This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Red Southern & Eastern Mediterranean over £15 went to Ukuf Mevkii, Nero d'Avola-Urla Karasi, Aegean Coastal Region, Turkey 2012 (15%)

Tasted against:

  • Turasan, Syrah Argos, Central Anatolia, Turkey 2010


With this Regional Trophy, Urla has repeated its success in last year’s DWWA with the 2011 vintage of the same wine.

Urla Sarapçılık is owned by Can Ortabas, who runs one of Turkey’s largest nurseries. It was when he was out surveying his 200-hectare property that he stumbled across the ruins of 3,000-year-old vineyard terraces, marking the genesis of Urla Sarapçılık (named after the local town), and a dream to revive the winemaking tradition of this small region.

A key part was to rescue the indigenous grapes, Urla Karasi being one. The company carried out an extensive DNA analysis of vines in the region to locate the true Urla Karası. Today the winery grows a raft of indigenous and international grapes. With this Trophy-winner, Ortaba¸s says the aim was ‘to marry the two black grapes of the Mediterranean’ – both the ‘nero’ in Italy’s Nero d’Avola and the ‘karası’ in Urla Karası mean black.

The blend contains only 4% Urla Karası due to the limited amount available – the variety is very resistant to grafting so takes time to propagate. But Ortaba¸s says he is patient and hopes to increase plantings to make a pure Urla Karası in future.

Written by Decanter