If you think Turkey has a long Summer season (nine months!) you will be bewildered to find that their history with wine is even longer. In fact, wine production in Turkey dates back about 7000 years to when grapes were first being domesticated. Like most long-term relationships, Turkey’s relation to wine-making has not been without its hardships. These ebbs and flows were heavily tied to the shifts of power and governing bodies throughout the millennia, beginning when Turkey was still known as ‘Anatolia’. The year was 9,000 BC and the land was inhabited mostly by a peoples known as Hattis and Hitites. While these two groups didn’t always see eye-to-eye, they agreed on one thing: the importance of wine. First used only in ceremonies and as a libation to the gods, wine was eventually integrated into everyday life and enjoyed beside such staples as olive oil, fish and bread. This all changed when the Ottoman Empire took over in the year 1299. The next 600 years were marked by strict prohibition laws that had the producers and consumers of wine heavily penalized and sometimes put to death. Like all prohibitions, during this time we saw the rise of secret speakeasy’s known at the time ‘wine-bars’. Today, the Turkish Republic has restored wine’s status once again. Turkey is now the fourth leading wine-grape producer in the world, with over 1200 varieties growing indigenously. Even if you aren’t a history buff, we are certain that you will find something in Turkey to fall in love with. It may be the unique rock formations of Pasabag that make you feel transported to a different planet. Or the skies of Cappadocia, dotted with colourful hot air balloons. There are 7 different wine regions to choose from and no matter which you decide to visit or wine you decide to try, we are sure it will be Turkish delight-ful.
82 million (2019)
783,562 sq km (302,535 sq mi)