Turkish Wine

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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 Read more »

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