Winemaking and wine in Turkey

Winemaking and wine in Turkey

Winemaking in Turkey has an ancient history, as people have been engaged in this wonderful craft for about 7000 years. Discoveries from excavations, such as ancient jugs and goblets, indicate that grapes have been grown and used for wine production since ancient times.

However, the development of winemaking in Turkey slowed down in the last 500 years due to religious restrictions. It was only after 1923, when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk allowed wine production, that this craft began to revive.

There are several regions in Turkey where grapes are grown. Among them are the Aegean Sea, the Black Sea, Central, Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, the Sea of Marmara and Thrace, as well as the Mediterranean region. Each region creates unique conditions for grape cultivation and grows different grape varieties.

If you are accustomed to drinking a certain type of wine and want to find its counterpart in Turkish winemaking, here are a few comparative suggestions for you:

– If you enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon, you may also like wines made from the Bogazkere grape variety.
– If you prefer Malbec, then you should try the Oküzgözu variety.
– For lovers of light Pinot Grigio-style white wine, I recommend paying attention to wines made from the Emir grape variety.
– If you have a taste for Pinot Noir, then you should try Kalecik Karası.
– The local Narince grape variety can be an analogue to the well-known Chardonnay.

Turkey also produces various types of red, white, and rosé wines. Among red wines, you can find international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz, as well as local varieties including Kalecik Karası, Boğazkere, and Oküzgözu. In the category of white wines, you can find international varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as local varieties such as Narince, Misket, Sidalan, Emir, and Sultaniye. Additionally, there are rosé wines, including the international Shiraz variety, and local varieties such as Kalecik Karası, Karasakız, and Çalkarası.

Sparkling wines are not as common in Turkey, but they are considered elite and have a high reputation. The quality of sparkling wine is important here, so they are often produced using the traditional method of double fermentation, similar to true champagne.

You can also find fruit wines on the shelves of Turkish stores, which are made by fermenting the juice of various fruits. Technically, they are more similar to liqueurs than wine. Here, you can find options such as pomegranate, mulberry, cherry, and plum wines.

In Turkey, the designations of wines in the Turkish language are as follows:

  • White wine – Beyaz şarap
  • Red wine – Kırmızı şarap
  • Sparkling wine – Köpüklü şarap

It is also important to know the designations of the sweetness level of wine in the Turkish language:

  • Dry wine – sek şarap
  • Semi-dry wine – yarı kuru şarap
  • Dessert wine – tatlı şarap
  • Semi-sweet wine – yarı tatlı şarap

We hope this guide will help you choose suitable Turkish wines and save your time, so that you no longer waste it in confusion in front of the wine shelf in the store. Bookmark this article so you don’t lose it. Good luck in your journey through the world of Turkish wines!

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