Çarşamba, 7 Aralık 2022
Çarşamba, Aralık 7, 2022
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Grapest Hits
Tipsy Guide
News from the Vineyard
Last Sip

🍷 Tipsy Island Guide

Festive tables, thermic shocks.

Hello there!

This week we are going on a Bozcaada tour with a tipsy guide. The destination is festive tables. The glasses are lined up with Çavuş, Vasilaki, Kuntra, Karalahna! Glass in hand, physical-chemical changes on the palate, we wander around the island. We travel a little in time, a little in space. Then the wind starts to blow hard and we find ourselves in the vineyards. We are neither at sea nor on land, says Reşit Soley, and we chat about the microclimate of Bozcaada. Let's start if you're ready!

Attention! This post is about wine, a fermented grape juice from alcoholic beverages. For readers under 18, non-fermented grape juice may be more suitable.



Grapest Hits

A glass of Vasilaki, a little breeze! I'm sharing a list of breezy songs. This week on Grapest Hits, we have Vasilaki from the island grapes. The acidity is low, but the wind is so fresh and refreshing. Full-bodied, long finish, lasting on the palate. I want it to be a catchy list. I want it to play calmly and end on a swing. Like Vasilaki.

The playlist

Tipsy Guide

🍷 Tipsy Island Guide

Let's start with a little island tour. The destination is festive tables.

It's not enough to wander around the vineyards, the glasses should be full too.

Let's start with a wine tasting, because I can't think of a better way to feel that we've arrived on the island. I know you've already seen the logo of Çiçek Patisserie or bought Anna almond cookies from Veli Efendi. But the wine will challenge your olfactory memory and take you around the island in one breath. Stop by Corvus Wine&Bite. Let's set the glasses, Çavuş, Vasilaki, Kuntra... Pairings with a few slices of cheese, physical-chemical changes on the palate. Who says cheese and white wine don't match? If you get sea on the nose and lemon on the palate, we can continue.

It's cold but you get used to it.

If we sipped Vasilaki at the tasting, it's time for the sea. The water is cold, everyone knows that. At Vahit'in Yeri or Koreli on Ayazma Beach, you can switch from grapes to barley to drink beer; the table can be filled with fries. I don't know whether you'll swim in Ayazma, go to Habbele, or say "I can't miss Akvaryum Bay!" But the water is cold, I know that. You can chill your white wine in it, it's that cold.

Not without a corkscrew.

With all due respect, I didn't go to the sunset in Polente on this Bozcaada trip, but if you do, don't forget to bring your corkscrew. If you ask me what island wine to bring, I would say Ayapetro Early Harvest Vasilaki, Ayapetro Red to White, Corvus Zeleia Vasikali, Corvus Teneia Çavuş or Çamlıbağ Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. Because these were the bottles I brought with me to the city. I also winked at your burning question "Which wines should I buy?"

Tasting, tasting, tasting. 

We are at Amadeus, sitting on the bar stools of Mozart Cafe and chatting with Oliver. There is Amadei grape in the glasses, it migrated here from Austria. Mozart, Amadeus, Amadei, Oliver; which country am I in? We leave the citrus behind and move on to the next glass. The next bottle says Blushhhh, then silence. Then the conversation gets going, the glasses get bigger, the laughter gets louder. I would say, join the tasting at Amadeus, chat with Oliver and laugh a lot, you won't regret it. 

A fine dinner

The wind blows and takes us to the Amerikan Çeşme part of the island. We are at Maya. A huge wooden door opens and the owners Selçuk Aykan and Evrim Aykan welcome you. This really is a vineyard house and they live there. So, you're actually going into someone’s house, not a restaurant. Mars and Zeyna, who come running from behind, also say "Hello". You're in the vineyards, table wine on the table. Homemade cheeses and freshly baked bread followed by appetizers and meats. The wind is blowing carrying the smell of grapes. Don't come to the island without eating here and chatting with Selçuk Abi and Evrim (my primary school teacher).

Now we are traveling not in time but in space for an exquisite dinner and we are at Corvo. My humble suggestion is to go at sunset and sip a glass of Vasilaki before dinner. The castle is in front of you, the colors change from yellow to orange; the wind is blowing very lightly this time.

It's getting dark, food orders are being placed. Bubu says "Close your eyes and you're in New York!" and a steak arrives on a plate. As I said, we are traveling through the place. A bottle of Karalahna has been opened, or did a bottle of Corpus appear on the table saying that I am rewarding myself today? Anxiety? No. Joy? Very much so.

This is my tipsy island guide; maybe it will be a small path for you, or maybe it will make you want to go to the island. May you be tipsy and in high spirits. May the wind take you away.

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News from the Vineyard

Bozcaada's Microclimate

There is a story - natural for you, organic for me - behind the 3,000 years of viticulture in Bozcaada. Nature embraced us, the wind blew fertile. Until they came to the island, viticulture was practiced 5 kilometers away. A very important reason for the island's connection is its microclimate. But pay attention, I am not saying macroclimate, I am saying microclimate.

This information I am going to share consists of excerpts from my conversation with renowned owner of Corvus Vineyards Reşit Soley during my trip to Bozcaada. Let's say I transcribed his comments based on his 20 years of experience and observations. I was lucky that he shared them with me, and we will wander together through vineyards independent of time and place.

