Turkey, the world’s fourth largest grape producer, has been making wine for at least 4,000 years, and the best Turkish wines come from Cappadocia in Anatolia, the country’s biggest wine-making region. Here are some of the must-try varietals and tasting experiences in Cappadocia.
The volcanic ash soil and arid climate of Cappadocia are well-suited for growing several kinds of grapes indigenous to Turkey. About a quarter of the local grape production is Emir, the only grape exclusive to this particular region of Turkey, and which is typically used to make light to medium-bodied still and sparkling wines. Narince wine, another white varietal, is often quite dry due to the high acidity level of the grape. Some of the country’s best red wines are made from the Kalecik Karasi grape, known for its ruby red color, boiled candy nose, and light finish. Fans of round, fruity wines should sample Okuzgozu, a light and easy-to-drink varietal that ages well. Those looking for a complex, challenging red can opt for Bogazkere, which translates to “throat burner,” an appropriate name to describe its full body and dense tannins.
- See Cappadocia’s highlights—including UNESCO-listed Goreme Open Air Museum, Fairy Chimneys, and Pigeon Valley—on a full day private tour complete with a wine tasting along the way.
- Sip on local wine inside traditional wine caves dug into the soft volcanic rock.
- Hone your palate with a guided wine tasting at a traditional Cappadocia ancient cave winery before watching a romantic sunset over the Red Valley from the village of Kizilcukur.