Overview

This 10 Day Wine Exploration will start in Istanbul and then explore the Urla Wine Trail near Izmir and then continue south through Ephesus to the beautiful harbor of Bodrum. This is the Izmir/Aegean portion of the full 17 day tour for those who prefer a shorter tour focused on Urla, Alacati, Ephesus, and Bodrum, and wish to learn about the 3000 year history of wine in Turkey while also visiting the UNESCO historic sites and major attractions.

Our Italian trained Sommelier guide, Murat Yanki, will lead the elite group throughout. 

Arrival will be to Istanbul and it’s ancient monuments, from the mosques to the Roman influenced architecture and an introduction to wine from local experts as well as your first Turkish wine tastings with our guide and Sommelier. Next, we’ll fly to Izmir and immediately after landing we'll visit an outstanding winery for lunch and tasting near the airport on the ancient road from Smyrna to Ephesus. We'll visit another winery this day that features the much acclaimed Bornova Misket, an explosive, flavorful white wine said to be the same as drunk by Homer in Smyrna 3000+ years ago.  While staying at a luxurious seaside resort on the Aegean, the next few days will explore the Urla Wine Route and the 15 wineries spread out in this mountainous unique peninsula in the Aegean, where wine has grown for thousands of years.  After these days near Urla, and after a short stay in small boutique winery hotel in the hills, the trip will continue south through Ephesus heading to the fantastic ancient city (now sea resort and marina) of Bodrum  with stops at Priene, Miletus and Didim and the amazing Bodrum castle museum focusing on ancient shipwrecks. A short 1 hour flight back to Istanbul on day 9 ends the tour in Istanbul.

Common international varietals include:
Cabarnet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Cabarnet Franc, Pinot Noir, Marselan, Malbec, Tempranillo, Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Grenache, Mourvedre, Chardonnay, Vioginier, Rousanne, Marsanne, Semillion

Common local varietals include:
Bogazkere, Okuzgozu, Barburi, Kalecik Karasi, Papazkarasi, Karasakiz, Karalahna, Kuntra, Calkarasi, Bornova Misket, Sultaniye, Emir, Narince

This tour is perfect if you:

1. Have been to Turkey before and 

  • Are looking to go deeper into the progressive exploding wine and culinary scene. Join us to combine archaeology with Turkey's ancient but very modern wineries.
  • Want to visit regions outside the normal tourist path including Thrace, the Wine Island of Bozcaada, and the progressive Alacati Wine Peninsula and Ancient Bodrum.
  • Enjoy a mix of wine tastings, excellent meals, laid back country estate hotels, beaches and ancient sites, with time enough for excellent spa treatments (Thrace tour) at the wineries.
  • Enjoy short distances, excellent hotels, lots of wine tastings with sommeliers, wine related archaeological sites, amazing locations and undiscovered wine varietals.

2. Or are a wine and food aficionado who wants to

  • Tour and taste with an Italian qualified Sommelier
  • Rediscover ancient history of wine, obscured over the last 100 years in Turkey and now experiencing a reawakening.
  • Learn about Turkey viticulture the world's fourth largest producer of grapes.
  • Learn about hidden archaeological connections to wine.
  • Discover the unique grape varietals of Turkey, as well as their expressions of some of the Mediterranean’s beloved varietals. 
  • Meet the interesting, fun and diverse owners and winemakers of Turkey’s blossoming wine market in their vineyards and wineries.
  • Experience a very high value winery tour. 
  • Enjoy the agricultural and culinary abundance of Turkey.
  • Delight in luxury hotels.
9 Nights 10 Days 29 Sep, 30 Sep, 01 Oct, and more Urla, İzmir
Highlights

Istanbul: 

  • The heartbeat of Turkey - an amazing cosmopolitan city.  A must see. Also your starting place to meet the wide and varied wine culture of Turkey. See the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Bosphorous. And enjoy an intro to Turkish wines in the hip Beyoglu area.



Urla:  

  • The warm peninsula that is heart of the Urla Wine Trail and 15+ modern wineries. The soil is light and sandy- and the hot summer is cooled by the breezes from the Aegean sea, both North and South of the area.  Both Red and White wine grape varietals grow here - the dry warm summer and hilly, sandy soil make unique terriors for bold wines. Delightful villages such as Alacati and Urla are home to vineyards and stone houses.

