Planeta Chardonnay is perhaps the best known Chardonnay from Sicily and was first launched in 1994.
Since its inception in 1985 the Planeta winery has in a relatively short space of time established itself as one of the most dynamic and quality orientated wineries in the whole of Italy. The fact that the estate is based in the south west corner of Sicily, an island which for so long had been a quality winemaking backwater, makes the achievement all the more remarkable. Run by cousins Francesca, Alessio and Santi Planeta the estate won the coveted Cantina dell’Anno (Italian winery of the year award) in 1999 and has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years. The Estate’s international reputation was founded on the quality of its Chardonnay which remains a benchmark for Italian and Sicilian white wines. Planeta Chardonnay was until recently bottled as a Sicilia IGT but it is now bottled as Menfi DOC. Menfi DOC was established in 1995 and is relatively small with some 227 acres of vines. It is located some 10 miles inshore from the town of Sciaccia on the South Coast of the island and some 30 mile from the Marsala wine region.
The grapes for the Planeta Chardonnay Menfi DOC come from the Ulmo and Maroccoli vineyards in the Sambuca di Sicilia (Agrigento) district and the wine is vinified at Planeta’s winery in Ulmo. The Ulmo Vineyard has moderately deep to deep soils with abundant presence of pebbles, slightly limey, and with sections of dark organic matter. The Maraccolu vineyard has abundant pebbles with moderately chalky with abundant limey sections. It is made from 100% de-stemmed Chardonnay grapes which are crushed and the juice clarified prior to fermentation. The fermentation and ageing takes place in 225 litre French oak barriques (Allier oak barriques of 225 litres, 50% new and 50% 2nd and 3rd use). The wine is aged for 11 months with bâtonnage carried out every 10 days.