Vintage in Cappadocia is different

   Vintage activities take place between August and October every year throughout Turkey. Kavaklıdere winery has been organizing Kavaklıdere weekend vintage trips for wine enthusiasts who wish to take on a journey through the birth adventure of wine and enjoy vintage activities

   Grapes from the Cappadocia region are finally pleasing wine producers and locals as their a very long awaited fermentation process has finally ended with the opening of 2007 vintage season on Aug. 20. Vintage Events are scheduled between August and October throughout Turkey and one of the events is to be held in a 14-year-old Cappadocia vineyard owned by Kavaklıdere, Turkey’s oldest private wine producer.

  Those who wish to take on a journey through the world of grapes and wine production can visit Capadoccia Production Plant, Kavaklıdere’s third production plant after Ankara’s Akyurt and Manisa’s Kemaliye.

  Once the grapes have been picked, they are transported to the winery to be processed and gently pressed. The juice pumped into holding tanks is then chilled, and sediment from the fruit drops to the bottom of the tanks. The sediments are removed and wine is ready to be fermented with yeast. Fermentation is a slow process that takes 10-30 days. Within a few months, the liquid becomes raw wine and is put into oak barrels from France used for fermentation. After their fermentation and depending on the type, some will come to our tables as early as November, while others will take as long as next spring or even two to three years.

Cappadocia soil fit for growing wine grape:  

  Kavaklıdere owns a total vineyard area of 1,700 decares in the Yeşilyurt Village in the Cappadocia region where it produces good-quality dry wine from the region’s juicy, white Emir grapes. Emir grapes are used in “The Emir Sultaniye Special White” and “Çankaya” and in “Primeur White” which will be on the market in early November.

  This grape is also suitable for making sparkling wine and it is used for Kavaklıdere Altın Köpük (Kavaklıdere Golden Foam), Turkey’s first and only natural sparkling wine. In addition to the Emir grapes, four domestic and four foreign grapes are grown in the region, including Narince, Kalecik Karası, Öküzgözü, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo. 

  Levent Sağlamer, manager of the Kavaklıdere vineyard in Cappadocia, said that the wine grapes liked the cretaceous soil and the territory of Cappadocia region is rich. He also said the recent drought afflicting Turkey has partially affected the vineyards in the area. “We have irrigation facilities in our plant, but the grapes exposed most to the sun are burnt,” he said. “Unfortunately, there is nothing to be done for it. If the drought continues in central Anatolia, however, it can pose a serious threat for the viniculture in the long run.” 

  In the Cappadocia region, more fruitful and acid-concentrated grapes are grown due to the Kızılırmak River running through the area where the difference in temperature between day and night curture an ideal aromatic and acid-concentrated grape.

  Kavaklıdere has been participating in numerous international wine festivals and competitions, with more than 390 medals awarded. Eda Markalıoğlu, quality control chief in the Capadoccia Production Plant, said the taste of the domestic grapes is perceived as quite authentic and distinguished by wine lovers abroad.

Source of income for locals:

  The vintage activities also make a major contribution to the household economy of the locals of the region as nearby villagers are employed in vintage events. They are paid YTL 17 for their 12-hour days and though most don’t consume the wine themselves, they appreciate the opportunity the vineyard gives them to earn a living.


Winery with numbers:

  Kavaklıdere makes an investment of five million euros on viniculture annually and provides 8 percent of wine grapes used for production from their own wineyards. “The most important raw material in wine making is the grapes. In order to produce a good quality wine, you have to have a quality grape. So we decided to establish our own vineyards,” says Ali Başman, executive director of Kavaklıdere Wines.

  Kavaklıdere has wineyards in several regions of Turkey, including Cappadocia, Manisa, Elazığ, Kırşehir, Denizli and Ankara’s Akyurt, with an annual production of 18.5 million liters. The winery exports 20 percent of its total production to European Union countries, Japan and United States.

  Despite all the efforts by wine companies to make wine a part of Turkish culture, the per capita consumption of wine remains low compared to international consumption. “Wine culture is just being discovered in Turkey, “says Başman.

