Turkey is a well-known travel destination with its rich history and culture. However, it might come as a surprise to some travelers that Turkey has a fantastic wine sector. With a history of wine-making that dates back 7000 years, it’s no surprise that the wine-making industry has been steadily gaining recognition in recent years. Wine is grown throughout the country, with the majority of grapes coming from the region of Thrace near the Sea of Marmara as well as from the Aegean region. Vineyards and wineries, many of which feature tours, upscale dining, and wine tastings, are growing in popularity.
We have compiled a list of the top five wineries in Turkey. These five wineries were chosen because they all produce high-quality wines which will suit any palate. They are also located on stunning vineyards, and have beautiful tasting rooms that are well worth visiting.
Here are our top 5 Turkish winery recommendations:
Kuzubağ is located in the beautiful region of Denizli, between the two major cities of Antalya and Izmir, and about a 30 minute drive from the incredible hot springs of Pamukkale. It has one of the most modern tasting rooms in the region, as well as incredibly advanced wine making facilities. The owner, Mr. Salih, lives in Istanbul but was born in this region. Kuzubağ’s tasting room opened to the public in 2022, but they have been making wine for several years. It is an incredible winery to visit if you are looking for a top-notch tasting experience, as well as beautiful views and delicious wines.
Not only will you get to taste multiple locally grown wines, but you will be able to taste grapes that can't be found anywhere else. Some of these varietals include the Kalecik Karasi, the Cal Karasi (a native to the Cal region), Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah.
Urla Winery, like many wineries in the area, is an estate winery. It is located in the quaint seaside village of Urla (this is a must- visit town if you are on the Aegean coast!). They have a beautiful tasting room that overlooks their immaculate vineyards, as well as two beautiful hotel rooms located on the property. Their spacious tasting room is set up to accommodate groups of all sizes, and their service is top-notch.
The owner of Urla Winery, Mr. Can, has actually come across several grapes that have not been discovered anywhere else. One of the varietals, Beyazkere, was actually the product of an accidental mutation in which the Boğazkere grape ripened green instead of the usual red, producing a never before seen grape which they used in their Hypnose wine. The second unique grape, the Urla Karasi, is a previously unidentified red grape varietal that can only be found in the Urla region.
Located in the Denizli region, Lermonos is a stunning winery that focuses on producing high-quality wines. It is perched on a hill overlooking the Çal wine valley, which is similar in size to Napa Valley. Lermonos recently opened for tasting in the fall of 2022, where we were able to have the incredible experience of tasting some of their wines straight out of the barrels. Their expert winemaker
While they do focus on foreign grape varieties, some of their notable local grapes are the Çal Karasi (which is unique to the Çal/Denizli region), the Boğazkere and the Öküzgözü.
A beautiful estate winery set in the beautiful rural town of urla, Çakır is a must-visit destination if you enjoy good wine, delicious food, and a stunning view. This winery is a lovely work of architecture, with the collaboration of decades old stone walls and modern wooden beams creating a tastefully artistic space for drinking wine and eating a meal with friends.
The owners, Mrs. Sevinç and Mr. Erol Çakır, are key contributors to the renaissance of wine in the Urla region. Their family moved to the area in 2000 and started planting grapes, making their vineyards some of the oldest in the region. Their wines have won several awards over the years, and they have quite a wide range of options to taste.
This winery is one of the older ones in the Denizli region and is part of the Cal Vineyard Route (Cal Bag Yolu). It is a sister winery to Kuzubağ, and located about 10 minutes down the road. While they don’t have a modern tasting room as the wineries above do, they do have a lovely outdoor seating area where you can taste their wines as well as enjoy a spread of local cheeses and meats.
Some of the varietals that you can find here are Öküzgözü and Sauvignon Blanc. You will also have the unique opportunity to be able to taste red wines that haven’t seen any oak, and then be able to taste those exact reds that have sat in oak for 8-10 months. It is an experience that lends one to comprehend the incredible quality of the grapes in this region.