Foça Black Wine Grape

Wines and grape varietals - Turkey

The Foça black is a large, purple-black, mid-season traditional wine grape. Its main flavors are of sour cherry and blackberry. This grape variety was lost for 90 years and was rediscovered and replanted starting in 1998. A small-scale wine company now produces wine from the Foça black grape with both traditional and modern-day methods. It is said that the variety is the ancestor of many other varieties and originated from the town of Foça (Phokaia), on Turkey's western coast, and was brought to the Mediterranean by sailors around 600 years B.C. Before 1923, Karafoça wine made from this grape was made all around the Aegean Sea. After the decimation of European vineyards from the phylloxera pest, wines were supplied to the continent from Ottoman costal towns with non-Muslim populations like Foça, Urla and Şarköy ve Kırkkilise. After the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, and the arrival of Muslim Turks with no knowledge or culture of winemaking, the vineyards on the Aegean and Thrace coasts were abandoned and the grape varieties lost. Today, only about 1000 liters of wine from Foça black grapes is made each year.