The best Turkish wine is underrated and more producers are looking abroad due to strict alcohol laws introduced at home in the past few years.
Turkey has an ancient winemaking history stretching back millennia, well before the classic civilisations of Greece and Rome helped to cement the popularity of wine as a cultural cornerstone.
But this has been overlooked for a very long time, and it is only recently that Turkey’s wine industry has grown sufficiently to become recognised internationally.
- Scroll down for 5 Turkish wines to try
Like Italy, Turkey benefits from a vast number of indigenous grape varieties.
This gives it a point of difference to any other country, although many of the varieties are unknown to wine lovers beyond Turkey’s borders.
Varieties such as Kalecik Karası and Narince, occasionally blended with international varieties, appear on many labels and really showcase the diversity on offer.
Turkish wine is even picking up awards, and rightly so – the many regions and sub-regions are developing individual identities, with Thrace, the Aegean Coast and Cappadocia producing the highest quality wines.
Curiously, although Turkey is one of the world’s biggest grape producers, only a tiny percentage is used for winemaking.
Promotion of alcohol has been illegal since 2013, encompassing everything from adverts to wine tastings.
This has stalled the wine industry’s domestic growth. Many producers are now seeking success in international markets.
Editing by James Button and Chris Mercer.
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