Why not explore the oldest wine region in the world with a few Cappadocia winery tours?
Cappadocia is located on the Anatolian Peninsula in Turkey. It is a region that is filled with ruins from ancient civilizations, making it a very popular tourist destination. Archaeologists and historians estimate that wine production began in this region around 4000 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era), making it over 6000 years old. Also, legend has it that Dionysus, the God of Wine, was born in the Aegean region of Turkey.
Cappadocia wine regions are broken down into six main areas:
- Thrace and the Sea of Marmara - This area is located in the northwest region of Turkey.
- Aegean - This birthplace of Dionysus is located in western Turkey.
- Central Anatolia - Located in the center of the country.
- Northern Anatolia - This wine producing region is located near the Black Sea.
- Eastern Anatolia - Located on the eastern border of Turkey.
- Southeastern Anatolia - Located on the southeastern border of Turkey.
Here is a list and a short description of the major wineries in Cappadocia:
- Doluca Wines - This large winery, with a production of over 14 million bottles annually, is located in the Thrace and Sea of Marmara region of Cappadocia. Doluca offers the following varietals:
- Karma Shiraz - This is a blend of the Shiraz grape and the region's native Boğazkere grape.
- Karma Cabernet Sauvignon - This Cab blend is aged in French oak barrels and is also a red blend. It contains Cabernet and Okuzgozu grapes.
- Villa Doluca NEO Red - This red is a blend of the native grapes Okuzgozu Boğazkere and has flavor and aroma nuances of sour cherry, dried plum and blackberry.
- Antik Red - Doluca uses one native grape in this blend, Boğazkere, along with Cinsault and Gamay. In 2004, the Antik Red won the Bronze Medal at the Challenge du Vin in France.
- Sarafin Chardonnay - This Chardonnay has one multiple awards at various wine competitions in France including the Bronze Medal for Chardonnay du Monde in 2006.
- Villa Doluca Classic White - This white derives its citrus fruit flavors from a blend of Semillon and Sultaniye grapes.
- Sarafin - This winery is located near the Aegean and is relatively new, sending their first vintage to market in 1998. Here are some of the varietals Sarafin has to offer:
- Cabernet - Made from 100 percent Cabernet grapes and is aged for no less then 18 months in French oak barrels. Expect big, bold flavors in this Cab.
- Merlot - Also aged in French oak barrels, the Sarafin Merlot has much more mellow flavor characteristics than the Cab.
- Chardonnay - The classic buttery flavors and textures in this Chardonnay lend themselves to the wine's long finish.
Other Cappadocia Wineries
Here is a list of wineries in the area you may consider adding to your Cappadocia winery tours.
- Sevilen Group
- Diren Winery
A Final Word About Wine Tours in Turkey
If you have the thought of taking a wine tour in the ancient cities of Turkey, there are some important things you must keep in mind before traveling:
- Check travel warnings - Check the United States Department of State's website for current travel warnings to foreign countries. Travel warnings are issued during times of social, political and military unrest in various countries.
- Use a travel agent - Especially when planning Cappadocia winery tours. Your travel agent will be able to tell you which wineries are open to the public and their hours of operation.
- Register with the U.S. Embassy - If you're a U.S. citizen, be sure to register with the U.S. Embassy in Turkey before you begin your tours.
- Make copies of all important documents - Make copies of your driver's license, passport, visa, etc., and keep them in a different location than your luggage in case you lose or misplace your luggage while enjoying your wine tours in Cappadocia.
If you take these important steps and make prior arrangements with your travel agent regarding the wine tours, you are sure to have a safe and enjoyable wine tasting vacation in the ancient cities in the Cappadocia region of Turkey.