Sicily annually is usually Italy’s largest wine producing region. Until the late ‘80s, it almost exclusively produced mediocre bulk wine and inexpensive dessert wines. About 25 years ago, a small consortium of winemakers began to promote higher quality wine. The Planeta family was arguably the most prominent of this new group of producers. The origins of the estate date back to the 1600’s. Their current configuration took shape in 1986 when three members of the Planeta family decided to expand their vineyard holdings. Alessio, Francesca and Santi would aim to make Planeta one of Italy’s most prestigious estates. Today, they have six different wineries throughout the island and own close to 1,000 acres of vineyards. They produce a wide range of wines that include both indigenous and international varietals. This month we bring you their two remarkable entry level releases.

2012 Planeta Segreta Bianco - An absolutely delicious springtime white for quaffing on the deck or with lighter fare. This wine is an interesting blend of 50% Grecanico, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Bianco and 10% Viognier. Completely fermented and aged in stainless steel to preserve the wine’s fresh crisp character, Segreta Bianco delivers ripe melon, pear and honied fruit character, excellent focus and a vibrant texture. The finish is long, clean and crisp with wet stone and mineral notes. $12.99

2012 Planeta Segreta Rosso - The counterpart to the Bianco is a red blend composed of 50% Nero D’Avola, 25% Merlot, 20% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Franc. The wine is medium-bodied, soft and easy drinking with just the right amount of structure for balance. On the palate, this 2012 bursts with red raspberry, bing cherry and plum fruit. This delicious jammy red picks up pepper and spice notes on the persistent finish. A perfect house red for burgers off the grill, marinated grilled chicken, salmon or tuna. $12.99

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