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03.31.2006

The Turkish Wine Frontier

I'm always interested in new and emerging winemaking regions, especially when they are places that have historically (and I mean mostly ancient history) been well known wine producing regions. Such is certainly the case for Turkey, which produced a lot of wine in centuries past as part of the Holy Roman Empire and later regimes.

In addition to this history, Turkey has the interesting distinction, like Egypt and Lebanon, of being a wine producing country whose dominant (but not sole) religion forbids alcohol.

Yet, as I was very interested to learn from this news article, Turkey has a growing and enthusiastic wine industry.

Unfortunately it is also hampered by fairly stiff taxes which have, in turn, given rise to a black market in wine. This doesn't seem to be dampening the spirits of those who have made the investment of time and energy in their vines, however. Long-lived vines, as well as the determination of their caretakers, have survived unfriendly fiscal policies elsewhere in the world. There's no reason to believe that in time, Turkey's wine culture won't be able to flourish and grow.

Read the full story. And if anyone knows where I can try some Turkish wine, let me know !

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