Indigenous Turkish Grapes

February 17, 2014

According to many historians, wine making dates back around 3000 BC in Anatolia ( Asian part of Modern Turkey). Substantial archeological evidence has been supporting this claim as excavations of ancient civilizations continues. I think we can easily say that people have been making wine in this geographical area for over 5000 years. Advancements in boat building and navigation enabled Anatolian civilizations to introduce wine and wine making methods to Europe and neighboring Mediterranean nations. Wine used to be one of the most heavily traded commercial commodity of the ancient world.


After giving some historical information about wine making, I would like to introduce some of the indigenous grape varieties of Turkey. Today we are going to talk about Bogazkere, famous Turkish red wine grape. Bogazkere’s native terroir is southeastern Turkey, more specifically, between Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Bogazkere is dark blue to almost black in color and it has small to medium sized very thick skinned round berries( obvious reason for dense tannins). This grape grows on soil that consists of decomposed sand stone and red clay. Ideal climate for Bogazkere is hot and dry and it prefers higher altitudes. Wines that are made from Bogazkere grapes are full bodied and very dark red in color with strong tannins and complex flavors. This wine is also very suitable for aging. Dominant aromas for Bogazkere wines consist of sour cherry, raspberry, black mulberry, pepper, clove, and tobacco. Bogazkere wine can be paired with spicy meat stews, steak and strong flavored cheese.


Finally, Bogazkere is one of the most preferred grape by Turkish vintners to create blend wines. Especially the marriage between Bogazkere and Okuzgozu( another popular Turkish grape we will talk about next time) is very delicious.


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