Wine has been a long-time passion to me, which became a career. Being Turkish, from a land with a long history of producing wines and spirits, I have concentrated my studies on exciting Turkish wines.

So, for those of you interested in exploring Turkish Wines, I wanted to talk about some of Turkey’s indigenous grape varieties.

The word translates as ‘delicately’ in English, which is quite self-explanatory once you taste wines made with Narince grapes. Narince makes wines with citrus, pear, apple and floral notes on the nose, with a round palate and a good acidity. Narince traditionally tends to be treated with oak like a Chardonnay, but there are wineries exploring Narince’s potential and produce it without oak.

Diren Karmen Narince

Arcadia Odrysia Narince

                                   Diren Collection Narince                                                       Arcadia Odrysia Narince

Known and loved as ‘Muscat’ all around the world. Misket makes wines with tropical fruits, flowers, and citrus with hints of Mediterranean herbs.

Prodom Misket

                                    Prodom Misket

Beyazkere grapes are the albinos of Bogazkere grapes from the East. Beyazkere is an almost extinct variety with limited bottles even in Turkey. This grape with its stone fruit flavours is very exciting.

Urla Hypnose

                                       Urla Hypnose

The word means that this grape is Sultan (~ Royalty) worthy! This delicious grape is very aromatic. Wines made with Sultaniye grapes have a tropical and floral nose followed by an exotic palate of pineapple, mango, lemon, and Mediterranean herbs on the palate.

Buyulubag Vedat Milor Sultaniye

                               Buyulubag VM Sultaniye

The word means ‘Bull’s Eye’. This big, acidic grape is one of the nation’s favourites. Okuzgozu makes wines with red berries, cherries, pomegranate, and plum on the palate. It is often blended with other varieties to develop further structure.

Diren OkuzgozuBuyulubag Vedat Milor Okuzgozu

                               Diren Collection Okuzgozu                                                     Buyulubag VM Okuzgozu/Bogazkere

The word can be translated as ‘throat-scratcher’. This name comes from its high tannin content, very high that this grape won’t be any interest to birds during harvest! On the palate, Bogazkere has black forest fruits, earth, and tobacco. This grape tends to be blended with less-tannic grapes for a smoother experience, but there are wineries who chose not to blend this grape and present it on its own.

Urla Bogazkere

                                      Urla Bogazkere

Kalecik Karası

Kalecik Karası “black grape of the small castle”! Kalecik Karasi makes elegant, fruity wines with fresh red fruits and a hint of earth. It is often blended with other varieties to strengthening the body of the wine.

Prodom Kalecik KarasiDiren Kalecik Karasi

                               Prodom Kalecik Karasi                                                           Diren Collection Kalecik Karasi

Pelin Doganca, Founder of Turkish Wine Consultancy