Turkey, although it is not widely known, is one of the most convenient countries for wine production. The history of wine in Anatolia, goes back up to thousands of years because the conditions of the soil and climate in Turkey are very convenient for wine production. Nonetheless, only 2% of the grapes produced in Anatolia are used for wine production, while this number goes up to 95% in countries with similar conditions. In recent years, there has been an increase and a hopeful advance in this manner with the opening of new wine factories, increase of variety of products and, increase of wine export and demand in the domestic market.
Variety of Turkish Wines
In Turkey, each region has its own conditions, therefore its own kind of grape. This enables to produce a wide variety of wines in different tastes, colors and qualities. Here are the features of wines of Turkey’s different regions.
The most commonly produced grape kinds in Tekirdag province are Papazkarasi (Papaskara) which is a black, mild grape used for both serving on the table and making wine, Gamay which is grape with high acidity, Yapincak which is white and has low acidity, black Cinsault and Semillon which is white and mild. Especially grape production is so common in Sarkoy and Murtefe that, many factories are located in these districts. Canakkale and Bozcaada shine out with Vasilaki which is used for the production of sweet, white wine and Kuntra (Karasakiz) used for red wine production. The wine production in Bozcaada has increased rapidly in the recent years due to the institutionalization of vineyards and establishment of new factories. Also, Merlot production is very common in around Saroz. Avsa and Marmara islands have Adakarasi grape special to these areas.
Central Anatolia and Middle Black Sea Regions
Nevsehir province has the majority of wine production facilities in Turkey. The most commonly produced grape is Emir which is a juicy and white grape used for the production of dry wine. Additionally, Kayseri Karasi, Dimrit which has low acidity and is highly sweet, and used for red wine production and Sıradar grapes are produced in this area. There are many wine production facilities in Ankara, too. One of them is Kalecik Karasi, which is known as the highest quality red wine grape of the Central Anatolia. Another one is Hasandede, which has low acidity, is very sweet and white grape. An authentic kind of wine is made from Narince grape produced in Tokat. Narince grape is aged in wooden barrels letting out a white wine which shines out with its rich and stable taste.
Aegean Region is commonly popular for its Sirince district famous for its fruit wines. Sirince fruit wines can be made from all kinds of fruits. Izmir province of Aegean Region has other kinds of grapes which are very popular worldwide. The most popular one worldwide is Cabarnet Sauvignon which is a black grape that can be bred easily. Also, Carignan which is bred especially in Southern France and Spain is present in Izmir. Other grape kinds produced in Izmir include Alicante Bouchet which has low acidity and alcohol, Siraz which is dark red and has an intensive taste, Bornova Misket which is white and fruity and Foca Karasi. Another province in Aegean Region which shines out with the production of rose wine is Denizli. Cal Karasi and Sultaniye grapes are preferred for wine production here.
Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia Regions
In Elazig and Malatya provinces, Okuzgozu which is the most precious red wine grape of Anatolia is produced. It shines out with its intense flavor and light ruby color. In Diyarbakir province produces Bogazkere grape which has a sour taste. The most commonly preferred wine kinds of Turkey are acquired by mixing Okuzgozu and Bogazkere. Midyat and Mardin are two provinces of Eastern and Southeastern Regions of Turkey, which are widely known as their wine traditions of thousands of years. The local breeds or grapes, Mazruna and Kerkus are used for these wines and they are made by Assyrian population living in the area.