aposto-logoCuma, 3 Şubat 2023
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Cuma, Şubat 3, 2023
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'Primeur' Wine

In Turkey, Kavaklıdere Wines keeps the Beaujolais Nouveau tradition alive in a very colourful way. Every year on the third Thursday of November, the celebration starts with 'Primeur' wine. As you can see, the place is different, the time is the same, the colours are the same.

We talked about the story of this tradition with Cevza BaşmanWe together, shared a table, I asked, she answered. The conversation will obviously be sweet; as you know, the week is fruity.

When, where and how did Primeur come to our glasses? 

The story starts with my grandfather Mehmet Başman. It was 1988, the first Primeur was released on the third Thursday of November. Since then, we have been continuing this tradition here.

◀️ One step back: Kavaklıdere has been in production since 1929. 

▶️ One step forward: Mehmet Başman started working at Kavaklıdere in 1987. 

⏩ One step forward: Primeur is produced for the first time in 1988. 

The turning point for Kavaklıdere is my grandfather's employment. We moved our production from the vineyards in the city centre of Ankara to the facility where we still produce today. And we started to work with the French eunologist Jacques Laffort. This situation offered us a lot of ideas and experience about what is being done in France in terms of winemaking. In fact, we stepped into a global vision with this period.

In 1988, my grandfather Mehmet Başman and Jacques Laffort brought the Beaujolais Nouveau tradition to Turkey.

Why did you want to continue this tradition in Turkey?

This tradition is a celebration. Celebrating with the first wine actually means celebrating the whole harvest, the labour and the labourers. Yes, this is a tradition that originated in the Beaujolais region in France, but it is also a celebration that we do here. We wanted to celebrate this wine tradition here with our local grapes.

Beaujolais Nouveau is only red and made from the Gamay grape. We produce both white and red wine; Primeur is made from white Sultaniye grapes and Primeur is made from red Öküzgözü grapes.

Why is it called 'Primeur'?

Primeur means 'first' in French. This wine is the first wine of the harvest, hence the name.

Here I would like to share Jacques Laffort's interpretation of Primeur; because he explained the name and the reputation of the wine very well: 

"Primeur wines are light, fresh, young and aromatic. Its freshness and fruit character are its main characteristic. It represents youth, vigour and joy. Instead of the depth of the mature age, it is characterised by the flightiness, vigour, charm and even sass of youth..."

The labels of these wines are as colourful and vibrant as the wine itself. Is there a reason for this choice? 

We preferred a colourful design like the wine itself. We wanted to involve young people in the creation process of this young wine and we started a trend in 2006. We decided to have students design the labels every year and organised a competition. We selected the Primeur labels of that year by evaluating the works of young designers with a jury committee consisting of valuable academicians from the most important universities of Turkey.

The participation was high and the process was a lot of fun, just like the wine itself. In the first competition in 2006, 1400 works of 182 competitors were evaluated. This continued until 2013. Due to legal changes, we were not able to organise this competition after 2013. Currently, on the label we write the expression 'This is the harvest produced in memory of Mehmet Başman and Sevgi Başman'. Since my grandfather was the first to bring this tradition to Turkey, we are actually sending greetings to him with every bottle. We experience the excitement of the first harvest, vintage and first wine with their memory.

What words other than 'first' come to your mind when I say Primeur? 

Passion, excitement and culture. 

I think Primeur is the excitement of a wine-lover.

Cevza says, and shows me a photo of the celebration they had with the whole team the day before our interview, when they tasted their first wines. It is impossible not to see the excitement and the passion in that photo.

With this wine we summarise the harvest; how was it, what kind of a year was it? We commemorate it, we talk about it. We are releasing this wine to give this story and celebration culture to wine-lovers. The first wine of the harvest, the very beginning of everything.

Cevza concludes. 

This wine and this process is a celebration. It is like this in Beaujolais, in Turkey, and in any country on the other side of the world. Commemorating the harvest, saluting labour, sharing passion and a beginning. 

The first wine of the harvest, right at the beginning.

A note from the editor: I have no connection with the winemaker, I do not aim for profit, advertisement or commercial purposes in the article. And as I stated at the beginning of each issue, I remind you that it is suitable for 18+ individuals to read.

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Related Keywords

grape

wine

Öküzgözü

Turkey

Kavaklıdere

Beaujolais

Cevza Başman

Primeur

Mehmet Başman

Ankara

Jacques Laffort

Beaujolais Nouveau

Gamay

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Veraison

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!

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