Published: October 1st 2011September 28th 2011
Wednesday marks a full week since the start of our Italian holiday. A week ago we were flying high on our way to Amsterdam to catch our connecting flight to Florence. Today's agenda was to visit the vineyard of Planeta located about 15 minutes from the villa. Ron & Lissa have had their wines before and found online that the vineyard had just opened its doors to visitors this past April. Before we left for Italy they had booked us a private wine tasting and tour with a lunch to follow. We met with a gal called Victoria a Sicilian born English major who specializes in wine. She took us on a quick tour of the grounds and informed us that this particular property is one of many on the island belonging to this family run company. The Planeta family is originally from Spain and has been making wine in Sicily for 2 generations. This vineyard had wines and grape varieties that none of us have ever heard of before, so we were really interested to learn more. During our tour of the grounds, we saw in the distance a small puppy chewing on a yellow ring. When we asked about
One of their cellars
it, Victoria said that the puppy was found in the vineyard during harvest time which was a few weeks ago and decided to adopt it. After our tour of the cellars and processing area, we went to view their new B&B set up in an old barn. Completely renovated and super cute, the B&B has 8 rooms and a dining area where guests can stay and eat. Ron was curious if the vineyard would let you work the fields at harvest time if you stayed there. Apparently you can since some of the grapes are pulled off by hand first before the machines come out. Another reason to come back! After tasting 2 whites and 2 reds, we tasted their olive oil which is produced in the north of Sicily near Mount Etna. Olive oil is a huge thing in Italy and all salads use the finest olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a dressing. No heavy cream dressings like we're used to.
Afterwards, we were asked to go upstairs to a large open kitchen with a long wooden table set up for 5 people. The first course was penne pasta with tomato and eggplant sauce and it was utterly
Basically it says to don't drink like a pig.
divine. Next was a beef cutlet with a small salad, cool boiled potatoes and green beans. We noticed that most Sicilians eat the biggest meal at noon and it usually consist of 2 courses that include a meat. The homemade meal was absolutely fabulous and though we wanted seconds, our tummies were too full. However, you're never too full to eat dessert! We were served the best cannoli and peach salad with mint I've ever had in my life. As we rolled our sorry fat butts from the table, I ventured outside to get some air and walk this lunch off. Immediately I noticed the puppy in the distance so I got down low and whistled to it thinking there was no way he would come over, but to my amazement, his little face and ears perked up looking straight at me and then he jumped up and in a full run, came barrelling down the gravel road towards me. He screeched to a stop about a foot away and with its little head down in a submissive gesture, inched forward ever so slowly until he sniffed my hand. Once we had introduced ourselves, the little puppy snuggles right up
into my hands for rubs on his face and ears. Then he flipped over for a belly rub and that's when I noticed that he was really a she. She reminded me of Dan's cousin's dog Tito but only light brown with dark brown patches on the face and a little white patch on her chest. She was so cute that I wished I could take her home with me. I grabbed her yellow ring and tossed it and she would bring it back every time. This pup could only be about 3 – 4 months old, but she was so good and well trained already. I stayed out there with her for about 40 minutes until the rest of the group came out to leave. Victoria told me that the puppy's name is Dirillo and is quite a handful. It was very difficult for me to leave her.
After our 4 hour tour of Planeta, we decided to visit the towns of Vittoria and Gela. Neither place was at all interesting, though located by the sea, each town was pretty run downed with lots of graffiti and garbage everywhere. We decided it was better to get back to the
villa and call it a day. After such a big lunch, dinner was not even mentioned. We all stayed inside to blog, eat a small sandwich and watch the movie Hanna on Ron's iPad.
Wine count as of today is now 18 bottles. I know we made a big jump here but we were just at a world class vineyard.
There are more photos below