Ephesus / Aegean:

  •  On the southern most edge of the Aegean once a mix of Greeks and Turks under the Ottoman rulers - it has been the center of viticulture since the Roman's called it "Asia".  This wide region gets lots of sun, wind and has mild winters - and a huge variety of grapes are grown here.   The vineyards here benefit from close proximity to Izmir and it's modern, educated, wine drinking citizens. And some vineyards lay in the foothills of Ephesus.

Bodrum: 

  • The southern point where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean, the Archaeological museum is a must see for wine enthusiasts with any interest in archeaology.  The 3000 year old shipwrecks and amphora displayed there are evidence of the antiquity of this region's wine culture. This area also is home to ancient vineyards and wineries, with some appearing in the ancient literature, known for their excellent, abundant wines.
Itinerary

Day

Date

Location

Activities

Hotel & Room Type

1

May 21, 2022

Istanbul

Your guide and driver will greet you upon arrival at the airport. After hotel check-in, join a welcome dinner and orientation at Beyoglu Saraphanesi.  

JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus: Deluxe Partial Bosphorus Room

2

May 22, 2022

Istanbul

Sultanahmet Old City Tour, Lunch, Intro to Turkish wines, Spice Bazaar, Evening Free Time    

JW Marriott Istanbul Bosphorus: Deluxe Partial Bosphorus Room

3

May 23, 2022

Urla

Fly to Izmir, Lunch and Wine Tasting at Isa Bey/Sevilen, Visit Nif Winery. Drive to Urla Bag Evi, Check-in followed by Dinner 

Biblos Resort Alacati : Comfort   

4

May 24, 2022

Urla

Visit Limantepe, Klazomenai and ship site. Lunch at Od Urla Restaurant and Urlice Winery. Sunset wine at HUS Winery and late Dinner at Ikidenizarasi    

Biblos Resort Alacati : Comfort   

5

May 25, 2022

Urla

Stroll through Alacati town and visit Kostem Olive Oil Museum. Lunch and wine tasting at Peridix, Visit URLA and USCA for wine tasting. Dinner and wine tasting at Cakir Winery    

Biblos Resort Alacati : Comfort   

6

May 26, 2022

Urla

Check-out and stroll downtown Urla’s Sanat Street. Lunch at HicUrla. Cooking class and olive oil tasting. Afternoon tasting at MMG Winery. Check-in and Dinner at Ayda Winery Hotel    

Ayda: Deluxe

7

May 27, 2022

Urla

Check-out and visit Lucien Arkas Museum and Key Museum. Lunch and wine Tasting at Lucian Arkas Winery. Visit the Ephesus site and Museum. Check-in and dinner at Yedi Bilgeler Winery    

Vinifera: Deluxe

8

May 28, 2022

Bodrum

Check-out and visit Miletus and Didim ancient sites. Drive on to Karnas for lunch, wine tasting, and cooking class. Arrive to Bodrum, check-in and free evening    

DoubleTree by Hilton Bodrum Marina Vista : Superior

9

May 29, 2022

Bodrum

Explore Bodrum Castle. Check-out and continue to Garova winery for Lunch. Flight to Istanbul. Check-in and then free evening  

Hagia Sofia Mansions Istanbul: Superior

10

May 30, 2022

Depart

Transfer to airport

 

 

Our Sommelier and Guide: Mr. MURAT YANKI 

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

2004 – First researches and experiences about wine in Veneto, Italy.
2005 – 2006 – Bronze and Silver certificates about wine from Vindrome, Veritas Istanbul.
2008 – Intermediate and Advanced Certificate from London based WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) with merit level.
2010 – Certificate of Sommeliership from master sommelier Annie-Françoise Crouzet at NKU.
2012 – Diplome of Viticulture merit level – Plumpton College
2012 – Diplome of Professional Sommelier AIS (Associazione Italiana Sommelier)

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1985 – License of professional tourist guide from  Ministry of Culture and Tourism in English and in French and in Japanese language.
2004 – Establishment of www.vinotolia.com, the first wine tourism platform of Turkey, initiation of tours with the theme ‘culture and history of wine’.
2010 – Opening of Sira Hotel in Cappadocia, management of the hotel, wine tastings and seminars about the history of wine in Turkish, English, French, Italian and Japanese.

