A family concern
Arcadia Vineyards was founded by father and daughter Ozcan and Zeynep Arca over ten years ago. Ozcan (who has a Masters from Lancaster University) worked in engineering before founding one of Turkey’s most successful businesses in luxury tourism. Zeynep studied International Relations in Paris. They share a passion for travel, wine, gastronomy and culture. Ozcan was a producer at the renowned Dostlar Theatre Company in Istanbul, and Zeynep worked as a producer for documentaries and music videos before joining her father in the family business. She also worked numerous wine harvests in France, New Zealand, Spain and the USA.
Small and beautiful
Barbare is a boutique producer of organic and biodynamic wines from international varieties. Can Topsakal fell in love with wine – and in particular Châteauneuf du Pape – as a young man while studying in France. In 2005, by now a successful entrepreneur in the shipping business, he realised a long-held dream to found a world-class boutique winery in Turkey, and Barbare was born.
This small and beautiful wine estate is on the island of Avşa, in the Marmara Sea. Büyülübag was founded by Alp Törüner in 2004, and is a triumph of sustainable design. The 4-story winery operates by ultra-gentle gravity flow. Harvested grapes are received, sorted and crushed on what is effectively the 3rd story, falling into the fermentation tanks on the floor below. The barrel cellar is below sea level, and is thereby naturally insulated. The 4th floor? A lovely restaurant and terrace of course, with delicious views of the sea and mainland beyond.
Diren is one of the most established and respected of Turkish wineries. Diren was founded in 1958 in Tokat, in north-central Turkey.
This mountainous region towards the north of Anatolia has been at the heart of Turkish grape growing and winemaking for centuries. Tokat itself is a richly historic and beautiful city. It is the home of Narince, one of Turkey’s most popular quality white grapes. Tokat’s ancient terraced vineyards were established by Christian Jesuits in the 1800s.
Diren was founded by Mustafa Vasfi Diren in the 1950s, an inspirational figure who was passionate about the viticultural heritage and potential for Turkey, and especially for Anatolia. By all accounts a visionary figure, he created a successful and award-winning winery within a decade. He secured its future by sending his son, Orhan, to study viticulture at Dijon in Burgundy. (Then, as now, a global centre for winemaking excellence.)
Doluca combine scale with quality. Founded in the 1920s, Doluca is one of the most highly regarded producers of Turkey. The company is still family owned, and is run today by Sibel and Ali Kutman, the grandchildren of the original founder. Doluca’s ‘Sarafin’ brand has been hugely influential in showcasing the quality potential of Turkish vineyards through varietal wines such as Sauvignon Blanc. Doluca’s other brands include Tugra, which features indigenous Turkish grapes, as well as blends that brilliantly combine natives such as Oküzgozü with well-knowns such as Shiraz.
Pamukkale was founded in 1962 in the Aegean region of Denizli, in the famous wine town of Güney. The inland Güney plateau is over 800 metres above sea level and has a climate very similar to that of the Napa Valley, or the Rhône. The soils are rich in limestone. This is one of the most established vineyard areas of Turkey, with many plots owned and farmed by individuals. From the 1960s, Pamukkale initiated a program to train and support the local vineyard owners in developing their viticultural expertise, and improving grape quality. Pamukkale is now one of the most successful exporting wineries of Turkey: over 20% of their production is exported to Europe, and in the UK Pamukkale wines are available from both Waitrose and Marks and Spencer. Their range includes both native and international varieties, and highly successful blends that combine well-known varieties such as Merlot and Shiraz with Turkish specialities such as Kalecik Karasi and Boğazkere.
Paşaeli is a family owned estate that was founded by Seyit Karagözoğlu in 2000. Recognizing the potential of Kaynaklar (near Izmir) as an area of exceptional viticultural promise, and with the help of an Italian based friend and consultant Andrea Paoletti, he took on the challenge.