“... For U.S. sommeliers looking to bring ‘the next new thing’ to their guests in a restaurant, I would be hard-pressed to recommend another emerging region over what I saw and tasted over there...”
Thrace covers the European part of Turkey, plus a portion of Bulgaria and Greece. Thrace borders three seas: the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara. The Turkish portion of Thrace forms the northwestern edge of the country and covers European half of Istanbul and the Gallipoli Peninsula. The main cities in Thrace are: Istanbul, Çanakkale, Tekirdağ, Kirklareli, Edirne
Gallipoli is significance as a storied WWI battlefield.
Climate: Primarily a Mediterranean climate with hot summers, mild winters and with a maritime influence. Northern Thrace is more continental, with colder winters and humid summers.
Soil Type: Varies widely depending upon the subregion from sedimentary to limestone to gravelly loam or clay. The Strandja area has sand, decomposed granite with quartz pebbles.
The Aegean region is the westernmost part of Turkey facing the Aegean Sea and the Greek Islands. The main cities in this region are: Izmir, Denizli, Urla, Manisa
The Aegean region is the largest production area of wine in the country and is a tourist destination. Izmir is close to the ruins of Ephesus and beaches of Cesme, while Denizli is near the Pamukkale hot springs. Mt. Ida and the ancient city of Troy are in the Northern Aegean.
Climate: Typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. It has a maritime climate in the coastal areas, with continental climatic conditions inland. Cooling nighttime breezes keep natural acids high.
Soil Type: Ranges from red clay loams at the lower elevations to calcarious chalks and rocky, alluvium with altitude.
Located near the geographical center of Turkey, Cappadocia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a renown tourist destination resembling an alien world. Cappadocia is a subregion of Anatolia. The main cities in this region are: Ürgüp and Göreme.
Climate: Continental, with hot, dry summers, and cold, snowy winters. Diurnal variation is extreme, with consistent winds encouraging thick skins on the grapes.
Soil Type: Volcanic with eroded tuffs and areas of sandy loess.
In north-central Turkey, Tokat lies near the Black Sea, 200 miles east of Ankara. Tokat is a subregion of Anatolia and is located on the Asian side of Turkey.
Climate: Temperate and semi-arid, Tokat has a Mediterranean-influenced continental climate with warm summers and cool winters. Most of the annual rainfall comes in the winter, and winds are inconsistent.
Soil Type: Glaciated alluvium fans with river cobble areas, along with red clay and decomposed granites.
While Anatolia describes the entire Asian side of Turkey (also called Asia Minor), the Eastern part of Anatolia is responsible for the origination of some notable indigenous varietals and their preservation.Eastern Anatolia is known for its proximity to historic Mt. Nemrut and the fabled Mt. Ararat (the legendary resting place of Noah’s Ark, according to the Bible).
South-Eastern: Main city is Diyarbakır
Mid-Eastern: Main city is Elazığ
Climate: Hot dry summers and cold winters with sub-regional variation.
South-Eastern: Rough and dry desert-influenced climate. Hot during the day and cold at night during the growing season.
Mid-Eastern: Marine influenced continental with semi-arid conditions
Soil Type: Varies by sub-region.
South-Eastern: Decomposed sandstone to red clays.
Mid-Eastern: From river bed cobbles and glaciated alluvial fan, to red clay and decomposed granites, to light chalky clay soils.
There are no wineries based in this region, but rather a sophisticated network of generation old grape growers