Although other alcoholic beverages like rakı and beer are more widely consumed, Turkey does produce some great wines and ranks sixth overall in world grape production. Most of the vineyards are located in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Central Anatolian regions. Around 1,200 varieties of grapes flourish in the fertile soil of these areas. Due to the high taxes imposed on wine, and accompanying high prices, quality wine is primarily consumed by the well-to-do in Istanbul, Ankara, and along the Aegean coast (especially white wines in the summer). About 20% of Turkish wine is exported to the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish wines fall into three main categories: those made with local varietals, those made with international varietals, and those that blend the two.
-Native grapes (red/kırmızı): Öküzgözü, Kalecik Karası, Çalkarası, Boğazkere
-Native grapes (white/beyaz): Narince, Sultaniye, Emir, Kabarcık
-International grapes: Merlot, Cabernet Savignon, Pinot Noir, Gamay, Chardonnay, Savignon Blanc, Semillion, Riesling
Some producers to look for include: Chateau Kalecik, Kavaklıdere , Sarafin, Villa Doluca, and Corvus.
You can try some of these wines in Istanbul wine shops and wine bars like:
Ithalat Pazarlama Ltd. Sti.
Siraselviler Cad. No:207
Cihangir / Beyoglu
Hamalbasi Caddesi No. 256
Şarabı Wine Bar
174 Istiklal Caddesi