Wines have played an important rôle in Turkey since times immemorial and Cappadocia was one of the first wine-producing areas. It was in Asia Minor around 2 000 BC durng the Hittite era that wine-producing really began seriously. The Hittites created wines classifications and began exporting wine to countries of the Assyrian and Sumerian empires. They named the wine-producing area of Anatolia: Wiyanawanda – which meant “the wine country”. With over 1,500,000 acres (6,100km²) planted under vine, Turkey is the world’s fourth-leading producer of grapes. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey’s first president, established the country’s first commercial winery in 1925. The majority of wines produced are white (beyaz), the rest are rosés (pembe) and red (kırmızı). Ürgüp is in the heart of the wine-producing region and hosts every year the International Wine Festival.
Turasan and Koçabağ wines
Kocabağ Wines is a family-owned wine producer and viticulture company located in Üçhisar district, Nevşehir. The firm has a storage in Gülşehir with an annual capacity of 300 thousands of litres. Mehmet Erdogan, the father of Hasan-Menduh Erdogan, established Kocabağ in 1972. His main purpose was to use the surplus of grapes available for producing wine. He hewed out a rock in his garden to build a cellar with a storage capacity of 150 thousands of litres. The company put its first bottle of wine on the market in 1986. Since then, they have gone from strength to strength developing their reputation for fine table wines. That reputation has led them to become one of the top five wineries in Turkey.
Established in 1943 by Hasan Turasan, schoolteacher at the primary school in Ürgüp, the Turasan Wine company is now managed by Hasan Turasan of the third generation. Turasan was a small vintner up until the 1990s, when the boom of the tourist industry hit Cappadocia and Turasan’s production continued to grow until it attained de 1 million litres in 2003. Turasan’s factory can be found in Ürgüp and the company owns vineyards throughout the region.
Grape varietals in Cappadocia
Stocking grapes in caves has a beneficial effect on quality of the wine, because the constant temperature (8 à 10°) improves the quality of the wines. You can find various different grape varietals in Cappadocia, the best-known are Kalecik Karası, Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, Narince and Emir.