The company’s leading generation: my children, nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters and all the extraordinary people who work with us have dedicated a wine to me: my job is to tell you a story.

Diego Planeta

Didacus

Didacus

The origin

As anyone who knew him well will know, Diego Planeta’s vision always had a decade as his smallest unit of measurement, and a generation as his nearest horizon. In the mid-1980’s he had no problem persuading his brothers and sisters, as they all trusted him implicitly, to plant the first rows of Chardonnay vines and other ‘non conventional’ varieties. His first objective was to initiate a production for the following decade which would excel in the range of Sicilian wines and, as he liked to say, ‘would put Sicily once again on the map’.
But very clearly in his mind there was a second and still more ambitious objective which he had tacitly entrusted to the next generation, that of his children, his nephews and nieces, based on what was planned and then took place in the following thirty years; to produce wines aimed at competing on the world stage, among the great wine regions in which Sicily was fully entitled to participate. This was the integral part of his vision. This legacy from 2014 has become Didacus – from the nickname given by his beloved father to Diego – a wine dedicated to the founder and his vision, to this most difficult and most inspiring challenge. Only time – the only judge and as irrevocable for wine as for men – will determine the outcome of this challenge. Our generation has devoted and will continue to devote all their energies, their abilities and every possible resource to enable Diego Planeta’s vision to become reality.

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The wine

Chardonnay e Cabernet Franc

This bottle contains our vision of wine. Elegance and tradition. The family and the future.
Sicily as it has always been in our dreams

Chardonnay

Vintage

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
Grape variety Chardonnay 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2019
Year of plantation 1985
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,2
Vines per hectare 3.787
Clone R8
Root stock 1103 P
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Guyot
Type of soil 61,9% Clay; 29% Loam; 9,1% Sand
  • First sprouting

    26

    march 2019

  • First florescence

    15

    may 2019

  • Beginning of fruit set

    26

    may 2019

  • Beginning of veraison

    17

    july 2019

  • Harvest

    15 e 16

    September 2019

More information
Grape variety Chardonnay 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2018
Year of plantation 1985
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,2
Vines per hectare 3.787
Clone R8
Root stock 1103 P
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Guyot
Type of soil 61,9% Clay; 29% Loam; 9,1% Sand
  • First sprouting

    21

    march 2018

  • First florescence

    11

    may 2018

  • Beginning of fruit set

    23

    may 2018

  • Beginning of veraison

    15

    july 2018

  • Harvest

    10 e 11

    September 2018

Awards Wine Advocate Robert Parker 96+
Guida essenziale ai vini d’Italia di D. Cernilli 97
Vinous 94
Wine Spectator 91
More information
Grape variety Chardonnay 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2016
Year of plantation 1985
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,2
Vines per hectare 3.787
Clone R8
Root stock 1103 P
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Guyot
Type of soil 61,9% Clay; 29% Loam; 9,1% Sand
  • First sprouting

    18

    march 2016

  • First florescence

    08

    may 2016

  • Beginning of fruit set

    20

    may 2016

  • Beginning of veraison

    12

    july 2016

  • Harvest

    5 e 6

    September 2016

Awards Guida essenziale ai vini d’Italia di D. Cernilli 97
Wine Advocate Robert Parker 95
James Suckling 93
Meininger Sommelier 91
Vinous 91
More information
Grape variety Chardonnay 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2015
Year of plantation 1985
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,2
Vines per hectare 3.787
Clone R8
Root stock 1103 P
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Guyot
Type of soil 61,9% Clay; 29% Loam; 9,1% Sand
  • First sprouting

    16

    march 2015

  • First florescence

    04

    may 2015

  • Beginning of fruit set

    18

    may 2015

  • Beginning of veraison

    09

    july 2015

  • Harvest

    2 e 3

    September 2015

Awards Guida essenziale ai vini d’Italia di D. Cernilli 97
Wine Advocate Robert Parker 94
James Suckling 92
Wine Spectator 91
More information
Grape variety Chardonnay 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2014
Year of plantation 1985
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,2
Vines per hectare 3.787
Clone R8
Root stock 1103 P
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Guyot
Type of soil 61,9% Clay; 29% Loam; 9,1% Sand
  • First sprouting

    28

    march 2014

  • First florescence

    10

    may 2014

  • Beginning of fruit set

    23

    may 2014

  • Beginning of veraison

    01

    july 2014

More information

Chardonnay

Sicilia Menfi Doc

Dear Friends,
we have been a landowning family – Genus dominorum praediorum – for many, many generations; and for at least four more, contrary to the archaic traditions and custom of Sicily, ownership has come to mean love, care, passion and after that, and only after that, income. To the 60’s generation, Sicilian winegrowing seemed cramped, in tight shoes, – there was an irresistible attraction to innovation and to change, a long look around the world, close observation and finally…

