In 1942, after having discovered vineyards and winemaking in France, Mr. Isa Guner, a first-generation immigrant from Bulgaria, founded his own winery in Izmir, Turkey. Understanding that there was outstanding natural potential in Turkey for wine production, he purchased 4 hectares and started planting vineyards. In 1958, Mr. Guners sons, Mr. Gokhan Guner and Mr. Coskun Guner joined the business developing the property to 50 hectares. Nowadays the property, composed of 160 hectares of vineyard and a first class restaurant (Isabey), is managed by the third generation of the Guner family. They are assisted by experienced French consultant Mr. Florent Dumeau from the Bordeaux region. Sevilen Group has been working on the terroir approach (Soil, local climate and vineyard architecture, rootstock, varietal, vine spacing, leaf area per hectare, crop per vine) with already outstanding results. Today, Sevilen produces grapes for premium wines on two sites:
• Aegean area, around Izmir, a warm Mediterranean climate
• Anatolia plateau, a cool Mediterranean climate
In Izmir (150 metres of elevation) climate conditions are close to those of Bari or Athens. In the Anatolian plateau (900 metres of elevation), climate conditions are similar to the Rhône valley (Hermitage, Chateauneuf du Pape) but drier during the summer. On both sites, soils are unique with a complex distribution, alternation of chalk and shale (heavy clay) and occurrence of limestone.
This diversity of soil and climate allows the production of very qualitative white and red wine always presenting a unique expression. After having totally restructured part of his vineyard, plus adding new plantations, Sevilen Group now produces ten million bottles/ year of qualitative wines.
Winemaking techniques are very modern. With a full brand new reception (double sorting table), the pre-fermentative process respects the integrity of the grapes, which are all hand-harvested. Working with gravity, juices and wines are moved as carefully as possible throughout the aging process. A selection of top French cooperage, in association with a Turkish university, has been developed in order to research the best solutions for our wines.