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  • Writer's pictureChris Vannoy

Unveiling the Gems of Likya Winery: A Wine Adventure in Elmali, Turkey

Meal at Likya Winery

Just 1.5 hours from Antalya, Turkey this is great escape from the summer heat.

There's nothing more exciting than discovering a hidden gem.  And that's precisely what Likya Winery in Elmali, Turkey, turned out to be. Nestled in the Taurus Mountains just 1 and half hours drive from Antalya, Likya Winery boasts a rich history and a dedication to crafting exceptional wines that deserve a place on any discerning wine lover's table.

The winery's name pays homage to the ancient Lycian civilization that once flourished in this very region known as Lycia where Likya winery sits right in the center. Close to Antalya, Fethiye, and Kas this is well worth a drive for a meal and winetasting.

But before we uncork the virtual bottle, let's delve into the magic behind Likya's success. The story begins with the brothers, Burak and Doruk.  Burak, with his international business background, recognized the potential for world-class wines in this unique terroir. Doruk, a viticulture graduate, brought his expertise in cultivating grapes that thrive in the region's specific climate.  Together, they embarked on a journey to create something special – a fusion of local heritage and international quality.

Now, let's talk grapes!  Elmali's unique microclimate plays a starring role in Likya's story.  Hot days tempered by cool mountain breezes create ideal conditions for a variety of grape varietals.  The focus here is on indigenous Turkish grapes like Öküzgözü (Bull's Eye) and Kalecik Karası (Black Grape of Kalecik), with new grape varieties being found and produced every year. alongside international favorites like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  This blend of tradition and global influence allows Likya to showcase the best of both worlds.

Here's a closer look at some of Likya Winery's signature wines:

Likya Winery New Wine
  • Likya Öküzgözü:  This medium plus bodied red is a true expression of the Öküzgözü grape.  Expect notes of black fruit, spice, and a touch of earthiness, all balanced by a pleasing acidity.  Pair it with grilled meats, hearty stews, or aged cheeses for a truly satisfying experience. One of Turkey's varietal gems. Likya Winery's version is excellent. This deeply-colored yet soft and plush red offers up a kaleidoscope of macerated purple raspberry, Mission fig, leather and herbes de Provence. It's a plump and juicy crowd-pleaser made all the more intriguing by its exotic, slight spiciness.

  • Likya Podalia Kalecik Karası Malbec:  This special Kalecik Karası is aged in oak barrels, adding complexity and elegance to the wine.  Dark fruit flavors mingle with hints of leather, tobacco, and a touch of vanilla.  Enjoy this one with a slow-roasted leg of lamb or a rich mushroom risotto. This and the above are two of my most recommend grapes and Likya Winery does the both very well. A deeply structured and brooding red redolent of ripe black cherries, wild sage, smoky minerals and cocoa nib. exemplified the complexity and ageworthy structure achievable from this ancient Anatolian varietal. Yet there was also a vibrancy and freshness signature of the Elmali terroir – all crystalline red fruits, wildflowers, and mountain mineral tang.

  • Likya Chardonnay:  This refreshing white wine offers a delightful balance of tropical fruit notes like pineapple and mango, interwoven with hints of citrus and a touch of minerality.  The finish is crisp and clean, making it a perfect companion to lighter fare like grilled fish, salads, or creamy pasta dishes.

  • Likya Cabernet Sauvignon:  For those who enjoy a bold red, Likya's Cabernet Sauvignon delivers.  Full-bodied with pronounced tannins, this wine offers a symphony of dark fruit flavors – blackberry, plum, and cassis – complemented by hints of cedar and spice.  Pair this one with a juicy steak, rich game dishes, or aged cheddar. My wife's favorite.

  • NEW RELEASES: Likya has released a number of new wines, all from wine grape varieties long lost in Turkey, which Burak and Doruk have found, analyzed, and finally grown for wine production. Three new Likya Vineyard wines are: Likya Atesi (The Fire of Lycia), Fox Tilkikuyruğu (Fox Tail) Blush, and soon to be release Arya Özkan Red.

Why I love Likya Winery Great Wine Fun People

Likya Winery Owner and Son
Owner Burak and his son, Arya

Likya's commitment to quality extends beyond the grapes themselves.  Sustainable viticulture practices and meticulous winemaking techniques ensure that every bottle reflects the dedication and passion poured into its creation.  This dedication has garnered Likya well-deserved recognition, with their wines receiving awards at prestigious international competitions.

But Likya's story isn't just about awards or accolades. It's about showcasing the unique terroir of Elmali and the potential of Turkish wines on the global stage.  I can't help but tip my hat to the Özkan brothers for their significant contribution to Turkey's wine advancement.

So, if you're looking to expand your wine palate and experience something truly special, look no further than Likya Winery in Elmali, Turkey.  With their dedication to quality, focus on terroir, and commitment to sustainable practices, Likya is not just crafting exceptional wines; they're crafting a legacy.  

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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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