Turkey’s most developed and productive wine regions are the Thrace (Marmara) and Aegean regions, and Central and Southeastern Anatolia. Winemaking, on the other hand, tends to be concentrated in the western part of the country.
The Thrace region accounts for 20 percent of all the wine produced in Turkey. The winemaking tradition that Greeks founded in this area in the past is continued by Turks today in small to medium-sized facilities. Twelve boutique wine producers from Tekirdağ, Şarköy, Kırklareli and Gelibolu have gathered together to promote a new “Vineyard Routes Project” with the support of the Thrace Development Agency. On Thrace Route which lies from Kırklareli, along the hilly shore of the Sea of Marmara, to the Gallipoli peninsula and also to Avsa Island and Bozca Island, visitors can spend a week visiting boutique vineyards and tasting wine.
Although the Aegean region focuses on table grapes and dried fruit, it is also notable for wine production (35% of Turkey’s production). Izmir, Manisa, and Denizli are the main centers of viticulture and winemaking. On the Aegean wine route, mostly near Izmir, Manisa and Denizli, tourists can experience the beauty of vineyards stretching for miles and miles. Tourists can also visit archaeological sites such as Ephesus, Pergamon, Milet and Aphrodisias, top attractions like the Pamukkale hot springs, and pretty Aegean villages.
In Central Anatolia, two centers have important roles in wine industry. One is the town of Kalecik, 65 kilometers northeast of Ankara. It gives its name to the – grape Kalecik Karası. Cappadocia is the other important Anatolian wine-production center; its poor volcanic soil is suitable for grape cultivation. In southern Anatolia, the areas around Diyarbakır and Elazığ produce the best red wine grapes in Turkey; Öküzgözü and Boğazkere. In Central Anatolia Route where indigenous grape varieties are mostly used for wine production visitors can visit wineries, taste wine and also experience the unique atmosphere of Cappadocia.
Source: Nuray Türker, Faruk Alaeddinoğlu, (2016), “From Wine Production to Wine Tourism Experience: the Case of Anatolia, Turkey”, Journal of Tourism and Gastronomy Studies, 4/3 (2016) 25-37.