Anatolian land is among the oldest terroirs where vines were planted, but Turkey is not a country known for producing quality wines. Up until the ‘90s there were only a handful of producers in the country which produced occasionally drinkeable but mostly oxidized and astringent wines. Things changed for the better during the 2000s when new actors, especially wealthy business people, entered the field, and established big producers, such as Kavaklidere and Doluca, upgraded facilities and brought in foreign consultants. Today there are about 140 registered producers in Turkey. 45 producers are large and will known. The four biggest producers, Kavaklidere, Kayra, Sevilen and Doluca, produce around six to eight million liters each. The average per capita consumption remains a little more than one liter per person, as most Turcs do not drink wine either for religious or economic reasons.
Given the limited competition in the market and heavy taxation on imported wine, the wine pricing in Turkey is outrageous. This is one of the main reasons that wine consumption is limited.
In recent years wine producers in Turkey started sending their wines to prestigious international competitions, such as the International Wine Challenge in London and the Decanter World Wine Awards also in London. In addition, during the last few years, a Turkish entrepreneur and wine educator, Yunus Emre Kocabasoglu, has been inviting some Masters of Wines (MA) to Turkey. The MAs hold meetings which are open to the public for a fee and rank Turkish wines by using the 100 pointer system. Almost all established wineries send their best wines to this event for a fee. Last May the MAs who came to Istanbul for this event included Christy Canterbury, Peter Mc Combie, Tim Hanni, Tim Atkin, Sarah Abbott, Shari Sauter Morano and Ned Goodwin.