Kavaklıdere Wines Co.
Kavaklıdere Winery’s story began in Switzerland.
A former Young Turk, Tunalı Hilmi, who was originally a member of İttihat ve Terakki, first as a colonel, then as a Member of Parliament, married the daughter of a noted Geneva family while he was in Switzerland. They had a daughter and a son whom they named Sevda and İnsan respectively. These children grew up and were educated in both cultures - Turkish and Swiss.
While in Switzerland, undergoing treatment for an illness, Sevda Tunalı ,a student at Galatasaray High School, met the son of a wealthy Plovdiv family named Serçeşmebeyleroğlu Mehmet Cenap, who had studied economics in Germany. This meeting ended happily with their subsequent marriage. According to the new law governing surnames, the couple adopted And as their last name.
Sevda and Cenap And made their home in Ankara. Cenap worked for Türkiye İş Bankası as an employee. Perhaps due to their farsightedness or maybe because of their education, the couple saw great potential for viticulture and public improvement in Ankara’s Kavaklıdere region. Obtaining a loan from a banker friend in Switzerland, the couple bought some withered vineyards which had fallen on lean times and been neglected over the years, as well as another vineyard and some land in the Kavaklıdere area, with the future intention of establishing a winery. During this time, İnsan Tunalı took employment in Foreign Affairs Ministry and took over duties at headquarters and then abroad.
In 1929, Sevda and Cenap And accidentally met Balaj Usta, a foreman who was working as a foreman on the Ziraat Bank building. He had been making his own wine, using locally bought grapes and techniques he had learned while living in his village in Hungary and was a great help to Sevda and Cenap And in implementing their idea to produce wine from the vineyards they had acquired in Ankara and other vineyards in the province. This accidental meeting resulted in the production of first Kavaklıdere’s wines with the possibilities of those days.
While Sevda and Cenap And were developing their winemaking facility and improving the quality of wine together with wine experts, wine equipment and materials imported from Europe; they also had to pay off the debt they owed on what is today the İş Bank building and the other vineyards and land they had bought. They established Kavaklıdere as a family company.
Kavaklıdere Winery was established as Turkey's first private sector wine producer in 1929 by Cenap And in Kavaklıdere district of Ankara. Gradually, Kavaklıdere Wines has become a well-known wine producing brand of the country due to wine production equipment brought from Europe and the contributions of valuable wine experts.
Over the years, Kavaklıdere district, which the company takes its name from, remains within the growing city, the transfer of the vineyards and winery to a more suitable area was needed. In 1987, 20 hectares of vineyards and 40 thousand hectoliters capacity were built on the land which was purchased in Akyurt, another district of Ankara.
Nowadays Kavaklıdere Wines are developing the forgotten indigenous grape varieties of Anatolia in their vineyard which are located all over Turkey, as well as offering international grapes with the Anatolian terroir impact.
Kavaklıdere Wines has owned a total of 652 hectares of vineyards in seven different sub-regions in the Aegean, Central Anatolia and Eastern Anatolia regions. The total production capacity of the company is 19.5 million litters which are divided into three different wineries in Ankara-Akyurt (1987), Cappadocia-Gülşehir-Côtes d'Avanos (2003) and Ege -Kemaliye -Pendore (2005).
With the aim of development of viticulture and winemaking in Turkey, Kavaklıdere Wines established Kav Vin Inc. in 2005. The company plans to produce qualified, healthy and certified seedling. Today, 10-15% of the seedling production of Turkey belongs to the Kav Vin Inc.
With a vision of becoming a global player in the world wine industry, Kavaklıdere Wines purchased two wineries and vineyards which are named Château La Croix Lartigue and Château Claud Bellevue in France, Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux at the beginning of 2016 with the guidance of Stéphane Derenoncourt, who has also been a Kavaklıdere Wines’ consultant in viticulture and production since 2008.
The brand "Maison Kavaklıdere" was established in order to bring together the products of two chateaux located in France, under the same brand. In 2016, Kavaklıdere Wines harvested Château La Croix Lartigue for the first time and so, it has become a worldwide producer.
Fun Fact! To encourage the popularity of classical music in Turkey, Cenap And who is the founder of Kavaklıdere Wines, also established the Sevda Cenap And Music Foundation in 1973. The ‘Ankara International Music Festival’ which is one of the largest festivals in Turkey, has been organised since 1984 by the foundation. Kavaklıdere Wines is the honourable member and gives its support. In addition, Kavaklıdere Wines take participates in many projects in order to support art in Turkey. In 2009 and 2018, two projects have been arranged by Kavaklıdere Wines. In these projects, the used barrels have been painted by Turkish and foreign artists. Furthermore, these masterpieces have been exhibited in many exhibitions.