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Wines of Turkey launch to UK market

Published:  28 February, 2011

The inaugural Discover the Roots - Wines of Turkey Conference and Tasting 2011, saw 250 wine trade and press attend the official launch of its wines to the UK market.

Organised by Wines of Turkey it was held at Vinopolis on Februray 24, with the opening address given by Turkish ambassador, H.E. Ahmet Unal Cevikoz.

Leading wine experts, Turkish winemakers, historians and DNA experts, including Dr. Patrick E. McGovern, Jancis Robinson OBE MW, Tim Atkin MW, Charles Metcalfe and Kevin Gould hosted seminars and masterclasses throughout the day.

The first keynote speech by Dr Patrick E. McGovern, discussed evidence for Turkey being the possible birthplace of wine and the Taurus mountains of eastern Turkey as being a real possibility of being the world centre of the Eurasian grape, where its greatest genetic diversity is found.

Representatives from Diageo were also in attendance after announcing its acquisition of Mey Icki Sanayi ve Ticaret AS, owners of Turkish Winery Kayra, for £1.3 billion.

Mr. Taner Ogutoglu, director of Wines of Turkey, said:"We are delighted with the success and launching of Turkish wines onto the global stage. Turkey is part of a region where wine-making has a very long history and where it possibly originated by at least 7000BC, so it is very apt that Turkish wines and Turkish native grapes are set to take their place among the greatest for the 21st century, as well as being such an important part of tourism since nearly 3 million British visited Turkey last year; indeed the synergies between wine and tourism will form a key part of our strategy for next year."

In her seminar, Financial Times wine critic Jancis Robinson OBE MW's made the point that more than any other wine-producing country Turkey has the right to, play the history card as their wines have a story to tell. She said: "Turkey's wine producers are fiercely ambitious about quality, open to what's going on elsewhere and with a huge ambition to export."