PUBLISHED ARTICLES

A multicultural approach to wine in Mediterranean (in English) – Maviology magazine 2006
Akdeniz’de Şarabın Çokkültürlülüğü (Turkish) – Maviology dergisi 2006
Hititlerin Şarapları (Wines of Hittites) – Food & Travel Magazine February 2011
Four different articles on Cappadocian Wine, Cappadocian Cuisine, Saint Sophia in Istanbul, Goreme Open Air Museum in Cappadocia in the book ‘From Istanbul to Cappadocia’ published by E Yayınları – 2009
Interview: Wine of Mozart – Forbes magazine April 2006.
Five Articles in the book ‘İzmir’den Antalya’ya’ published by E Yayınları, 2014: Şarap Tanrısının Romantik Kenti, Nysa; Işık Ülkesinin Keyif Kenti, Arykanda; Çok Eskiden Ege’de Zeytin Kültürü: Ege, Akdeniz ve Şarap; Ege ve Akdeniz Mutfağı.

SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS:

Wine Tourism Potential in sarkoy Area in the light of Byzantine Wine Culture – October 2010
Murat YANKI, Hilmi Rafet YÜNCÜ –  “Wine History, Wine Tourism and Capadocia”, The 5th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Proceedings Book, Cappadocia: 446-455., 05/2010

BOOK & BOOKLET & MAP

A Wine Journey in the land of fairies – A book on wines of Cappadocia January 2012
Wines of Turkey, Yenen publications July 2011
A Historical Wine Map of Turkey, 2012
Capapdocian Wines, Erik Yayınları 2014
A Historical Wine Map of Cappadocia 2014
Oenotourism Guide to Turkey with Goknur Gokdogan 2021

TV PROGRAMS

  • QUE SERA DEMAIN ? NATURE ET HOMME: QSD? LA NATURE ET L’HOMME-EP04-TURQUIE-LE VIN DE CAPPADOCE. French TV 5 channel, september 2011, interview in french.
  • CNBC – GATEWAY TO MIDDLE EAST – interview and speech on history of wine in Cappadocia. In English. 2009 by Joanna Andrews

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Speech on History of Wine and Viticulture in Turkey from Hittites to present. In French 2009 Grenoble, France. (in French)
Lecture on  ‘History of Food in Anatolia’ at EWBC Wine Bloggers International Meeting in Izmir – November 2012 (in English)

Inclusions/Exclusions

What is included in the tour

  • Luxury Accommodations: JW Marriott Istanbul, Hilton Hagia Sophia Mansions, Hilton Bodrum, Boutique Vineyard Hotels, Biblios Seaside Resort
  • Meals: All breakfasts, 6 Winery lunches, 5 Winery dinners
  • 20+ wine tastings over 10 days with our Sommelier guide
  • Olive Oil Museum, olive oil tasting, two cooking classes
  • Archaeological Admissions including:
    • Ephesus
    • The Blue Mosque, Galata Tower, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Underground Cisterns
    • Limantepe and Ancient Klazomenai
    • Alacati and Urla Stone / Old Greek Villages
    • Arkas Museum
    • Priene, Miletus Harbor, the Oracle at Didyma
    • Karnas and Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum
  • Services of a private licensed professional English speaking guide and Italian trained Sommelier
  • Domestic flights: Istanbul-Izmir, Bodrum-Istanbul
  • Airport Transfers
 with private driver in luxury travel vehicles
  • All transportation with private driver in luxury travel vehicles
  • Parking, portage, tipping (except guide & driver), toll road
  • Coordination and attentive customer service throughout the tour by Sojourn staff

  • Required Association of Turkish Travel Agencies Foreign Visitors Insurance 
(a basic mandatory policy and not an adequate replacement for purchasing your own travel insurance.) 

What is not included in the tour

  • International flight tickets and international air and departure taxes
  • Additional beverages at lunch not included in wine tastings
  • Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Laundry, room extras and personal items
  • Entry visas
  • Optional programs listed in itinerary
Price

$4050 per person in a Double room

Supplement for a single room: $00

10 day / 9 night itinerary through Urla and Bodrum
For more pricing details click SEE PRICING at the top of the page

Other options:
10 day itinerary in Thrace: from $4490/person
Full 17 day / 16 night itinerary through Istanbul, Urla, Bodrum, and Thrace: from $7320/person

Map
ÇAKIR Winery & Vineyards View on Map