The wines of Turkey have 11,000 years of history, and are the home to between 600-1200 indigenous varieties, though today less than 60 varietals are grown commercially. Turkish wines represent the oldest in the world in terms of winemaking.
Turkey’s unique geography bridging Europe and Asia, has not only been the cradle for civilizations in the world but also this geography represents a unique fauna with a biological diversity having 75% of the total number of plant species found in the whole of Europe.
With all these aspects; and over 517,000 hectares planted under vine, Turkey is the world's fifth-leading producer of grapes but only utilizing 3% of them in winemaking; being home to the Vitis Vinifera, oldest civilizations, widest cuisine and unique indigenous grape varieties, the wines of Turkey have a huge diversity.
According to the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine), the total wine production in Turkey for 2012 was 65 million liters of wine. Grape varieties include: Adakarasi, Alicante Bouchet, Boğazkere, Bornova Misketi, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Chardonnay, Cinsault, Çalkarasi, Çavuﬂ, Dimrit, Emir, Gamay, Grenache, Kalecik Karasi, Karalahna, Kuntra, Malbec, Merlot, Narince, Öküzgözü, Papazkarasi, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Sultaniye, Tempranillo, Vasilaki, Viognier.
The size and geography of Turkey accounts for the wide climatic variation of Turkey's wine regions. The wine regions of Thrace along the Sea of Marmara has a slight Mediterranean climate - and is responsible for nearly 40% of Turkey's wine production which also produces the most elegant and balanced wines in Turkey.
The sub region of Thrace, Kirklareli, is known for crisp white wines and fine reds. The wine regions along the Aegean coast, mostly near Izmir, account for 20% of the country's wine production, and have much more pronounced Mediterranean climates with mild winters and warm, dry summers.
The remaining portion of Turkey's wine production takes place in scattered areas throughout the Eastern and Central Anatolia regions. The region of Central Anatolia is the most climatically difficult region to produce wine, with most vineyards being located at altitudes near 1,250 meters above sea level. Winter frost is a serious viticultural hazard, with winter temperatures often dropping to -25°C. The vineyards of Eastern Anatolia around Elazığ, Malatya and Diyarbakır are located in the Euphrates valley, which is one of the world's oldest wine regions.