Acikara, an Antalya grape

Those of you who knows me know how much I love Antlaya. I even took the table away from a guest because he called Antalya the vacation place of the commoners. Jokes aside, “Antalya is the greatest place on earth”, regardless whether you believe Atatürk or not…

Elmalı is one of the districts of Antalya. As the name suggests, it is famous for apples but I remember it for the grape molasses festival. I had the chance to go to this festival when I was little but I always thought that it resambled the vine harvest festivals. When I look back at things, I think molasses might have just replaced vine due to the current social political change in the region. Anyways…

Elmalı was home to old civilisations. The region was home to antic Lycia town and Khoma and others. Vinery was an old trade there. Unfortunately, it is almost completely forgotten now. Along with the trade forgotteni most of the grapes and coupages are also forgotten.

Likya Vinery has taken a long way in reviving this tradition. They have asked the locals to inform them about the local grapes, which may be the longlost coupages of the region. A shepard led the company to the hil of the nearby mountain, directly to a small wild grapevine. They took small pieces from the grapevine. It turned out that this vine was Acikara. First recolte came out 2012 and the longlost copage has made a return.

My father told me this story many years after I grew out of my bedtime story years (at least according to usual standards). It was many years after I left my city, Antalya, behind that I discovered this one more speciality belonging to my beloved city. I waited a long time before I tasted the single bottle I had brought to France. That single bottle honored today, 9th anniversary of our wedding.

As the name, (roughly translated bitter dark, meaning very dark, very black), it has a very dark color in the glass. The taste is not bitter at all though. The smell is like mulberries, sour cherries. The taste is again like red fruits and a bit of vanilla. Don’t get me wrong it’s not sweet. It’s easy to drink, very smooth and flavourful. I will be following this wine, and I will be ordering to everyone coming from Turkey. It will be one og the regular wines in our home.

By the way, my father asked to buy many bottles when he tasted and the producer, his friend, told him not to (!) buy that many. I need to precise this: we are talking about a producer who doesn’t sell more wine in order to promote the grape! The customer is not buying because he likes the seller! I seriously wish this wine, and grape, finds its rightful place in the markets with a large production so that we can reach as much bottle as we want!

If you are interested here is an article (Turkish) about this in Birgun newspaper. Also I found this wine (2014) in this website in France, for those who are curious. (I just checked they say they have the the last bottles left, not my fault! I ordered only 4!)

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