We received great feedback on our post about Wine Tasting in Urla, so I asked my brother, Mike, and his wife, Sarah to share a bit about the wine tasting experiences I was unable to experience while visiting. In their time living in Izmir, they also had the chance to try out Urla Winery, which is much larger scale than the wineries I visited.
They were kind enough to send over a review of their experience at Urla, as well as their experience trying out the pizza at Urlice. They now live in Germany, so I’m hoping Sean and I will make it out there soon for some German wine tasting. We’ll post our reviews here, of course!
Here are Mike’s thoughts on his experiences in Urla, accompanied by Sarah’s lovely pictures. For more of their adventures, check out Sarah’s blog (she’s much better at documenting their travels than he is!).
Urla, the largest and most established of the region, models itself on an American winery. Driving through the main gates, you’re surrounded by vineyards as you approach the tasting room, and attached boutique hotel: a contemporary model of the farm house. The tasting room is rather large, with seating for about 40 people, but we never saw more than a few groups. We did two tastings there, once in Turkish and once in English. They are rather unorganized (I got a funny look when I said I wanted to try all of the wines), but the wines are pretty good.
The Urla region is light on whites, but Urla Winery offers both a Sauvignon Blanc and a Chardonnay. Both are solid, but the reds are where Urla excels. Skip the single grape varietals and try the blends: Vourla, Nexus, Tempus, and Nero d’Avola/Karasi. We bought a couple bottles of each, but the Nero d’Avola and the Tempus were our favorites. In fact, due to a 2013 law that prevents the wineries from advertising, we only learned about this winery, and the other wineries in the region, from trying the Nero d’Avola at a restaurant in Bodrum.
Wine – 4/5 | Tasting – 3.5/5 | Views – 4/5 | Atmosphere – 3/5
Urlice Winery (Pizza!)
My wife, Sarah, and I used Urlice’s Saturday pizza kitchen as an excuse to return a couple times after our first visit, with friends of course. Because of the law referenced previously, it was near impossible to find any information without calling or showing up in person. We opted for the latter, arriving at the winery around noon. If you’re interested in a tasting before your pizza, the owners recommend you call ahead and make a reservation.
The pizzas are different every weekend: the chef makes them based on what is available at the market. Not being a huge veggie fan, I opted for peppers and sucuk, a fermented Turkish sausage, usually made of beef. On different occasions we’ve seen artichokes, Bosnian sausage, and pumpkin as toppings. Being an American style pizza (with real sauce!), this is arguably the best pizza in the Izmir region. Add in a nice Cabernet rosé, and pizza Saturdays at Urlice are a great day out of the city.
Wine – 4/5 | Pizza – 4.5/5 | Views – 3/5 | Atmosphere – 4/5
Mike and Sarah gifted me a bottle of Urla wine for my birthday, and I have to agree that it’s fantastic! The Urla region as a whole is incredibly unique and offers a great experience for wine lovers. I highly recommend a visit!
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