Ancient but challenged, wine culture perseveres in Turkey writes journalist Deborah Parker Wong in SOMM Journal. In her article, she talks to businesswoman and founder of Gülor Winery Güler Sabancı regarding the future of Turkey’s wine business:
“[Over the last decade] Turkish consumers have been learning about quality from fine imported wines,” says vintner and philanthropist Güler Sabancı whose Gülor winery in Thrace is sited in the historical center of Turkish wine production. “Considering that there have been no incentives for the industry and our ability to market wine at home is quite limited, I’m very optimistic.”
Modern wine culture emerged in the early 1990s when visionary producers picked up where the Turkish government left off after the introduction of French grape varieties to Thrace in the 1950s. Although Gülor is credited with the country’s first commercial production of Bordeaux-style wines, Sabancı champions the country’s indigenous grapes grape varieties as a way for Turkey to differentiate its wines on the global market. The boutique winery has recently begun exporting wine to the U.S. and is looking at Russia and the U.K. as well.
Read the whole article and learn more about the Turkish industry and its wines here. Sabancı’s wines are imported in the U.S. by Meritaj Inc. and can be purchased here.
Nowhere that I know of does it give more fragrant wines than on the slopes of the Spitzerberg in the small region of Carnuntum (named after the ancient Roman city there). Dorli Muhr of the Muhr – van der Niepoort estate winery, pictured above, is the most important producer of these wines and in the 2013 vintage she made the finest Spitzerberg Blaufränkisch I ever tasted… there’s an earthiness behind the floral charm. The one thing that is eye-popping about this it is how vivid and energized it tastes, a dramatic contrast to many warm climate reds with their high alcoholic content and low acidity levels. In common with the best Blaufränkisch from Moric (in Mittelburgenland) and Uwe Schiefer (in Südburgenland), this wine has enormous depth and serious dry tannins, yet great balance and delicacy. For me, those are the hallmarks of world-class wines from this grape.
Do you know that as many as 13 of the wineries in our current portfolio are run or co-run by women? Witnessing an increasing number of talented women involved in the wine industry on International Women’s Day is exciting.
They may have taken different paths — some took over their family estate from their parents, others founded their wineries from scratch — but they are all passionate about their work. Whether they have a degree in oenology or learned the trade while working with their family, these women are making important contributions to viticulture and winemaking.
In Austria, grower and winemaker Ilse Maier pioneered organic farming in Kremstal when she took over Geyerhof, the family estate, in 1986. Dorli Muhr resuscitated her family vineyards in Carnuntum and now produces some of Austria’s finest Blaufränkisch.
In Tokaj, Hungary, winemakers Judit Bodó and Stéphanie Berecz founded respectively Bott and Kikelet wineries with their husbands and are now making some of the best wines of the region. In 2014, Stéphanie was awarded by her fellow winemakers the prestigious title of “winemaker of the winemakers”. Sarolta Bárdos who owns and runs Tokaj Nobilis was the winner of the prestigious award of 2012 Winemaker of the Year in Tokaj-Hegyalja. Also in Hungary, Birgit and Katrin Pfneisl are managing the Pfneiszl Winery and farming organically their ancestral Hungarian vineyards in Sopron. Julia Dóra Molnar, who co-owns Csendes Dűlő with her mother Beáta on the northern shore of Lake Balaton, has revived the rare white grape Kéknyelű. In Villány, under the leadership of owner Monika Debreczeni, Vylyan won in 2008 the title “Winery of the Year” in Hungary. Daughters Andrea Gere in Villány and Ildikó Eszterbauer in Szekszard are actively involved in the family business with their fathers.
In Istria, Slovenia, winemaker Tamara Glavina runs the Santomas winery with her father Ludvik, focusing on the local Refosco and Istrian Malvazija. On the island of Hvar, Croatia, Ivana Carić co-owns Vina Carić with her husband Ivo, producing distinctive wines from the native Bogdanjuša as well as Maraština, Kuč, and Pošip. And in Thrace, Turkey, businesswoman Güler Sabancı founded Gulor, a modern boutique winery offering high quality blends of both international and indigenous grape varieties such as Öküzgözü and Boğazkere.
Experience the wines of these talented women with our new Winemakers 6-Pack and in the meantime, happy International Women’s day!
the Shavnabada [a top by-the-glass pour]—anytime you’re able to say that a wine is made by monks in a monastery, they eat that one up. And it’s not cheap. But it’s a great wine, and also, it has an advantage because the wines have had a few extra years on them. That’s been really important even for me, to be able to see how these wines age. They change so much; they take on new personality and structure. It’s so rare to have the chance to taste older Georgian wines—it’s a combination of the culture, in which each person makes a small amount of wine and they drink it over the course of a year, and recent history; they simply don’t have much older wines to sell. Aging, however, does take the edges off the wine. If we could get more aged skin-contact Georgian wines, they’d blow people away.
Find the whole interview here and check our comprehensive selection of Georgian wines in our webshop.
Today, an Instagram contribution by wine lover Michael Trainor @awordtothewine: have you tried the Amiran Otskhanuri Sapere 2015 with Cigarillos?
