IWSC announces its support for the regeneration of old vines in Turkey

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Following the addition of its new Green Spirit Initiative and Green Wine Initiative trophies to its awards list, the IWSC is proud to share details of other environmental work it is carrying out in partnership with the Old Vine Conference.

After announcing the launch of its Old Vine Trophy in February, the IWSC is delighted to continue its work with the Old Vine Conference, providing vital funds to the Heritage Vines project in Turkey.

Inspired by the all-too-regular sightings of uprooted old vines near the town of Bayramiç, Umay Çeviker, together with Gözdem Gürbüzatik, Sabiha Apaydın and Levon Bağış, founded the Heritage Vineyards of Turkey Project:

“The uprooting of old vines in the North Aegean region of Turkey is almost double the rate of the next closest region, Tekirdağ in Thrace. The completion of the Bayramic reservoir, which offers the possibility of irrigating other crops, and the closure of the Tekel brandy factory have combined to sound the death knell for the old vines of the Karasakız region.

We want to draw public attention to Karasakız, it produces fresh and juicy red wines, which is a rare style in Turkish wine industry.Çeviker adds.

The Heritage Vines of Turkey project is a grassroots project focused on the native vinifera varieties of Turkey. With vines of ancient origins comprising rare and hitherto “lost” grape varieties, the work focuses on the research and identification of varieties, the regeneration of old vineyards and the creation of partnerships with leading winegrowers who will then create wine from those vineyards.

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Sarah Abbott MWwho is a co-founder of the Old Vine Conference as well as a member of the IWSC Wine Evaluation Committee, comments:

“The Heritage Vines project in Turkey is important because it touches on key aspects of wine sustainability and regeneration. Much has been shared about sustainability in the industry, but it’s interesting to note that leading thinkers in the broader realm of environmental action are placing more emphasis on regeneration: it’s not enough to simply ” do no harm” when it comes to natural resources. We must actively rebuild and do good.

Biodiversity is fundamental for a green future and sustainable agriculture” adds Sarah Abbott MW. “We know that diversity equals resilience, and through the Old Vine Conference project, we see dozens of wineries and researchers valuing old vines not just for their grapes and wine, but also because they are a source of highly adapted genetic material that is not available anywhere. other. The project in Turkey supports the search for indigenous and unique grape varieties that are highly adapted to their environment. And while they are suited to the somewhat extreme and harsh terroir of Turkey, they are of great interest to the rest of the wine world, which is experiencing sunnier, hotter, drier and drier weather due to climate change..”

In addition to supporting ongoing work, the grant provided by the IWSC will fund the publication of a report on the findings and results of the project. It is expected that the Tekirdağ Viticulture and Research Institute, which works alongside the Heritage Vines of Turkey project, will soon announce the discovery of five new, long-forgotten varieties suitable for winemaking.

Further details on the project’s findings will be shared in the coming months.

The winners of the IWSC’s Green Initiative Awards and its Old Vine Trophy will be announced on September 29 at the 2022 Awards Dinner and Industry Celebration.

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