In this podcast I talk to Shane Rai of Vino Rai a Turkish wine importer. When you listen, you will get an overview of the history of the wines of Turkey.
We talk about the 4 wine regions along with the vinifera and indigenous grapes of the region.
To get you excited I’ll briefly touch on the 4 regions and the indigenous varitials and then you can hear the details in the podcast.
Wine Regions of Turkey
- Marmara – Bordering the three seas, Black, Aegean and Sea of Marmara. The climate is Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. The soil depends on the subregion, but you will find limestone to gravelly loam to cracked clay.
- Agean – This region is in the western part of Turkey and faces the Greek Islands and the Aegean Sea. They have a Mediterranean climate with soil ranging from clay loam to calcarious chalk. This wine region accounts for 53% of all the wine produced in Turkey
- Mediterranean – This region is in the southern part of Turkey and accounts for only 1% of the wine produced in the country. You will find a Mediterranean climate and soil that ranges from pebbly clay loam to calcareous chalks.
- Anatolia – This is the second most wine producing region in the country. This region produces 33% of the wine in Turkey. Located in the middle of Turkey, it is divided into 4 sub-regions. The summers are hot and dry and the winters cold. The soils vary per sub-region but you will find sandstone, volcanic, pebbly clay loam, glaciated alluvial fan, red clay, granites, chalky, so just about all kinds depending on region
Indigenous grapes of Turkey
- Narince – Grown in Anatolia, it has a profile similar to what you know as Pinot Gris. Often sees oak and has flavors of apple, pear, citrus and pineapple.
- Okuzgozu – Red grape the word means “eye of the bull’. You will find it produces a medium bodied wine with dark cherry, pomegranate and hints of earth and spice. It is often blended with Bogzkere
- Bogzkere – Primarily grown in Anatola, this grape produces a full bodied wine with complexity. You will find dark fruit with dark chocolate flavors.
- Emir – This is a grape that I am looking forward to tasting one day. Grown in Anatolia, it has citrus and tropical fruit aromas with a crisp refreshing palate of pear and apple. Sounds like a great wine for the summer!
- Kalecik Karasi – Grown in mid-Northern Anatolia, this grape produces a fruity wine with low tannins and bright acidity.
Shane imports 4 soon to be 5 wines from Turkey and you can find information on them on his website.