Turkey has a long history of wine production dating back millennia before Greek and Roman civilizations incorporated wine in their culture making it popular among people. The wine industry in turkey started getting recognition just recently, it has grown to be honored internationally receiving awards and praises around the world. Many are unaware that Turkey is one of the biggest grape producers in the world; however, the majority is grown for table consumption rather than winemaking. But that small percentage creates extraordinary, unique and flavorful wines. Turkey produces up to 1500 different indigenous types of grapes each with genetic differences and flavors, among the varieties there 30 outstanding grape types used for wine production. The top grape varieties widely used for Red wine production are Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Kalecik Karası.
Öküzgözü:is native to Eastern Anatolia with a total production of approximately 11,830 tons in Turkey. It is the largest grape variety, round in shape, black colored with multiple kernels that resembles a bull’s eye – that is what inspired the name which translates to “ox eye”. Öküzgözü has a relatively high acidity level, medium or low in alcohol about 12.5%. It gives wines a fruity, soft flavor easy to consume and a light shade of red color. The wines age very well because of its acidity. The grapes are best grown in hot-dry summers or cold winter times. Best soil for the grapes is light chalky clay soils or sandy clay soils. The grapes begin to ripen closer to the end of September and have a long vegetation period. The wine nicely compliments and matches a number of foods such as casseroles, eggplants, smoked dishes, grilled red meats or Hünkar Begendi which is a Turkish smoked or grilled eggplant puree similar to Humus or Lebanese Baba ghanoush.
Boğazkere: translates to “burns your throat” from Turkish because of its intense tannin, hence why it is often blended with Öküzgözü to reduce its ferocious bitter taste. It originated from Diyarbakır Province near the Tigris River in the southeastern region of Turkey. Its acidity level is mediumwith a dark blue hue or black in color with a bitter chocolate or raspberry aroma. It ages well for a period of 10 years. With a total production of 8,850 tons – these round, small to medium grapes with thick skins and complex flavors typically prefer hot/dry climates and sandy/clay soils that are usually the best for growing the grape, it’s also relatively resistant to droughts and ripens in mid-October. Foods such as saucy meats, kebabs, Barbecues, intensely flavored cheeses, or Tandirs (roasted lamb) match the wine perfectly, balancing out its intense flavor.
Kalecik Karası:is an award winning red grape famous for its unique taste and aroma typically grown at Kızılırmak river valley. The grape is round in shape, medium sized; blue/black color with thick skin similar to Bogazkere. Kalecik is a district of Ankara and a small village in Central Anatolia. The unique, prestigious wine has a vibrant rosy color similar to ruby stone with a rich cotton candy, red fruit, well balanced and long lasting vanilla and cocoa aroma. The wine has a crisp acidity and alcohol can reach up to 14% during hot weathers making the wines quite heavy. The weather in Ankara is typically hot/dry in summers and cold/snowy in winters but the Kızılırmak river – specifically the Kalecik area has a micro climate, a perfectly balanced climate to grow the grape. It begins to ripen in the second half of September. The wine is well matched with foods like Pastas, aged cheese, pizzas or meat with tomato sauces.
Seraser Fine Dining Restaurant located in the heart of Antalya; Kaleici is the most distinguished restaurant of Antalya –beloved by many for its unprecedented service, authenticity, unique setting that oozes with prestige and creates a luxurious atmosphere accompanied by its incredibly delicious food. Seraser is renowned for its impressive design and gorgeous décor that feature hand-crafted and comfortable furniture, sculptures, and stunning ornaments. Seraser offers outstanding and exquisite International and Turkishrecipes complimented effortlessly by red wines made of the famous Turkish Indigenous grapes Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Kalecik Karası that complete the dining experience.
The following is a list of the wines offered at Seraser and their tasting notes:
Kocabag LEO’s – Okuzgozu, Cabernet Sauvignon & Bogazkere
Succulent and fruity, with fine tannins and spicy red cherry fruit.
Leona– Shiraz & Okuzgozu
Aroma underlines peaches, white flowers, and grass resulting in a bouquet that is both fresh and deep. Tight bubbles burst with the ripeness of summer peaches and florals for a warm, albeit brief, finish.
Signium– Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Okuzgozu
Very dark crimson. Quite a bit of oak aroma on the nose, lots of acidity and a bit astringent.
Fresh damson (sour plum) fruit flavors. Some fine tannins on the dry finish.
Tatlisert – Okuzgozu
Bright ruby-colored with red fruit aromas of raspberries and cherries and as well as hints of mint.
Vourla – Cab Sauv, Merlot, Syrah & Bogazkere
Medium ruby in color offering lots of bramble, sweet spice and cedary notes while dried mulberry and olive aromas
Terra – Kalecik Karasi Roze
Good balance. Nice and dry. Slightly astringent finish, pretty simple but good balance.