The resulting 2008 "Wines of Turkey" (WOT) association with its Director Taner Ögütoglu is using a dual strategy in marketing: On the one hand, it wants to increase exports and position Turkish wine abroad as a high quality brand with a unique character - and on the other hand, to promote wine culture in Turkey in order to also improve sales there. "We were once the birthplace and heart of viticulture in the world," says Ögütoglu, "today we can offer consumers wines that you cannot find anywhere else." The two most important export markets are Germany and Great Britain. In "Almanya" (Turkish for Germany), WOT wants to ensure that in the future more wine is marketed not only in the Turkish shops, but also in normal trade and top gastronomy. ProWein therefore has been a date in the calendar not to be missed. Taner Ögütoglu is very satisfied with the new contacts made at the fair in Dusseldorf: "The quality of international visitors is high, and the fair continues to grow every year."
To date, 31 companies belong to "Wines of Turkey". They cover 99 percent of the total quality wine production. Members include traditional wineries by Turkish standards such as the Pamukkale Winery, which was founded in 1962, and Diren wines, which was founded in 1958 in Tokat, but also many newcomers. Akin Ongor, who began making wine in Akhisar in the Aegean region 13 years ago, was CEO of a large bank prior to that. Selim Zafer Ellialti, former head of Microsoft Turkey, launched his premium winery Suvla near Çanakkale in 2009. Mustafa Çamlica, owner of an Istanbul accounting firm, breathed life into a generations old family tradition when, in 2007, he decided to build his winery Chamlija in Thrace. "For good wine", said the 51-year-old, "I would do almost anything". Can Ortabaş also ranks among career changers who are positively crazy about wine: Before he planted the first vines at the beginning of the millennium on the Karaburun peninsula in Izmir, he worked as a successful entrepreneur with the cultivation and the global distribution of palms and olive trees. A stylish boutique hotel is part of the extremely modern winery Urla, which completely devotes itself to biodynamics.
The Sevilen winery with its 160 hectares near Izmir and in Central Anatolia also relies on tourism. The vineyard's own Isabey restaurant shines with fine French cuisine and selected wines from their own production - naturally created by a French oenologist: Florent Dumeau. Seyit Karagozoglu, owner of the Paşaeli winery, started his career in 1993 as an importer after he had visited wine cultivating regions all over the world. He has been producing himself since 2005. Karagozoglu sees the future of Turkish wine in the niche as a secret tip of high quality. "We need the media, sommeliers, and top restaurants in our most important target countries, such as Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, the USA, Japan, and later also Russia, to become better known. Our wines are unique". Regarding the internal market, Karagozoglu focuses on the rapidly growing number of especially younger Turkish men and women interested in wine - and on another alcohol-control policy of the government: "In a democracy, everyone should actually be able to decide how to live and what they would like to drink themselves".