  “Per capita consumption of wine is 60 liters in France; 30 in Germany; 30 in the U.S. and 25 in Greece,” he said adding that wine was mostly consumed in Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara and tourist spots on the Mediterranean in Turkey. 

  The winery has also been organizing “Kavaklıdere Vintage Trips” every year and this year’s weekend tours include trips to Kavaklıdere’s vineyards and wine production plants. 


Fly over Cappadocia in the world’s largest hot air balloon

The world’s largest hot air balloon began serving tourists in Turkey’s Cappadocia region.

  The hot air balloon was manufactured in England for a Turkish hot air balloon tour company operating in the Cappadocia region. The balloon can hold 36 people and can fly as high as 2,000 meters.

   The hot air balloon, manufactured in England over a period of eight months, is the world’s largest hot air balloon. “The balloon tours in Cappadocia are mostly preferred by foreign tourists but now it is also popular with domestic tourists. We are trying to increase the number of our balloons in order to meet the intensive demand,” Halil Uluer, the owner of the balloon tour company told the Anatolia news agency.

   Thus they had the world’s largest hot air balloon made in England. “The largest hot air balloon in the world used to be in Egypt and carried a maximum of 30 people. Our balloon, however, can carry 36 people and started to serve tourists in Cappadocia, a region most famous for its chimney rocks,” he said.


Top bikers fascinated by Cappadocia tracks

21 July 2007

   The top mountain bike riders of the world were in Turkey for the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) Mountain Bike Cross Country Championship that was held at Nevsehir-Goreme.The championship ended with the participation of a total of 66 sportsmen from 23 countries, who were aged between 23-30 that raced over the weekend.Spaniard Jose Antonio won the Elite Men in the last day of the championship. Julien Absalon of France came on the 2nd place and Fredrik Kessiakoff of Switzerland was 3d place in the 23-30 age category in the last day of the championship. The spaniard champion expressed that he belives Nevsehir brought him luck, after beating worlds top ranked biker Absalon,

   Another biker, Hermida also found the time to praise Nevsehir, talking about the exciting racecourse and beautiful scenery where second runner Absalon agreed, saying that this was the race he enjoyed the most. Bronze medallist Kessiakoff was content to finish third on such a difficult track.International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid seemed happy about the organization of the event that was held in Turkey for the first time.
McQuaid said that the Cappadocia track is very suitable for mountain biking and Turkey may well be a contender for hosting a world championship in the future. Currently, the world championships are already scheduled until 2011.Cappadocia region’s unique scenery that comes from its geology. Cappadocia is largely underlain by sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams, and ignimbrite deposits erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately three to nine million years ago.

   The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries. Some may recognize the scenery – part of the Cranked film series was shot here along with the 2003 Adidas cycling wear catalogue.

Nevsehir governor says put Cappadocia among new seven wonders

  Nevsehir Governor Mehmet Asim Hacimustafaoglu called on the people to vote for Cappadocia, a Turkish tourist attraction famous with its chimney rocks, in the nominations for the New7Wonders of Nature. Releasing a statement, Hacimustafaoglu said that New7Wonders launched the nominations for the ‘New7Wonders of Nature’ on its website.
   “We want all citizens to nominate Cappadocia for the 7 wonders of nature. We are eager to see Cappadocia among new seven wonders of nature. Experts will create a list of 21 candidates from which voters worldwide will elect the 7 wonders of nature,” he stated.The nominations will continue through August 8th, 2008. People can make their nominations through the website .

Cappadocia seeking a place on the modern art map


“Everything has its time. The locals will first try to benefit from visitors, and then they will offer them what they have. Sometime later you’ll see artists mixing among the locals, being invited to their weddings.

The comments of the old folks of the town who were just out of a mosque during last year’s festival was worth seeing,” says Kaan Sarı, organizer of the second edition of a modern art festival in the central Anatolian tourist attraction of Cappadocia, famous for its natural rock formations. Sarı was one of the pioneers of the festival’s inaugural edition held last summer, organized by Urgup-based art initiative Fabrikartgroup.

