared with us and we hope to share with you.
|ICA culinary journey - wine tasting at Planeta|
|most tours ONLY take you to see the tanks|
this one went WAY beyond and below
including the wine cellars, the kitchens, the library
and the processing centers.
|Larry Levy, of Biddle Street Catering, Baltimore|
+ Craig Mitchell, Mitchell's Catering, Raleigh, NC
An ICA Culinary
OF THE TWO SICILIES”
Maccu e ricotta
Pasta con le sarde
Pancia di maialino nero dei Nebrodi e cipollotti in agrodolce
Gelato di fichi e pistachio
|our executive chef Andrew Alexander-Crossan|
had just finished exploring the extensive dream of an herb garden
right outside these doors that made all the caterers "green with envy"
|delicious food that paired|
perfectly with the Planeta wines.
|thank you to our most gracious and knowledgable host, Alessio Planeta|
Planeta Winery is one of the premier wine estates of Sicily, and a true fine wine empire.
Planeta has vineyards and estates all over the island of Sicily including
- the Ulmo contrada and vineyards in Sambuca di Sicilia (their first winemaking facility and beautiful ancestral family home, located on the Arancio Lake);
the Dispensa base in Menfi that we visited and
where Planeta high end olive oils are also made nearby at the Capparina mill;
the beautiful Dorilli estate in Vittoria;
the Buonivini vineyards and underground winery near the Baroque town of Noto;
and Planeta's newest estate- Sciara Nuova
in the fashionable fine wine region of volcanic Mount Etna.
Planeta also runs an agriturismo
hotel in the property in Menfi beautifully named
with fourteen large rooms with private terraces, similar to a country landowners’ home, resembling the style with their warm Mediterranean colours, which have various colours schemes and types of antique furniture, with lovely pastel tints on the walls, reds and ochres in the geometrically patterned carpets, and the yellow and the blue of the ceramics from nearby Burgio and Caltagirone.
Aziende Agricole Planeta
Contrada Dispensa, Menfi (AG)
Tel: +39 091.327965
Fax: +39 091.6124355
Appellations:IGT Sicilia, DOCG Cerasuolo di Vittoria
Hectares under vine: Founded:1995 first vintage
Grape Varietals:Nero d’ Avola, Frappato, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Grecanico, Chardonnay, Fiano, Viognier, Carricante, Moscato Bianco