Sirince - The Wine Village


Staff member

Located near the town of Selcuk, in the province of Izmir, Sirince Village is famous for it's homemade wines, olive oil and historic houses - all of which attract both foreign and domestic tourists.

Sirince only has 560 residents accommodated in as few as 200 houses in the village. The share of it's income is gradually increasing through tourism. The village is well known not only for it's historic houses but also for it's wide selection of local wines and olive oil. It is from many types of fruit, particularly peaches, blueberries and grapesgrown locally, that the Sirince winery produces 12 kinds of fruit wines. Thanks to the interest of tourists and their appreciation of the Sirince brand, the name of the village has spread around the world.

Around 20 houses in Sirince have abeen converted into pensions, yet still carry an authentic atmosphere with wooden architecture and fire places. They are estimated to host more that 2,000 tourists daily in the Summer months. The manager of ones of the wine houses located in the village, Baris Morkaya says ''The best of the fruit-flavoured wines that tourists relish are produced only in our village. We have 12 kinds of fruit wines. Koreans buy wine in large quantities, whereas the German and French buy sufficient wine to drink during their visit here. Domestic tourists also enjoy fruit wines.

The story of the Artemis Sirince restaurant and winery begun during a vacation trip in July 1994. Walking along the cobblestone streets in a village surrounded by peach orchards, vineyards and olive groves, Helmut Hermann Krauss visited Turkey and became inspired by villagers selling handicrafts, olive oil and wines. Also, cafes and wine shops offered coffee, tea or even local vintage wines to be tasted.

In those days, all Krauss knew about Turkey was from media reports and from Turks living and working in Germany. ''A friend of mine gave me the advice to visit the town Selcuk. This was not far from my future workplace, Sirince, a village whose name I didn't even know at the time'' recalls Krauss.

The Summer of 1997 was when Krauss was able to determine whether the German market would be interested in blueberries grown in Turkey. With the agreement of his Turkish partner, he obtained an order for locally produced blueberries. In the meantime Krauss visited the Tourism Ministry in Ankara with Ciftci in order to sign a contract to purchase property in Sirince. His concept of combining wine, culture and tourism convinced the minister, Mr Dogan, and Krauss obtained the additional permits. Construction was completed in 1998.

In 1999 the first wines produced in Sirince were sold to tourists in the village restaurants. Unfortunately however, the new company did not meet with success in the first three years, until Krauss met Guray Yaylarlar.

''In 2002 I brought Guray to Germany and taught him the art of making wine. As he seemed to be very interested, he convinced me to continue the work being done in the wine cellars in Sirince. Thus, in March 2003 we both started all over again. We have now increased our capacity enormously''

His concepts of creating a new center for manufacturing aromatic fruit wines in Turkey has proven correct. Very quickly, Artemis Sirince has become a trade name. Also, the firm's grape wines are now popular. In the process, Sirince has become the most famous village for wines in Turkey and the Krauss enterprise has made a substantial contribution to this new industry.

More information about Artemis Restaurant:

Sirince complex of Terrace houses consists of 3 heritage cottages overlooking the magnificent valley of Sirince. Olive house, Fig house and Grapevine house all feature their own distinct character, which have come to the fore even more so after restoration. Visitors coming from all over the world can enjoy fully furnished rustic style homes full of Turkish antiques. Each house has a wood burning fireplace, luxurious bathrooms, comfortable furnishings, a well equipt kitchen and large double beds. Music, fresh coffee and a selection of teas are provided to make one feel at home from the first day of one's stay. Homemade organic olive oil is provided for guests to use in the kitchen.

In the Summer, guests can enjoy al fresco candlelit dinners in the Terrace Cafe, featuring unmatched views across the village to the hills beyond. In the Winter, visitors will be greeted by the fire, what makes a cottage an ideal spot for a romantic weekend break. Sirince Terrace Houses are an optimal base to explore the surrounding hillside with endless walks. The location is also ideally placed for those whow ould like to visit historic sites in the area. Ephesus, one of the most impressive and important city-states of Asia Minor, is only 15 minutes from Sirince.

Source: The Sunny Times Magazine