A new winery taking advantage of the Cal region's long wine making history, but driving the quality up-market.
You could say that Lermonos is about restoring the old in new ways. On the one hand they borrow their name from the ancient Apollon Lairbenos (the Sun God) Temple located 22 km North of the winery at the headwaters of the Meander River valley and are located close to ancient Dionysopolis (a city dedicated to the cult of Dionysis - the wine God). On the other hand, they have taken over and are updating an older large wine facility that was used in past times to make lower end cheap wines from the readily available and abundant wine grapes in this region.
Located at around 850 m (2500 ft) elevation and receiving snow in the winters, the Cal region is a prolific wine growing region. For this reason, Dr. Hurriyet Yilmaz (a children's spinal doctor and university professor in Istanbul) originally from the Aegean region and in recollection of her grandmother's vineyards in Denizli has established the Lermonos winery with its first vintage in 2021 from vineyards planting in 2005 . Working with experienced winery operator and wine maker Mr. Melih Karaer, the Lermonos winery produces a range of wines.
Lermonos Winery has taken over and significantly upgraded the winery. The Cal area has long produced average quality wines, but has recently looked to take their excellent grapes more upmarket. The Lermonos Winery is a prime example.
The grape varieties are a mix of local grapes including Çal Karası, Öküzgözü, Kalecik Karası, and Boğazkere with international varieties Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah.
The wines are currently sold under 2 labels - Carovino which is available at Carrefour markets in Turkey and the Lykos Valley label.
As their first vintage was 2020/ 2021 they currently have their first oaked wines being prepared for release in late 2022 or early 2023. I tasted a few of these straight out of the barrel and am excited to get a few bottles upon release. I will certainly review them here for you.
Their cellars and facilities are excellent. In addition they have a lovely large reception /tasting room with excellent views. Mr. Karaer is almost always around, and the owner Dr. Yilmaz herself is often at the winery and they are excellent hosts, proud of their hardwork, as well they should be. If visiting - be sure to call well ahead.
I've tasted a number of their wines and will include reviews here at Turkish Wine Guide soon.