An unparalleled and exhilarating journey that extends from the vine to the glass… And the most delightful memoires that this journey symbolizes are exquisite and flawless tastes. In every bottle, Barbare carries and nurtures the varying aromas and flavors of the choicest grapes that have been meticulously cultivated at Barbare’s vineyards with care and attention. As the aromas and flavors flourish and age over time, so does the enjoyment experienced for a lasting and unforgettable bond with wine lovers.
Inspired by his friend Mr. Arnaud, a restaurant owner and distinguished owner of Chateau Cabrieres and Chateau Maucoil in the Châteauneuf-du Pape region in France, Barbare Vineyards tale begins in 2000 when Can Topsakal decided to join the exciting world of winemaking after completing his university education in France. His quest to find the most suitable soil and microclimate for his vineyards took him on a journey from Çeşme in the Aegean region to Tekirdağ in the Thrace region in Turkey. Subsequently, Topsakal purchased 57 acres of land in Tekirdağ to establish Barbare Vineyards and set forth on making his dream a reality with Xavier Vignon, a prominent oenologist and wine consultant for numerous Chateau Wineries in France.
Barbare Vineyards is situated between the villages of Barbaros and Yazır in Tekirdağ. Set on a small hilltop overlooking the Marmara Sea, the vineyards are ideal for cultivating grapes according to international standards as the fertile land is warmed with the sun’s heat coupled with the cooling temperatures from the sea. The region is known for its centuries-old winemaking traditions and as a result of the state-of-the art vineyards presently established, the Thrace region is once again flourishing and re-gaining its rightful place in viniculture.
Grapes were first planted at Barbare Vineyards in 2001 and were continued to be planted periodically through 2003. Moreover, internationally recognized Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes are cultivated with organic and biodynamic farming methods for sustainable winemaking at Barbare Vineyards.
Barbare Vineyards has a production team consisting of 10 experts in their field. Additionally, approximately 60 women workers are temporarily hired seasonally to prune, bond, retrench and pick grapes during the harvest. As a result, Barbare Vineyards has generated new job opportunities for the community in the region.
Barbare is committed to the philosophy that “winemaking begins at the vineyard” and has a low-yield strategy and the average yield at Barbare’s vineyards is 350-400 kg annually. Not only aren’t the grapevines watered unless absolutely necessary, the grapevines are carefully monitored to ensure homogenous maturity and yield capacity. As a result, Barbare is able to produce superb wines with vibrant and distinct hues, complex aromas and soft tannins.
Organic Viticulture and ECOCERT Certification
Barbare’s most important ideology and conviction is “to give back to the soil what it has taken” and as a result, is dedicated to cultivating the choicest grapes and organic farming. To endorse this commitment, Barbare applied to Ecocert, the most esteemed organization to receive certification. Ecocert was established in France in 1991 and is an independent inspection and certification body recognizing and certifying organic farming and has been a benchmark in organic certification worldwide ever since. Ecocert evaluates the entire production chain – from the total process and products ingredients, to the use of top quality ecological resources to eco-friendly standards. Presently, there are only 15,000 products that have been endorsed with Ecocert certification and Barbare Wines is proud to be a member of this group.
Why the name Barbare?
The main consideration in naming our vineyards Barbare was to signify the importance and history of winemaking in the Thrace region and also because our vineyards are situated along the ridges of Barbaros, a small and picturesque village. While our goal was to pursue organic farming and as a result, protect the environment, we thought it was best that our wines carry the name of the region. Further, we used Barbaros’s bearded skull, which infers to a red beard in Barbare’s logo.
Who is Xavier Vignon?
For the past 15 years, Xavier Vignon has been one of the most renowned oenologists in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape and surrounding wine regions in France. More than just a consultant for Barbare Wines, Vignon is in total charge of monitoring the vineyards as well as every step of the winemaking process. Once a month he travels from France to visit and oversee the activities at the Vineyards and spends most of his time at Barbare during the grape harvest season.
Grapes harvested at Barbare Vineyards are immediately transported to the entrance of the winery which is located on site. As a result, the grapes are not damaged and the grape must is not lost during transport. One of the most important ways to improve the quality of the wines is by producing “Chateau style” wines which is accomplished by having a winery on site.
The grapes at Barbare Winery are fermented in heat-controlled stainless steel tanks, with a maximum residual sugar ratio of 0.5 g/l to produce dry wines with an alcohol content of between 12.5 and 14.5%. The tanks are continuously monitored and samples are analyzed at the winery’s laboratory to ensure that the parameters are standard throughout the fermentation process. The fermentation process takes anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks, but can change each year according to the grapes harvested. After fermentation is completed, the wines are subject to malolactic fermentation. During this process in winemaking, tart-tasting malic acid that is naturally present in grape must is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid to create a rounder, fuller mouth feel, so the wines are rested in stainless steel tanks for a period longer. Afterwards, sample analyses are repeated and based on the results and oenologist Xavier Vignon’s assessments, the wines are matured in French oak barrels. Barbare uses Allier, Vosges and Nevers French oak barrels and the main principal that is followed is “to mature the wines without too much oak”. Furthermore, the oak barrels are used only for a maximum of 4 years.
The first wines were produced at Barbare Winery in 2007 and Barbare Wines were introduced to wine aficionados for the first time in April 2011. One of the most important goals at Barbare Wines is to prove that wines produced in Turkey can be aged according to international standards.
10 varieties of wines are produced at Barbare Winery. The only white wine produced is Sauvignon Blanc and the rose wine produced was first produced with a blend of Mourvèdre & Merlot (2010) and afterwards the rose wine was produced with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Mourvèdre (2011). Additionally, 8 varieties of red wines uses 5 different grapes are produced. While Barbare Premier is produced with a blend of top quality wines matured in oak barrels, Barbare Elegance Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes are produced Châteauneuf-du-Pape style. A typical Bordeaux style red wine, Barbare Prestige is produced with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes which is very suitable to Turkish wine aficionados’ tastes. Moreover, Premier’s 2 new Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon varietal wines have recently been bottled and introduced to wine lovers.
Considered a younger wine compared to the other wines produced at the Winery, Barbare Syrah & Grenache & Mourvèdre and Barbare Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blends fruity aromas are highlighted and the oak aromas are very balanced.
Barbare Vineyards and Winery are located approximately 1.5 hours and 132 km west of Istanbul. Additionally, the Winery is open year round to visitors. Wine aficionados can take a tour of the vineyards; attend a wine tasting in the wine cellar; and purchase wines on site at discounted prices.