Cookery lessons, wine tasting and oil tasting with Planeta and The Thinking Traveller


Our favourite wine supplier Planeta has a couple more tricks up its sleeve.

Here are a few options:

For detailed information and booking please call your personal Experience Specialist on +44 (0) 203 603 4478 or email

NB - this service (and all Think Experiences) is only available to clients staying at The Thinking Traveller villas.

The secrets of Sicilian cooking

The Thinking Traveller has got together with Planeta’s La Foresteria Resort and its chef, Angelo Pumilia, to organise "Le mani in pasta" a hands-on cooking class.

La Foresteria is situated in Menfi, amongst rolling hills, with mesmerizing views of the sea and the vineyards. Here Chef Angelo will guide you through some of the tastiest traditional Sicilian recipes. A member of the Planeta team will be on hand to delight you with fun, historical and gastronomical anecdotes, regarding the area and the menu.

Depending on the time of year, you may find yourself preparing a typical festive feast, such as an Easter lunch. In true Sicilian style, the recipes will be based on seasonal products and will use only the freshest local ingredients for the Caponata Siciliana or the Chef's favourite  Spatola alle erbe  (Scabbard fish with herbs).

A trip to Sicily would not be complete without a day spent discovering the joys of the local cuisine, so why not discover the Chef that lies within!


Cooking class followed by lunch with two Planeta wines.

  • 9:30am start, followed by a short theoretical explanation of the ingredients and the history of the recipes. 
  • 10:30am to 12:30pm cooking class
  • 12:30pm lunch 

At the end of the lesson you will receive an apron and a brochure with the recipes.

La Vendemmia

Planeta is without doubt one of Sicily’s foremost producers of quality wines and the grape harvest or La Vendemmia is a joyous celebration that brings together friends and family.

Planeta has six vineyards in every corner of Sicily, so why not take up The Thinking Traveller and Planeta's offer and discover the way wine is produced. This Think Experience includes a visit to the winery, participation in the harvesting and the best tasting and lunch!

You will try four wines, accompanied by bread sticks and Planeta's extra-virgin olive oil. To finish it all off, sit down to a light lunch with local products and a lovely glass of wine, selected by the sommelier.


  • 9:30am arrival and welcome 
  • 10am to 11.00am grape harvest
  • 11:00am to 12.00pm wine tasting
  • 12:30pm to 2.30pm light lunch 

The actual grape harvest takes place from mid-August to the end of September, from Monday to Friday. Wine tasting visits are available in nearly all of the Planeta wineries. We are happy to organise a visit for you during your stay in Sicily. The wineries are situated in Noto (Buonivini winery), Menfi (Dispensa), Sambuca di Sicilia (Ulmo winery), and Castiglione di Sicilia, Etna (Feudo di Mezzo).


Click here to read an article on The Thinking Traveller's Sicilian cookery experiences in award-winning online food publication, Four Magazine.

The olive harvest in Sicily

October and November are dedicated to the beautiful, ancient olive trees and their liquid-gold producing fruit. Planeta has opened up its oil mill in Capparrina (Menfi) and The Thinking Traveller clients are invited to go along and get involved!

You will be able to pick the olives from the trees and discover the production process of extra virgin olive oil. The olive harvest is a frenetic time, with each producer eager to pick their olives at exactly the right time, ensuring they are taken straight to the press. Only in this way will they get the best quality oil. 

After the harvest, you will be able to sample some of the freshly pressed, deliciously fruity and aromatic oil. You will try three varieties, each surprisingly different and accompanied by traditional country dishes.

The olive harvest usually takes place from Monday to Friday; between the end of October and the end of November.

Wine tasting and oil tasting visits are available in nearly all of the Planeta wineries. We are happy to organise a visit for you during your stay in Sicily. The wineries are situated in Noto (Buonivini winery), Vittoria (Dorilli winery), Menfi (Dispensa), Sambuca di Sicilia (Ulmo winery), Capo Milazzo (La Baronia) and Castiglione di Sicilia, Etna (Feudo di Mezzo).

Terms and Conditions

Think Experiences are provided by independent local companies which are neither owned not controlled by The Thinking Traveller and for whom we act only as an agent. Whilst every effort is made to keep the description of every Think Experience up to date, the provider may cancel or amend your experience at their discretion for many reasons including where it considers that there may be a risk to your comfort, health or safety. Some excursions/activities (i.e. helicopter rides, excursions on Mount Etna, boat charter, etc.) may contain an element of risk or require a good level of physical fitness, and, if in doubt, you should contact us so we can put you in contact directly with the local provider before deciding to buy. Please also check that you are covered for the activity(ies) in question by your travel insurance policy.

In acting in the capacity of an agent on behalf of the provider, your contract will be with that provider and will be subject to their standard terms and conditions, and it will not form part of your contracted holiday arrangements with us. Any complaint (including any allegation of breach of contract or negligence) should be taken up with the excursion/activity provider directly. We will do our best to assist you, but will have no liability in relation to the performance of that contract.

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