Turkish wine routes and vineyards in Turkey

We’re always saying how Turkey is a very complete destination, offering something for all tastes and budgets. And speaking of tastes, Turkish food is delicious; some of it even made it onto UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. But are you aware of the existence of Turkish wine routes? Following these routes will take you through a substantial part of the country, with scenic rides, plenty of lovely villages and cities, and dozens of fascinating ancient sites to visit. And in between, you get to stop at some boutique vineyards, or established and famous wineries to sample some of the finest Turkish wines. If you ask us, this is a great alternative way to explore Turkey.

Admiring The Vineyard From Under The Shaded Tree

Admiring The Vineyard From Under The Shaded Tree

Historical background of Turkish wine

You may not think of Turkey as a wine country, but you’re wrong. Winemaking on Anatolian soil dates back 7.000 years, and the Hittites used wine in offering rituals. Viticulture (or the art of making wine) was protected by Hittite law, and each vintage came with a holiday celebration. (We kind of like that!) After the Hittites, the Phrygians considered wine as an essential part of their diet and introduced it to the Greek colonists. By the 6th century BC, the wine export trade reached as far as France and Italy, which is how the Anatolian Misket grape gained fame as Muscat in Europe. After Islam became more dominant in the region, the wine production continued, reaching record levels during the second half of the 19th century. The First World War and the War of Independence in Turkey negatively affected production, especially in the Thrace and Aegean regions. With the increasing integration of the Turkish economy with global economies, and the ever-growing tourism sector, wine sales boomed in the late ’80s, and wineries started investing in meeting international standards. Nowadays, Turkish wine comes from a wide variety of grapes, both indigenous and international varieties.

A Turkish Wine Classic Grape, Öküzgözü

A Turkish Wine Classic Grape, Öküzgözü

Turkish wine regions & wine routes

Generally put, you can divide Turkey into three wine regions, each producing distinct character wines from different grapes. Each region has its wine route, perfect for vineyard hopping, and touring the country.

Turkish wine routes

Turkish wine routes © Wines of Turkey

Marmara or Thrace wine route

The Marmara wine route or Thrace wine route is the most popular Turkish wine route, with its vineyards delivering just under 15% of all Turkish wine. You’ll find the region has a variety of grapes such as Adakarası, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Gamay, Kalecik Karası, Merlot, Papazkarası, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Shiraz (Syrah), and Viognier. The Marmara region is renowned for its beneficial winemaking microclimates, including hot summers, mild winters, and a high humidity level. While you’re at it, why not visit the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, which is listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

Picture Perfect Vineyard Views

Picture Perfect Vineyard Views

Aegean wine route

The Aegean wine route takes you past the vineyards that are responsible for little over half of all Turkish wine production. You will enjoy the lovely and moderate Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters, and an almost endless selection of grapes: Alicante Bouchet, Boğazkere, Bornova Misketi, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Chardonnay, Çalkarası, Çavuş, Dimrit, Grenache, Kalecik Karası, Karalahna, Kuntra, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Narince, Öküzgözü, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz (Syrah), Sultaniye, Tempranillo, Vasilaki, and Viognier. If you venture out to beautiful Bozcaada, you’ll notice plenty of wineries stick to the tradition, using bush vines. Apart from delivering exceptional wines, this wine route is also home to more UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Troy, Ephesus, Aphrodisias, and Pamukkale & Hierapolis. And while it is called the Aegean wine route, its end-point is near Antalya, on the Mediterranean. 

