Travel Notes blog
Sample the delicious local wines of Italy from the comfort of your villa
by Laura Bardell-Smith
10 min read

Sample the delicious local wines of Italy from the comfort of your villa

Sample the delicious local wines of Italy from the comfort of your villa
Your luxury wine-centred holiday in Italy is waiting. We are here to make it easier than ever to dive into the upper echelon of the Italian wine scene with bespoke experiences hosted by our partners, Planeta and Tormaresca.
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Does the prospect of taking a deep dive into Italy’s famous wine regions fill you (and, hopefully soon, your glass) with excitement? In that case, we are honoured to welcome you to our extensive selection of luxury Italian villas, which feature sensational wine-centred amenities such as:

  • Expansive wine cellars

  • Vineyards

  • In-villa wine deliveries

  • Wine-centred Experiences

  • Convenient access to some of the finest vintners the world has to offer


The best wine tasting in Sicily: Planeta

Planeta, located in beautiful Sicily, has long been considered a thought leader in their industry, attracting oenophiles from all over the world to the region. Their operation spans the entire island of Sicily, from west to east, in five distinctive territories that all yield unique and unforgettable vino that simply must be experienced. These include:

  • Burdese, Menfi DOC

    - Red, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc. Wine score of 94 by



  • Chardonnay, Menfi DOC

    - White, 100% Chardonnay. Wine score of 94 by

    Robert Parker


    James Suckling

    , Falstaff and

    Wine Spectator


  • Cometa, Menfi DOC

    - White, 100% Fiano. Wine score of 93 by


    and Falstaff.

  • Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese, Sicilia DOC

    - Red, 91% Nerello Mascalese, 9% Nerello Cappuccio. Wine score of 96 by James Suckling.

  • Passito di Noto, Noto DOC

    - Dessert, 100% Moscato Bianco. Wine score of 95 by

    Wine Enthusiast Magazine


  • Santa Cecilia, Noto DOC

    - Red, 100% Nero d’Avola. Wine score of 94 by James Suckling and Falstaff and winner of the Wine Hunter Award ORO by

    the Merano Wine Festival


Planeta comprises a total of 395 hectares and is split up into the following estates:

  • Menfi

    is located in western Sicily and features 263ha of clay soil, limestone and the perfect microclimate for producing outstanding white wines. The first harvests on Menfi were in 1985, making this one of Planeta’s oldest vineyards.

  • Vittoria

    sits near Sicily’s central coastline, boasting 37ha of sandy lands positioned in a flood valley, making this location ideal for producing bold yet balanced red wines.

  • Noto

    is located along the southern coast of Sicily. It has 51ha of calcareous soils that deliver a lovely selection of white and red wines.

  • Etna

    , located in the shadow of the towering Mount Etna, comprises 36ha of lush, volcanic soil perfect for nurturing the ancient local grape varieties produced here.

  • Capo Milazzo

    is found on the northeast coast of Sicily, comprising just 8ha. Despite its relatively small size, the coastal viticulture of the area makes for a truly authentic selection of Sicilian reds.


The vineyards of Planeta are unique, and the Planeta family are committed to putting sustainability at the forefront of everything they do, yielding unmatched quality and authenticity. After many years of hard work, their first certified organic wines are set to be released in 2021, with a goal of going 100% organic in the near future. The dedicated family maintains this sustainability ethos by utilising only the finest varieties grown in their vineyards.

In 2011 the most influential Sicilian wineries began taking part in the SOStain project, a sustainable initiative that ensures its members are making eco-friendly and responsible choices. Planeta has been a part of the project from the start and has actively worked to develop requirements and governance. To achieve a SOStain certification, a winery must adhere to 10 minimum sustainability requirements, which range from environmentally-friendly vineyard management and biodiversity to efficient energy technologies and the use of eco-friendly materials.

Planeta is pleased to report that they meet all of these requirements, earning them the well-deserved SOStain certification.


Family run and proud

Family is truly at the heart of Planeta, and the company’s proud history as a family-run company is deeply intertwined with their Sicilian heritage, which stretches back 17 generations.

“We are family owned and have been for many generations. Our family is very close. We express a sense of closeness and familiarity in everything we do. We are proud to be 100% Sicilian, and much of the business is run by members of our family, including production, sales, marketing, communications and hospitality.”

– Francesca Planeta, Co-Owner of Planeta

Because of their premier product, exceptional values and unmatched authenticity, we have partnered with Planeta for over 20 years to offer the following bespoke amenities to our guests:

  • Fascinating tours

    of Planeta’s diverse selection of wine and vineyards

  • Delightful and intimate

    wine tastings

    , both in-villa and at the vineyards themselves, hosted by expert sommeliers

  • In-villa wine deliveries

  • Exciting

    cooking classes


    unique dining options

    from Planeta’s kitchens, like the La Foresteria restaurant

If any of these services pique your interest, please don’t hesitate to mention them to your Villa Specialist when booking a stay in one of our Sicilian villas. We are more than happy to organise a fully customised Sicilian wine experience with Planeta to suit your tastes and interests.


Wine tasting in Puglia: Tormaresca

Whether you’re wine-curious or a wine aficionado, Tormaresca in Puglia is sure to please. Vito Palumbo, Brand Ambassador for Tormaresca, shared this when asked about the organisation’s motivation for revitalising the Puglian wine scene:

“Passion, courage and confidence in the immense potential Puglia has to offer in terms of quality are all elements that inspired us to invest in this region, particularly in the areas of Castel del Monte and Salento.”

