Planeta: the wine tourism we all want
Success is never an accident.
This is the first thought that comes to mind after experiencing the Ulmo winery, in the territory of Menfi, on the shores of Lake Arancio, the first of the Planeta family’s wineries. In fact, the story of a family and a company that had a profound impact on the reputation and fame of Sicilian viticulture began in Ulmo. I have closely followed Planeta’s winemaking evolution over the past thirty years, but I had paid less attention to its commitment on the wine tourism front.
It is now easy for me to underline how the house of Planeta’s wine tourism offer is complete and consistent with the identity of such an important brand, although this also means that it bears a lot of responsibility. I would like to start from this last point. In fact, when a wine tourist visits vineyards with a “good reputation”, their expectation is greatly increased and, at the same time, the company also becomes, to some extent, responsible for the reputation of an entire region.
At Planeta, they have known all this for a long time and have never shied away from this responsibility. This is also the reason why I very much appreciated the work done by Planeta in planning what it offers wine tourists, which was beautifully and generously illustrated to us by Francesca and Vito Planeta. An offer totally conceived and implemented in relation to the demographics of guests who visit the five Planeta wineries (Menfi,Vittoria, Noto, Etna and Capo Milazzo).
“Right from the booking stage, we try to get a better understanding of the profile of guests who ask to visit to our wineries” – explained Francesca Planeta, who has certainly also inherited a great visionary ability from her father Diego (who passed away last year) – “because it is starting precisely from their diverse profiles that not only our wine tourism offer is created, but also our communicative approach”. And this is the key factor in a complex activity such as wine tourism, which unfortunately, even today, is still strongly anchored in talking about products instead of understanding who we are talking to, the guests. The visit to the Ulmo winery was therefore very educational on this front and I tried to experience it as if I were a “normal” wine tourist who wants to learn more about an important brand like Planeta. And, thanks to this approach, I understood the soul of this company even better, which brings together many elements that over the years have been crucial in its success, starting with that pioneering spirit that led it to break old patterns and to be the first to reach important milestones.
It is no coincidence that Planeta is the Sicilian company that made the world understand how this land could be an ideal habitat for the original expression of many international vines (Planeta’s Chardonnay, for example, continues to represent one of the best interpretations of this vine variety internationally). But it was also the company that studied the potential of Sicilian natives more than others. Right in the Ulmo winery they have created the Iter Vitis museum surrounded by a “collection field” of different Sicilian and Georgian vines to enhance the rich Sicilian viticultural heritage.
Planeta is also the company that has always seen that there are stories to be told about Sicily and the lands where it is present even before its wines. Just think of the “Journey to Sicily”, one of the most original and interesting projects in the communication landscape of a winery, where Planeta has managed to tell the story of Sicily and its wines through the eyes and thoughts of some of the most important international artists. But on the last front, again in Ulmo, there is also the La Segreta nature trail, the departure point for three different routes that run along the vineyards and are able to highlight the most natural corners of the company and allow guests to enjoy unique landscapes.
If we add to all this a name, “La Foresteria Menfi”, a boutique resort among the vineyards, the most beautiful and evocative I have ever visited and experienced, it is easy to close the circle on the value of Planeta hospitality. When an entrepreneur or hospitality manager asks me which companies to visit to improve their hospitality, it is therefore easy for me to answer: “Go to Sicily and visit Planeta”.