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Wine & Vineyard Tours in Turkey

Last Updated on September 8, 2022

The Turkish land of Asia minor has always been a prime wine-growing region. It is undoubtedly one of the lands where winemaking originated, and it boasts more than 600 grape varieties native to its soil. Within the many wine-growing regions, 7 main regions offer the best wine & vineyard tours in Turkey. Because of the diversity and size of Turkey’s vineyard regions, I recommend you consider joining a private wine tour to allow you the best opportunity, read why here.

Wine-Growing Regions of Turkey

The land of Turkey is a high plateau bound by seas on 3 sides (Black, Marmara, Aegean, & Mediterranean seas) with mountains and river valleys interspersed making for unbelievably diverse vineyards and wine-growing climates.

Prime vineyard regions for making Turkish wines include the coasts of the Sea of Marmara, (Thrace), the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, and the eastern provinces of Elazığ and Diyarbakır.

 This terroir gives rise to 17 distinct wine-growing regions: Thrace, Canakkale Peninsula, Bozcaada and Aegean Islands, North Aegean Hinterlands, Urla Peninsula, Western Meander River Valley, Bodrum hills, Datca Peninsula, Eastern Meander River Valley, Cal Valley, Antalya/Elmali Highlands, Eastern Mediterranean coast, Southeast, Elazig region, Cappadocia, Tokat, and Ankara region. These areas don’t always have distinct demarkations, but the geography, weather, access, and characteristics vary enough to distinguish each one. 

Wine Tours

Within all 17 regions, Wine & Vineyard Tours tend to group into 7 primary Vineyard Tour regions. The regions are followed by going in a counterclockwise direction starting at Istanbul and following the Sea of Marmara coast westward, before going south along the Aegean coast and then East along the Mediterranean coast before closing the loop from the Southeast of Turkey through the Anatolian plain. The 7 Regions are Thrace, Urla, Bodrum, Denizli, Antalya, Southeast Turkey, and Cappadocia.

Each of the 6 regions has distinct grape varieties and recommended wineries and wines. We can help you figure out which regions are accessible and who to work with on your tour of Turkey - as day trips are possible from all of the main touristic regions. 

Here are the 7 regions of Turkey wine tasting and vineyard tours:

Istanbul Wine Tours & Tastings

Sojourn Turkey Custom Travel, a TurkeyTravelPlanner.com partner, offers day trips and multiple-day Turkey wine tasting and vineyard tours, as well as private and small-group tastings. 

While no wineries per se are located in Istanbul there are a number of restaurants and wine shops where you can buy and try local wines. There are none located in the main tourist district of Sultanahmet, but you can find them clustered in the Galata / Istiklal areas in the district of Beyoğlu.

Here’s a few to look for: Beyoğlu Şaraphanesi, FOXY Karakoy and FOXY Nisantasi, Sensus Wine Boutique, Pano Wine Bar. Most of these have lots of excellent Turkish wine on offer, though no traditional tastings.

Thrace Wine Tours & Tastings

Sojourn Turkey Custom Travel, a TurkeyTravelPlanner.com partner, offers day trips and multiple-day Turkey wine tasting and vineyard tours, as well as private and small-group tastings. 

Being the closest true wine region to Istanbul, this was the first and most developed route near Tekirdağ, 145 km (90 miles, 2 hours) west of Istanbul. The wineries along this route include some with hotels (Arcadia, Barbare, Caeli, Bengodi, Vino Dessera) and range from those on the Standja Massif (the southern end of the Balkan plains) to those along the hills rising up from the Marmara Sea to the windswept Çanakkale Peninsula. 

The closest locations are 1.5 hours away and some of Turkey’s most distinguished winemakers are here (Camlija, Gurbuz, Chateau Nuzun), but some of those located near Eceabat are almost 3 hours, so an easy 2-day trip but not close enough for day tours.  I recommend 2-3 days as the hotels and vineyards are magical early in the morning and at sunset. The restaurants (of which all the tasting areas typically have) tend to be very, very good.

Other notable restaurants/ vineyards are Vino Dessera and Barel Bağevi.

Urla Wine Tours & Tastings

Urla is the windswept peninsula heading westward from Izmir and Izmir Airport towards Çeşme on the far west coast of Turkey. Urla is one of many old Greek villages that has remarkable white Aegean architecture and has been renewed by the nouveau riche of Izmir in the last 2 decades. The reason for its popularity is the vineyards and the Urla Wine Route (Urla Bağ Yolu) with 10 wineries within a 30-minute drive.

