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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...
Prodom 2012 Narince and Chardonnay

Prodom 2012 Narince and Chardonnay

[fb_like url=”” style=”standard” font=”arial” action=”like” width=”450″ height=”30″ position=”none”] Nice Friday surprise! I have just received some new wines from my old friend Mr Atay in İzmir, one of the best boutique wine makers in Turkey! His first vintage was a great red wine that was widely recognised as exceptional for Turkey. Today I am tasting the Prodom 2012 Narince and Chardonnay, a Décanter World Wine Award 2013 and the International Wine Challenge Bronze Medal winner. It is a blend of a Narince, a Turkish grape from Tokat, and Chardonnay, a famous European grape from Denizli in the south. This blend has become trendy in the last 6 years or so after a tasting with some friends where we proposed to add some Chardonnay to the Narince to add a little more body to the wine; looks like a lot of people like the idea. So, let’s look at the wine itself. It is a crispy and fruity wine, as it is poured the colour is light pale straw, clear, transparent and shining. The nose is fruity with a palette of white fruits, exotic pineapple and a little bit of vanilla showing it has been through French Oak barrels for a few months. It has a very nice balance; the attack of the wine is franc, strong acidity will keep the freshness for a while. This wine will be a perfect match with Artichoke salad or any kind of shell fish with vinegar as a starter. You could also drink it as an aperitif to open your appetite, then continue with their Chardonnay and a grilled Dover Sole. If you...