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Baglio di Pianetto Is Leading Sustainable Winemaking in Sicily

The story of Baglio di Pianetto begins with its visionary founder, Count Paolo Marzotto, who merged his passion for wine, his love of Sicily, and his reverence for French winemaking techniques — an ode to his French wife, Florence. Already well known as the owner and president of Gruppo Santa Margherita, in 1997, he set his sights on the Palermo countryside, where he established the Pianetto Estate with the express vision of creating beautiful wines with organically grown grapes using sustainable methods. Shortly after laying down roots in the wine scene, Count Marzotto established himself as part of the new renaissance of Sicilian winemaking.

Vineyards on the Mountain

When asked what makes the estate truly special, Baglio di Pianetto ambassador Grégoire Desforges says, “The first and most important differentiating factor is Contrada Pianetto and the mountain amphitheater that embraces the estate. These places have an extraordinary viticultural vocation and a terroir with microclimatic and zonal characteristics that are very different from the rest of Sicily.”

Cultivating grapes at such high altitudes represents true mountain viticulture, with soil conditions and environmental factors typical of high elevations. “Each of these diversities becomes challenges and opportunity,” Desfoges elaborates. These opportunities have included the rediscovery of traditional grape varieties that are no longer widely cultivated.

Crafted by a dedicated winemaking team that interprets and brings the estate’s vision to life, these wines promise an exceptional drinking experience. “The perfect wine for Baglio di Pianetto is the faithful exaltation of the grape variety, the terroir, and the vintage,” Desforges says.

Count Marzotto’s Sustainable Legacy

In 2013, Count Marzotto led a significant project, converting all the vineyards at the Pianetto Estate to organic farming. By 2016, the estate had received official organic certification.

The vineyard avoids synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, which results in the winery maintaining soil health, supporting biodiversity, and minimizing the environmental impact of its operations. When asked about the future of organics at Baglio di Pianetto, Desforges, who is the third generation of the Marzotto family and leads the winery, says, “We are currently a certified organic wine producer, but we are exploring other measures and certifications to be able to concretely demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.”

Baglio di Pianetto has also implemented water conservation measures, such as drip irrigation systems and rainwater harvesting, to ensure the efficient use of this precious resource, which is especially crucial in regions facing water scarcity due to climate change. Additionally, integrating solar panels across the estate reduces reliance on non-renewable energy sources, which decreases CO₂ emissions and promotes renewable energy adoption across the winemaking industry. A notable byproduct of these environmental measures has been the improved quality of the wine produced.

Nurturing Sicilian Roots

Pictured: Graziana Grassini (consulting winemaker), Dante Bonacina (CEO), and Grégoire Desforges (ambassador and third-generation owner)

Beyond tending to the land that helps continue Count Marzotto’s vision, putting down roots in the region is integral to Baglio di Pianetto’s mission. “We actively engage with the local community by supporting regional initiatives such as local charity events, cultural festivals, and educational programs,” Desforges says. “Moreover, we prioritize working with local suppliers and employ local people for the winery and hotel, close to 100 percent. This not only strengthens our ties with the community but also contributes to the overall identity of our winery as a responsible and valued member of the region.” Baglio di Pianetto remains steadfast in its pledge to uphold Sicily’s cultural legacy while fostering sustainable development for generations to come.

When envisioning the future of winemaking at Baglio di Pianetto, Desforges reflects: “Respect for ‘tradition’ means continuing to improve, never settling for the generic, somewhat dusty celebration of memory. Combining modernity and the past, we believe it is possible, and we aspire to be a demonstration of this.”

The future of Sicilian winemaking lies in the mountain vineyards of forward-thinking Baglio di Pianetto, which is dedicated to cutting-edge technology, sustainable agricultural practices, and age-old winemaking techniques to propel the industry forward into a new era.

This article is sponsored by Baglio di Pianetto.

The article Baglio di Pianetto Is Leading Sustainable Winemaking in Sicily appeared first on VinePair.

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