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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...
Rose wine for summer

Rose wine for summer

AMADEUS Vineyard in Bozcaada If you are visiting the island this year you will enjoy one of the 12 wines Olivier and his team is making each year from grapes grown only on the island of Bozcaada. Last year I had been surprised by the “Zinfandel” but this year I will be going first to “Amadeus “Cuvée Rosé” A very typical rose made without second fermentation, blended with 60% cabernet sauvignon and 40% shiraz; bright light red in color, the palate is fresh and fruity finishing on the sweetness. Will go well with meze and pasta. The second one I recommend you is the famous “Blush me” alight pâle pink color wine made with 90% sauvignon blanc and 10% zinfandel , fruity strawberries flavors and taste finishing on a lightly sweetness; drink it very cold after swimming or as an apperitif! serve with fish salad and desert. ARCADIA Fresh Cabernet + Rosé Cabernet Franc, Merlot Light salmon pink. Jasmine, strawberry and cinnamon on the nose. Elegant but expressive fruit of nectarine and red berry on the palate. Round but fresh on the palate, with a juicy, fruity finish. Lovely and pale in the glass, this appealed for its elegance, texture and sheer drinkability. Relatively quiet on the nose, floral notes sit alongside hints of spice and soft fleshy fruit.  SERENDIAS Rose from Urla Living Bozcaada island and going back to Izmir; refering to my recent publishment, this wine made with syrah and sangiovese is quiet dry, crispy and fruity, nice pink salmon color with lovely red fruits flavors, strawberry and gooseberry; have with white cheese, pasta,fish or just by...
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...
Kavaklıdere Rosato

Kavaklıdere Rosato

[fb_like url=”” style=”standard” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=”none”] Another Rosé for the summer and this time it is the Rosato by Kavaklidere in the Denizli Aegean region. Rosato is a light and semi-sweet rosé wine made from Çalkarası grapes. There is a natural residual sugar in the wine as a result of the interrupted fermentation. Light maceration is used to give a bright, pale pomegranate colour. On the nose there is a little spice, red fruits and strawberry. It has a lovely, well-balanced sugar/acidity, with very little tanin. This a perfect companion with white cheeses, pasta or chicken and would also work well with seasonal fruits. It needs to be served nice and cold around 6/8...
7 Bilgeler Lassos 2012

7 Bilgeler Lassos 2012

[fb_like url=”” style=”standard” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=”none”] Bilgeler 7, ever heard of this brand? After 3 years on the market their range of 7 wines (hence the name) and philosophy is starting to be known throughout Turkey. It’s a good idea for a wine name isn’t it? Simple.   Summer is fast approaching here and it is going to be hot soon so I am tasting another Rosé wine today, 7 Bilgeler Lassos 2012, and this is a great wine just to drink for pleasure with friends on the beach or around the pool. For great food and wine harmony try the carpacio of Langoustine served with cherry juice or pomegranate. The wine is clear and bright in colour, like a fruit drop, reds and light purples on the edge shows some good extraction, we are in the presence of a real Rosé. It has a simple, fruity nose with a touch of red rose and red fruits as the primary aromas. The mouth is fresh and soft with the right balance. With this 100% Shiraz you will enjoy your holiday. One more thing, you can visit the Bilgeler vineyards in Izmir and spend the night in one of their spacious bedrooms. The vineyard manager, Mr Akdeniz, will explain the story of the ‘domaine’ much better than me. Take a look at their website for more information. Have a good...