Vinolus Organik Bağları / Sunolus Bağevi (Vinolus Organic Vineyards & Sunolus Vineyard House)
An outstanding boutique vineyard worth a stop on your way from Kayseri Airport to Cappadocia
So first off let me explain the name - this caused me some confusion and i'm a fluent Turkish /English speaker. There are 2 names here - 1 the wine brand Vinolus, and the 2nd - Sunolus, the vineyard house.
This lovely place has a nice vineyard house Sunolus, set among the vineyard just along the Kayseri to Ankara highway - about 20 mins from the Kayseri airport, and basically on your way from Kayseri airport to Cappadocia. That's the best time to visit on you way in our your way out, since most people fly to Kayseri and drive the 50 mins to Cappadocia. I recommend you grab a late morning flight and plan to hit this lovely place for lunch.
The vineyards themselves and the wine label is Vinolus. Both names come from a mashup with the owner's first name, Oluş. (Ms. Oluş Molu is the owner).
My first visit was in early December - when the weather has already turn
ed cold. I was suprised to find such a warm and inviting location. And even more suprised by the wine. I was aware that they are doing some very nice things here, but I was delighted by my first hand experience. I had prebooked for a wine tasting and their local specialities lunch. What a fantastic meal. But the wine was the real find for me.
The vineyard has plantings that date back to the 1980's but the winery started its production organically in the late 2009. This is one of the coldest regions in Turkey that produces a wide variety of grapes, the soil has volcanic, rich soil and the temperatures have hot, dry summers offset by cold winters. This is near the Tokat region which has long been known for the indigenous Narince grape variety, a white with distinct character, but Vinolus also produces Chardonnay, and Rousanne whites, along side Shiraz, Tempranillo and Kalecik Karasi - the mid-Anatolian red wine gem. The Shiraz I believe is from the Denizli area, but the others are locally grown on their 120 donem land.
One thing must be said of all their wines - they have amazing balance. Maybe some of the best balanced wines of any I have drunk in Turkey. Ms. Molu, has found a gentle well structured but well balanced form in all her wines. Each wine was true to the variety, delightful, and balanced. I was impressed.
The whites are excellent. Emir Rousanne blend is an interesting French/Turkish mix. Rousanne known for herbal and aromatic aspects but with a light texture is balanced by Emir which replaces the Marsanne. Emir, like Marsanne, has body, mouth feel, and fullness but lacks more aromatic aspects. The Turkish blend is typically Narince (similar to Rousanne with aromatics but lightness of body) with Emir. So this is a pleasant and enjoyable French-Turkish cross. Apple, pear with oily minerality and a hint of oak make this a delicious blend.
The Rousanne monocepage is amazing, but I was not able to try it this round.
Next to these, they have a variety of Narince - both locally produced and from vineyards further away. The 2019 we had was a mix of citrus and peach with a hint of gardenia, with medium acidity, body and finish.
Their Rose' is a blend of Kalecik Karasi and Tempranillo - a blend I find very pleasing - Vinolus Rose' had sweet red grapefuit, but with full cardamom and honeysuckle to add complexlity, An excellent and unique rose.
As for red's I had the Kalecik Karasi and Shiraz blend - very good with the body and feel coming from Shiraz, but balanced by the lighter Kalecik Karasi's complexity. I also enjoyed the Kalecik Karasi - a lighter red- somewhat like a Pinot Noir, but with a distinct minerality. Again, both reds were exceedingly well made and recommendable.
While we unable to stay the night, the rooms and the vineyard hotel look inviting, and the pool in the hot summers is certainly a welcome addition.
I'm impressed to see this winery and look forward to future years as they grow beyond their 50,000 liter capacity. Vinolus is certainly a brand to look out for.