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kayrawinescom Ocak 12, 2016 Yorum Yapılmamış

FROM THE BIRTHPLACE OF WINE, ANATOLIA.

bagIt is well known today that wine production was born in Eastern Anatolia.

The first traces of viticulture and winemaking in Anatolia dates back nearly 7.000 years. The first historical record of winemaking in the region is found in the Nippur tablets, among the world’s oldest written documents, which date back to 3.800 B.C.

Hugh Johnson, one of the world’s leading wine authors, writes in his Wine Encyclopedia: “If the vineyards Noah planted on the slopes of Mount Ararat are indeed the first vineyards, then Turkey can rightly claim to be the birthplace of wine.”

Hittite (one of the oldest civilizations of Anatolia) findings from the 4th millennium B.C. also provide evidence that wine was enjoyed at the highest levels in Anatolian society at that time.

After the Hittites, the Phrygians introduced wine to Greek colonists on Anatolia’s western flank, and by 6th. Century B.C. wine was being exported as far as France and Italy. Aegean and Mediterranean coast and the Island of Rhodes were the leading wine trade centers at that period. Herodotus (484 – 425 B.C.), the father of history, a native Anatolian from Aegean coast, also mentions an extensive wine trade between Eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia along the Tigris River, in his well known work “The Histories”.

Wine was an essential part of daily life for many Anatolian civilizations during history. After the settlement of Turkish tribes and later during their governing dominance, wine production in Anatolia was carried out by native Anatolians and non-Muslim minorities…

How the tradition continued until today…

During the long period of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923), wine production and trade were carried out by non-Muslim minorities such as Greeks, Armenians, Syrians and others.

Ottoman period’s general atmosphere of tolerance was different from period to period. From time to time official prohibitions on the use and sale of alcohol were in act. The prohibitions were always short term,

The first traces of viticulture and winemaking in Anatolia dates back nearly 7.000 years. The first historical record of winemaking in the region is found in the Nippur tablets, among the world’s oldest written documents, which date back to 3.800 B.C.

Hugh Johnson, one of the world’s leading wine authors, writes in his Wine Encyclopedia: “If the vineyards Noah planted on the slopes of Mount Ararat are indeed the first vineyards, then Turkey can rightly claim to be the birthplace of wine.”

Hittite (one of the oldest civilizations of Anatolia) findings from the 4th millennium B.C. also provide evidence that wine was enjoyed at the highest levels in Anatolian society at that time.

After the Hittites, the Phrygians introduced wine to Greek colonists on Anatolia’s western flank, and by 6th. Century B.C. wine was being exported as far as France and Italy. Aegean and Mediterranean coast and the Island of Rhodes were the leading wine trade centers at that period. Herodotus (484 – 425 B.C.), the father of history, a native Anatolian from Aegean coast, also mentions an extensive wine trade between Eastern Anatolia and Mesopotamia along the Tigris River, in his well known work “The Histories”.

Wine was an essential part of daily life for many Anatolian civilizations during history. After the settlement of Turkish tribes and later during their governing dominance, wine production in Anatolia was carried out by native Anatolians and non-Muslim minorities…

How the tradition continued until today…

During the long period of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923), wine production and trade were carried out by non-Muslim minorities such as Greeks, Armenians, Syrians and others.

Ottoman period’s general atmosphere of tolerance was different from period to period. From time to time official prohibitions on the use and sale of alcohol were in act. The prohibitions were always short term, since the taxes collected from wine sales was an important source of income for Ottoman treasury. Even during the periods of prohibition, vineyards were never uprooted but grape production was simply diverted to other types of consumption. A ready supply of grapes enabled wine production to recover rapidly after each hiatus.

Alcohol prohibition ceased during the second half of 19th century, when European vineyards were being devastated by epidemic of phylloxera, reducing wine production dramatically in Europe. Ottoman Empire’s both wine production and export reached the highest level in that time in order to meet European demand (around 190 million liters).

From the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic

A dramatic decline in wine production occurred when World War I and the War of Independence began in 20th Century. Alcoholic beverages went under the control of government monopoly in 1927. The only exception was wine production which was done by minorities. By 1928 the government began to support wine producers with technical know-how and semi-financial support.

In the early 20th Century Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, charged two French experts, M.Bouffart and Marcel Biron, with reviving the region’s 6.000 – year legacy of wine making. During that time, they divided Anatolia into different wine regions and government monopoly started to operate 28 small size vineries. They blended in Eastern Anatolia’s Öküzgözü and Boğazkere, two indigenous red grape varieties, and this legendary blend was the origin of Buzbağ, which is one of the top selling wine in Turkey. To ensure that these two grapes would be transformed into wine in their own terroir by expert hands, the Elazığ Winery was established in 1942. Originally a tasting house, it was converted into a full-fledged winery as early as 1944.

Today, there are many small wine producers all around Turkey. The government monopoly was privatized in 2004. The production of wine is around 60 million liters per year (2012 figures). The focuses of producers have been increasing towards high quality and unique wines since 2000.

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