Thursday, August 13, 2015

Wine tasting in Urla

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As I mentioned in my last post, things have been a little hectic around here, even though we haven't done that much.  More on that later, but here's a little update on what we did yesterday.

Mike is applying to two universities and one of them requires a Turkish language exam as part of it's application.   The test was yesterday and it went less than fabulous.  I think Mike was pretty disappointed, but he said all of the other people taking the test were Turks, so how can he compete?  I'm super impressed and proud of him for even trying.  I think Mike was in need of a distraction and we both had spent a lot of time just hanging around the house, so we decided to get out and put our car to good use. 

We had been hoping to go wine tasting this past weekend, but we couldn't use our car because it was being registered and such.  We got our car back on Tuesday and knew it was only a matter of days hours before we put it to good use.  We've been going kind of stir crazy here in Izmir. Wine tasting was the perfect solution to all of our troubles and luckily, there are wineries right outside of the city!  

We chose to go to the Urla winery since we had tried a bunch of their wines and have loved every sip. We really didn't know what to expect, since everything here is a little..different. As we're driving, we turning down these winding roads with goats on one side and a fruit stand on the left.  By the time we got there, we were in the hills of Turkey.  

When we turned down the lane of the winery, though, it was completely different! There were vineyards on each side.   

and the wine tasting room and hotel (yes, hotel!!) were aesthetically beautiful.

Wine tasting room on the left, hotel (or guest room in Heaven?) on the right

The view behind the tasting room, though was the icing on the cake.  

I was so happy and I hadn't even taken a sip of wine.  I may have muttered the words "shatter my ashes here" but one will never know.  Anyways, we walked into the wine tasting room and took a seat at the bar. Luckily, the woman helping us spoke English and was able to explain the different features of each wine.  We tried two whites (sauvignon blanc and chardonnay) and then four different reds.  The pours were pretty small, so we probably only drank one complete glass, but after each sip, Mike and I would just look at each other with this look of "Oh. My. Gosh. That was good." 

In Turkey, there are strict laws about wineries and advertising.  Basically, it's not allowed. At all.  No promotional events. No websites. Nothing.  It's all done by word of mouth. Plus, there are really high taxes on wine and alcohol, so it's pretty expensive. 
Those bottles in the background? They're lining them up and counting them to put in our CASE that we bought. 

So, after they boxed up our case (not even sorry), we walked out with smiles on our face and ready to pop open a bottle with dinner.  

As if it could get any better, we took a different route home to avoid tolls and were in awe of the views.  I couldn't get a good picture, but I assure you they were jaw dropping.  They were so good, Mike may or may not have had to slam on the breaks a few times due to distracted driving. Whooops.

Needless to say, it was a perfect afternoon and a great distraction.  I am so happy that we discovered a little piece of heaven right outside of the city.   We will most DEFINITELY be going back to Urla, as well as trying some of the other wineries nearby.  Now if only we had a driver....

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