The story of Gali wines started with Hakan Kavur planting his first vineyard on a piece of land in the Dogan Arslan district in Turkey, the point where the mainland meets the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Dogan Arslan means Rising Lion
I met up with Hakan's wife, Nilgün Kavur, a dynamic women and full of passion. She talks about Gali wines, like a mother will tell people about her kids, with pride and a big smile on her face. Her positive spirit is contagious. And she has something to be proud off!
“Wine is made in the Vineyards.” she says. A combination of terroir and sea breezes from two seas guarantee good grapes and…”when something is good, it's good!“
Gali wines is a small boutique winery with 24 hectare of vineyards planted with 78% Merlot and the remaining 22% with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are in a protected area,13 km from Evrese. Overlooking the Gallipoli Peninsula you see the Marmara sea on the left and the Aegean sea on the right with vineyards stretching down the hill.
Gali means beautiful and in the Ottoman language Gali stood for precious, valuable and extending beyond limits. If you look at the success of the two wines that the Kavur family produce, all these words can be true of the wine that comes from the grapes of this fertile land. With clay soil rich in limestone, magnesium and iron and sea breezes from both the Marmara and Aegean sea, it all contributes to a unique micro climate and great winemaking potential.
The Gali wine cellar is located in Evrese in the Golf of Saros. The winery and wine cellar were constucted using stones from the area and it naturally regulates temperature and humidity. Wines are made with no pumps, no additives and minimum levels of Sulphur dioxide. Romanian gypsies living in Evrese town, carefully handpick and select the grapes at harvesting time, carrying them in small baskets to the winery.
“Passion has no compromise”
Instead of making different varieties, Hakan and Nilgün chose to make a single great Red wine and released their first Gali 2009 Merlot-Cabernet Franc in November 2011 with 7000 bottles. The process of making wine are for themselves and their passion, but they also want to build a heritage and legacy for their kids.
Gali Merlot-Cabernet Franc has been received with great enthusiasm. But it seems like the unoaked Gali Evreshe, Bordeaux blend, is the one that steals the show at the moment and at the price and for the quality you get, I can understand why.
Gali 2010 Merlot-Cabernet Franc is only the second vintage and already a wine to watch. It received great reviews at the Master of Wines weekend in Turkey from Sarah Abbott MW and Christy Canterbury MW.
“Terrific quality, nice restraint with oak and should evolve very well” – Tim Hanni MW
“At a tasting in a World War II cement bunker in Gali winery's vineyards on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula, the 2010 bright, juicy cabernet franc-merlot blend is a big and very pleasant surprise” - Elin McCoy
I find there is a growing enthusiasm for wine in Turkey and with people like Hakan and Nilgün Kavur that shares a passion not only for the winemaking but also for the environment around them I can see this industry only getting stronger. Gali winery is worth a visit, tasting the elegant wines, admiring the breathtaking views, seeing the history around the vineyards and definitely experiencing the hospitality of the Kavur family.
Do yourself a favour and go and pick up a bottle of Gali wine. You will not be disappointed.
To quote the Polish Wine Guide “…this Bordeaux blend is as serious as you gonna get 3000 km from Bordeaux”.
More historic facts about Karvur Vineyards and Gali wines:
Karvur vineyards is a good example of where wine meets history. The hill overlooking the Gallipoli Peninsula used to be of great military importance and you will still find two interconnecting WW2 bunkers in between the vineyards.
The lion coin on the Gali wine bottle is a reference to the ancient city of Lysimachia, that is close to the vineyards. King Lysimachus, rose to the throne after Alexander the Great. Legend tells us they would hunt lions together with their bear hands and they were best friends. After the death of Alexander and in memory of him, King Lysimachus had a coin made with the face of Alexander on one side and that became the first coin in history to have a human face on it.
Kavur Tarim ve Bagcilik Ltd.
Hasan Basri Pekcan Cad. No 38
Evrese – Gelibolu – Çanakkale – Turkey
Dogan Arslan Mevkii Demirtepe Köyü
Gelibolu – Çanakkale – Turkey