ROUTES OF WINE & HISTORY TOUR IN TURKEY
Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it.
Blending culinary & wine cultures of Turkey with historical and natural places of interest; this custom designed specialty tour is created for degustation lovers, gourmet, kitchen enthusiasts and those who think of themselves as one to experience an unforgettable journey with us!
Istanbul, Ankara, the Capital of Hittite Kingdom; Hattusa and Cappadocia are among the main sites that will be visited in this tastefully tailored tour by our experts.
In Istanbul, we will enjoy Byzantine and Ottoman days with culinary specialties of these two grand civilizations. We follow tastings and paths of Turkish Wines both in Istanbul and in Cappadocia while sampling Turkish classical and folk music. Among these activities, we do not miss the historic attractions and follow a very detailed schedule regarding the cultural visits.
The menus in the selected restaurants are prepared according to gourmet & local recipes, and all wines are chosen among the local ones produced with the regional grapes cultivated in these lands for thousands of years.
In Istanbul, we taste wines produced with the same grape varieties since the Byzantine times as well as those described by Homer in the Iliad.
More than 35 different specially selected wines will be tasted during this wine tour.
The purpose of this tour is to combine the culinary culture, wine, and history in Turkey. Together with all these activities, we do not miss historic places, and we follow a very detailed schedule in terms of cultural visits of not to be missed.
In all our restaurants, menus are prepared according to gourmet & local recipes. All wines are chosen among the local ones with the local wine grapes cultivated on these lands for thousands of years. In Istanbul, we taste wines made with grapes since Byzantine times as well as those described by Homer in Iliad. More than 35 different specially selected wines will be tasted during this tour.
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL & PRIVATE TRANSFER TO YOUR HOTEL IN ISTANBUL
You will be welcomed at the airport and privately transfer your hotel and check-in. Leisurely time on own and evening meeting with our Wine Expert for a short introduction and talk about details over the dinner.
DAY 2 - BYZANTINE DAY IN ISTANBUL
Our day starts with the discovery of Byzantine monuments. The Church of Pammakaristos (Fethiye Camii), The Aqueducts of Valens, Saint Sophia, and The Underground Cistern are among the Byzantine sites that we discover. The lunch will take place at a local restaurant located in the historical districts. The menu will be based on Byzantine recipes like; Tarhana (Traganos) soup, lamb cooked with spices as the main dish and Tavuk Gogsu (breast of chicken as dessert).
Wines at lunch will be those made with the grapes also known in Byzantine era. Kavaklidere Muscat (Dry white wine with moschatos/misket grape) Buyulubag Adakarasi (Dry red wine with Adakarası grape). In the afternoon our Byzantine exploration of the city will continue to the Church of Saint Savior in Chora which is also considered as one of the jewels of Byzantine art and architecture of the late period. We will then proceed to fortification walls of Constantinople built in 5th century by Theodosius 2nd.
Dinner will take place in an old Byzantine cistern and will be composed of Byzantine specialties.
Wines at dinner are those produced with the Byzantine grapes still cultivated today like Moschatos (misket) and Papazkarasi. Kavaklidere Sauvignon Blanc- Sultaniye (Dry white wine with the blend of French and Turkish grapes) Cankara Misket-Sultaniye (Dry white wine with Misket and Sultaniye grapes) Melen Papazkarasi (Dry red wine with papazkarasi grape) Overnight in our Istanbul hotel.
DAY 3 - OTTOMAN DAY
A full day reserved to Ottoman monuments. We will discover the buildings of the classical period, not only the mosques but also bazaars. We will start with the Blue Mosque and The Topkapı Palace where Ottoman sultans resided almost 400 years. After visiting the Mosque of Suleymaniye, we will take lunch at a local restaurant with typically Ottoman menu.
Wines at lunch: Cankara Misket (Dry white wine). Karasalkim Papazkarasi (Dry red wine with Papaskarasi grape) Doluca Moscato (Semi-dry white wine with Misket grape). In the afternoon we will stroll in Eminonu area. We will see the Rustempasa Mosque, taste Turkish coffee in a typical shop located at the position of the first coffee-shop established in Istanbul. We will taste some Pastirma at Namli, visit the Egyptian Bazaar and walk in the streets of Tahtakale, the center of the business activity both in old and present times.
Dinner will be served in a restaurant known for the traditional dishes. During the dinner, we will listen to Turkish classical music which takes its roots from Byzantine times and continued to be the court music during Ottoman Empire. At dinner, we will taste wines which come from Tenedos Island on North Aegean also mentioned by Homers in Iliad on Troy.
Wines at dinner: Corvus Tenea ( a dry white wine produced with Vasilaki grape) Corvus Aegea ( a dry red wine produced with Kuntra grape) Corvus Vinum (a dry red wine produced with Karalahna grape). Overnight at our Istanbul hotel.
DAY 4 - ISTANBUL – ANKARA - CORUM
We fly to Ankara early in the morning. Upon arrival at Esenboga Airport, we go to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara where we can make the best introduction to the history of wine in Turkey- a history which goes back to Early Bronze Age of 5000 years ago. We then drive to Kalecik town home of the famous local grape called Kalecik Karasi.
Wines at lunch: Kavaklidere Ancyra (Dry red produced with Kalecik Karasi local grape) Kavaklidere Kalecik Karasi (Dry red produced with Kalecik Karasi local grape) Chateau Kalecik Kalecik Karasi (Dry red produced with Kalecik Karasi local grape). We pass Kalecik town and proceed to Corum following the bed of Kizilirmak (Red River).