Puglia’s wine renaissance

With a history stretching back 26 generations, Vito’s family has helped the Antinoris (another family committed to the art of winemaking who owns a renowned winery) as they transformed the region both culturally and economically, ushering in a ‘Puglian wine renaissance’ through their elegant, fresh and delicious selection of vino.

The Palumbo family first began working under the Tormaresca label in the Puglia region in 1998 in Murgia, near Bari and the Upper Salento areas. During a visit around this time to Puglia’s southern frontier, the untapped potential of the area became evident. It was clear that though this region had a profound history and ancient grape variants, it had yet to economically blossom. By introducing modern facilities and techniques - and giving Puglia the attention it so clearly deserved - Vito’s family was able to assist the Antinoris in drastically improving the Puglian wine scene.

In 2009, they began operating cellars at Cantina di Masseria Maime. The design drew inspiration from the imagery of indigenous vegetation and was designed with a contemporary flourish, utilising an operating style based on Renzo Cotarella’s latest winemaking theories.

Today, the Antinori family, still supported by the Palumbos, is celebrated for introducing modern winemaking equipment and techniques to Puglia, elevating both to leaders amongst the finest Italian vintners.

Tormaresca today

Tormaresca’s operation now comprises three meticulously managed estates in Puglia.

  • Bocca di Lupo

    , located in Castel del Monte’s DOC appellation, near Bari

  • Masseria Maime

    near Salento in the vibrant heart of Puglia and the Tenuta

  • Carrubo Estate

    in the Manduria DOC, an area famous for the production of the Primitivo grape

Together, these boutique estates reliably turn out the finest autochthonous grape varietals including, Primitivo, Nero di Troia, Fiano Pugliese, Aglianico, Negroamaro and Moscato Reale. 

The result? A fabulous portfolio of native Puglia wines that are sparking a renewed interest and excitement in the region, including:

  • Masseria Maime

    - Red, 100% Negroamaro

  • Roycello

    - White, 100% Fiano

  • Chardonnay

    - White, 100% Chardonnay

  • Kaloro

    - White, 100% Moscato Reale

You could spend a lifetime discovering Tormaresca’s fantastic array of vintages and still be left wanting more. We’d be pleased to help you get started on your next holiday to Puglia.

In-villa wine deliveries from The Thinking Traveller

We are pleased to announce that we exclusively partner with Planeta and Tormaresca, allowing you to easily experience these magnificent wines during your next luxury villa stay in Italy. Our team is here to help you dive into the luscious reds, uplifting whites and sessionable rosés of this legendary wine country. Let’s explore your options.

In-villa wine delivery in Sicily

In Sicily, an old proverb says Dove regna il vino non regna il silenzio, which roughly translates to Where wine reigns, silence does not reign. So, for a holiday to remember, why not bring some laughter and celebration into your villa by planning an in-villa wine delivery from our partner Planeta? Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a specially curated selection of brilliant Sicilian wines to carry you through your entire stay. If hauling loads of bottles through the cobblestone streets of Sicily sounds like a hassle, this option is perfect for your holiday.


In-villa wine delivery in Puglia

No villa stay in Puglia is complete without an in-villa wine delivery from our partner Tormaresca. Imagine arriving at your villa after a long journey to be welcomed with a couple of cases of the area’s finest wines – pure bliss. Tormaresca offers 12 delicious local wines to choose from, including bright whites, full-bodied reds, delightful rosés and even a dessert wine to accompany your barchiglia, a hallmark dessert in traditional Puglian cuisine. This chocolate-glazed tart, made with shortcrust pastry, dried fruits, almonds and pear preserve can be found at a local panetteria (bakery) or prepared by an in-villa chef by request for a pairing that will transport you to culinary nirvana.


3 villas where you can enjoy the wines of Italy

A wine-centred holiday is waiting, and we’ve made it easier than ever with Italian villas that will have you feeling like Dionysus (the god of viticulture, grapes and, of course, wine). Please allow us to introduce you to a selection of our top choices.

1. Rocca delle Tre Contrade

Located in Sicily, Rocca delle Tre Contrade is an ideal home base if you want to savour Mount Etna’s offerings. The extensive grounds of this sprawling villa can easily accommodate up to 24 guests and feature stunning views, a private tennis court, a spectacular infinity pool and its own amazing wine cellar. This villa was once a winery and is located close to Mount Etna, where you can indulge in even more wine tours and tastings.


2. Angheli

Angheli, also found in Sicily, is close to Planeta’s La Foresteria wine resort and has its own small vineyard, perfect for evening strolls with a glass in hand. Boasting unmatched sea views, a luxurious infinity pool and the smell of orange blossoms, secluded Angheli perfectly combines a sense of warm hospitality and sophisticated opulence to create a refined yet welcoming atmosphere.


3. Palazzo Ducale Guarini

A historic haven in the centre of the captivating Puglian town Scorrano, Palazzo Ducale Guarini welcomes you. Enchanting gardens, an elegant interior and an inviting pool make Palazzo Ducale Guarini the perfect backdrop for enjoying some Puglian vino. The owners of this villa have their own winery, Duca Carlo Guarini, so slipping into the Puglian wine scene is effortless when staying at this gorgeous villa.


Savour the wine culture of Italy in opulence

It’s often said that the wines of Italy have a culture all their own. Our experienced team is pleased to offer you an exclusive invitation into the upper echelon of the Italian wine scene right from the comfort of your luxury villa. If you’re ready to dive into the Italian wine holiday of your dreams, we’re here to help you start planning your bespoke holiday.