Turkey: Experiencing a Wine Renaissance?

Experts in the wine industry are getting increasingly excited about a new crop of Turkish wines. Considering that Turkey has never really appealed before to the public as a large player in the industry, we ask the question, is Turkey at long last experiencing a wine renaissance?

When you think of wine making regions in Europe your mind immediately goes to the stereotypical places; Champagne, Bordeaux, Rioja, Chianti etc. These regions have established a centuries long tradition for wine production.

What you don’t think of is Turkey; no notable wines to speak of have ever gripped the international wine community. We don’t feature any Turkish wines on our luxury wine list at the moment and most other luxury wine providers don’t either.

However it’s easy to forget that Turkey, as a stalwart of the Mid-Mediterranean and a crucial crossing point from Europe to Asia, was once an integral part of the ancient world. In this world, Turkey, along with countries such as Italy, Greece and Israel had a robust wine making tradition. The popularity of the drink across the ancient world demanded it.

It seems, however, that Turkey’s ancient penchant for viticulture is experiencing renewed interest from wine experts across the world. This renewed interest has come off the back of a steady crop of heady reds and elegant whites currently coming out Anatolian vineyards.

Take a trip into modern Istanbul and you’ll see for yourself. As a 90% Muslim nation, most of Turkey doesn’t have a fondness for wine. However metropolitan Istanbul is the exception to the rule. The city that once stood under the banner of Constantine is a veritable breeding ground for wines originating from ancient viticulture traditions in regions such as Thrace, Ephesus and the Mediterranean coast.

When we look at it from face value, it’s easy to see why Turkey would make good wine. It actually boasts a climate comparable to that of France, the wine making centre of the universe. The topography of the nation is also similar. These favourable conditions have seen bottles from famous Turkish wineries such as Doluca and Vinkara become popular all over Europe.

There are three popular Turkish wines in particular that you should sample if you get the chance. The first is Cankaya, a strong white that will certainly leave an impression. The second is Kalecik-Karasi, a medium bodied ruby-red affair. The third is Boazkere-Öküzgözü, a rich red blend number.

The Turkish renaissance has reminded us here at the Ideal Wine Company what a fast paced industry this is. Things are always moving, always changing and it’s one of the best jobs in the world seeing where it will go next. 

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