Best Turkish Wines both Red and White to Taste and Enjoy

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When you think about wines, the best wines, in the world, Turkey and Turkish wines are not among those you think of. The first two would probably come to mind would have been French and Italian wines, which is fair enough!

Best Turkish wines to taste.
Best Turkish wines to taste.

However, the best Turkish wine is underrated. What’s more, more and more producers are looking abroad day by day due to strict alcohol laws in Turkey. So, paradoxically, these strict laws one hand damage the market value of Turkish wine in Turkey. But on the other hand, it raises the popularity of Turkish wines around the world.

Winemaking History of Turkey

Turkey has an ancient winemaking history stretching back millennia. It is well before the classic civilizations of Greece and Rome. The history helped to cement the popularity of wine as a cultural cornerstone. However, it is only recently that Turkey’s wine industry has grown sufficiently to become recognized internationally.

Due to the strict alcohol laws in Turkey, Turkish wines try their chances in Europe.
Due to the strict alcohol laws in Turkey, Turkish wines try their chances in Europe.

Best Turkish Wines Based on Grape Varieties

Like Italy or France, Turkey benefits from a vast number of indigenous grape varieties. Nevertheless, wine lovers beyond Turkey’s borders are not familiar with many of the varieties. Varieties such as Kalecik Karası and Narince occasionally blended with international varieties, appear on many labels and really showcase the diversity on offer.

Turkish wines have incredibly delicious flavors.
Turkish wines have incredibly delicious flavors.

International Popularity of Turkis Wines

Turkish wine is even picking up awards. And rightly so – the many regions and sub-regions are developing individual identities. Just as an example, Thrace, the Aegean Coast, and Cappadocia are among those producing the highest quality wines.

Although Turkey is one of the world’s biggest grape producers, people use only a tiny percentage for winemaking. The majority of grapes, on the other hand, are being grown for table grapes.

Turkish wines are underrated ones around the world.
Turkish wines are underrated ones around the world.

The promotion of alcohol has been illegal since 2013. The prohibition encompasses everything from advertising to wine tastings. This has stalled the wine industry’s domestic growth and so many producers are now seeking success in international markets.

The List of Best Turkish Wines

* Pasaeli, Çalkarasi Rosé, Izmir, Aegean Coast Region

Pasaeli, Çalkarasi Rosé
Pasaeli, Çalkarasi Rosé

The Çalkarasi grape is native to Çal in south-western Turkey. It is 850 meters above sea level on red loam and rocky soils. Really spectacular. It has a beautiful balance of acidity and freshness, with light red fruits on the nose and an almost mineral finish.
* Urla Sarapcilik, Nero D’Avola-Urla Karasi, Turkey

Nero D'Avola-Urla Karasi
Nero D’Avola-Urla Karasi

A Platinum winner at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards, this is a super Red that is well worth the premium price. Farmed biodynamically on 3,000-year-old vineyard terraces, it is comprised mainly of the Sicilian Nero d’Avola with 10% of the Urla Karasi grape that the company rescued from extinction.
* Pasaeli, 6N Karasakiz Merlot, Turkey

Pasaeli, 6N Karasakiz Merlot
Pasaeli, 6N Karasakiz Merlot

Pasaeli, founded by Seyit Karagözoglu in 2000, was a real discovery at the recent Wines of Turkey. Tasting in London with wines from both international and indigenous varieties is showing real personality. This is a blend of both; 18% Merlot with 82% Karasakiz (which translates as ‘black chewing gum’).

* Kayra, Kalecik Karasi, Denizli, Aegean Coast Region

Kayra, Kalecik Karasi, Denizli
Kayra, Kalecik Karasi, Denizli

Kayra’s wines have been made for the past decade by Californian consultant winemaker Daniel O’Donnell. He sees this variety (commonly referred to as KK), as the Pinot Noir of Turkey. This is 50% whole-fruit fermented giving lovely purity of sappy red cherries, great freshness, and perfumed lift.
* Kavaklidere, Prestige Narince, Cappadocia

Kavaklidere, Prestige Narince.
Kavaklidere, Prestige Narince.

Narince was first made as a varietal wine by Kavaklidere. And grapes for this come from the prestigious Cotes d’Avanos vineyard as well as plots in Tokat. Maker fermented in oak barrels and then aged for nine months on its lees. The process gave the wine a rounded, creamy palate of yellow fruit, floral notes, and lemony acidity.
* Büyülübag, Iris Rosé, Turkey

Büyülübag, Iris Rosé
Büyülübag, Iris Rosé

Based on Avsa Island in the Marmara Sea, Büyülübag farms 20 hectares on sandy loam soils. Büyülübag farms are vinifying their grapes in a modern gravity-fed winery. This bone-dry rosé (2 grams/liter of residual sugar) is made from the Adakarasi variety. You can only find it in Avsa Island.

Chasing for Other Best Turkish Wines

Ma’adra

Recently several Turkish wine companies have been experimenting with Pinot Noirs. However, Ma’adra makes the only decent one you may find. Other options include chardonnays, cabernets, and syrahs.

Turkey has an ancient winemaking history stretching back millennia.
Turkey has an ancient winemaking history stretching back millennia.

Tigris

If you’re looking for a good cheap wine, Tigris (made by the Kavaklıdere company) is one of your best options. Tigris blends Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine also has very little tannin taste, giving a taste slightly sweeter than other wines.

Turasan

This Cappadocian wine company offers several single grape and blended options at very reasonable prices. A blend of Syrah, Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Kalecik Karası is highly recommended.

Syriac Wine

These wines cultivated by a Syrian Christian community in Mardin can be difficult to find and a bit pricey, but have a very robust flavor. You’re likely to find it at small corner tekel shops and sometimes at Carrefour. You’ll recognize it from the Arabic writing on the bottle.

Corvus

Based in Bozcaada, Corvus makes wine from both Turkish and European grapes, including Syrah and Cabernet, as well as blends that combine the two.

Umurbey

Umurbey makes a wonderful Cabernet and one of the few Merlots you mah have been enjoyed. A stellar choice if you’re craving more common Western grapes rather than indigenous Turkish grapes.

Thrace, the Aegean Coast, and Cappadocia are producing the highest quality wines.
Thrace, the Aegean Coast, and Cappadocia are producing the highest quality wines.

Kutman

Kutman specializes in fruit-based wines, including a lovely pomegranate wine reminiscent of the one lovely Uyghur restaurant in Beijing (best served chilled). So many fruit wines in Istanbul are a vile Manischewitz-level sweet, but Kutman actually manages to get it right.

Kuzeybağ

This brand specializes in pure öküzgözü and has a lovely sensuous flavor.

Villa Doluca

This wine specializes in blends of grapes such as merlot, shiraz, and öküzgözü and is an excellent deal for the price. It is also widely available at any Migros or tekel shop.

Buzbağ

This pungent and robust blend of boğazkere and öküzgözü is a delightful treat, especially after a meal.

So, hopefully, you’ll find our article useful. Moreover, share your comments with us below which Turkish wine you’ve tried and liked most!

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