13-02-2023 - Food & Drink

Famous Wine of Cappadocia: Grapes, vineyards, wineries, and festivals

Cappadocia is an amazing place full of historical, natural, and cultural wonders. Cappadocia is also a significant region in Turkey's viticulture and grape cultivation. While the exact era of the region's first wine production is uncertain, it is known that grape cultivation and wine-making from grapes may be as old as the region's history. Due to the characteristics of its terrain, Cappadocia is regarded as a place that is incredibly conducive to the production of high-quality grapes. Sand, sandstone, and decomposed volcanic tuff make up the region's soil; the latter helps produce grapes of high quality that are used to make wine. Along with several indigenous Turkish grapes like Emir, Kalecik Karasi, Narince, and Oküzgözü, Cappadocia also supports the cultivation of Western grape varieties like Chardonnay, Malbec, and Tempranillo. Nearly 20% of all Turkish wine is made in the Cappadocia region.


So it is not unexpected that when people think of Cappadocia, they think of extensive vineyards and delicious, premium wines. Cappadocia wines made from regional grapes from Ürgüp vineyards hold a special place in the hearts of wine enthusiasts. Visitors to the area can also enjoy their visual feasts by sipping delectable wines and seeing the colorful balloons associated with Cappadocia.

Before we dig into the delicious wine of Cappadocia, let’s have a look at the Cappadocia Travel Pass® and the 35+ amazing attractions included in it. Cappadocia Travel Pass® is created with a deep love of Cappadocia and long years of experience in tourism. We carefully handpicked attractions, museums, and experiences for you and gathered them all in a single pass so you can enjoy this amazing region with ease. From discounted hot-air balloon flights to free wine tasting, you can find everything you need to experience Cappadocia at its best. Now, let’s check out the famous grapes and wines of this dreamland.

Grapes of Cappadocia’s Vineyards

There are huge vineyards in Cappadocia. The most well-known grape varieties in Cappadocia include Kalecik Karasi, Okuzgözü, Bogazkere, Narince, and Emir. After the harvest, grapes are generally stored in caves by producers. Because the constant temperature in caves is between 8 and 10 degrees, storing grapes there increases the flavor of the wine.

Bogazkere

Grown across the country in different regions, it favors growing at a higher altitude in a hot, dry climate. The name literally translates to "throat burner," which may be a result of the wine's strong tannins and modest acidity. Both blending grapes and wines made solely from the Boazkere grape are produced. It is frequently likened to Tannat because of the flavors of pepper, dark fruit, cacao chocolate, tobacco, licorice, and clove it produces when expressed on its own.

Kalecik Karasi

Kalecik Karasi is a Turkish grape varietal and at the same time name of a Turkish wine produced from this grape. Some of Turkey's best red wine is produced from the Kalecik Karasi grape, which thrives close to the Red River. Kalecik Karasi grapes are known for their distinctive flavor, aroma, and taste. Turkish wine enthusiasts are interested in this special quality, which has been recognized with multiple awards from international wine competitions. As a result, Kalecik Karasi has recently experienced a significant increase in demand among domestic wines.


Emir

In Cappadocia, Emir accounts for 25% of the region's total grape production. The only Turkish grape is grown only in Cappadocia, Emir, and flourishes in the region's severe winters and high altitude of around 1,200m. Emir thrives on the volcanic, mineral-rich soils of Cappadocia. Emir is a grape variety used to produce still and sparkling wine that has somewhat oval, green-yellow, medium-sized fruit. The wines are delicate, light to medium-bodied, pale yellow in color, and strong in acidity.

Narince

The grape Narince has very delicate skin. Narince grapes can be used to produce both dry and semi-dry wines. Wines from Narince are straw-yellow in color and have floral, citrus, and yellow fruit aromas. Narince-based wines are typically dry, and because of their strong acidity, they develop a rich bouquet as they age.

Okuzgozu

Eastern Turkey is the grape's natural region. Okuzgozu grapes enjoy frigid winters and hot, dry summers, just like Emir. The Turkish word for it, Okuzgozu, means "ox eye" because of its rounded, meaty black appearance. It has a light hue, a medium body, a sharp hit of high acidity, and flowery scents. It has a flavor profile that tends toward jammier fruits, including raspberry, plum, and pomegranate, as well as seasonal spices and earthy tones. It is renowned for having a high acidity and is frequently used with Bogazkere to give blends more structure. It produces a fruit-forward wine that is remarkable when expressed on its own.

