At Le Baccanti Tours, we tour top rated wineries all over Italy. Sicily has a special place on our wine map. Every year, we take our clients on a wine tour of the wineries around Mount Etna. Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, being in more or less constant eruption. At currently about 3,330 meters, or about 10,940 feet (the height varies with eruptions), it is about twice the height of Vesuvius and the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. The terrain all around it is immensely fertile and supports a thriving agriculture of orchards and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
One of our favorite wineries in Sicily is Planeta. They have many wine producing facilities all over the country and we are very familiar with their site in Etna. Planeta is not just one winery, but many. The exhilarating journey begins at Sambuca di Sicilia, on an estate the Planeta family has owned since the 1600s. In the mid-1980s, three enthusiastic young Sicilians – Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta – began their winemaking venture. The trio spent subsequent years matching the extraordinarily diverse Sicilian soils with both indigenous and international grape varieties. The result? A family of critically-acclaimed wines that demonstrate how brilliance can be attained through the thoughtful marriage between grape variety and terroir.
Curious about Planeta Winery in Sicily and the story behind the wine makers? Check out the interview made by Star Chefs to understand why this Sicilian wine company is one of our favorite wine cellar destinations when we go on wine tours of Etna in Sicily:
Interview with Francesca Planeta, Winemaker at Planeta Wines, Sicily, Italy
Interested in a wine tour of Etna in Sicily? Read up on our luxury, private wine tours in Sicily and beyond on Le Baccanti’s website!
Tuscany’s countrysides – plural, for there are many very different ones – quickly cast their spells. The variety is lush: densely wooded mountain ranges, undulating, sun-drenches hills and dales of vineyards and olive groves, clusters of ancient brick and fieldstone farm buildings, sheer rugged cliffs good as alpine mountaineering training grounds, scores of miles of beaches both rocky and sandy, treeless hills of corn rolling on over the horizon, noble villas, Romanesque churches, mediaeval walled towns . . .
Cinematography could hardly ignore all that, and in fact, the films set in rural and urban Tuscany are many. Tuscan-born directors naturally gravitate to their homelands: Benigni, Zeffirelli, Benvenuti among others. Non Tuscan ones, both Italian and foreign, have done well with their Tuscan venues: Ridley Scott with Tom Harris’ Hannibal, Bertolucci with Io ballo da sola, Audrey Wells with Under the Tuscan Sun. In these and many others the mere presence of Tuscany takes on the function of a dramatic element in the unfolding the plot and the identities of the personages. Many other epics are filmed here even though the stories are not set in Tuscany as such: Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, in which scenes meant to be in Spain were filmed in and near Siena, and Denys Arcand’s Invasion of the Barbarians, in which people drink an Excelsus of Villa Banfi produced in Montalcino. Shakespeare is a frequent guest: Zefirelli made three Romeo and Juliets here, Kenneth Branagh chose a villa near Greve in Chianti for Much Ado About Nothing, as did Robert Hofmann for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Taviani brothers created Goethe’s Elective Affinities in and near Pisa, while Australia’s Jane Campion set Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady in Lucca. All the world knows the James Ivory renditions of Room with a View set on Florence’s river fronts or lungarni and in the surrounding countryside, nor can one forget Minighella’s Tuscan stagings of The English Patient, Benigni’s Life is Beautiful and Fellini’s Eight and a Half. Top-quality art-film makers like Tarkovskij set Nostalghia in Tuscany, as Michalkov did Oci ciornie.
But it would be much more satisfying to come here and see Tuscany for one’s self rather than just glimpse it in filmed backgrounds!