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Kalecik Karasi

The red grape variety originates from Turkey; the name means "Black of Kalecik". Synonyms are Adakarasi, Çalkarasi, Hasanede, Horozkarasi, Kara Kalecik and Papazkarasi. According to one hypothesis, the variety or an ancestor was already cultivated around 1,500 BC in the Hittite empire of that time, which encompassed large parts of present-day Anatolia, but of course this can no longer be verified. It must not be confused with the varieties Adakarasi, Çalkarasi, Horozkarasi, Papazkarasi or Sungurlu, despite seemingly indicating synonyms or morphological similarities (but it is suspected that some of them are identical). The medium-maturing vine is susceptible to botrytis. It yields red wines with high acidity, soft tannins and aromas of sour cherries and raspberries. The variety was almost wiped out by phylloxera infestation in the 1960s, but was reactivated by efforts of the University of Ankara and the Kavaklidere Winery. Today it is the most important red wine variety in central Anatolia. It is grown around the capital Ankara in the eponymous district of Kalecik. The vineyards are located at 600 to 900 metres above sea level on the steep slopes of the Kizilirmark (Red River). There are others in Cappadocia and Thrace. In 2016, 704 hectares of vineyards were designated (Kym Anderson).

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Egon Mark
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