Cheers! Following the Thracian Wine Route
If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll already know that Turkey is a favourite destination of mine. So when Go Turkey and Thrace's Development Agency invited me over to explore the region, you can guess I was pretty excited - and that was before I knew there was a wine route. Yep, it's as good as it sounds!
The Thrace region is a perfect blend of mountains, forests and plains surrounded by three very different seas, which gives the wine produced here a very unique taste. Discovering Thrace via the Wine Route is the perfect way of sipping your way through some truly stunning landscapes, culture, and local life.
An excellent option from April (bud break) til October (end of harvest), the route can take you from the beaches of Surla and Gali in the South to the Anatolian terrains of the Dessera vineyards. There's no one way of experiencing the Route - the wine connoisseurs will want to travel from one end to the other for some serious tasting work, while others will want to pick and choose their favourite vineyards or areas. Both are perfectly fine and very enjoyable - you can't go wrong in this region!
Sadly, we had limited time and could not go through the whole route, but we kicked off things by sampling breakfast at the Barbare Vineyards, a compact but beautiful complex overlooking the Sea of Marmara. The vineyard produces very unique wines, partly thanks to the good fertile soil, but mainly due to the high level of diligence exercised during the whole grape-to-wine process.
As a tree-hugging environmentalist, what impressed me the most is their determination to give back to the soil what they have taken, that is to farm sustainably and organically. Everything that is consumed in the complex, which includes a cosy boutique hotel and restaurant, is a product of the land. We got the chance to try this out for breakfast, and the whole affair was simply incredible. Golden honey, fruit jams and warm toast, fresh veggies and the legendary Turkish sucuk, everything tasted divine.
The views were just the cherry on the cake, as we had the best seats in the house!
Our next stop on the route was a completely different story - welcome to Arcadia Vineyards, a pioneer estate in the Kirklareli area of Thrace. Arcadia is an immense vineyard which produces a number of wines, but specializes in high quality whites and a heavenly dessert wine which I fell in love with (maybe a little too much).
Besides offering visitors a tour of the estate and the cellars, Arcadia also offers gastronomy tours and accommodation at their hotel, the Bakucha, which I'll be posting about later on this week - seriously, this hotel deserves a post of its own! Stay tuned, and let me know your take on the Thrace Wine Route! Until then, I'll be un-wine-ding with a healthy glass of Sauvignon Blanc!