October 2018 - Page 4 of 6 - Please The Palate
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There are many wine regions in the world known for one or two flagship varieties. Burgundy is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Piemonte is Nebbiolo, Tuscany is Sangiovese, Napa is Cabernet Sauvignon and so on. In Sicily, the flagship grape is Nero d'Avola and I had the privilege to explore this grape through the wines from Planeta which I shared in a recent column in the Napa Valley Register and you can it read here.

In Italy, more than 80 percent of the grapes grown are native varieties. One of the most cultivated indigenous varieties is Nero d’Avola, the flagship red grape of Sicily. It makes up 60 percent of Sicily’s agriculture. When speaking about Nero d’Avola from Sicily, it is like speaking about Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Sangiovese from Tuscany and Montepulciano from Abruzzo.

One of the leading producers of Nero d’Avola is Planeta. The Planeta family in Sicily dates back five centuries and 17 generations. After a long history in agriculture, Grandfather Vito Planeta transformed their small family winery into a large cooperative winery in the 1900s.

The Gallery Food Hall on the Third Street Promenade has been reborn. What was once a mediocre food court next to the famed Criterion Theater, the two-level space is a state-of-the-art marquee food hall. No longer is this a spot you want to pass by. The Gallery Food Hall in Santa Monica is now a worthwhile destination. A clean, modern space, The Gallery Food Hall is elevating the dining scene on Third Street Promenade with a selection of unique, fast-casual restaurants and a mix of indoor and outdoor dining space.
Summer may be over but that is no reason not to head to the beach. After all, the sun is still shining and it is still warm out here in Southern California. So last weekend, the first weekend of October, I headed to the Santa Monica Pier for the 4th Annual Off the Hook Seafood Festival. Kicking off National Seafood Month, Off the Hook Seafood Festival is helping raise awareness for the sustainable seafood movement as well as raising funds for Heal the Bay who is working hard to protect our Santa Monica Bay. An important cause centered around good food makes Off The Hook Seafood Festival the Please The Palate pick of the week. The seafood festival, with the mission to offer a "fun, foodie fundraising event that celebrates our beloved sea creatures, chefs, fishermen and ecosystems, and preserve our world’s oceans", took place on the Santa Monica Pier with the Ferris wheel and roller coaster in the background.