Sirince Village: Home of the Wine Makers
Sirince, a highly popular tour excursion on the western coast of Turkey, is not only easy on the eye, but also on the palate. Why? Well, the village, sitting high in the mountains over the touristic attraction of the ancient ruins of Ephesus city is famous countrywide for its many potent fruit wines, that have now become a favorite holiday souvenir as well as liquid company at dinner.
The History of Sirince Village
No one is sure of its exact historical timeline, but suggestions have been made that freed slaves from the ancient city of Ephesus that was once the second largest metropolis of the Roman Empire started it. Legend has it the inhabitants called the village Çirkince - or ugly in Turkish - in an attempt to put off people from dropping in.
Hundreds of years later, a significant amount of the population was actually Greek; a common occurrence in many villages along the western and southern coasts as well as the central Anatolian region of Turkey. Dominated for several decades fro through to the critical year of 1923, when Turkey formed its great Republic out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, there was a mass population exchange between Greece and Turkey.
After the 1923 population exchange had occurred, the village was named Şirince, referring to the translation meaning of pleasant. It makes you wonder, knowing the roaring trade in fruit wine, that the local governor didn't foresee how the good times were due to roll for the village! During the last 30 years, as mainstream tourism and independent travel have engulfed Turkey, Sirince is now a popular tourist destination.
The village also took on a new look when most of the whitewashed houses of the area were restored with traditional materials to look like an authentic Greek village, as it did in days gone by. Among the restored buildings is village's Hotel de Charme.
The Moment of International Fame
Village life was temporarily thrust into the limelight by international media when the small urban dwelling district relying so heavily on agriculture was named as one of the few places on earth that would survive the predicted 2012 Mayan Apocalypse as claimed by New Age Mystics. After an influx of tourists and the curious, as well as those that were determined to survive at all costs, the apocalypse came and went, and village life returned to normal.
Nevertheless, photographers, both novice and experienced have a ball in the village, with the beautiful landscape photo opportunities and snapshots of local life that continues among hordes of tourists arriving every day. Today, the village population has remained more or less unchanged: 600 inhabitants, 35 donkeys, but now there are 15 restaurants, cafes, and 2 barbers to satisfy locals and tourists alike.
Wine Tasting in Sirince
Due to the fantastic location of the village in a fertile area with ideal weather climate, it is the perfect place to grow and produce fruit wines. Believed to have been started by the arriving Turks during the 1923 population exchange, it has become the staple trade and income for the village’s economy. Wines, ranging from sweet to dry, and white to red, are made from the local fruits. These can include orange, peach, quince, apricot, apple, mulberry, and strawberry.
Visitors as soon as they enter the village, encounter many shops offering more or less the same variety of wines but what you will need is a clear head, not the typical 'sniff and spit out' wine tour attitude since that is not how wine tasting is done in Sirince. Then if you still have your wits about you, buy whatever taste takes your fancy.
With more than 90 varieties, including kiwi, raspberry, and pomegranate, the taste may eventually blend into another, so take the slow road to wine-tasting and enjoy the views around the village, as well.