It’s dark and oily. It’s got acid. It’s got structure. A bit viscous, maybe. It’s reminiscent of a freshly tarred road or roof in the hot Summer of my childhood and I could even feel that creeping anxiety of the new school year approaching. It pairs so perfectly with r/mr skirt steak. Keep it simple. Salt. Pepper. A slab of salted butter in the pan. Sizzle. Burn the flesh so you get that bitterness on the outside and maintain a beautiful bloody interior. Narrow slices, place it in your mouth, chew, then sip. Taste that? It also pairs well with #tobacco. I don’t typically enjoy tobacco with wine, but this pairs so well with Zino @davidoffcigars Brasil #Cigarillos
The 2012 Juhfark, looks set to be the second to last harvest for the rumored to be retiring Bela, is a beauty, more vibrant than the 2011 I last tasted, and with wonderful precision as well as subtle density and extract, it was left on the lees without batonage and the finesse shows here, allowing a rich mouth feel, but vital and vigorous.The nose is Riesling like, but showing it’s volcanic spiciness along with fresh citrus, tropical notes and tangy stone fruits, this iron/steel white feels light to medium bodied and is amazingly dynamic for it’s age, very youthful, as well as having a hint of chalk/stones, bitter herbs, white cherry, kiwi/mango, a hint of almond, delicate florals and tart lemon/lime. This is a white wine of inner energy and class, unique and with a tense of history and place.
93 Points, grapelive
You can also follow Kerry Winslow on Instagram here.
Should you drink Rosé in Winter? What about having Rosé for Valentine’s Day? In his latest Wine Column, wine and food writer for The Washington Post Dave McIntyre think we’re wrong to consider Rosé as a summer wine:
The market is up against two consumer misconceptions: That rosé is only for summer, and that only the most recent vintage is worth drinking.
Here’s the problem: We match rosé to the season, but we pair any other wine to the food we’re eating. You still eat pizza in winter? Salads? Anything garlicky, or with a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern accent? Don’t rule out rosé: It doesn’t clash with long sleeves.
And don’t worry about drinking the 2015s; they’re just fine. In fact, I recently found some forgotten 2014s from California and France in my basement. They were delicious — less fresh and invigorating for gulping, perhaps, but age had given them a bit of character that made them shine with food.
We have plenty of delicious Rosés in our portfolio for your Valentine. Check them out.
Few people are aware that Turkey is one of the most ancient wine regions. The discoveries of ancient wine vessels and evidence of winemaking suggest that wine was produced for the first time in Transcaucasia, a region south of the Caucasus Mountains that encompasses what is today Eastern Turkey as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Northern Iran. The first evidence of viticulture and wine making in Anatolia (central Turkey) dates back 7,000 years.
Thanks to its large size and benefiting from a wide array of climates, Turkey is home to between 600–1200 indigenous grape varieties. While the coasts have a mild Mediterranean climate, Central Anatolia, where many vineyards are located at altitudes near 1,250 meters (4,000 feet) above sea level, has a continental climate with hot summers and cold snowy winters.
Founded in 1993 by Turkish businesswoman and philanthropist Güler Sabancı, Gulor is a modern boutique winery with 12 hectares of estate vineyards located on the north shore of the Marmara Sea. They’re mostly planted with Bordeaux grape varieties as well as Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. The winery also grows indigenous varieties like Öküzgözü and Boğazkere in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia. Öküzgözü is from Hankendi, a town in the province of Elazıg in the northwest corner of the Euphrates River valley, and Boğazkere from Ergani on the right bank of the Tigris River.
Native to Eastern Anatolia, Öküzgözü likes cold winters and hot dry summers. The name derives from the Turkish word for bullseye, which refers to its large dark berries. Quite resistant to drought, Boğazkere is from Southeastern Anatolia. It means “Throat Scratcher” and is Turkey’s most tannic grape.
A blend of 70% Öküzgözü 30% Boğazkere, the wine is dark in color with notes of black cherry and berry. It is quite earthy and full-bodied with good tannins. We enjoyed it with a simple Chicken Provençal, at least my version of it. I cook the chicken in a skillet with diced onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes and herbes de Provence. I also add some dry-cured black olives to the sauce and I must say, their ripe flavors went pretty well with the wine.
Jancis Robinson’s logic in deciding that Tribidrag should be the prime name of the grape variety that also appears in almost identical forms as Zinfandel, Primitivo, Kratošija, Crljenak kaštelanski or Pribidrag is very simple. The “priority right” has won – the oldest name gets the title! While the first written reference to the name Primitivo dates from 1799 and to Zinfandel from 1837, the first reference to Tribidrag dates all the way back to the 15th century. Etymologically, the name Tribidrag comes from the Greek language and means “early ripening”. The Italian name for this grape variety came from the Latin language (primativus) and means the same “the first to ripen”. The etymological origin of the name Zinfandel has never been discovered and it is considered a mystery…
Željko Garmaz — Wine Stories
15 years after it was discovered that Zinfandel was the old Croatian grape variety called Tribidrag or Crljenak, learn the story of Tribidrag and taste the finest Zinfandel, Primitivo and Tribidrag wines at the first International Conference on Tribidrag Wine Variety which will be held on April 27th & 28th, 2017 in Split, Croatia. Speakers include Jancis Robinson, Carole Meredith, José Vouillamoz and more!
Today is International Furmint Day and we’re also celebrating my son’s birthday. So let’s pop the bubbles and enjoy a 100% Furmint sparkling wine!
A 100% Furmint sparkling wine is pretty intriguing. The fact that the Kreinbacher Brut Prestige comes from the Somló hill, Hungary’s smallest appellation and one of the best volcanic terroir is even more fascinating.
The wine is made with carefully selected Furmint grapes — zero botrytis — coming from the cooler, windier eastern slope of the Somló volcano and meticulously vinified in the traditional Méthode Champenoise with the help of Champagne house Paul Bara.
In short, the wine has a unique distinctiveness and it’s also delicious, showing its light golden color, fine bubbles and an inviting yeasty nose of apple compote. The palate is dry and toasty with a firm acidity and pleasing honey aromas. So, are you ready to toast with me?