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Thursday, 23 October 2014

La Foreseteria - Planeta Estate - Menfi

We are now at the half way point of our trip. At this point the luxury factor increases as we check into the wonderful boutique hotel run by the famous Sicilian winery. Once again it was somewhat difficult to navigate the last few kilometres to our destination. Giving up on our Tom Tom we pulled into a Penny Mart grocery store to ask for directions. We connected with one of the customers (no english spoken) who motioned for us to follow him.  We waited while he checked out and followed him into the parking lot. He didn't get any bags in the store so his arms were overflowing with boxes of pasta and other groceries. We had expected him to just point out some directions. We were pleasantly surprised when he motioned for us to follow his car. He drove 6 kilometres out of his way leading us right to the winding road leading up to Planeta. As we parted we rolled down our window to thank him. He said "Welcome to Sicily" and drove off. What a lovely man and a great example of how warm Sicilians were throughout our trip. 

The rooms at Planeta were luxurious, spacious and nicely decorated. For our first 2 nights we had an executive suite with 2 outdoor sitting areas surrounded by Lavender and views of the vineyards. Breakfast (included) and dinner (additional costs) were in a small semi outdoor dining room. It was a nice setting, only marred slightly by bees and wasps. There was a wild, friendly kitten who roamed the dining room chasing bugs and shadows. The food at breakfast and dinner was good, but not the best of our trip. What was very surprising was the wine service.  On two nights the sommelier gave us good advice on wine choice (all Planeta, of course). But after the first pour we were left to our own devices to pour the rest of the bottle. On one night the main sommelier was away and his stand in told us a 2005 Chardonnay was suppose to be peach coloured and taste of oxidation. To her credit she did agree to change the wine, but was adamant it was excellent wine. 

The pool at Planeta is certainly the highlight of this small resort. Its not a large pool, but it overlooks the vineyard and has comfortable lounges and the support of a nice bar. We had some great times talking with other guests from Switzerland, Germany and a wonderful couple, Jacques and Bridgette from Montreal. Our conversations continued through dinner and breakfast. We look forward to reconnecting when back in Canada. 

A few more tips to enjoy this location. The massage, although well priced, it was not up to what I am use to, a little too new age for me. But you should take a half day to explore the local beach. We walked for an hour down an isolated shoreline. It was a beautiful day and the ocean breezes and scenery were great. Even better was our lunch at a local "gourmet" restaurant - Da Vittoria. We had one of the best meals of our vacation at this restaurant.  The seafood was amazing, fresh and well prepared. Check out our pictures. 

The other gem at Planeta is the actual winery. See our next post for a description of our wine tasting experience. 

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