Description 1 of 2


Despite some 1,250 grape varietals grown in the Middle Eastern country of Turkey, only a scant percentage is now produced as wine. Turkey may be viewed as a relatively progressive Muslim country compared to some of its neighbors, but alcohol consumption is still quite low. Long ago, this was the part of the world that pretty much invented wine. There is evidence of ancient wine-making equipment found in Turkey that is believed to be at least 6000 years old. Wine was banned entirely during the 500 years of the Ottoman Empire, starting in the early 16th century, save for the small percentages of Jews and Christians who were allowed to make wine for religious purposes. When the empire collapsed after World War I, it was the first Turkish president,  Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the first commercial winery, Doluca, in 1925. Since then the industry has built up slowly, with mostly larger companies such as Kavaklidere, Pammukale, Mey Gida (formerly Tekel) and and a few boutique wineries. 
Turkey’s wine industry is spread through five regions. The majority of wines are produced in Marmara and Thrace, Central Anatolia, and the Aegean coastal region. Others are produced on the Mediterranean coast and Southeast. The climates in these regions vary from hot and dry summers with mild winters toward the coast, and hot summers with cooler, wetter winters further inland. 
With so many grape varieties, including a significant number of vinifera, grown in Turkey, producers have plenty of choices in what to cultivate as wine. The most popular indigenous white grapes are Nemir, Narince, and Sultana. Popular reds are Bogazkere, Kalecik Karasi, Karasakiz, Çalkarasi, and Öküzgözü. European grapes (though their predecessors might well have been born here) are on the rise, and are often used as blending components as well as single varietal styles. 
Apart from what there is of wine to be had, Turkey has a national spirit called Raki. This is akin to Lebanese Arak - a grape pomace distillate flavored with anise seed. It is often served chilled as a meal accompaniment. 
– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Description 2 of 2

Ancient Connections: Noah's Ark According to the Old Testament, when God saw that the wickedness of His people was abundant over the Earth, He decided to send a great deluge to destroy them. Believing that Noah was a righteous man, He instructed him to build an ark and gather himself and his family, and a male and female of every species of living creature into it. The flood came; all life on Earth was extinguished, except for those who were with Noah. After 150 days afloat, the Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat. Noah promptly planted a vineyard, produced wine and his family drank it. There are parallels between what the Bible tells us of Noah and Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı - highest peak of Turkey) and what scientists have learned about the origins of wine and wine making Mount Ağrı is quite close to Transcaucasia (an area now within the borders of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan); Transcaucasia is considered today to be the motherland of the wild vine species Vitis vinifera sylvestris from which all domesticated vines-Vitis vinifera vinifera are derived. Source "The Guide to Turkish Wines" by Şeyla Ergenekon – Description from Ida Wines

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