All of these do wine tastings and have food - and they can be packed on weekends, so best to visit earlier in the day and on weekends.  From east to west the Wineries are Arda, MMG, Limantepe, Urlice, USCA, Cakir, Hus, Urla, Mozaik, Ikidenizarasi, Perdix.

This region is a playground of wineries, restaurants, old towns, beaches and delightful viewpoints. I certainly recommend a few days to enjoy the slow-paced, slow food, slow wine culture that has grown up here. 

3 other wineries to note are Isabey (very near the Izmir Airport and worth a visit), LA Vineyards along the superhighway towards Ephesus - an amazing facility, restaurant and some unique wine varietals, and 7 Bilgeler in the hills above Ephesus (with some of the best-made wine in Turkey).

Bodrum Wine Tours & Tastings

This region being the furthers west and south is oft-visited by travellers and there are wineries well located near the highway from the airport to the city of Bodrum, there are additionally 2-3 wineries across the sea on the Datça peninsula accessible by a lovely 1-hour car ferry– a journey well worth making.

This region is the hottest and most extreme so grape varieties are bold and likened to Sicily and other warmer southern European countries. Vineyards, from north to south, are Mor Salkim, Karnas, Garova, & Bodrum Winery. The few located on Datça peninsula that are well worth a visit are Knidos Vineyard and Datça Vineyards. If you’re really adventurous, the Asarcık Vineyards are further afield - most often visited near Marmaris by yachters. 

Denizli / Meander Valley Wine Tours & Tastings

Most of the grapes grown in Turkey come from the verdant valley running east to west from ancient Colossi near Denizli all the way to ancient Miletus on the west coast. This is the Meander River (Büyük Menderes) - from which our word ‘meander’ rises - a lazy river that meanders slowly to the sea. The valley actually splits and heads north and south - but the wine region is found inland with warm summers and cold winters. 

These vineyards are located roughly close to Pamukkale. From the Yanık Ülke (Burnt Earth) vineyards in Kula to the kind Sobran Vineyards in ancient Philadelphia to the Cal Valley NE of Pamukkale with Lermonos, Kuzubağ, and Hanchalar. This is one of the oldest vineyard regions but only recently has added wine-tasting restaurants and facilities. 

Antalya Wine Tours & Tastings

As one of the most visited cities in the world - there are excellent restaurants in town where you can try local wine varieties (Seraser, Pia, Vanilla) but the treat here is to drive north to Elmalı to see the lovely Likya Vineyards set on a high plain 1.5 hours away. This is a unique and beautiful land. Organized tours can also arrange to visit a new, impressive upstart winery Sagavin, which produces wine nearer to Antalya, but in industrial facilities. Both of these wineries can be interspersed with amazing sites such as Termessos, Karain Cave, and other museum visits.

Cappadocia Wine Tours & Tastings

Turasan Winery has a sales shop with a wine-tasting bar at its bottling facility in Ürgüp in the Cappadocia region. It’s open seven days a week for tastings and purchases.

Kocabağ is one of the gems - a local family business that succeeded at making excellent wines and has now become quite large. They have 2 wine tasting locations near Uçhisar and have some of the best Boğazkere/Öküzgözü grapes and wines.

Also, if you stay at the Argos Winery - they work with one of Turkey’s largest wineries to produce their own series of wines and have an amazing mahzen (wine cellar) and wine tasting room cut into their rock caves.  Certainly worth a visit if you are their guest. 

How to Tour

We’ve written a brief guide on how to visit Turkish wineries here

If you need help, Sojourn Turkey Custom Travel, a TurkeyTravelPlanner.com partner, offers day trips and multiple-day Turkey wine tasting and vineyard tours, as well as private and small-group tastings.

—by Christopher Vannoy, TTP Wine Expert

Connect

If you want to learn more about wines in Turkey, consider booking a wine tour. I have also written a guide to help you choose a guided vs. a self-guided wine tour. 

To find out more about the wine above, check out my over 300 recommendations at https://www.vivino.com/users/chris.vannoy/wines.

Visit my site: https://www.turkish-wine.com/  

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/turkish_wine_guide/

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