The Secret Life Of Turkish Wines:
Saga of Winemaking on the Anatolian Peninsula
by Mehtap Emmie Turan
Often caught amid politics and religion, Turkish wine has a rich and interesting history, with roots dating back eight thousand years. This book is an acclamation of the winemaking tradition on the Anatolian Peninsula, and the Turkish vignerons who stood the test of time, survived centuries of political change and religious influence, and are continuing the legacy of their forebears, vibrant and stronger than ever!
This book is an attempt to tell the ‘Turkish wine tale’. The first chapter is a summary of the roots of Turkish wine from prehistory to present. The following chapters take a closer look at the country’s wine regions, climate and soil composition, the main varietals grown in these areas and go on to describe some of the regional winemaking practices. Currently, there are some 160 wineries in the country (and at the rate new ones are opening, this number might well surpass 200 by the time this book is published). Due to the sheer number, it was not possible to document them individually, as much as each is unique with its own special story. Instead, a few from each region have been selected for reasons which will hopefully become apparent to the reader. While present-day vignerons are acknowledged throughout the book for their remarkable work and perseverance, a separate chapter is devoted to the pioneer winemakers whose efforts date back to the formative years of the Republic. Their avant-garde enterprise at a time when wine did not even have the global popularity and acceptance of our times, certainly inspires, and provides a model for the modern-day Turkish winemakers. The final chapter discusses the various challenges the industry currently faces and tries to predict what the future might hold. As rugged as the road ahead appears to be for Turkey’s winemakers, the prospects look bright. Turkish winemakers have proven to be both resilient and hardworking. More importantly they are showing themselves to be innovative and eager to learn new techniques in order to improve their products. It will be most interesting and exhilarating to observe how they grapple with these various obstacles as they march on.