Indigenous Wine Grapes of Turkey

Wine-making in Anatolia dates back 6000 years. Today, Turkey is a world leader in grape production. But the bad news (for wine lovers) is that only 5 percent of the production is used for wine making. The rest, we consume dried and fresh — I love fresh red grapes. Not surprisingly, there are a number of indigenous wine grapes of Turkey which should be on your check list if you are a wine lover. In a restaurant, try to order your wine by understanding what kind of grapes and flavor it has.

Picture of Boğazkere grapes.
Boğazkere grapes.

Turkish White Wine Grapes

  • Emir
    • Grown in Central Anatolia
    • Refreshing and easy to drink
    • Suitable for producing dry, primeur and sparkling wines
    • Wines of this kind are greenish-yellow
  • Narince
    • Grown in the Tokat region for its sandy soil
    • Often consumed as table grape
    • Narince is good for dry white wine with a balanced structure
    • Wines of this kind are greenish-yellow when young and have  a fruity aroma
  • Sultaniye
    • Globally known as Sultana
    • Seedless grape grown in the Aegean region
    • Sultaniye wines are light with fruit aromas
    • Not suitable for aging, should be consumed within a year of bottling
  • Misket
    • Grown around Izmir
    • Most aromatic of the white grape varieties
    • Both dry and sweet wines from Misket should be tasted

Turkish Red Wine Grapes

  • Bogazkere (Boğazkere)
    • Grown in Southeast Anatolia
    • One of the best native grapes in Turkey
    • Has high tannin
    • Strong body and the potential to age
    • Boğazkere is traditionally blended with Öküzgözü grape
  • Okuzgozu (Öküzgözü)
    • Grown in Elazig
    • The wines from Öküzgözü carries floral and fruity aromas
    • Medium body and soft texture
  • Kalecik Karasi (Kalecik Karası)
    • Grown in Ankara region
    • Kalecik Karası produces medium-bodied wines with red fruit aromas
    • Suitable for aging (preferably 5 years)

Further Recommended Reading

  1. What to Drink in Istanbul?
  2. Istanbul’s Street Food – What’s Hot And What’s Not!
  3. Top 10 Things to Eat in Istanbul
  4. Do you have a question? Ask it here!

Last updated on 30/06/2015