The Grape Harvesting by Mey I Diageo Has Started Off

28 September 2023

The grape harvesting by Mey I Diageo has started off at Alpagut Vineyards.

Ancient vineyards embody fertility!

The grape harvest season has started off in Eastern Anatolia, which is regarded as the homeland of viticulture and winemaking. During his speech at the harvest of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere (noble grape varieties in Anatolia) at Alpagut vineyards in Elazig, where the winemaking history dates back to 10 thousand years ago, Levent Komur, the General Manager at Mey I Diageo, stated that their primary goal is to unlock the true potential of the vineyards in Türkiye. Komur added, Almost half of the grapes produced in the world are turned into wine and sold. This rate reaches up to 85 percent in the EU. In Türkiye, this rate is about 3 percent. It shows the potential of our lands. The more we increase this rate, the more benefit we can provide first to our farmers and then to the tourism industry. This is what we strive for with our 80 years of experience..."

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 the harvest season of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere, the most special grape varieties of Eastern Anatolia, in Elazig, with a traditional grape harvesting event held for the professionals of the industry. During his speech at the grape harvesting event, Levent Komur, the General Manager at Mey | Diageo, who started off the harvest season at Alpagut, the only vineyard where Okuzgozu and Bogazkere are grown simultaneously in Türkiye, pointed out that the history of these grape varieties dates back to 10 thousand years ago. Reminding the presence of hundreds of grape varieties on these lands, Komur added, "Despite the fact that these grapes are incredibly valuable, they are not very well known in the world."

For Turkish tourism industry, wine is like the oil.

Despite the fact that Türkiye ranks 5th for the largest vineyard area in the world, it meets approximately 5 percent of the world's grape production, and only 3 percent of the grapes produced across the country are used for winemaking. However, this rate is about 85 percent for EU countries and about 80 percent for other countries that are engaged in viticulture.

Komur added, “Almost half of the grapes produced in the world are turned into wine and sold. And it brings a substantial added value to the countries, which manage to do this. For example, New Zealand, the surface area of which is one-third of Türkiye's, has a vineyard area that is one-tenth of Türkiye's. However, this country currently exports 273 times more wine than Türkiye. In addition, 100 years ago, there were no vineyards or grapes in New Zealand. Until 15 years ago, there was almost no vineyard area in China, but it has increased its vineyard area by 300 percent and wine production by 450 percent in 15 years. Despite the fact that our neighbor Greece grows wine grapes in an area, which is only 14 percent of the vineyard area of Türkiye, it exports 10 times more wine than Türkiye. These examples show us how high the potential of Türkiye is.

Pointing out that it will be the farmers who will get the greatest benefit from making use of this potential, Komur added, "For Turkish tourism industry, wine is like the oil.", and highlighted that other countries are aware that wine provides great benefits to tourism industry. Levent Komur added that he is more than pleased that Turkish winemaking is earning respect on international platforms and that the number of winemakers continues to increase day by day.

Elazig Winemaking Plant of Mey | Diageo, the only plant where Okuzgozu and Bogazkere grapes can be processed on site, stands out as the only winery, which was one of the wineries that were put into operation in 1930s, after researches on vineyard areas and grapes, with the incentives of Atatürk, and where wine production still takes place. The annual wine production capacity of Elazig Winemaking Plant of Mey | Diageo, which was established as a workshop in 1942 and turned into a large plant in 1944, is 6.2 million liters.

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. Based on NielsenIQ Retail Report for 2023 (January_July), today, Mey I Diageo is the 5th largest food and beverage company in Türkiye, with 8 plants and more than 1,000 employees in Türkiye. The company 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".

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