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Regions

Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Description to Turkey

The country has an ancient wine-growing tradition, as cultivated vineyards existed in Anatolia, in the Transcaucasian region (which, along with Mesopotamia, is considered the cradle of wine culture) and on the coast of the Caspian Sea as early as at least the 4th millennium BC. During excavations in the city of Catal Hüyük, built in the 7th millennium B.C., representations were found which suggest that wine was already being produced at this time. According to a hypothesis that cannot be verified, the Hittites supposedly knew an ancestor of the Kalecik Karasi grape variety as early as ~1,500 BC. Close to the border with Armenia lies the famous Mount Ararat, where, according to the Bible, Noah landed with his ark after the Flood and "became a winegrower". According to the latest research, the origin of cultivated grapevines and viticulture lies in south-eastern Anatolia.

Türkei - Karte mit Berg Ararat

The Islamisation of the country and the associated ban on alcohol led to the first break in the 8th century. In the Ottoman period (1300-1920), only Christian minorities such as Greeks and Armenians were allowed to produce wine with high taxes. In the Tanzimat period, viticulture was revived from the middle of the 19th century and exports rose - due to the phylloxera disaster in Europe - to 30 million litres a year by the beginning of the 20th century. After large areas of land had to be ceded to Greece, among others, at the Peace of Lausanne in 1923 and the majority of the Greek minority, which was important for viticulture, left the country, there was a renewed decline.

From 1925, the new republic under the liberal political leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) tried to revive viticulture. The statesman, known as a wine lover, paved the way for private wineries. In 1926, Nihat A. Kutman founded the winery "Maison Vinicole" (later Doluca) in Istanbul. The next was Mehmet Cenap And in Ankara in 1929, who named his business Kavaklidere (Poplar Valley). The most important wine-growing areas are in the Aegean region in the west of the country, where the climate is wetter than in the dry interior and two-thirds of the wine is produced.

This is the European part of Turkey with the regions of Marmaris and Thrace (Bilecik, Canakkale, Edirne, Kirklareli, Tekirdag), as well as the Aegean coast of Anatolia (Denizli, Izmir, Manisa). Smaller areas are located on the Black Sea (Corum, Kastamonu, Samsun, Tokat), in Central Anatolia (Kirikkale, Kirsehir, Nevsehir, Nigde), Eastern Anatolia (Elazig) and Southeastern Anatolia (Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Mardin, Sanliurfa). In 2012, the total vineyard area of 497,000 hectares resulted in fifth place worldwide behind China, but only 546,000 hectolitres of wine were produced (see also under wine production volumes).

Turkey is the world's largest producer of table grapes, accounting for about three quarters of the grape harvest, and the second largest producer of sultanas. Both are largely produced from the Sultana (Sultaniye) variety. Traditional products made from grapes are the honey-like grape syrup Pekmes and the fermented grape juice Hardaliye. There are many hundreds of autochthonous grape varieties, many of which are not officially registered. The grape variety list includes the Celtic varieties with the vanishingly small share of only 13,000 hectares:

Grape variety Colour Synonyms or name in Turkey Hectare
Sultana white Kishmish, Sultaniye 1.750
Öküzgözü red Kara Erik 1.479
Syrah red 1.367
Boğazkere red Bogazkarasi, Saraplik Siyah 1.106
Dimrit red Dimlit, Dimrit Kara, Dirmit Kara 863
Kalecik Karasi red Kara Kalecik 861
Narince white Güzül Üzüm, Kazova, Narance 769
Emir white Aküzüm 688
Çalkarasi red Çal Karasi 625
Sémillon white - 547
Cinsaut red - 500
Alicante Henri Bouschet red - 488
Cabernet Sauvignon red - 391
Merlot red - 355
Gamay red - 206
Papazkarasi red Papaska Neagra, Papaskara, Papaskarasi 175
Sauvignon Blanc white - 146
Chardonnay white - 142
Muscat Blanc / Muscat white Beyaz Misket 114
Mazuelo red Carignan 84
Adakarasi red Adakarassy, Avsa Adasi, Erdek 69
Karalahna red Kara Lahna, Lahna Kara 43
Karasakiz red Kara Sakiz, Karakiz, Karassakyz 43
Garnacha Tinta red Grenache Noir 33
Çavuş white Caus Beli, Tchaouch, Tsaousi 30
Cabernet Franc red - 23
Viognier white - 16
Cot red Côt, Malbec 13
Petit Verdot red - 10
Sangiovese red - 9
Tempranillo red - 9
Monastrell red Mataro, Mourvèdre 4
Vasilaki white Altintas, Anadolu Yapincagi 4
Pinot Noir red - 3
Riesling white - 3
Beylerce white Beylace, Beyleri, Bilecik ?
Hasandede Beyazi white Ahmet Bey, Azeri, Hasandede ?
Hasandede Siyahi red Hasandede, Hasandede Noir ?
Horozkarasi red Horoz Karasi, Khorozkarassi, Kilis Karasi ?
Kabarcik Beyaz white Beyaz Kabarcik, Kabarcik, Sari Kabarcik ?
Köhnü red - ?
Kösetevek red - ?
Yapincak white Erkek Yapincak, Kinali Yapincak, Yapakak ?


The multinational Mey Icki Sanay (formerly state-owned Tekel) produces and distributes most of the spirits and wines (owned by Diageo since 2011). Other production companies are Diren, Doluca, Karmen, Taskobirlik and Kavaklidere. The best-known branded wines include the reds Buzbag, Villa Neva and Yakut and the whites Cankaya, Thrakya (Sémillon) and Villa Doluca (Sultaniye and Sémillon). The most important alcoholic beverage, however, is raki, made from dried grapes (almost exclusively from Tekel), to which aniseed is added. The annual per capita consumption of wine is less than one litre. Great efforts are being made to catch up with western quality standards.

In this section you will find
currently 147,233 Wines and 23,237 Producers, including 2,211 classified producers.
Rating system Their sources in Wine Guide Tasting samples

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