The Çamlica family had already been farming in European Turkey (aka Thrace) for generations, so naturally Mustafa Çamlica wanted to be a part of the Turkish wine renaissance. He founded Chamlija Winery in 2000 in the small Thracian town of Büyükkarıştıran, and planted his vineyards throughout the decomposed granite soils of the Strandja Massif, near where Turkey meets Bulgaria.
Chamlija’s vineyards are densely planted, at up to 2,500 vines per acre, which encourages deep rooting. With an eye towards tradition, Mustafa planted indigenous Turkish varietals like Papaskarasi, Karaoglan and Mavrud, in addition to the international grapes that the Turkish domestic market was clamoring for. Tended by hand, the vineyards are well exposed and well drained.
In the winery, a deft touch is shown, allowing the grapes to speak for themselves. Mustafa’s daughter Irem Çamlica is a renowned artist in Turkey, and her artwork adorns the Chamilja wines.