Two Turkish Delights From Kayra Wines

Press Release

Two Turkish Delights From Kayra Wines

“Turkey has some really interesting varietals that can make some kick-ass wines!”

Daniel O’Donnell - Winemaker

Recipe for Kayra’s Turkish Delights!


  • Take one native grape - Kalecik Karasi
  • Take one well-seasoned Californian winemaker - Daniel O’Donnell
  • Take one forward-thinking Turkish winery, committed to championing Anatolia’s indigenous varieties - Kayra Wines
  • Take one vineyard in Denizli (both wines) and one in Ankara (red wine only)


  • Carefully and competently blend together


  • Two completely different wines, a pale rosé and a red, from the same grape and from the same vineyard

 “A national treasure, and something I truly believe in,” is how Daniel describes Anatolia’s native grapes.  For the last ten years, this experienced Californian - with 20 years’ worth of winemaking stints in California, Italy, Chile and Australia - has been working with Kayra Wines to help them in their quest to reintroduce the indigenous Anatolian varietals to the global wine world.

Kayra have put considerable investment into their research, as they believe the Anatolian varietals have the potential to produce great wines.  The winemaking approach is a modern one, but in the pursuit of the true taste of each region with regards to structure, aromas, textures and flavours.  Great care is taken by Daniel and his team to blend and mature the wines to express the untouched character of the indigenous varietals.

‘Kalecik Karasi’ means black grape from the Kalecik village, which is just outside Ankara.  It’s an extremely versatile grape, capable of multiple expressions depending on the soil it’s grown in and the skills of the winemaker.


Kayra Beyaz Kalecik Karasi Rosé 2015                                                                     12% ABV

RRP £12.39, Strictly Wine                                                                             strictlywine.co.uk

“In the course of three years, we’ve probably made around 50 different rosés trying to figure this wine out.”  Daniel O’Donnell

The 100% Kalecik Karasi grapes come from the Denizli vineyard in the Aegean region.  Soils are shallow and rocky, the elevation of the vineyards is high and the climate temperate, with warm days and colder nights.  The grapes are picked around 10 days earlier for the rosé than for the red, as Daniel is looking for a specific phenological character.  “Celery leaf and white strawberry is what I’m after.  When the grapes have these flavour markers, then we know it’s time to pick as the  wines will have the ruby red grapefruit and mandarin orange and lime character that we want,” he explains.

Grapes need to be in pristine condition for making this rosé, so triage takes place first in the vineyard and then again in the winery where the grapes are de-stemmed.  This pale pink Kalecik Karasi wine is the free-run juice of the first pressing which was cold settled for 24-48 hours.  A cold fermentation at around 10-11°C followed for around one month until the desired aroma evolution was reached, and the wine then benefited from 3-4 months’ fine lees contact in stainless steel.

The summer of 2015 was cool and favourable for rosé wines as it gave increased savoury flavours and acidity to the grapes.  Citrus, pink grapefruit and red fruit aromas on the nose lead through to notes of strawberry, raspberry and ginger on the palate, which has a lively acidity.  Great as an aperitif, this wine can also be enjoyed with salads, sushi and shellfish.


Kayra Kalecik Karasi Red 2014                                                                                14 % ABV

RRP £12.39, Strictly Wine                                                                           strictlywine.co.uk

RRP £12.42, Great Wines Direct                                                      greatwinesdirect.co.uk

Again, 100% Kalecik Karasi grapes but sourced from both Denizli and vineyards in continental climate Ankara where the soils are loamy, rich and well-drained and give a much deeper wine.

Constant experimentation over the last ten years has led Daniel to make this red wine like a Gamay / Beaujolais.  Denizli gives a higher red fruit tone and brighter acidity, whereas Ankara lends depth of fruit and a more intense tannin structure.  The grapes from both vineyards are de-stemmed and the winemaking team then literally chews the stems to work out if their inclusion will be beneficial to the wine’s structure, and if so to what degree.  70% whole-bunches are cold macerated for three days, with 15-20% whole clusters making it into the first fermentor along with any stems that the team decides to include.  Cool fermentation at around 24-25°C then takes place for 10-15 days, during which time the cap is plunged to ensure a gentle yet complete extraction of the colours and flavours.  Fine lees contact for one month in stainless steel follows, prior to wines from the two regions being blended and bottled.

Summer 2014 was warm and dry, allowing for an early ripening period for the grapes and giving a wine with fruity, sweet spice aromas and a silky medium palate.  Soft and elegant, the light tannins are balanced by refreshing acidity, and lingering ripe cherry flavours.  Delicious with gently spiced seafood stews, chicken with tomato sauce or a fresh and soft goat’s cheese.


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Date of issue:                                                27 June 2016

Further information - emma wellings pr  t 020 8996 5168  e emma@ew-pr.co.uk