Menfi (AG), 18 October 2023 – Alessio Planeta, Planeta Winery’s CEO and Technical Director, has been awarded the prestigious title of “Winemaker of the Year,” * an accolade that is a component of the Wine Enthusiast’s 24th annual Wine Star Awards initiative and that boosts Italy into first place after 16 years.

Each year, the authoritative U.S. wine journal pays tribute to the most influential members of the wine, spirits, and beverage industry through its annual Wine Star Awards, one of the most coveted recognitions on the North American wine scene. Preceding winners of the coveted title have ranged from New Zealand’s Helen Masters and Portugal’s Ana Diogo-Draper to Doug Margerum Paul Hobbs from the U.S. and Nicole Hitchcock of Australia.

Thanks to this prized international accolade, Alessio Planeta becomes the fourth Italian to bear this title. That last Italian to win Winemaker of the Year was Carlo Ferrini in 2007, currently winemaking consultant to a number of leading Italian wine producers. Before him only Riccardo Cotarella, president of Assoenologi and founder, together with his brother Renzo, of the Umbrian company Cotarella, and Renzo Cotarella, CEO at Marchesi Antinori, received the same award in 2001.

“I am deeply honored by the award that the Wine Enthusiast has bestowed on me this year,” stated Alessio Planeta, “a recognition that I am happy to share with my family and with our entire staff. It is thanks to them that we have built up our family winery, day after day, through our shared commitment, dedication, and passion. Next year, we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary, and receiving such a prestigious tribute at this time fills me with emotion and makes me proud of the solid reputation that the wines of Sicily have won across the globe.” 

The winners of awards in the 13 categories of the Wine Star Awards will be feted at a Wine Star Gala on 5 February 2024 at the Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort in Miami, Florida.

*From Wine Enthusiast. © 2023 Wine Enthusiast. All rights reserved. Used under license.