Turkey - Sevilen
Menderes (Izmir), February 28, 2021
Wine as the starting point
" the Sevilen Group dates back to 1942 "

At Sevilen Vineyards & Winery the third generation of the Güner family, including Vice-Échanson Enis Güner, nurture their vines and use modern winemaking techniques to produce quality wines. These wines are the stars around which the menu in the estate’s fine-dining Isabey restaurant has been created.

It’s about treating wine not as an afterthought to pair with a dish, but as a starting point for that dish to spring from,” Enis explained.

The starting point for the Sevilen Group dates back to 1942 when Isa Güner, a first-generation immigrant from Bulgaria, founded the winery in Izmir. His initial four hectares was extended to 50 by his sons - Gokhan and Coskun - in 1958.

Today, the Sevilen Group has 160 hectares of vineyard and produces grapes for its premium wines on two sites; in the warm Mediterranean climate around Izmir (at an elevation of 150m) and the cooler climate of the Anatolia Plateau (at an elevation of 900m).

The Sevilen Group pays close attention to the terroir in the production of its wines, with outstanding results. The soils are unique, alternating between chalk and heavy clay with some
limestone. This diversity of soil and climate allows the production of a variety of high quality and very unique red and white wines.

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 winemaking process. The winery has been working in partnership with the best French barrel manufacturers and a Turkish university to develop the best solutions
for these unique wines.

The Isabey restaurant, which occupies the former family farm near Izmir, opened in 2002. The initial concept was to pair Sevilen Group wines with cheeses and aperitifs. The restaurant follows the modern concept of ‘farm to table’, sourcing ingredients from farmer’s markets and local grocers. The menu changes according to the season, to celebrate fresh vegetables and fruit. Insisting on local produce - grown in the same soils - creates harmony and the best possible match, both on the plate and between the food and wine served.

Izmir, the pearl of the Aegean region is experiencing a fresh, Aegean and Mediterranean way of cooking, which is reflected in the kitchens and gardens of the Isabey restaurant.

“It’s about crafting food that starts with what’s growing in the soil, fresh and local products from farmer’s markets, animals grazing in the fields, and fish swimming in the sea. It is food prepared with a light hand, seasoned with confidence, and served with casual sophistication.”

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne

Ed. This article was first published in the 2020 edition of the Revue internationale de la Chaîne