Artwork to descend on the valleys of Cappadocia during this second festival, which kicked off July 10 and will run until July 17, will feature a wide variety of pieces, from sculptures to paintings, photographs to installations and short films to experimental music. Sarı, one of the minds behind the festival, says: “Art circles in Turkey do not only consist of İstanbul. Exhibitions in [city] centers unfortunately cannot go beyond [serving as] a venue built out of four walls for a few [artists]. We should give up self-assertiveness and mix in the public along with our paints and our chisels.” Now more than 70 artists from various countries are mixing among the public at the Second International Fabrikartgroup Art Festival.

This year’s lineup features artists from as far as the Netherlands and Japan in addition to their peers coming from around Turkey. Iranian artists who were already heading in the direction of the Venice Biennale didn’t even ask for travel expenses to be covered by the festival. The only restriction in the festival far from the pressures of galleries and curators is that the artwork to be showcased and/or created at the festival be contemporary.

One of the goals of Fabrikartgroup in launching this festival was to open a museum of modern art in Cappadocia. The municipality lends great support to the museum planned to be built in the Gibos Valley famous for its fairy chimneys. The group however is still in search of additional help. The museum, which will acquire new pieces for its collection when the artists participating in the festival donate works to its permanent collection, will showcase artwork in various media.

A total of 84 artists from different cities and countries came together for last year’s inaugural festival from July 24 through Aug. 5, 2006. The participants stayed in the area for 12 days and, apart from exhibitions, workshops in painting, sculpture and ceramics, experimental music sessions, performances and short film sessions were held. During this period both open-air and sheltered venues around the historic area were used. As a result of the festival the artwork left behind by many artists laid the foundation for the modern art museum to come.

Caravanning tourism in Cappadocia

Friday, July 6, 2007

NEVŞEHİR – Anatolia News Agency

   Caravanning recently experienced a surge in popularity in Cappadocia; one of Turkey’s spectacular historic and natural spots known for its signature fairy chimneys.

  The region hosts a number of caravanning and camping areas where domestic and international tourists may find anything that they might need. Stretching over an area of 7,000 square meters, the camping centers offer all kinds of comforts and facilities such as parking lots, pools, toilets, electricity, showers and running water. The prices per person range from five to 15 euros. Those who wish to enjoy tent camping can also pitch tent in the centers.

  According to Osman Baltacı, a caravan and camping center owner in Goreme, Cappadocia, tourists who traveled solo expressed great interest in caravanning.  International tourists stay from two to 15 days at these facilities while domestic tourists display little interest. Most of these foreign caravanning enthusiasts are from Germany, France, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy.


Sarica Church – One of Many

6 june 2007
There are over 400 churches and chapels in Cappadocia. One has been lovingly restored

   The award for Conservation of Architectural Heritage will be presented at the Europa Nostra Annual Congress this week to the Sarica Church in Cappadocia (Turkey), part of the Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia World Heritage site. Having suffered from severe surface erosion due to rainwater infiltration, cracks and flaking, this remarkable example of a rock-carved Byzantine church was rescued, restored and made accessible to visitors. The project principally involved the restoration of the wall paintings, the construction of a new drainage system and the replacement of the eroded rock of the facade with a covering of harder local tuff of similar colour.

Rock-carved church
A private company, Vasco Travel, restored the church in order to contribute to the sparse public money that the Turkish State invests in the Cappadocian heritage. The project began in 1997 and the restoration commenced in 2001. The project sponsored by Vasco Tourism Investment Industry and Trade Inc. and carried out by KA.BA Conservation of Historic Buildings and Architecture Ltd over seven years, makes the Sarica Church stand out as a rare example of a successfully restored and revitalised rock-carved church in Cappadocia, says Europa Nostra in its presentation of the award.  

In the promotional brochure Vasco Travel claims that the project has given the company much positive feedback not least in the aftermath of 9/11.