09 Dec Exploring the Wine Regions of Turkey
Before we explore each of these wine regions a bit further, it’s noteworthy to point out that Turkey is located between the 30th & 50th parallels thereby situated in the very heart of the ‘Grand Terrain’ of the eminent wine-producing regions of the world.
While some efforts are underway to formalize the appellations, Turkey’s wine regions today are primarily based on agricultural regions.
There are 4 such primary regions: Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean and Anatolia with climatic and soil conditions varying considerably between the coastal and inland locations.
Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
MarmaraThis region spreads across southern Bulgaria, NE Greece and NW Turkey and is bordered by the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Sea of Marmara. Typical Mediterranean climate prevails here with warm summers and mild winters. With close proximity to so much water, Maritime climatic conditions are also observed here with water currents moderating temperatures along with decent humidity on average 73%.
Production Share: this region accounts for about 14% of all wine produced in Turkey (2013)
Primary grape varieties: Adakarası, Kalecik Karası, Papaz Karası (all indigenous). Primary internationals include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Gamay, Merlot, and others.
AegeanThe Aegean region is situated in the western part of Turkey along the Aegean Sea and located to some proximity to the Greek islands. Similar to Marmara, typical Mediterranean climatic conditions exist here too with some deviations across sub-regions. Coastal regions experience more Maritime climate (vineyards here are at an altitude of about 450 feet) whereas Continental climate prevails in the inner Anatolian plateau ( vineyards here are at a height of 2700 feet).
At the higher altitudes in this region, temperatures can rise to 104F during summer and fall to as low as 14F in winter.
Soil varies from clay loam in the lower elevations to calcareous chalks.
Production Share: accounts for about 53% of all wine produced in Turkey (2013)
Primary grape varieties: Bornova Misketi, Sultaniye, , Kalecik Karası, Çalkarası, Boğazkere (all indegenous). Primary internationals include Alicante Bouchet, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Chardonnay, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot, and others.
Our producers: 2 of our producers, Gali and Selendi, are located in this region.
MediterraneanLocated in the southern part of Turkey along the Mediterranean Sea, climatic conditions here certainly Mediterranean with warm/hot summers and mild winters.
Soil differs from pebbly clay loam to calcareous chalks.
Production Share: the region accounts for a very minimal 0.2% of all wine produced
Primary grape varieties of the region are: Bogazkere, Kalecik Karası, Okuzgozu (all indigenous). There are some international varietals also grown here.
AnatoliaGeographically, this is the biggest wine region that stretches across 4 sub-regions of Anatolia: Mid-Southern, Mid-Northern, Mid-Eastern, and South-East.
Mid-Northern Anatolia comprises of the region of Ankara (Turkey’s capital) whereas Mid-Southern spans across the mystical region of Cappadocia, the land of “fairy-chimneys” and breath taking balloon ride scenery.
Across most of these sub-regions, the climate is Continental with hot dry summers and cold winters. Diurnal temperatures are also witnessed here with great temperature difference between day and night.
Soil varies between sand, sandstone, clay loam, and decomposed volcanic being well suited to the vine cultivation.
Production Share: across all sub-regions, this region accounts for 34% of all wine produced in Turkey (2013)
Primary grape varieties of the region are: Emir, Kalecik Karası, Narince, Öküzgözü, Boğazkere (all indigenous) with international varietals such as Chardonnay, Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon also grown here.
Our producers: 2 of our producers, Diren and Turasan, are located in Anatolia.
Source & some images: Wines of Turkey