Diego Planeta, a pioneer of the Sicilian wine industry, former president of the Settesoli cooperative and founder of Planeta Winery, passed away recently at the age of 80.
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Born in 1940, Planeta founded the Sicilian Settesoli Cooperative in 1964 and was later appointed president of the cooperative, a position he held from 1973 to 2011.
He founded his family winery, Planetary Winery, in the 1980s and released his first wines in 1995. Today, the estate has 400 hectares of vineyards and six wineries located in five different regions of Sicily: Menfi, Vittoria, Noto, Etna and Capo Milazzo.
Diego Planeta is credited with reversing the fortunes of the Sicilian wine industry, transforming it from a region that primarily produced large quantities of wine to one that is capable of producing quality wines.
During his lifetime, Planeta was also President of the Regional Institute of Vine and Wine, Vice President of the Assovini Sicilia Wine Group and the Agrigento Farmers" Union.
In 2004, Planeta was awarded an honorary degree in agricultural sciences by the University of Palermo and was awarded the Cavalieri del Lavoro Order of Merit by the Italian government.