Şeyla ERGENEKON 
Considering the other books that I have previously reviewed on this page about wines, I tried to present different books which deal with the different aspects of the subject. While one of those books was highly technical, the other two were shedding light on wine culture via reciting information either from historical perspective or as a broad knowledge. I believe that contribution of this book to your toolbox is also worthy as it covers an area that is left unaddressed: Wine producers in Turkey and their brief history.
First of all, this is one of the rare works I have run across about Turkish wines which has written in English. Although there are books that dwell on Turkish grape varieties which can be classified under the category of vitis vinifera vinifera, this book goes beyond that line. In addition to covering these grape types by the regions that are most convenient to cultivate, the author also presents an analysis of Turkish wine industry at a glance. In the scope of the work, 35 local wine producers – ranging from boutique business to dominant market leaders – covered out of alleged 100 wine producers in Turkey. It can be said that the balance between these two parts handled delicately and transition is smooth. With regard to the other books that I have previously reviewed in this page about wines, I have tried to present different books which deal with the different aspects of the subject. While one of those books was highly technical, the other two were shedding light on wine culture via reciting information either from historical perspective or as a broad knowledge. I believe that contribution of this book to your toolbox is also worthy as it covers an area that is left unaddressed: Wine producers in Turkey and their brief history.
Secondly, I have to state that this is not a comprehensive resource to resort for Turkish grape types or wine producers in Turkey, but rather a guide and a good one. Because, despite the fact that the author is not a native English speaker language is still fluent as well as it is sophisticated. Besides, the texts have been supported with visual elements in abundance, and this decision served the purpose very well along with the high quality paper preference. On the other hand, you should keep in mind that this quality does not come for free. There are also advertisements of producers, wines and winery equipment along with the information presented. Sometimes this becomes irritating but once you look for what you need then it is fine and manageable.
Lastly, the author gives place to recommendations about the producers’ featured products with a brief description. I think this kind of suggestions could have been developed more than what is already written on the labels of the bottles. However, I still support the idea and appreciate the effort. Therefore, I claim that this is a book to be in your library in order to help your decisions’ to be more accurate in a way not to rely on only the grape type at your choice, but also to be aware of where and by whom it has been produced.
As a final mark, I would like to give a quotation in this regard and which is in contrast to the existing one. Although there is a similar saying in English and Croatian it does not have the same reference as it has in Turkish. So if you forgive me I will continue in vernacular.
“Üzümünü ye bağını sorma” sözü yerine “Bağını bilmediğin üzümü yeme” sözü bence bu bağlamda çok daha doğrudur.
(Eng. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth)
(Cro. Poklonjenom konju se ne gleda u zube)
Ergun UNUTMAZ, 27/05/2014
Few notes from the book are:
- The first traces of viticulture and wine-making in Anatolia dates back to 6.000 years ago.
- Today Turkey is among the world leaders in grape production. The country ranks fourth in area devoted to grape cultivation (with 600.000 hectares of vineyards) and fifth in grape production. Unfortunately only 3% of this huge output is used for wine production. With its annual yield of 70-80 million litres of wine production, Turkey accounts for only a quarter of a percent of global wine production.
- When it comes to wine consumption figures per annum – per capita it is not more than a litre in Turkey, while it is 54 lt in France, 35 lt in Spain and 30 lt in Greece.
Şeyla ERGENEKON, The Guide to Turkish Wines, (Edited by Sandy NEWTON), Emir Ofset, 2008, İstanbul.