Nestled beneath the Victorian arches of London’s Bankside and a stone’s throw away from London Bridge, Vinopolis is London’s only self-guided wine, champagne and spirit experience. Opened in 1999, the facility offers tours and interactive areas where consumers can learn about the wine making process, how geography can affect vines, and a ‘Discovery Zone’ that directs them towards wines that they might prefer based on a taste preference questionnaire.

I was lucky to be invited to one of their unique wine tastings – a masterclass run by the Turkish Wine Alliance which offered the opportunity to sample some of Turkey’s finest wines. I have not been to that many wine tasting events, so this was somewhat one of my many ongoing ‘Continued Professional Developments’…
Okay, not quite in line with my actual professional work life, but I mean, who could possibly turn down a good glass of wine? Or ten…

Turkey has experienced a surge in their wine production and market in the last few decades, with the bigger names on the Turkish wine scene now joined by a variety of exciting new boutique producers. 

This tailored masterclass was hosted by Sarah Abbott, Master of Wine, who quoted,
“People love these wines when they taste them. The flavour profile of modern Turkish wines is hugely appealing to UK consumers. They have bright, pure fruit and lovely juicy freshness. If you like wines from Southern France, USA, Australia or Italy, you’ll enjoy these wines.”

We were given a brief introduction to Turkish wines and the different regions, as well as a crash course on how to taste wine and distinguishing the colours, aroma, and palate. Sarah was lovely and enthusiastic, and her passion for Turkish wine really showed – she used simple and non-pretentious words and explanations which definitely suited an amateur wine lover like myself.

On this masterclass, we were transported to the exotic flavours of Turkey, tasting 10 different wines, which included vino favourites Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, as well as some indigenous discoveries such as Narince and Kalecik Karasi.

The producers present at the event included: Arcadia Vineyards, Barbare, Büyülübağ, Diren, Doluca, Kavaklidere, Karya, Kocabağ, Pamukkale and Vinkara.

My memory of the event is slightly hazy after all the good wine, but I remember one of our favourites that we enjoyed was the Vinkara Doruk Narince 2013.

We were also sat at the same table as the lovely Mr Alp Törüner whose vineyard produced the fruity and aromatic Büyülübağ Cabernet Sauvignon – of which he gave us an extra top up of later on, of course…

The array of Turkish wines was accompanied by a selection of Turkish olives and cheese. 


Turkish wines are increasingly being stocked by well-known retailers including Marks and Spencer, Laithwaites and The Wine Society, and are a natural addition to the ultimate wine experience.

The Turkish Wine Alliance will run at Vinopolis from now until the end of 2015, when they close their doors after a successful 16 years.
Do check out their website where you can explore other packages and experiences to suit your tastes and preferences.

The Cheekster, signing out x



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