Tasting Turkish Wine With The Landscape Reflected In Our Glasses

Tasting Turkish Wine With The Landscape Reflected In Our Glasses

Anatolian wine route

The Anatolian wine route is very stretched out. It takes you from Turkey’s capital Ankara, through Cappadocia, all the way up to Tokat, and then back down again until you reach Diyarbakır. This route goes past vineyards that enjoy either a continental or a terrestrial climate. As a result, they deal with big differences in temperature between day and night, and also between summer and winter. This diversity of climate and soil provides in an interesting variety of Turkish wines, mostly from indigenous grapes, as well as a unique landscape for you to explore. The Anatolian wines originating from the wider Cappadocia area are made from grapes such as Chardonnay, Dimrit, Emir, Kalecik Karası, Malbec, Narince, Öküzgözü, Sauvignon Blanc, and Tempranillo. Northern Anatolia delivers Boğazkere, Kalecik Karası, Öküzgözü, Shiraz (Syrah), while eastern Anatolia (Tokat, Malatya, and Elazığ) are known for Boğazkere, Narince, Öküzgözü. Diyarbakır is Boğazkere country. This route is just as exciting for wine aficionados as it is for nature and culture lovers. Cappadocia’s landscape is unparalleled, and again UNESCO World Heritage, as are the Diyarbakır Fortress & Hevsel Gardens cultural landscapes.

Merlot Grapes In Turkey

Merlot Grapes In Turkey

What to expect from a vineyard visit in Turkey?

You’ll find information on most of the vineyards and wineries along the wine routes on the Wines of Turkey website. And since the itineraries above are all set out, we thought it would be better to do what we often do, and venture off the beaten path. This means that we visited a vineyard that isn’t located along one of the featured wine routes. Call it a bonus. We chose Datça Vineyard & Winery to show you what a visit to a vineyard in Turkey could look like. It was also our location for all the photos in this post. We’ll answer a few questions you need to ask yourself when planning your vineyard visit.

Welcome To Datça Vineyard & Winery

Welcome To Datça Vineyard & Winery

Admiring The Oak Barrels At Datça Vineyard & Winery Through The Bespoke Door

Admiring The Oak Barrels At Datça Vineyard & Winery Through The Bespoke Door

When is the vineyard or winery open for visitors?
You don’t want to plan a Turkish wine route trip only to discover the vineyards you had hoped to visit, aren’t welcoming visitors at the time of your travels. In the case of Datça Vineyard & Winery, the answer to that question is easy: the vineyard is open all year round, from 9 am to 10 pm.
Do you need to book upfront?
Some wineries are not prepared for unexpected visitors and ask you to book upfront. Make sure to check before you travel to avoid disappointment.
Can you visit as an individual? Or do they only take (small) group bookings?
The relaxed vibe at Datça Vineyard & Winery allows to pop-in whenever you feel like it, regardless of how many people you are traveling with. Other wineries prefer to organize small group tours instead.
Is the wine produced on-site?
Depending on how far your interest in wine production reaches, you may want to inquire about where the production unit is located, and if it is open to visitors. At the winery we visited in Datça, no area was off-limits, so we got a glimpse of the whole process, from field to bottle.
Do you have the option to buy wine?
We’re pretty confident that this would be the case, but it’s always good to check if you want to be sure. Still, don’t forget there’s a limit on how much alcohol you can take home with you, so be selective.
Does the vineyard offer wine-tasting?
Can you try before you buy? Or do you have the option to participate in a real wine-tasting or food-pairing event? At Datça Vineyard & Winery, for example, you can try a wine, or order a choice of three different wines, the equivalent of a full glass. Sit down, and relax with a cheese platter while enjoying the view.
Tasting Turkish Wine Is Hard Work

Tasting Turkish Wine Is Hard Work

When is the best season to visit?
Remember that a vineyard’s appearance changes with the season. In winter, the vines have no leaves, but if you’re in it for the wine, you might not worry about the appearance at all. If you do like to see nature in full swing, anywhere between May-June and September-October is probably ideal. Please note that summer is hot in Turkey, and shade is hard to come by between the vines.
When is the harvest?
At Datça Vineyard & Winery, the harvest is usually the first half of August, though the Öküzgözü grapes were still waiting to be harvested. Other places plan their harvest at a different time, probably a little later in the season, depending on where they are located. At many vineyards, you have the option to participate in the harvest, a unique experience!
Is there accommodation available to spend the night?
When visiting a winery, you are likely to have some wine. If you’re self-driving, spending the night on-site can be a good option. Not all vineyards have accommodation, so it is best to check this before you travel and to make the necessary arrangements. The beautiful rooms at Datça Vineyard & Winery only opened in July 2019. The sea view rooms overlook the vineyard, and each has its own jacuzzi.
A Room With A View, And A Jacuzzi

