A delightful cool escape from the Antalya or Fethiye coast in the summer with much sought-after Turkish varietals.
The resort towns of Antalya and Fethiye are well associated with summer sun, beaches and all-inclusive restaurants. In the summer they are great places to have summer fun, but after a few days, perhaps you're looking for a cool respite. The mountains that separate the 2 cities of Antalya and Fethiye actually contain a high plain - around the town of Elmali - a small historical farming town in the middle of the Lycian Peninsula. A delightful 2 hour drive up hill from either beach resort brings you to center of this Toros mountains and a relatively hidden jewel.
Located just about a mile west of downtown Elmali - Likya wines has a delightful restaurant next to their winery where you can sit and gaze out over the lush plains filled with wheat, grapes and apples.
Two reasons to come to Likya wines are apparent - its cool and lush in the summer, and they have some exceptional wines. In fact their wine tasting menu is often the most flexible, thoughtful and progressive anyway in the country.
People are surprised that grapes grow here but at close to 3200'/1000m elevation with snowy winters and 100F+/40C heat in the summer with cool nightfall, they have an excellent climate for grapes.
A father and his 2 sons own and oversee all the production, and they are well known for searching and finding undiscovered grape varieties and changing those into wine varietals - their 'Arkeo' series (short for archeology) has been highly praised and includes 3 grapes and 3 red varietals not found elsewhere. Acikara (or black & spicy) is a standout as well as their Merzifon Karasi (from Merzifon near the black sea) and the Fersun -(see Grape varietals for reviews of these).
Their tasting menu allows you to try international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. While their Turkish varietals tasting options allow you to try the beauties above alongside local whites.
May to September they are most likely open, but in the shoulder seasons, its always best to call first. They have a full kitchen that serves food and heavy snacks alongside the tastings menus. Plan to spend 2 hours or so, and if you catch the sunset, you may not want to leave.