In February 1985, 4 hectares of chardonnay were planted, in one swoop going back a century: to winegrowing at the time of the Orléans, royal exiles from France, and the Princes of Valdina; Baron Mendola, a keen scholar of viticulture and the equally enlightened Baron Spitaleri, all of whose wines, made from noble vines cultivated across the alps in their ancestral lands, graced great tables in many European courts. It wasn’t an easy planting; an exceptionally hot summer, plants developed for other climates, soils full of clay and limestone, difficult to tame but generous in the quality of their yield. To be brief, many vines disappeared, only to be replanted, regrafted and set up again with the tenacity of those who believe strongly in a different future.
Never has so much work been more handsomely rewarded: in 1989 the great gentleman-enologist Carlo Corino arrived – Piedmontese by birth and culture, decades of work in Australia, the Wizard of chardonnay in temperate climates.
He was as enthusiastic about those 4 hectares as he was about the sun and the warm humanity that he felt in Sicily; we worked together to make a legendary wine which, from the first vintage in 1994 up to this day, has filled us with joy and great satisfaction. Time goes on and in July 2014, after 30 years, walking through the glorious vineyard, an expert eye can clearly spot the vines that took hold in 1985 and since then have been growing along happily...“Eureka”!
Thank goodness my nephew Alessio has lots of imagination.
Our master agronomists cover the whole vineyard and mark the plants they’ve selected; at the right moment our expert workmen choose the best bunches which are transported, pressed and put into barriques.
One more year of anxious anticipation and finally, Didacus is born; it rests in the bottle for the right period of time and now it’s here for you.
Why Didacus?
My beloved father Vito used to call me different names.
Diego was for every day, Dieguzzo was for when we felt extremely close to each other, Didacus, (when I was small it made me think of Luciferus) was for my all too frequent outbursts of unruly behavior.
The fifth of seven children, a big house… But that’s another story and one day I’ll tell it to you.
My thanks to all of you for your attention, and to all those who have worked to produce this wine.

Diego Planeta

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The vineyard Chardonnay – Ulmo

The vineyard Chardonnay – Ulmo

Cabernet Franc

Vintage

  • 2017
  • 2016
Grape variety Cabernet Franc 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2017
Year of plantation 2000
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,00
Vines per hectare 4.545
Clone VCR10
Root stock 140R
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Spurred cordon
Type of soil 46% Clay; 22% Loam; 32% Sand
  • First sprouting

    26

    march 2017

  • First florescence

    18

    may 2017

  • Beginning of fruit set

    31

    may 2017

  • Beginning of veraison

    21

    july 2017

  • Harvest

    18 e 19

    September 2017

More information
Grape variety Cabernet Franc 100%
Denomination Sicilia Menfi Doc
Vintage 2016
Year of plantation 1999
Distance between vines 2,20 X 1,00
Vines per hectare 4.545
Clone VCR10
Root stock 140R
Training system Espalier
Pruning system Spurred cordon
Type of soil 46% Clay; 22% Loam; 32% Sand
  • First sprouting

    22

    march 2016

  • First florescence

    20

    may 2016

  • Beginning of fruit set

    03

    may 2016

  • Beginning of veraison

    25

    july 2016

  • Harvest

    24 e 27

    September 2016

Awards Vinous 95
Wine Advocate Robert Parker 94
Wine Spectator 92
James Suckling 90
More information

Cabernet Franc

Sicilia Menfi Doc

Dear Friends,
Another Didacus variation revives memories and even more emotions. The Ulmo winery has always been part of our lives: its mansion and cellar, the surrounding terrain. It has become the source of so many tales, tales that may be small and insignificant for many, though important and almost legendary for us.
These stories and anecdotes have been accumulating for generations, handed down to us and recounted by those who came before us. Sometimes they are glossed over or just barely recalled, whilst other times, they are extravagantly embellished.

