Turkish wine seeks markets abroad, bypassing restrictions

Urla aims for high quality, garners numerous awards

05 June, 16:19

    (di Patrizio Nissirio) (ANSAmed) - URLA(TURKEY), JUNE 5 - The vineyard extends in perfect rows across 350 hectares of hilly countryside and greenery. There is a small, stylish, boutique hotel for those who want to enjoy the area's absolute quiet. But this is not Tuscany, nor France. We are in Urla, a town on the Karaburun Peninsula - part of Turkey's Aegean coast not far from Izmir.

    Here a winery named after the town is pushing its award-winning wines increasingly into the international market.

    Despite restrictive laws on the advertising and marketing of alcohol, introduced in recent years by Turkey's Islamic-leaning government, the Urla company, founded in 2001 by Can Ortabaş, is looking with confidence toward expansion abroad.

    Markets like China, the USA and the United Kingdom appear very promising for wines like Urla Nero D'Avola & Urla Karasi 2012, honoured nationally and internationally, or Nexus 2012, which has also been recognized on a global level. "We produce about 200,000 bottles a year. We mainly make reds; and unlike other producers in the Mediterranean, we have had no repercussions from climate change or bad weather," explained the young oenologist Hasan Deniz, who trained in Australia.

    "We make use of the advice of an French oenologist, who comes here every three months. But the technology for the fermentation containers is Italian".

    The wines of Urla's highly modern cellar is also visible under a pool. The wines are very robust, including the whites. The oenologist explained that the work to refine them is constant, thanks to the crossing of local varieties - such as the Bogazkere and Bornova Misket - and others that are imported.

    The Turkish wines are produced, other than In the Aegean region, traces of vineyards and winemakers date back to the seventh century BC, with evidence of trade toward the Black Sea and Europe. Turkish wine is also cultivated near the Marmara Sea, as well as in areas of central and southern Anatolya, where some vines grow at over 1,200 meters in altitude, and production is more difficult. According to Deniz, total domestic production totals around two million bottles; and 'new' Turkish wines are being watched worldwide with increasing attention. They are a bet that can not be lost. (ANSAmed).

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