Sour Black Grape

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves - Turkey

Named as ekşi kara (meaning “sour black”) in Turkish literature, this variety is a juicy black grape that grows in conical, medium sized (150-200g) bunches. Its vine trunks are strong, fertile and suitable for short trimming. The dark, foggy black grapes contain two or three large, oval-shaped seeds each. This variety is also known as kecimen or karaoglan in local dialect. The ekşi kara grape is consumed fresh or, more often, dried. Ek?i kara’s flavor has a hint of moscato. This grape variety is known for its health benefits as well. It is a rich source of protein and calcium, and has iron, phosphate and A, B1, B2, B6 and C vitamins.   Ekşi karais well adapted to local environmental conditions in the Konya and Karaman districts and has long history in south central Turkey, documented as long as one-thousand years ago. In 2014, this variety was registered by the General Directorate of Seed Registration and Certification in Turkey. The grapes are mainly consumed dried or are pressed to obtain juice used for the preparation of traditional non-alcoholic drink şıra (wine must). Moreover, its leaves preserved in brine can be used for local dishes such as stuffed grape leaves. Ekşi kara can be found at local markets starting from April until the beginning of July. Dried ekşi kara grapes can be found at markets as well.   There are three main reasons that ekşi kara’s faces a risk of extinction Firstly, vineyards are getting smaller due to phylloxera (a grapevine pest) in the area. Also, because ek?i kara is not labeled with a protected geographical indication, new producers cannot make usage of certificated vineyard support efforts. Finally, producers cannot obtain certificated grafted vines grafted on American rootstocks (to fight disease threats) and have had to give up with this variety.