Today, Sevilen produces grapes for premium wines on two sites:
Aegean area, around Izmir, a warm Mediterranean climate
Anatolia plateau, a cool Mediterranean climate
An eastern Mediterranean country forming a bridge between the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Turkey has the fifth largest vineyard area in the world but only 3% is made into wine. Most grapes are eaten fresh, dried or made into the popular anise-flavored spirit, Raki, also responsible for only another 3% of production.
Increase in quality over the last 20 years and focus on indigenous varieties has been limited by Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government.
Turkey’s white variety, Narince, thrives in the cool central Black Sea province of Tokat at 1,300 feet elevation. At the Aegean Sea, the local Sultana, Turkey’s most widely planted grape, is used for drying but recently is producing some highly aromatic wines. Bornova Misketi, related to Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, is also abundant. Red varieties, Foça Karası and Urla Karası are indigenous and many international varieties are used in production here as well.
Capable of a vast array of styles, Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character. Though it can vary depending on where it is grown, a couple of commonalities always exist—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. This variety is of French provenance. Somm Secret—Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (herbaceous aromatic compounds) inherent to each member of the family.