Wine-tasting in Cappadocia: From big industry to homemade wines


There are various small or big wineries you can taste local wines and shop. Although wine tasting in Cappadocia can be challenging, we're here to assist. Urgup, Uchisar, Avanos, and Goreme are just a handful of the little towns in the region of Cappadocia that are within a 10-15 minute drive of one another, and in all these towns there are wineries.

Generally, in nearly all restaurants you can taste local wines if you don’t have time for a wine-tasting. Kocabag and Turasan are typically offered in eateries with a wine list. You can tour the Turasan winery while also engaging in a thorough Kocabag tasting at the neighborhood wine bar Efendi.


The Cappadocia region is home to a large number of regional winemakers. Visitors to Cappadocia enjoy the wines made in the traditional manner. Guests of local wine retailers have the option of taking part in wine-tasting events in the Cappadocia and Ürgüp areas. Visitors who want to sample wines from various brands have the chance to compare various wines by ordering wine-tasting menus at wineries.

If you are interested in a unique wine experience, we strongly recommend you go for homemade wines. In Cappadocia Travel Pass®, you can visit one of the most popular and definitely most colorful house wine houses; Mahzen Wine House. Mahzen Wine House is the best place if you are searching for natural house wines. Numerous wine kinds produced here are manufactured from premium grapes cultivated in Cappadocia and Urgup. As the first privately owned house wine maker in Cappadocia, Hasan Sarikaya established Sarikaya Wines in Urgup in 1983. Utilizing the knowledge gathered over the years and traditional methods, our distinctive wines have begun to be made. Sarikaya wines are currently a reputable and well-known wine brand in Turkey. You will be able to taste and buy these wines from the source!

Visiting the Vineyards

Beautiful vineyards cover a very broad area in the Ürgüp district. Additionally, 16 different grape types can be found in this area. The first type of wine that comes to mind is a white wine made from the Emir grape, which is the one that tourists visiting the area tend to love the most. The Emir grape gets its name from the fact that it was the preferred wine of the kings throughout the Roman and Hittite times. It yields a wine that pairs well with fish dishes and fresh cheese.

One of the most popular activities for visitors visiting Cappadocia is touring vineyards. Visitors may watch how wine is made using traditional techniques in the interim. They can purchase the wines that their taste buds prefer from the selection of wines they have the chance to sample. Tourists who take in Cappadocia's distinctive scenery while tasting the best wines for their palates create memories they won't soon forget.


Ürgüp Grape Harvesting Festival

In September, Cappadocia embraces an entirely new beauty. The Ürgüp Grape Harvesting Festival is held in the region of intense wine production during the vineyard period in September, where young grapes and delectable wines are honored. Folk dances and performances are part of the festival, which opens with a cortege march.

In colder weather, visitors who travel to Cappadocia employ their preferences in favor of hot wine. When producing Cappadocia mulled wine, fruit, and 12 different types of spices are utilized. With its wines and breathtaking views of its natural beauty, Cappadocia's history is able to win over the hearts of its tourists. Wines made in the area have a reputation that extends outside of Turkey. If you're thinking of visiting Cappadocia, we advise you to learn more about the region's distinctive wine culture and viticulture, which date back thousands of years.

FAQ

Is Cappadocia known for wine?

Due to the characteristics of its terrain, Cappadocia is regarded as a place that is incredibly conducive to the production of high-quality grapes. Because of this, it is not unexpected that when people think of Cappadocia, they think of delicious, premium wines.

Where can I drink wine in Cappadocia?

Some of the best wineries & vineyards in Cappadocia: Turasan Winery, Kocabag Winery, and Mahzen Sarap Evi - free wine tasting with Cappadocia Travel Pass®

Is Turkish wine good?

Yes, especially wines from the Cappadocia region is unique, bold, and delicious.

What is the wine capital of Turkey?

Cappadocia is the wine capital of Turkey, don’t forget to taste local wines during your visit.

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