The upper part of the estate is filled with panoramas overlooking small vales and steep trails. As the trails take you up to 1,600 feet above sea level, they hide fragments of lively memories at every footstep.
Nature here is uncontaminated, agriculture is ancient and loved by us, and that takes care of everything.
Let me tell you about the Piano del Sommacco (Sumac Plain).
If you have sturdy legs and have just visited the Didacus Chardonnay vineyard, you ascend another 800 feet over the next mile or so. You hike past the Segreta Wood and you are on the Sumac Plain.
The Sumac Plain was already standing before the new forests of cluster pines split the property in two. The plain provides a perfect view of the estate’s old farms and fields from on high.
You can see the Ulmo mansion with Mazzallakar Saracen Fort to the North, Maroccoli terrains to the south toward the sea, and finally the Cirami district and the Risinata land to the East.
These panoramas and places bewitched us completely as kids. Small mysteries were hidden among the shadows of the many springs and their surrounding freshness. Our relatives told us so many stories of past events and episodes, stories that became tall tales and larger than life.
My brothers and I used to be sent up top, across the Segreta Wood and then climbing beyond it. This exhausting hike let us see the status of the crops and ongoing harvest from on high. At the end, there was a good harvest of fruit from the few remaining plants of the ancient Sicilian sumac bush (Rhus corairai L.).
This tree, or rather bush, used to be a source of sustenance for a Sicily which no longer exists except in the memory of a few, perhaps. A tannin of extraordinary quality for tanning hides was extracted from its leaves and branches. Then, the expert hands of homemakers extracted spices from the sumac berries that they would use to brighten vegetable soups on a winter’s eve.
There were only a few sumacs left back then, and they were said to be the remains of the powerful Emir Al-Zabut’s extensive plantation.
This legacy from wise Arabian agriculture and culture, dates back to before the turn of the first millennium when they started planting here. Family legends were filled with fantastic tales about the great expanses of woods and lucrative trade with distant lands, Levantine merchants devoted to risk and gain, and nimble sambuks continuously threatened by pirates.
Alas, all there is left of these yarns are a few remaining bushes on Sumac Plain.
In the late nineties we finished our lengthy experimentation on the vines we had planted in 1985. Another variety brought back to Sicily enthralled us: Cabernet Franc.
All those trials and one certainty: a red wine could and had to be created from Cabernet Franc grapes and the Ulmo terroir
Alessio, Francesca, Santi, and I found ourselves walking where the Sicilian sumac plants no longer existed. There was nothing left but my memories, my stories and the plateau with its 12 acres, privileged by its commanding position and so much history linked to our family.
We made a decision: where sumac once grew, we would plant the most Mediterranean of Bordeaux: Cabernet Franc.
Today more than twenty years later, the Sumac Plain is a perfect plateau, the ideal terroir we had been searching for in order to create a great red wine destined for lengthy aging, the best way possible.
Just as with the Sicilian sumac, tannins once again are at the forefront here, but some of the noblest and most velvety ones: the tannins of great red wines.
We continue to follow in the footsteps of some of the great adventures in Sicilian vine growing at the end of the 19th century. We are now drinking a Cabernet Franc that can hold its own with the so very successful Ulmo Chardonnay.
Once again, let me thank the people who have put some much of themselves in this for 20 years to allow us to achieve this result.

Diego Planeta

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The vineyard Cabernet Franc – Dispensa

The vineyard Cabernet Franc – Dispensa

Diego

Planeta

Diego Planeta

Diego Planeta was born at Palermo on 2nd February, the day of the Candelora, 1940. After the war he studied at and graduated from the Istituto Agrario of Catania, and at the end of the 1950’s he began working with the agricultural activities of the family firm at the side of his much loved father Vito, who had founded the Cantina Sociale Settesoli at Menfi in 1958.

In 1967 he founded S.I.S. at Vittoria (RG), a firm which took over the Centro SEIA and today possesses an excellent reputation in the sector of agricultural services and in tomato production.

In 1972 he succeeded his father Vito in the chairmanship of Settesoli – an elective role which he undertook for 38 consecutive years, rendering it a point of reference in the sector of co-operative agriculture, and representing the progressive leader of the whole of the Valle del Belice.

On the death of his father in 1975 he began to administer the individual agricultural properties of his six brothers, an enterprise which in the 1990’s led to the creation of a single family firm.
Between 1975 and l995 the transformation of the firm was completed, which had been chiefly livestock, cereal and citrus cultivation, and became a modern entity principally of wine and olive oil production, going through horticulture and always favouring the bravest type of experimentation.
From post-Riforma Agraria landed estate to a modern agricultural business.

In 1985 he was appointed President of the Istituto Regionale della Vite e del Vino. In this role, held until 1992, he achieved what was probably his magnum opus, also because it benefitted the whole of the co-operative. Thanks to working partnerships with people of the calibre of Giampaolo Fabris, Attilio Scienza, Giacomo Tachis – to mention just a few – he completely revolutionised Sicilian wine production in a very few years, making available to all the producers an invaluable heritage of experimentation, market research and very clear strategic vision. This was a very real model of development, without which the sector would very probably have been subjected to an irreversible decline and which instead allowed growth and success.

Between the end of the 1980’s and the beginning of the 1990’s he decided to launch the family wine company, and to entrust it to the next generation, in particular to his nephew Alessio, born in 1966, who for years had worked beside him in the family’s agricultural activities. Soon afterwards his daughter Francesca was included, and then his nephews Marcello and Santi and his niece Chiara.

Among official recognitions received over the years, we like to remember those which were to him the greatest source of pride. First of all in 2004 he was named Cavaliere del Lavoro by the President of the Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, in the same year he was awarded the honorary degree of laurea honoris causa in Scienze Tecnologie nAgrarie of Palermo, the first ever given by the Faculty, and in 2003 he was nominated to the Accademico dei Georgofili.

Diego Planeta ceased to look after either agriculture or his family on Saturday 19th September 2020, very early in the morning, at Menfi.

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Initiatives

Planeta

  • Scholarship

  • Botanical Garden

  • Works