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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...
Our Trip to Thrace Vineyard Route on 7th of September

Our Trip to Thrace Vineyard Route on 7th of September

[fb_like url=”” style=”standard” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=””][tweet url=”” style=”none” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=””] Well the tour is over now but we are already working on the next one; I have decided to take you on the “Thrace vineyards route” again in a different approach. Our goal is to discover different vineyards, winemakers and various wines while enjoying and increasing our knowledge of wine. At lunch we will look for a place to stop by; it maybe a vineyard or just a new place that we will discover together or maybe a picknik, why not? If you are excited about the idea please let me know… Vino Dessera: A special selection But let me tell you about the experience we all had last sunday. We met in Istanbul at different points to make people comfortable. We started at nine o’clock, not too early, as Sunday is a resting day for most people. We drove two hours before getting to our first stop which was “Vino Dessera” in Kırklareli region. The road was good and it was an easy driving. I also discovered this brand with everybody else. Doğan Dönmez and his parents, owner of the vineyards, were there to meet us. They shows  us the property wich include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Öküzgözü and Kalecik . Then we started with a wonderful breakfast under the shadow. Garden tomatoes, olives, cheese from the village of Kırklareli, different vegetables were filling up the table on a white table cloth. Tea was served while Doğan’s mother Yetkin and Saniye Dönmez were telling us the family story of how they started their own business, by planting walnuts...
Şirince Artemis Restaurant

Şirince Artemis Restaurant

[fb_like url=”” style=”standard” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=”none”] [gplus counter=”” style=”” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=”none”] This week I am going to tell you about a little restaurant in Şirince in Izmir province called Tarihi Şirince Artemis Restaurant and Wine House. The food and service is remarkable but the best bit for me is they have their own house wines which is just amazing! Imagine a blend like Bordeaux made by their friends at Bilinger 7 which I told you about a few weeks ago. I was really impressed by their red wines. The first one is called ‘Sotiriyu’ and is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot. Soft tanin and loads of blackberry fruits with a perfect balance of alcohol, tanin and acidity; a perfect “new world wine style. The second wine is called ‘Simétra’ blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Bordeaux style       . It was the same 2012 vintage as the first one but very different in taste; younger, lighter and more acidic. Perfect for a lunch time while Sotiriyu, more complex is for the evening. You should visit if you are able. When you go be sure to ask for Ibrahim the Maître d’hôtel or the manager Mr Ismet Bursali, both very nice guys. Bon Appêtit p.s. If you are going, here is the map...
Prodom Rosé 2012

Prodom Rosé 2012

[fb_like url=”” style=”standard” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=”none”] It’s Friday so that means time to review another bottle! This week I am tasting the Prodom Rosé 2012 from South of Denizli, I am really enjoying the refreshing Rosé’s at this time of year. This wine as received a “Bronze medal” quality award from the international wine and spirit competition in 2013. And 88 points at the Istanbul Master of Wine 2013. The Prodom is a blend of Syrah and Merlot grapes which is a blend I have a lot of appreciation for, especially in the last few years. The colour of this rosé is what we call ‘onion peels’ because of its yellow and orange hues and some light reds reflecting on the glass. On the nose the first approach is a little red fruits and then there is a pink grapefruit flavour. As you taste it the grapefruit hits you, along with hints of Strawberry and Cherry. The grapefruit flavours will not leave you until you finish your glass. The fruit and acidity balance is just right with this wine. It is a dry rosé and will work perfectly with any kind of shellfish, hot or cold fish dishes, shrimps and salad or a filet of Turbot simply cooked on the grill with a little olive oil. I had some fresh goat’s cheese, light cherry jam, provençale herbs and olive oil…perfect…the wine should be served between 8 and 10 degrees. Bon...