Şarköy is located on the Marmara Sea coast line, about 1 hour from Tekirdağ city center. This sub-region was a major wine production place in the past during Ottoman Empire period. Especially the small village of Murefte has always been famous for its wineries since 19th century. Even, we know about the history of selling wines to France particularly from Murefte during phyloxera period end of 19th century.
Today unfortunately there are not too many wineries left from that époque. Many of the vineyards have also been converted to Olive Trees mostly. There are two ways to come to this sub-region of Şarköy. Either you follow the mountain road from passing from Uçmakderesi, or you can follow the main road and then follow the signs for Şarköy on the way to Marmara Sea. The mountain road is generally shorter and has got great scenic view of Marmara Sea and Marmara Island. There is also a paragliding location on the mountain. I recommend you this road either going or coming from Şarköy; however, you should be careful to use this road especially on rainy days since there are rocks falling down on the road when there is too much rain.
On Thrace Wine Route, we have 3 wineries in Şarköy region; Melen, Gulor and Chateau Kalpak.
– Melen Vineyards: Being one of the oldest wineries in this region, Melen is located at the small fishing village of Hoskoy. The winery is located at the fishing harbor where wines were directly shipped from the wineries right in front of the harbor about 100 years ago. It is great to hear the history of the region from Cem Cetintas – one of the most passionate person I have ever seen, about wines. A trip to the ruins of the Monastery in the middle of Melen vineyards is a must. You should try their elegant Papazkarasi (a local variety), spicy Shiraz and really fresh and aromatic rose wines. ( www.melenwinery.com )
– Tuna Fish Restaurant: Located in Hoskoy village, this tiny restaurant serves fresh seafood from Marmara Sea. You should also ask for fresh shrimps drizzled with local olive oil and a slight touch of lemon juice. With its location looking at the beach and with wooden tables and chairs, this place always reminds me “Peña Flamenco Juan Villar” a local restaurant right at the entrance of “La Playa de la Caleta” in Cadiz – Spain. In fact, although it is quite hard to find local wine at Tuna Restaurant, it is worth to taste some Turkish beer or some “raki”…
– Gulor Vineyards: If you continue the road from Hoskoy, you will reach to Murefte town which was the heart of wine production in Turkey once upon a time. Once you go out of the town following the seashore, before arriving to Şarköy you will reach to Gulor Winery on the right hand. Owned by Turkey’s one of the largest Group of Companies, Sabanci Group, Gulor Winery was founded on 1993 as a boutique concept winery. The first vines were planted within the 90s under consultancy of Pascal Delbeck. They have Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah as well as some Italian varities such as Sangiovese and Montepulciano. They also have a lovely and fruity Okuzgozu – Bogazkere blend (local varities from East and Southeastern part of Turkey) under the label of “Sayeste”. Also I really like their Blend T 2011 – a blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Shiraz & Merlot – a wine with a nice complexity with round structure.
– Akkaya Restaurant: Famous for its grilled chicken, Akkaya has changed its location from Eriklice village to the center of Şarköy. You can also find here really good grilled meat with special spicy Turkish sucuk (a kind of spicy sausage). Mostly they sell raki as usual however the good news is that some Turkish wines can be also found in the restaurant especially the ones from Kayra winery.
– Chateau Kalpak: There are very few wineries in Turkey who has got special architectural designed buildings which reminds me Rioja region – and yes – Chateau Kalpak is one of those. In addition to the nice winery building, the vineyards looking to the Marmara Sea is just heavenly…Such a spectacular view they have… Mr Bulent Kalpaklioglu – the owner of Chateau Kalpak – would tell you his passion about wines as well as the history of this magical place… they have great Cabernet Franc as well as a really good Bordeaux blend from 2010, a must to taste…