Wining in Turkey

Although Turkish wines have no fame, Turkey has extremely delicious wines. Turkey is the fifth biggest grape producing country in the world. If you drive in countryside, you may see endless vineyards in different regions of Turkey. Vineyard owners know how to place a bunch of grape on a plate. It is beautiful to look at and delicious to eat if you can stop yourself taking or drawing a picture of it.

The best native grapes to make red wine in Turkey are Boğazkere from Diyarbakır, Öküzgözü from Elazıg in Southeast Anatolia and Kalecikkarası from Kalecik town in Ankara country in Central Anatolia. The best native grapes to make white wine in Turkey are Emir in Cappadocia region and Narince from Tokat County in Central Turkey. However, Turkish wine production does not make even one percent of world wine production. We can search the reasons in being Muslim country, rakı culture, and prices.

When you go to a restaurant, sit on a table and ask for the wine list you may find wine prices a bit high. It is because you are in a restaurant and certainly, it is higher than market prices and because of the high taxes on alcoholic beverages: Sixty-three percent of the wholesale prices.

Three big wine producers dominate Turkish wine market: They are Doluca, Kavaklıdere and Kayra. In addition, Turkey has regional smaller wine producers and thanks to growing wine market of Turkey and demand for different wines, they are available in the big cities’ markets and restaurants.

Doluca and Kavaklıdere have such fame in Turkey that to average wine drinkers these names mean wine.

Especially three wines of Kavaklıdere are so popular in Turkey. They are balanced, mouth filling and long wines.

Yakut is a dry red wine and it has its name from its ruby color. It is a blend of Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, Carignan and Alicante grapes. It has the aroma of red fruits and spices.

Çankaya is a dry white wine. It is a blend of Narince, Emir and Sultaniye grapes. It has the aroma of fresh white fruits.

Lal is a rose wine made of Çalkarası grapes. It has the aroma of fresh fruits and sweet spices.

Kavaklıdere Prestige wines are varietals, made of best Anatolian wine grapes: Öküzgözü, Bogazkere, Narince and Kalecikkarası.

Kavaklıdere also has Selection series. Selection white is a blend of Narince and Emir. Selection red is a blend of Öküzgözü and Boğazkere.

Doluca has a big variety of wines from Karma series to Doluca. Karma as it was advertised a fusion of East and West. Cabernet Sauvignon-Öküzgözü and Shiraz-Bogazkere are specially recommended. In addition, Kav series has two good examples: Kav Boğazkere-Öküzgözü is a dry red wine with the aromas of clove, cinnamon, red fruits, violets and oaks. It has full body, rich bouquet, and tannic structure. Kav Narince is a dry white wine with aromas of bay tree, lemon and pine. Doluca also has Moskado, a demisec white wine that is made of Misket (Muscat) grapes. It has the aromas of orange flower, daisy, melon and Aegean Muscat grape fruit. If you like sweet wine Doluca has Safir.

Kayra entered to Turkish wine market lately. An American company bought Tekel, the State Monopoly of Alcohol Beverages when it was privatized. Its best wine is Buzbağ Reserve. It is produced at Elazıg Wine Production Facility with the terroir philosophy. That is production in place. It is a blend of Öküzgözü and Boğazkere. It is full bodied wine with a long finish, leaving blackberry, cinnamon, dark chocolate, caramel, tobacco and fennel aromas.

If we talk about medium sizes or boutique wine producers in Turkey, the best to mention is Diren. It is centered in Tokat in Northern Central Anatolia. Their best wine to mention is Dörtnal (that means full gallop) Selection. If you would like their red, it is Carmen Selection. Diren also has Mahlep, a vermouth type wine, aromatized with wild cherry.

Again, in Eastern Central Anatolia, Cappadocia region is important for wine making. Among them Turasan is important to mention. Its factory is in Urgup town and hordes of tourist groups, foreigner and Turkish visit it to taste and purchase wine. Emir would be the best choice of their wines. It is a dry white wine with pear, white apple and melon aromas. Emir is the name of the best wine grape of the region and it includes minerals of the volcanic tuff soil.

In the tourist route again, there is the Pamukkale wines. Their grapes are from Guney town countryside north of Pamukkale (Hierapolis) ancient site. Although their best quality wines are Amphora series, our suggestion would be Senfoni series because they use local grapes: Çalkarası grapes for red and Sultaniye (Sultana) grapes for white wine.

In and around Izmir is a fine region for wine makers too. Sevilen is one to mention. Along with their wine production, they have a vineyard garden restaurant in the middle of vineyards of Menderes countryside: Isabey.

Nearby Troy ancient site, just across the water there is Bozcaada (Tenedos) Island. A new company, Corvus make high quality wines there by using local grapes; Karalahna, Vasilaki, Çavuş and Kuntra.

Not far from Istanbul, Murefte, Sarköy area is a wine region too. Our suggestion would be Melen wines. Its young owner explains about wines and grapes enthusiastically. We would suggest Papazkarası Reserve

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