An employee smells a glass of wine on August 28, 2017 at Suvla wine in Canakkale. AFP / OZAN KOSE
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On the verdant, fertile Gallipoli peninsula in northwestern Turkey, headscarf-clad women in colorful clothes harvest grapes in the blistering late summer heat. But they will never taste the flavors from the wine that will emerge from the grapes they pick.Suvla started up in Gallipoli in the 2000s, mainly with French grape varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.But most wine in Turkey is made from over a half a dozen native grape varieties, such as Kalecik Karasi, Okuzgozu and Narince, though growers increasingly use European varieties, partly in a bid to find new markets.Restrictions on alcohol sales in Turkey are nothing new.All forms of alcohol advertising are now outlawed in Turkey. An even greater obstacle for producers, however, may be a special consumption tax, in addition to 18 percent VAT on alcohol purchases in Turkey.Some 62 million liters of wine was consumed in Turkey in 2014 and 63 million in 2015, but the figure fell to 51 million last year, according to the authority for the regulation of alcohol and tobacco.
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