Turkey is a good wine producer
Only a few people know, but Turkey has an ancient history in wine production and is one of the world’s pioneers.
Wine has been cultivated long before classical civilizations like the Greeks and Romans. Historians and ampelographers (wine experts) believe that the beginning of the cultivation of grapes in southeastern Turkey dates back to around nine thousand years before Christ.
The founder of the Turkish republic and Turkey’s first president, Mustafa Atatürk, established the country’s first commercial winery in 1925. Today, this culture of wineries has grown and is recognized worldwide by major industries and wine lovers in the the world has a vast area with grape plantations and large wineries throughout the country.
In each region of Turkey, there is a variety of grapes, due to its climate and geographic soil issues, there are points where the grapes end up being more “famous” for their quality, as in southern Turkey.
The Denizli region, in southern Turkey has an area of 30 million square meters just for the production of grapes. Big brands from all over the world are looking for Turkish grapes for their products.
At the end of 2016 the company Sociedade da Mesa made the first import of Turkish wines to Brazil. It is difficult to find such wines in the country, and when we do it ends up being at a high cost. But if you have the opportunity, be sure to try it, as it is a fantastic delicacy.
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Discover the Turkish wine sector and the main national grapes
Just a few people know, but Turkey is a major wine producer. The country has several vineyards and production brands, and some products in the sector are receiving international fame. Check out our post with some information:
The Turkish tradition in wine production goes back thousands of years. The Hittites (historical people who inhabited the Anatolia region) used wine in religious ceremonies and established several laws to regulate the cultivation of vines and the production of the drink.
After the fall of the Hittite kingdom, subsequent peoples such as the Assyrians, Phrygians, Greeks, and Romans continued and contributed to Turkey’s wine traditions.
Turkey currently produces 8 million liters of wine per year. The country is home to 146 wineries that provide different wines with national and international grape varieties. In addition, those looking for ecotourism can find wineries in every corner of the country.
For those looking to further expand their horizons about their knowledge of wine, history buffs will be amazed by the number of UNESCO historic sites, including ruins, monuments, underground cities, ancient churches, and archeology museums that are easily accessible from wineries.
What are the main grapes used in wine production in Turkey?
– Bornova Misketi
Bornova Misketi descends from the Muscat Blanc grapes to Petits Grains. Native to an area near Izmir region called Bornova, Bornova Misketi is a highly aromatic grape that produces wines with distinct aromas of rose and orange blossom and fruit flavors that range from rich citrus to tropical fruit. Bornova Misketi grapes have high levels of sugar and have traditionally been used to make late-harvest, semi-sweet, and totally sweet wines.
But in recent years, dry wines made from this grape have increased in popularity.
Narince comes from Tokat, an area in northern Turkey, along the Black Sea. Its name comes from the Turkish word “narince”, which means “delicate”. But, although this thin-skinned grape is delicate, it gives wines full of flavor with notes ranging from green fruits, citrus, and floral fruits to robust tropical fruits.
Narince accepts several winemaking techniques, such as malolactic conversion and lees and oak aging. As a result, Narince wines can also include butter, pastry, and nutty flavors.
Emir is the main grape in Turkey’s most famous tourist area – Cappadocia. This highly acidic grape gives light and lively wines, known for its salt-like mineral line, along with fruit and floral flavors.
Although they are sometimes found in blends, the best Emir wines are uni-varietal and not aged.
Öküzgözü is the most widely grown native grape in Turkey. Smooth tannins, high acidity, and flavors of red fruits and herbs give this grape a versatility that allows it to offer varietal red wines, blends, and refreshing rosés. Oak aging adds richness and flavors of brown and chocolate spices.
– Kalecik Karası
The Kalecik Karası grape comes from the area located around the country’s capital, Ankara. The grape allows light-bodied red wines with red fruits, pepper, horse stable, and different flavors of cotton candy.
Many consider Kalecik Karası the best wine produced in the country.
Boğazkere is one of the best tannic grapes that Turkey has to offer. Boğazkere, means something as “throat burner” or “throat scratcher”. Because of its high level of tannins, Boğazkere is often mixed with other black grapes, most notably Öküzgözü.
But Boğazkere can be a full-bodied herbal wine with flavors of red and black fruits.
How can Guide in Turkey help me get to know national wines?
If you want to visit wineries during your trip in Turkey, we can organize private tours.
Contact: +90 536 273 59 61