Harvest Thrill By Kayra, In Fertile Vineyards

22 September 2022

Harvesting of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere has started 

Harvest thrill by Kayra, in fertile vineyards in Elazig

Harvesting of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, the most special grape varieties native to Eastern Anatolia, has started in Elazig. Hosted by Kayra in the fertile vineyards and wine production plant in Elazig, the grape harvesting event tells about the magical journey of the grape varieties Okuzgozu and Bogazkere. The industry professionals, who participate in the grape harvesting event hosted by Kayra, also have the opportunity to take a boat tour on Hazar Lake and taste the local delicacies of Elazig, experiencing the spectacular gastronomy tourism of the city.  

The grape harvest thrill is in the air in the Eastern Anatolia. Mey|Diageo has started harvesting Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, the noble grape varieties native to Anatolia, in its vineyards on these lands, where the winemaking history dates back to ten thousand years ago.   

Carrying out wine production in the vineyards that are located closest to the lands where wine originated and in its production plant located in the easternmost part of Türkiye, Mey | Diageo celebrates transformation of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, the most special grape varieties native to Eastern Anatolia, in Elazig, into world-class wines, at a traditional grape harvesting event held for the professionals of the industry. During the trip, which promises an unforgettable experience on the lands where wine originated, not only the vineyards are visited but also support to the development of regional tourism is provided through the boat tour taken on Hazar Lake and the tasting of local delicacies.

The grape varieties of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, which are processed at Kayra production plant of Mey|Diageo in Elazig, serve as the true bridge between Anatolia and its past culture. Okuzgozu, meaning the eye of an ox in English and taking its name from its large, dark blue grains as they resemble the eyes of an ox, and Bogazkere, meaning tasting sour in throat in English and taking its name from its sour taste, grow at the highest and roughest parts of the region, in a depressed plain, protected from the cold.  

Stating that the history of viticulture in Eastern Anatolia dates back to 6000 years ago, Levent Komur, the General Manager at Mey|Diageo, said, “We, as a country, are the owners of lands where wine originated. More importantly, we have hundreds of grape varieties of our own. In our vineyards in Elazig and Sarkoy, which cover an area of 55 hectares in total, we grow the characteristic Anatolian grapes. With the investments we make, we support agriculture and provide local with labor force opportunities.  

Highlighting that they purchased 2-3 times more grapes during the pandemic so that the grapes of the farmers were not left in the vineyards, Komur said that they strive for ensuring that the grape varieties of Bogazkere, Okuzgozu, Kalecik Karasi, Narince, Misket and Emir grapes, which are native to Anatolia, gain the value they deserve globally, and that the countries, where wines made from these grape varieties were delivered to wine lovers, include United States, UK, Germany, Australia, Dubai, Bulgaria and Cyprus.  

Levent Komur, the General Manager at Mey|Diageo, added:  

We see ourselves not only as a company that is engaged in production and sales of alcoholic beverages but also as an important part of gastronomy in Türkiye and the world. We are in solidarity with the gastronomic ecosystem, and we believe that, as this ecosystem progresses and rises, we will rise together with it. We would like to build an ecosystem, which offers international service, quality and experience, and where women play important roles and attention is paid to gender equality. One of our biggest investments in gastronomy is IWSA (International Wine & Spirits Academy), an institution authorized by the Ministry of National Education that we founded to train tourism and gastronomy professionals. Here we provide trainings on wine, distilled spirits and relevant culture.”  

An 80-year-old winery inspired by the incentives of Atatürk    

Among the wineries that were put into operation in 1930s, after researches on vineyard areas and grapes, with the incentives of Atatürk, Elazig Kayra Winery is the only winery left where wine production still takes place.  The volume of wine produced annually was initially 1.16 million liters in the winery, which was turned from a simple plant into a large facility in 1944. After transformation of this facility into Kayra Winery, the annual wine production capacity has recently reached 6 million liters. Only red wine production takes places at Kayra, where a cellar consisting of 685 barrels is available for maturation of special wines. Buzbag Klasik has been produced in this winery since 1944.  It is the only winery that concentrates on production of wine from the grape varieties of Bogazkere and Okuzgozu, which are the grapes of the greatest importance in that they reflect the atmosphere of the Eastern Anatolia Region.  

Kayra Wine Production Plant in Elazig ensures that valuable grape varieties of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere fully reflect their characteristics on the wine, thanks to on-site production and bottling, without losing their potentials as a result of traveling thousands of kilometers. Having established big cooperation with the local people and viticulturists, this plant ensures that these two valuable Anatolian grape varieties are processed on-site, at master hands. On-site processing of the grape varieties of Bogazkere and Okuzgozu provides the opportunity to carry out various R&D studies on these grape varieties and produce different wines that reveal the strong character of these two grape varieties.  

About Mey|Diageo:   

Mey|Diageo, the representative of a tradition that started in 1862 at the General Directorate of Monopolies, and continued with Tekel, has been operating under the umbrella of Diageo, the world's largest and leading producer of spirits, since 2011, with business operations in approximately 180 countries and regional offices in 80 countries. Mey I Diageo, Türkiye's fifth largest FMCG company with 9 plants and more than 1,000 employees in Türkiye,  has been providing contributions to livelihoods of hundred of thousands of people, through direct and indirect relationships it has established with the farmers, tradesmen, distribution channels, sub-industries, and tourism and service industries since its establishment. Playing a critical role in the agro-industry, the company, holding the title of being the first ISO 9001-certified raki producer and the first ISO 22000-certified wine producer in Türkiye, has a portfolio that includes a wide range of distilled spirit and wine brands. Standing out as the first and only company in the distilled spirits industry to have its environmental management system certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 standard, Mey | Diageo makes efforts not only for achieving the goal of fulfilling its corporate social responsibility, but also for being a "responsible social organization". 

For information:  

Zarakol Iletisim    0212 217 29 99 

Ayse Evin  - [email protected] / 0533 395 70 94