A Room With A View, And A Jacuzzi

Turkish Wine Tasting With A View

Turkish Wine Tasting With A View

Datça Vineyard & Winery, like many other boutique vineyards, is a family-run business. The son of the owner described it as a retirement project that got out of hand. It is the kind of place that we love: small-scale, made with love, and full of personal touches.

Photo Op With An Old Tractor And A View Of The Vines

Photo Op With An Old Tractor And A View Of The Vines

Textbook Vineyard Views In Datça

Textbook Vineyard Views In Datça

Vineyard hopping is a scenic and delicious way to discover Turkish wines and the country that produced them. Check out the full list of the wineries along the featured wine routes or just enjoy the hospitality and views of the wineries outside of the routes. Whichever you choose, following Turkey’s wine routes, you are bound to have a great trip while getting a taste of the local produce.

Make sure to check out the tabs below to further prepare your vineyards in Turkey tour.

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Source: Wines of Turkey

You’ll find some reviews on TripAdvisor for wineries and vineyards in Turkey. But there are more reviews on individual places for you to check out. If you have any questions about wine routes in Turkey, send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Please note drinking and driving are not a good combination. The legal limit in Turkey is 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You must have guessed it already, we’re independent travelers. Joining groups for excursions or activities isn’t really our cup of tea. But we fully understand that not everyone is keen on exploring Turkey on their own. If you’re looking to do some wine-tasting with an organized tour, check out this wine-tasting excursion near Bodrum, or this vineyard visit in Cappadocia.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You can book the rooms at Datça Vineyard & Winery directly online or find more vineyard hotels here.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You’ll find some reviews on TripAdvisor for wineries and vineyards in Turkey. But there are more reviews on individual places for you to check out. If you have any questions about wine routes in Turkey, send us a message through our contact page, or join our closed Facebook group where other Turkey travelers and aficionados are ready and eager to help.

Please note drinking and driving are not a good combination. The legal limit in Turkey is 50mg alcohol per 100ml blood.

Turkey is a perfectly safe country to travel, except for these risks. Still, you should never travel without proper insurance. We love World Nomads’ travel insurance. We love their philosophy and their take on responsible travel, but also the fact that they cover popular activities in Turkey such as paragliding or balloon rides.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You must have guessed it already, we’re independent travelers. Joining groups for excursions or activities isn’t really our cup of tea. But we fully understand that not everyone is keen on exploring Turkey on their own. If you’re looking to do some wine-tasting with an organized tour, check out this wine-tasting excursion near Bodrum, or this vineyard visit in Cappadocia.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

You can book the rooms at Datça Vineyard & Winery directly online or find more vineyard hotels here.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

When searching for flights, we like to use Skyscanner. It’s easy to use, and reliable. Find the best flights to Turkey and domestic flights that will take you all around the country here.

Do you prefer some good old road tripping? Once you get used to the unconventional driving style in Turkey, you’ll love to hit the road. After all, it’s all about the journey, and you may expect some very scenic rides! Renting a car in Turkey is easy. If you’re looking for an established car rental company that allows pick-up and drop-off at different airports, check out Europcar. They have offices all over Turkey.

Clicking these links will take you to pages of places and products we love and we’ve tested. If you happen to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission from it, at no extra cost to you. So here’s a thank you for adding some coins to the tip-box! 😉

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If the only Turkish food you know is kebab, think again! Diversity rules when talking about food in Turkey. This list gives you a bite of Turkey!

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

JOIN THE TRIBE, FOLLOW US