4 Ways Planeta Has Boosted Its Global Presence—and that of Sicilian Wines

Beyond The White Lotus effect, Planeta has expanded its international footprint through community, sustainability, hospitality, and timely marketing

A photography of the Planeta Dorilli Winery
Planeta has extended its influence and gained new followers. Photo courtesy of Planeta.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, Planeta.

They call it “The White Lotus effect.” Such was the success of the smart satirical HBO series that the often dreamy destinations featured in the show experienced a turbocharge of interest. One recent beneficiary was Planeta, a family-owned winery boasting five-hundred years and 17 generations of Sicilian family history. 

During the fifth episode of the second season, two couples visited Planeta’s Mount Etna Sciaranuova vineyard. They tasted Planeta Etna Bianco 2020 and mentioned Carricante Sicilia ‘Eruzione 1614’. While the scene itself was rich with awkward tension, the setting was spectacular, and induced a dramatic uptick in exports and winery tours after the show aired, according to Penny Murray, the director of exports.

Planeta’s global growth cannot, of course, be attributed solely to The White Lotus effect. The winery actively supports the Sicilian wine community, focuses on high-quality, sustainable wine production, and promotes enotourism. Additionally, Planeta has remained abreast of emerging market trends, such as the growing popularity of chillable reds. Here are four key ways Planeta has made a big impact on the world stage.

1. Planeta Advocates for All Sicilian Wine Producers Through Sicilia DOC

Long before the episode aired, Sicily’s wine star was on the rise garnering international recognition for its increasingly high-quality wines thanks to the work of Sicilia DOC. Founded in 2011 by a group of wine growers, winemakers, and bottling companies, Sicilia DOC now encompasses 315 wine growers. This island-wide appellation covers a range of styles, including red, white, and rosé wines. To receive the designation, wines must meet specific production and quality standards, including the use of indigenous grapes. 

Planeta has supported the wine community through advocacy for the designation with a “rising tide lifts all boats” perspective. “Our focus is not only Planeta but all Sicilian wine production,” says Murray. “We are committed to protecting the Sicilia DOC brand; it is essentially a symbol of Made in Italy.”

2. Planeta Produces High-Quality Wine While Protecting the Environment 

Planeta produces 33 different wines from five territories. “Each growing area has a unique biodiversity and terroir intertwined with a singular compilation of experiences such as hospitality, cuisine, nature, and culture,” says Murray.

Sustainability, which is of increasing importance to consumers, has proven to be a pillar of Planeta’s global appeal. Through “Planeta Terra,” the winery established cultivation protocols that serve as a summary of their philosophy: farming is both a vehicle for sustainability and a source of wellbeing for humanity and the environment.

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Going a step further, the winery helped create the SOStain® program in 2010, and the SOStain Foundation in 2020 to tailor viticulture and operational guidance to the unique challenges of the Sicilian landscape. The program encourages sharing of best practices between wine growers in a spirit of cooperation. 

Through patience and diligence, Planeta has achieved the trifecta of high-quality, good value, and ecological-friendly wines. 

3. Planeta’s Wines Align with Emerging Trends 

The regional wines of the Vittoria region have historically been served slightly cooler. Local red grapes from Planeta’s Dorilli estate such as the fragrant Frappato, redolent of red fruits, and Cerasuolo di Vittoria, a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato, showcasing cherry, strawberry, and pomegranate notes, both brighten after a turn in the ice bucket. At a moment when chillable reds are gaining popularity, these more esoteric wines have an opportunity to shine. 

A glass of Planeta wine at sunset
A glass of Planeta wine at sunset in the Sciaranuova vineyards. Photo courtesy of Planeta.

There has also been rising curiosity about indigenous grapes, of which Sicily has a bounty, many adopted by Planeta, such as Nero d’Avola and Carricante, used to produce its Brut Metodo Classico.

4. Planeta Excels at Hospitality and Enotourism

Planeta offers its signature hospitality in regions around the island, from Palazzo Planeta, its elegant, renovated apartments in Palermo to the eco-luxury retreat La Foresteria in Menfi. The earnings from the guesthouse Casa Panitteri, an artist’s dwelling in Sambuca di Sicilia, finance cultural projects for the local community. 

Three estates—Ulmo in Menfi; Buonivini in Noto; and Sciaranuova on Mount Etna, where The White Lotus episode was filmed—provide guests with enviable wine-themed hospitality such as tastings, events, and cooking classes. 

While all of these factors have contributed to Planeta’s global growth, the winery’s core draw is rooted in family and Sicilian authenticity.


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