Wine in Turkey

Wine production and drinking has not showed a regular progress in Turkey . Although the progress’ intensity varied significantly over the years, recently this has displayed a more regular and impressive results.

Turkey’s mild climate and fertile land makes it ideal for viniculture and the following wine production. This has attracted foreign investors, such as part of the consortium which bought Tekel, and other foreign investors (i.e. French) who started to buy land and set up their own wineries. In other cases some foreign wine companies interested in the regional varieties are buying either the grapes or the land as in the case of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere.

Although some of the wineries are owned by the government and administered by an institution called Tekel there are also some other wineries, albeit middle sized and low in production capacity, which are privately owned. In total, there are currently 44 registered wineries (companies) in Turkey. Recently Tekel was sold to a venture capital partnership (Nurol, Limak, Ozaltin, Tutsab) who were the highest bidders with USD $292 million (November 2003), and transferred to the group in February 2004. Opposition to the sale argued that it was wrong to sell an institution which proved to be profitable to the government in the long run. Furthermore, it was argued that it was undersold.

Before the above mentioned privatization Tekel was responsible for pricing the grape crop and determining the potential buyer. The question now asked by some interested parties is ‘how will the lower varieties of grapes be prized and marketed without Tekel’s control’. Although it is possible that a number of vineyard owners will be affected negatively by this situation in the short term, in the long term it will force them to cultivate new grape varieties and attempt to achieve an overall better quality. The feasibility of this development will depend on the extent of a governmental support in the form of low interest, long term loans and availability of new methods and inputs for the vineyard owners.

Wine Knowledge

Don’t know where to start with wine? In this two-part ‘primer’, Lionel Lau starts with some dos for beginners nearly every week someone asks me “How should I begin if I want to learn about wine?”, so I’ve put together a simple wine primer, a set of dos and don’ts for the budding wine lover. We start with the Do’s:

  • Do start with simple and inexpensive wines, and work your way up to powerhouse bottles. There’s no point in opening an expensive and complex Ch√Ęteau Lafite-Rothschild Bordeaux as your first red wine experience.
  • Do try a variety of wines. Trying everything is the only way to build your sensory memory and discover your own tastes. You’ll never make any progress with wine if you stick to the same Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, no matter how much you like them.
  • Do go with your instincts. There is no point in suffering through a wine that you really don’t like just because you have read that it’s supposed to be good. I’ve tasted plenty of expensive bottles that were not to my liking, and there are certain varietals that I’ve simply never warmed up to. Wine, like art, is subjective. As you become more experienced, your opinions will become more informed, but meanwhile, don’t hesitate to voice an opinion about a wine that you taste.
  • Do realize that the most important characteristic of a good wine is balance. A wine’s flavor can have many different elements – fruit, tannin, spice, oak, etc. The best wines have all these things in a complex harmony, and no one flavor overshadows the others. You want your wine to be like a smooth ensemble, not an assemblage of discordant divas, each vying for attention.

Wine in Chile

Ask any young wine-maker where he would most like to work outside his native country and the answer will always be Chile . Why? Because it is without doubt one of the world’s most dynamic wine economies. There are a clutch of Chilean producers – Tabali, Anakena, Los Vascos, Altaire and Errazuriz, to name but a few – that, in terms of quality and price, are light years ahead of the pack.

Take Anakena, in the Rapel valley. The first vines were only planted in 1999, and it didn’t have its first vintage until 2002. But Gonzalo Perez, the studious chief wine-maker, is typical of the new breed of Vigneron found in Chile – he is not afraid to experiment. Where else would you find a blend of Riesling, Viognier and Chardonnay? When I visited, he was talking about pinot noir, syrah and merlot – why not? In just three years, Perez is producing wine that demands attention.

What makes Chile so exciting is an anything-is-possible attitude. Like the skyscraper boom in early-20th-century New York , these wine-makers are constantly striving to outperform each other. A few years ago they were planting on the valley floors, to achieve maximum ripeness. Now there is a spate of plantings on higher ground, to achieve longer ripening – which produces wine with better acidity, more complexity and more minerality

One wine estate to track down is Tabali. Based in the Limari valley, north of Santiago and just a few miles from the Pacific, the region produces some frighteningly good wines . A cool sea breeze extends the grape-ripening process, resulting in wines that are incredibly subtle. The Chablis-like chardonnay turned out to be my favorite wine of the trip, while the pinot noir is simply extraordinary.

Wine

We simply enjoy the finished product — the crisp white tablecloths, elegant decor, groovy glasses and fabulous food. But building a restaurant from scratch is a long and complicated process with thousands of decisions to be made along the way, from choosing the right wine glasses to selecting the best spot for toilets and grease traps. The first thing to do is look for the site. But, before you do that, it’s important to work out where you sit in the market — we still wanted to create an up market, licensed experience but there’s only a small niche for that so we need to make sure we target it. Next step is to apply to council for permission to run a restaurant on their chosen sites. Filling out these application forms can cost up to $2000 and you can go through the whole process and pay all the money and someone objects and you get put on a waiting list.

Over the years, marketing researchers and practitioners have attempted to gain an understanding of the factors that influence consumers’ decisions to engage in purchase or consumption behaviour in order to prevent, promote or change these behaviours (Aarts et al., 1998). Central to the research of purchase and consumption behaviour is the study of attitudes, together with the beliefs that influence attitudes (Dodd and Gustafson, 1997). In the wine environment, an understanding of consumers’ attitudes and beliefs towards wine consumption will enable marketers to develop relevant and effective marketing and promotional strategies.

Wine consumption in Australia has remained static over the last twenty years at around 20 liters per capita. Over the same period of time, per capita beer consumption has declined from 120 liters to 95 liters while spirit consumption has remained relatively stable at around 1.2 liters (pure alcohol) per capita. Consumption statistics provide evidence of a shift amongst wine drinkers in Australia from bag-in-box (cask) to bottled wine, and from white wine to red wine. Some have attributed these changes to the greater consumer awareness of the health benefits of moderate wine consumption, particularly red wine (the so-called "French Paradox" effect). Others have suggested that these shifts are the result of wine’s complementarily with food or perhaps increasing consumer affluence (The Marketing Decade – Setting the Australian Wine Marketing Agenda 2000 to 2010, 2000). The aim of this current study is to investigate the reasons why consumers in fact choose wine over other alcoholic beverages, with a focus upon the beliefs held by consumers towards the behavior of wine drinking.