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Thrace Wine Road, a new way to discover the hidden treasures of this region.

Thrace Wine Road, a new way to discover the hidden treasures of this region.

The hills and forests of the Thrace region are within a few hours of Istanbul but are a world away from the city. Surrounded by 3 different seas – Marmara, Aegean and Black Sea – a multitude of different microclimates produces an interesting range of different wines. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of escorting a mixed group of local and international wine lovers to three vineyards where we met the producers and discovered the secrets of the wine-making process. After a pleasant drive through the countryside, our first stop was the family business of Vino Dessera located in Kırklareli/ Lüleburgaz. On our arrival, we were greeted by the owner/wine-maker (and worker!) Doğan Dönmez and enjoyed a huge Turkish breakfast (is there any other size 🙂 ) that was waiting for us in the garden. With breakfast finished, Doğan took us for a walk across the vineyard and explained how they originally started out growing walnuts and almonds before deciding to plant vines and, given the ‘terroir’ and Anatolian tradition, decided to make wine. Both sandy and gravelly soils are present in this area, like in some places in France, facilitating many different vine and grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Shiraz or Öküzgözü and Boğazkere. In total, there are 15 different grapes growing on the vineyard. After our tour we returned to the cellar to begin our degustation of five different wines: Narince – clear and transparent, shining, the first nose is of white pear and tilleul aromas, while in the mouth the same aromas comes back. Very well balanced, fine and elegant white. To...
Moschofilero Boutari 2014

Moschofilero Boutari 2014

Let me tell you about one of the most surprising, and original, wines I ever drank! 2014 Moschofilero Boutari is a Greek wine made with the Autochtone grape Moschofilero. Ever heard of it? Don’t worry, me neither! Moschofilero is a white or pink grape, aromatic and dry, with enticing citrus, floral and melon aromas. The grapes are grown on clay soil at the Mantinia Vineyard’s in the region of Peloponnese, the vines are between 10 and 35 years old. At an altitude of 650-850 metres it is sunny during the day but very cool at night which helps to keep a high acidity. Harvesting is done by hand at the end of September and beginning of October and only the best fruits are selected. The result is a crisp, fresh and well balanced wine that will compliment any kind of fish or shell fish meal during the summer. Moschofilero is a nice alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, a good simple refreshing aromatic white wine....