The Wineyard

The Kastro Tireli vineyard is located in Akhisar’s Pinarcik village, 200-280 meters above sea level and approximately 100 km inland from the coastline, which provides one of the most desirable microclimates for wine. The place was part of the old Tireli ranch. Dating back to the early days of the Turkish Republic, the Tireli ranch was owned by the commander of the National Forces and the first major of Akhisar, Tirelizade Ismail Bahri and his family. This ranch once belonged to one of the leading families of the region, the Karaosmanoglu family, whose members also included the famous Turkish novelist Yakup Kadri. Over time the 5-hundred-hectare ranch was divided between the Tirelizade family members. Kastro Tireli bought the last plot of land belonged to the family and turned it into the vineyards of today. The dream of establishing the vineyards here was conceived around the turn of the millennium. With its rows of rolling hills, red and dark yellow rocky soil and the slightly tended plains, this place was an exciting backdrop ideal for producing high quality wine.

To a large extent, the future of the vineyard depended on these soil. Inherited from previous generations, this land was guarded and nurtured by past civilizations, and meant to pass on to the future generations. The wine produced from this vineyard should be named to reflect its rich heritage. As Tireli ranch was the last piece of land left in the hands of Tirelizade family, its name had to survive. This was true regardless of who inherited the land and its vineyard in the future.

The city’s name is derived from the iconic white walls, the symbol of the city, which surrounded the medieval city center. The city was originally named Aspro Kastro, meaning ‘White Castle’ in ancient Greek. The remnants of this white wall did not survive to this day but lived on through the city’s name, Akhisar, also meaning “White Castle” in Turkish. In order to preserve this name the vineyards that were planted in the last castle of the Tireli ranch were named ‘Kastro Tireli’ meaning ‘Tireli Castle’.

The extensive analysis of the soil and climate, after research done in the Côtes du Rhône of France and Tuscany Italy, led to the plantation process. With the help of French and Italian experts, the planting started in 2004, and vineyards were completed in 2008. Today, Kastro Tireli vineyards cover an area of 23 hectares. During the warm summer, the continuous north winds provide the right relief to the grape harvest, balancing the grapes ripening.

The Kastro Tireli Winery, located in the middle of the vineyard, produces wines solely from the grapes located on the Kastro Tireli vineyard. Dr. Andrea Paoletti, the well-known Tuscan viticulturist and winemaking expert, has supervised the Kastro Tireli vineyard since its first planting days to today. He is still the consultant and winemaking chief at Kastro Tireli. Dr. Paoletti is also chief advisor to many high-end wine producers, including the iconic “Tenuta Dell’Ornelaia”, the widely acclaimed organic wine producer “Caia Rossa” and the producer of many award-winning Brunellos “Val di Cava”.

With uncompromising view on quality in the vineyard, the yield per hectare is limited to 4-5 tons through green harvesting and minimal irrigation. The principles of organic production have been adapted and application for the Organic Viticulture Production Certificate has been filed.

The pruning of the vineyard is done by hand, without machinery, starting at the end of December. To achieve a balanced formation on the plants, 3 to 4 best suited spurs are selected in each plant. As the clusters begin to form they are trimmed and periodically cleaned of extra leaves to achieve stronger plants and grapes. At the end of July, after green harvesting each plant bares 5-6 clusters, which provides us with grapes that have the maximum aroma and maturity at harvest, where each grape cluster is selected and picked by hand, and the collection is taken to the winery for the wine making.