A lot of preparation, marketing, networking and effort. That’s what it took to make the first edition of the Turkish Wine Challenge happen. All took place in Istanbul on 15th and 16th October 2021, were 284 wines were judged.

I spoke to the proud founder and MD, Serhat Narsap about his experience of this first edition.

Congratulation on the outcome of the first edition! How were the preparations for this new competition in wines?

We started our journey with the aim of bringing a new spirit to the Turkish wine industry. TWC should become an important player and attract wine producers from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and the Middle East as well other international regions.

What are your goals and what makes this challenge unique from all the other?

We aim to create a long lasting synergy within the region. The competition will celebrate the highest quality wines with a team of world class judges in the field of wines. Lastly it will raise awareness of regional vineyards to the global market.

For this first edition you had a group of international judges, could you tell me more about this?

Yes, for this first edition I invited 14 judges, 7 women and 7 men giving a 50:50 gender split. I’m very proud of this balance in these modern times! The origin of the judges was very diverse, from Austria, Georgia, Germany, Lebanon, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, the UK, the USA and Turkey. All wine professionals that had the opportunity to network with the wine producers enhancing relationship.

With this first edition you set an expectation for the near future, your aim is clearly a broad international scope?

In this first edition we are excited to welcome all of the countries joining the competition: Argentina, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Which indicates that our focus is 100% international!

Could you tell me more about the results?

The quality of the entered wines were very high of quality. We awarded 3 Grand Gold, 23 Gold and 83 Silver medals. We also gave awards for best white, best red and a trophy, this are the winners.

TWC 2021 Best White winner – Assyrtiko 2017 by Estate Argyros, Greece

TWC 2021 Best Red winner – SO 2013 by Urla Sarapcilik, Turkey

TWC 2021 Trophy winner – SO 2013 by Urla Sarapcilik, Turkey

For more details on this wine challenge and the results in detail see https://www.turkishwinechallenge.org/

Thanks Serhat for your time and hope to see you again soon and to catch up in person!

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