OMGD Turkey Field Trip
Bailliage of Istanbul
Kirklareli, April 29-30, 2017
Exploring the vineyards of Kirklareli Province

The Bailliage organized a weekend field trip to the most exclusive boutique vineyards and wineries of “Chamlija” and “Arcadia” in Kirklareli Province in northern Turkey. The ancient name of Kirklareli was “Lozengard” which in Bulgarian means “The City of Vines”.

The programme began with a visit to “Chamlija” vineyards. They currently have 85 densely-planted hectares of vines spread over ten plots in the province. The founder and owner is Professionel du Vin Mustafa Camlica. He explained that the aim of high density planting is to enhance the quality and encourage deep root systems to express the potential of the terroir.

The group then had a light lunch followed by a tasting of Chamlija’s award-winning wines tutored by Mustafa himself.

Next on the programme was Arcadia Vineyards, situated in Kirklareli in the valley extending below the Strandja Mountains. The quality of its estate-bottled wines is the result of an exceptional terroir and sustainable viticulture methods. The estate is owned by the Arca Family whose business interests include hotels and other tourist establishments mainly in southern Turkey.

Wanting to develop a vineyard, they had a long quest in pursuit of a terroir suited for producing elegant, nuanced, fresh and fruity wines. Supported by scientific data and two renowned French experts in 2004 they chose to build the very first winery in the Kirklareli region, thus becoming the pioneers in the resurrection of this Ancient Eastern Thrace vineyard area. Today, producing some 100,000 bottles a year from its 35 hectares of vineyards, Arcadia is renowned for award-winning wines.

As well as its vineyard activities, Arcadia was designed to be a gastronomic oasis with its château-style winery, orchards, vegetable gardens, oak groves and farms. Their boutique hotel “Bakucha” is located in the middle of the estate. In its peaceful setting surrounded by vineyards and greenery, it has 26 junior suites each designed with a private terrace. In the Chef’s Table Restaurant delicious dishes are prepared with seasonal, organic, local ingredients.

Saturday evening began with a reception in the hotel garden featuring an, as yet, unreleased Arcadia bottle-fermented sparkling wine. Naturally Arcadia wines were paired with the Chaîne-style six-course “Winemaker’s Dinner” especially composed by the daughter of the owning family, Vice Chairman Ms Zeynep Arca. Each course was prepared using Arcadia’s own grown ingredients.

On Sunday morning Arcadia organized an enjoyable and very informative wine tasting attended by our 32 members. It was tutored by Ms Arca. After enjoying a special lunch prepared for our group we headed back to Istanbul late afternoon.

Mohamed Hammam
Bailli Délégué