The wind is blowing now, and we are in Corvus.

Let's make an introduction with basic information. A microclimate is a narrow climate zone.

The island vineyards are green again

The island has an interesting microclimate. The basin is arid, with lots of sunshine and wind. The soil is not a very special soil; there is little organic matter, no clay to hold water, it’s sandy. It is steppe soil. When you add plenty of sun and wind to this steppe soil, it is almost impossible for a plant to grow. But Bozcaada is unexpectedly green. When you look at the other islands, there are small patches of greenery in their valleys. In Bozcaada, almost the whole island is green.

Thermal shock

How do these grapes grow?" I ask Mr. Soley.

"There are thermic movements between the sea and the land; the winds of the island are the gale and the lodos. The gale always brings us a certain coolness and humidity. Lodos brings drought. After the lodos, the vineyards are as if they have been beaten; in the gale, the vineyards become much more vigorous."

he begins to explain. At the beginning of July; after 21.00, dew starts on the island due to the hot-cold discrepancy between land and sea. And it continues until sunrise. Dew is one of the main causes of diseases in the vineyard; let's keep this in mind, I will get to the reason.

"In the past, there used to be gale at sunrise. Now the balance has been disrupted with global warming. At sunrise, the gale does not start. It starts at 09.00 in the morning. So for a long time, the sun is up and the dew is down; heat and humidity combine. This triggers diseases. This is why dew is one of the main causes of diseases in the vineyard."

Of course, in the 3-thousand-year history of the island, things were different. The dew would soak all the vegetation in the vineyard.

"When you used to go to the vineyards, you used to get soaked. All the vineyards would be soaked with dew and then dry with the first wind. Drying out means physically cooling down. Over the years, this drying caused a very serious thermal shock to the plants."

says Mr. Soley.

This thermal shock plays a leading role in the aromatic profile of the island grapes. "Why?" you ask, the difference in temperature between day and night is a very important factor for the development of grapes. Cold nights help the grapes retain their aromas and acidity during the ripening period. A vineyard where there is more temperature difference between day and night produces more aromatic and acidic wines (than a vineyard where there is less). In Bozcaada, the wind creates the thermal shock effect. The vineyards that are soaked with dew are dried by the wind; in other words, they cool down. Here is the thermal shock. Mr. Soley explains it like this:

"Here we could extract almost the same intensity of aromas and acidity as grapes from a vineyard at an altitude of about 500 meters. If you go to the opposite coast, there is no such effect."

The dark side of the microclimate; the hidden mildew

This is the main microclimate of the island, but this microclimate also brings the myceliosis. Mildew is a disease of the vineyard. You can recognize the disease by the spots on the leaves. It is a disease on the island, it is kept under control. But there is a latent mildew that you can't recognize, it comes during the flowering period. And this is not a mildew that you can detect during this period; it only affects the flower and cannot be recognized because it does not show itself at all. This is a serious problem. "There is a saying on the island," says Mr. Soley,

"'Çavuş shrugged it off.' Çavuş didn't shrug it off at all, the mildew got on its flower, and half of the flowers there perished. It is not possible to detect it visually. Because you can't see its effect on the leaves. There is no situation where you can see it and say, "I should spray it."

This is the dark side of microclimate. This is one of the reasons why Çavuş grapes cannot be sold from the island to Istanbul; the hidden mildew. The bunches are ugly, and when they are ugly, they cannot be sold.

"I think one of the main reasons for the economic collapse on the island is mild mildew."

says Mr. Soley. It's like a flower pot falling on your head, you never see it coming!

Things are difficult on the island, you see.


The microclimate on the island is limited to 40 square kilometers; 5 kilometers by 8 kilometers. And it has 3 sub-microclimates within itself. They differ due to their location on the island.

1- North coast of the island; Meadow.

The vineyards are open to the gale and completely sandy. The sand is a bit tricky. It is beneficial because of the drainage (think of it as water draining away), but on the other hand, it is harmful because the water drains away. I know it's confusing, it's hard to find a middle ground. For example, if there was a little more clay soil, it would retain some water.

2- South coast of the island; Ayana.

This is the area where Corvus has vineyards. There is sand and white clay, lime. These are important factors for white grapes. It's like being in a canal. It's in the nest of a canal on the axis of the wind. It works almost like a meadow effect, open to the gale.

3- The center of the island; Ova.

Çavuş, Vasilaki, Kuntra and Karalahna may stay in your mind like the place where they grew up. A flat area; the plain. They are local, you see.

There is a difference between the three in terms of productivity and vegetation. The ones in the south take a bit of a beating, the ones in the north get some moisture from the sea and are more vigorous. This is how the sub-microclimates of the island are differentiated by location.

The wind blows hard on the island, but I'm glad it does.

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Let's take a little journey, even if from a distance, let's take a look at the island streets. I am sharing a drawing from the island, just for the record.

This drawing and other drawings are by Ester, cheers Ester!

Last Sip

Don't forget to chill your white and cool your red. Here's to a festive table!



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Veraison is a wine publication that imagines the next sip while exploring the wine in its glass. I believe that wine is not only drunk on white-covered tables and I'm seeking a place on every table. In your inbox to draw sensory experience routes every week!