"Eastern Thrace is a unique terroir in the Balkans. Three inner seas make an exceptional terroir. The Black Sea brings freshness, the Marmara Sea for balance and the Aegean Sea brings sunshine and warm climate."
Winemaker Crush: Mustafa Çamlıca of Chamlija Wines
by Mary Kong-DeVito
Seventy-five miles west of İstanbul, Turkey lies the small Thracian town of Buyukkaristiran, where the Camlica family has been farming since 1936.
It’s here that Mustafa Çamlıca, a prominent fine wine investor, founded Chamlija Wines in 2000 and plants his vineyards throughout the decomposed granite soils of the Strandja Massif, near where Turkey meets Bulgaria. The company is named after his daughter Irem Çamlıca, a renowned Turkish artist who designs the wine labels.
Chamlija’s vineyards are densely planted, at up to 2,500 vines per acre, which encourages deep roots, enhances grape quality and expresses the full potential of the terroir. Mustafa plants traditional, indigenous varietals like Papaskarasi, Karaoglan and Mavrud which are lovingly cared for by hand.
As Turkish wines aren’t as well known as as their European counterparts, we spoke to Mustafa about what makes them something you’ll want to discover:
What makes Turkish wine unique?
It comes from the oldest terroir in the world. Turkey has more than 1,200 native varietals. These varietals offer great options for Turkish winemakers.
How does Chamlija differentiate itself from other Turkish wineries?
We produce terroir wines. Our focus is on terroirs. We work on 58 different parcels in Strandja terroir.
What's one thing you wish more people knew about Thrace?
Eastern Thrace is a unique terroir in the Balkans. Three inner seas make an exceptional terroir. The Black Sea brings freshness, the Marmara Sea for balance and the Aegean Sea brings sunshine and warm climate.
What are your favorite food pairings for Papaskarasi?
Spicy Asian foods such as oven-roasted lamb with sweet spices and aromatic herbs.
Try something new tonight--shop delicious Turkish Chamlija Wines at DCanter online, by live chat or in-store!
Photos courtesy of Chamlija Wines