We discovered this wonderful place in Cappadocia last week. I loved it so much I changed my blog posting schedule so as to get the word out. When in Ürgüp you must visit the Mahzen Şarap Evi. Read on to find out why…
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Each of the key towns in Cappadocia has its unique personality. Among other things Ürgüp is known for its wineries. I am not a connoisseur, but I have read that Cappadocian wines have improved over the last decade and are approaching international standards. Maybe some of you can confirm or refute that statement.

Regardless, I have only had good experiences with wines in Ürgüp and on that note I want to highlight one “must experience” opportunity for your next visit.
My wife and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this month and thanks to some friends who watched our kids we were able to get away for a couple of nights. The great thing about living in Cappadocia is that one does not have to go far to “get away”. We stayed at the comfortable Dinler Hotel, which I will write about another time.

Laurie had one requirement for our time: We must drink some mulled wine, which incidentally sounds like “mold wine” when it is said in conversation and sounds rather disgusting!

While driving around Ürgüp we spotted the Mahzen Şarap Evi and decided it looked like a place that would have hot, spiced wine. This past week the temperature was below freezing every day which made it a perfect time for this experience.
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Gulshen Sarikaya, the hospitable wife of Hasan and mother of Tuna, the owners/winemakers, met us at the entrance and welcomed us into a wonderfully cozy, antique room lined with cushioned benches and a glowing soba. The Sarikayas use centuries old vinification techniques to produce relatively smaller quantities than the large brands like Turasan (Clearly I will have to write more posts on the subject of Cappadocian wines, something about which I am not grieving.)
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We ordered our sıcak şarap (hot wine) and enjoyed gazing into each other’s eyes and talking about our 17 years together while we munched on dried chickpeas. After bringing the delicious wine she opened the soba to reveal some baked potatoes she had been cooking for her own lunch. Turkish hospitality kicked into gear and next thing we knew a few potatoes were sitting on a plate in front of us with butter and salt. We had been wondering what to do for lunch. That problem had been solved.
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I like sweet drinks which is why I am not such a big wine fan, but the spiced wine was excellent. We had a wonderful conversation with Gulshen about her life and family. She even brought out some rabbits she raises and let them run around the room. Finally as we got up to leave after a couple of hours she had us taste some of their special recipes including pomegranate wine and cherry wine (they ferment the grapes with the other fruit) which were both sweet and delicious. We are looking forward to returning for another visit soon and highly recommend that you do the same when you visit Cappadocia. Be sure to take a few bottles home with you.

Which is your favorite Cappadocian wine?