Wines at dinner: Kavaklidere Narince (Dry white produced with the local grape called Narince) Doluca Kav Narince (Dry white produced with the local grape called Narince) Diren Karmen (Dry red with Okuzgozu-Bogazkere grapes). Overnight in our Corum or Sungurlu Hotel.
DAY 5 - HATTUSHA – CAPPADOCIA
In the morning we depart to visit Hattusa, the capital of Hittite Kingdom which ruled in Anatolia between 1650 and 1200 B.C. The fortification walls, the gates, the temples. We then continue to Yazilikaya, the oldest open air temple of the world where we see the reliefs of Hittite gods. We have lunch near the ruins of Hattusa. We then depart in the direction of Cappadocia through Yozgat and Bogazliyan.
Upon arrival, we make our first tasting in Cappadocia on a terrace on a vineyard in Uchisar area with the local whites and roses.
DAY 6 - WINE ROUTES OF CAPPADOCIA
In the morning we start with a pleasant walking in Pancarlik Valley where we discover the natural color show. We visit little known the beautiful church of Pancarlik. In Urgup we will visit the cellar of Turasan Winery and taste wines of Turasan which is the leading company in the region established in 1943. We then proceed to Goreme Valley to visit the most beautiful rock carved churches in the area a UNESCO World Heritage site today. The lunch on the vineyard or in a local restaurant.
Wines at lunch: Turasan Cappadocia, Turasan Emir, Turasan Okuzgozu (dry red wine). Then we drive to the underground city of Derinkuyu; the largest underground city carved until 12 levels at a depth of 75 meters. In the afternoon we will visit the village of Sinasos which presents us the poetry on the stones with beautifully decorated facades of its 19th-century houses. We visit beautiful churches of Sinasos like Church of Constantine & Helena and Church of St. Basil. Overnight in our deluxe Cappadocia cave hotel.
We will also stroll the streets of the village which have the most beautiful examples of stone carving on the houses. Our day will end with a tasting of sparkling wines of the region produced with Emir grape. Wines to taste at Cappadocian Sunset: Kavaklidere Lal (Rose produced with Calkarasi Grape)
Wines at dinner: Turasan Emir-Narince (Dry white produced with the blend of two grape varieties) Turasan Bogazkere (Dry red produced with Bogazkere grape of Eastern Turkey) Turasan Seneler (Dry red produced by combining Okuzgozu and Bogazkere grape varieties of eastern Turkey) Overnight in our Deluxe Cappadocia Cave Hotel.
DAY 7 - WINE ROUTES OF CAPPADOCIA
We depart in the morning to go to discover ‘Kizilcukur’ (Red Valley) which is a beautiful valley with its win yards and rock churches, especially ‘the church with grapes.' Kizilcukur is a nearly 6km long valley which extends from Ortahisar area to Cavusin abandoned village. It takes its name from the color of its rocks. On our way to Cavusin we walk through the small vineyards where local grapes like Dimrit, Kara uzum, Razaki are grown. Almost in the middle of the valley, we can also visit one of the most beautiful, but little is known about these rock churches.
The church with columns” Our walk ends at Cavusin village where we deserve a short visit. Lunch is in a vineyard or at a local restaurant depending on the weather conditions. The menu is typical of Cappadocian cuisine, based on aborigines cooked in a clay pot and cracked wheat. The wines to be tasted at lunch are red and white table wines.
Wines at lunch: Kocabag Emir (Dry white produced with Emir grape) Kocabag Kapadokya (Dry red produced with local grapes). We then continue to the North-west along the valley of Kizilirmak (Red River) which is the longest river in Turkey, to the region of Gulsehir where we visit the old rock monastery of Aciksaray and the beautiful rock church of St. John the Baptist. We extend towards the villages like Yesilyurt, Yuksekli and Karaburna to visit vineyards and production centers.
We then finish our day in Uchisar with the last tasting session of the day with top quality selections produced by Kocabag and Kavaklidere companies. The farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Wines at last tasting: Kavaklidere Emir-Sultaniye (Dry white produced with two mentioned grape varieties) Kavaklidere Altin Kopuk (sparkling wine produced with Emir grape)
Kocabag Okuzgozu (Dry red produced with Okuzgozu grape) Kocabag Bogazkere (Dry red produced with Bogazkere grape). Kavaklıdere Selection (Dry reproduced by blending Okuzgozu and Bogazkere grapes). Cappadocia was known as the oldest center in Turkey for the carpet making and pottery, a lecture on carpet weaving for / hrs. and demonstration of pottery making for 20 min. will be part of our activities and shopping on request. Overnight in our Deluxe Cappadocia Cave Hotel.
DAY 8 - PRIVATE TRANSFER TO AIRPORT FOR FLIGHT BACK HOME VIA ISTANBUL
IMPORTANT TO KNOW
- While above is a sample itinerary, our Wine themed tours are varied from one day to fourteen with similar aspects but with different locations and other places of interest. Hotels can be organized to suit your group needs from 4 stars to Deluxe or Top Luxury where available.
- Up to one-third of wines can be replaced by similar samples in case of unavailability of programmed ones.
- Maximum number of participants are 12 persons and participants must be over 18 years old
- Cultural and oenology guiding service will be provided our expert English-speaking Guide who is also a wine history researcher & writer.
Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.