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Turkish wine event held in London

Turkish wines are returning to London after their recent successes at the 2010 London International Wine Fair.  Discover the Roots – Inaugural Wines of Turkey Conference & Tasting 2011, organised by Wines of Turkey will be held on Thursday, 24 February 2011 at Vinopolis in London.

Director of Wines of Turkey, organiser of Discover the Roots – Inaugural Wines of Turkey Conference & Tasting 2011, Taner Ogutoglu says: "This event marks a milestone for Turkish wines at a time when the Turkish wine industry is producing fine wines from native grapes worthy of gracing the top tables of the world."

Commenting on Turkish wine, Jancis Robinson said: "As an outsider, I was particularly intrigued by Turkey’s admirable range of indigenous grape varieties. Some of the wines were really pretty good; it won't be long before Turkey produces something truly exceptional."

The conference
At the conference, chaired by food and drink writer and consultant Kevin Gould, biomolecular archaeologist Dr Patrick E McGovern willtalk about Turkey as the possible birthplace of wine while Jancis Robinson will introduce Turkish wine, the Turkish wine industry and its place in the British market where it deserves to be better known.

Tastings will be led by grape geneticist Jose Vouillamoz and viticulturalist Gokhan Soylemezoglu who will also discuss leading indigenous Turkish grape varieties and their origins, genetic insights into grape varieties and an overview of viticulture in Turkey. Turkish native grapes explored will include Okuzgozu, Kalecik Karasi and Bogazkere for reds and Narince and Emir for whites.

This is followed by a buffet lunch, pairing International dishes with the best of Turkish wines. In the afternoon is a trade tasting with masterclasses led by Tim Atkin and Charles Metcalfe with wine-makers including Doluca, Kavaklidere, Kayra, Likya, Pamukkale, Selendi, Sevilen and Vinkara, representing the five wine-making regions of Turkey: Thrace & Marmara Sea, North Anatolia & Black Sea, Anatolia & Aegean Sea, Central Anatolia and South Eastern Anatolia.
The Wines of Turkey conference and tasting offers complimentary places for all trade and press; please visit to register online by Friday 11 February or email or call +44 (0) 207745 7255 for more information.

Participating Wineries
Doluca,  dating from 1926, now has over 35 wines in four different categories: red, white, rose and sparkling). Its recent successes include the Karma series which introduced the fusion trend to Turkish wine, Turkey’s first varietal wines in the Sarafin series and Safir, Turkey’s first natural sweet wine.

Kavaklidere, which was founded in 1929, has a product range of 49 wines using the best Anatolian noble grapes and growing international grape varieties in different Anatolian microclimates. Its wine production is carried out in Ankara, Cappadocia and Pendore in the Aegean region. Kavaklidere exports 20% of its total production. <>

Kayra produces wines from both indigenous Anatolian grapes as well as international grapes in two wineries, one in Thrace and the other in Eastern Anatolia through the “on-site production” philosophy. The wide variety of Kayra wines offer diversity under the brands Kayra Imperial, Kayra Vintage, Buzbag Rezerv, Terra, Leona and Buzbag.

Likya produces Wines in the vicinity of Lycian ancient cities, between Arykanda and Oenoanda. These cities used to be called Wiyanawanda in Hittite language. Its portfolio includes such red wines as Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kalecik Karasi, Okuzgozu, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier; and such fine wines as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay made from white grapes harvested chateau style at 1100 metres altitude.

Pamukkale, established in 1962 as a family company, Pamukkale’s vineyards are at an altitude of 900 metres in Guney, Denizli, in the Aegean region. Since 1989, 20% of its production has been for Germany and France. It has also been exported to the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria and other European countries.  Its products include Senfoni, Anfora and Anfora Trio.

Selendi produces a single brand of red wine every year using ‘chateau style winemaking’ whereby grapes are carefully handpicked and processed on-site. Quality takes precedence over quantity. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz wines are blended in different ratios until the most desirable taste produces the Selendi wine for that year.

Sevilen, afamily-run establishment, Sevilen, was founded in 1942 with just 4 hectares of vineyards in Izmir on the western Aegean coast. It now has 160 hectares of vineyards there and also produces grapes in the cool Mediterranean climate of the Anatolian plateau. It has been working on the terroir approach with outstanding results.

Vinkara produces grapes from vineyards at an altitude of 680 metres in Kalecik, northeast of Ankara, a registered wine region with a special climate and terroir nourished by the Kizilirmak River. Its portfolio includes domestic and international grape varieties.

Facts and figures about Turkey and Turkish wine

  • Turkey ranks sixth in the world for grape production with 3,850,000 tonnes produced annually and the largest grape-growing area at 486,000 ha after Italy, China, USA, France and Spain.
  • Turkey has more than 800 indigenous grape varieties.
  • Wine Production of Turkey is around 75 mio lt per year; 3,6 mio litres of this quantity is sold in export and the rest in local market
  • Archaeological finds support the theory that wine was produced in Turkey at least 7,000 years ago (Source: Dr Patrick E. McGovern)

Award-winning Turkish Wines 2010
During 2010 Turkish wines won a total of 155 medals (including gold) in prominent competitions throughout the world, becoming the most successful year for Turkish wines so far. They also scored a coup at the 2010 London International Wine Fair, where they were promoted by Wines of Turkey,  when they scooped numerous medals and awards in both the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2010 and the Decanter World Wine Awards 2010. Thirty-nine Turkish wines were entered into the IWC 2010 with a 72% award rate.

Wines of Turkey
Wines of Turkey is an umbrella organisation based in Turkey which represents the Turkish wine sector and is the result of a strategic partnership between Turkey's seven leading wineries, Doluca, Kavaklidere, Kayra, Kocabag, Pamukkale, Sevilen and Vinkara. Its aim is to develop the wine market and culture of Turkey and to increase exports by making Wines of Turkey a generic brand associated with quality wine.  For more information on Turkish wines visit


1 January 2011 - Felicity Murray