Vasilaki Grape

Wines and grape varietals - Turkey

Vasilaki is a white grape variety used for winemaking. It is native to the island of Bozcaada, in the Aegean Sea. The island was formerly part of Greece, and once known as Tenedos. The thin-skinned grapes grow best in calcareous soil and are known for their sourness and tartness, with a well-balanced acidity and undertones of fresh leaves or grass. The resulting wine is dry, refreshing and light in color. Vasilaki was brought to the island in the early 1900s from Aleksandrapoli (Dedea?aƧ). Since then, it has been cultivated in Bozcaada and is used today by six companies. Early Vasilaki harvests are used for winemaking, and late harvests are used for eating fresh. The variety can also be found in parts of Greece. In Turkey, approximately 60 tons of the grapes are grown annually. The decreasing levels of Cavus grape production on the island, and the replanting of old vineyards with foreign grape varieties have put Vasilaki at risk of extinction. While local island wines are gaining more attention, due to increased tourism activities on the island, lands dedicated to vineyards are diminishing. Consequently, attention to local grape varieties and production levels have decreased in recent years.