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  • Writer's pictureChris Vannoy

Çal Karası (The Black Grape of Çal)

Another of the medium-bodied red wine grapes indigienious to a region of Turkey

This is a slightly more elusive grape than some of the other "Kara' types of local Turkish grape varieties, as it is tied to a prolific but small region named 'Çal'. This area has a long history with grapes and the Çal karasi is their local variety.

The 'Ç' sound in Turkish is equivalent to 'ch' as in church or chill in English, so the name is read as chall karasi. The berry is not completely distinct, with a typically purple to black color. I suppose the one surprising aspect is that the red wine made from Çal karasi isn't darker.

In fact this wine is often used to make rose' wines. Here's a few examples:

Though the grape is also used to make medium bodied red wines.

I find the wines pleasant due to their high acidity which makes for a distinct finish that is combined with a red fruit, and peachy palate.

These reds are especially nice in the summer when you are having something medium to heavy such as grilled meats.

The wines often are characterized by some spiciness such as bay leaf and even lavender (which grows in nearby fields as well.)

Notable producers include Kuzubag Winery, Lermonos Winery, Hanchalar and Kup Winery.

There is a wine growing region and wine route that share its names - see my posts for more info on those. And enjoy this unique Turkish grape.

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Hi, thanks for dropping by!

This site is a work of love and passion for the people, land and wonderful produce of Turkey. As the ancient home of wine, join along with me as I discover the viticulture of Turkey, the lovely unique Turkish wine grapes, and the amazing and widely interesting people that make up this industry. 

I'm Chris and I spend weeks traveling in Turkey each year, exploring this verdant land.  Benefit from my experience.

And if you are looking for Turkish wine tours and tastings - either daily wine tours from Istanbul, Izmir or Cappadocia or week long wine tours, Don't hesitate to contact me. 

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