Turkey: Geography, climate, and grape varieties

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Owing to prolonged administrative neglect, the wine-growing regions of Turkey are not officially designated. Geographically, the country is divided into seven regions with a wide variety of climatic conditions.

The relatively wet coastal Black Sea region grows three-quarters of the world’s hazelnuts and good quality tea rather than grapevines. In the central Black Sea province of Tokat there is a tradition of grape growing based around the white variety Narince, well adapted to the cold winters and cool summers. Most vineyards lie at 400 m/1,300 ft elevation, around the course of Kelkit River, the longest tributary of the Yeşilırmak River. It makes rich, opulent wines, often oak aged. Diren, established in 1958, is the only winery based in the region.