The Turkish town of Sirince, meaning ‘sweet or charming,' most certainly lives up to its name. Set high up in the hills of Western Turkey this town was formerly inhabited by the Ottoman Greeks. Sirince is famed for its fruit wine and there remains much dispute over who originally started this lucrative trade, with either the Orthodox Greek Christians or the Muslim Turks being contenders. Whoever was responsible clearly had a great idea – it is one of the biggest draws for visitors.
Wine tasting is a popular activity and with so many flavours to choose from it can be quite a time consuming task. From melon to cherry and apple to plum, the list includes well over twenty different fruit wines. Sitting in a shady spot after a stroll around the town enjoying a cool glass of whichever flavour takes your fancy is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Sirince dates back to the 15th century although much of the architecture is slightly later – around the 19th century onwards. As you walk through the quiet and peaceful town women sell knitted clothes outside their homes, locals will say hello and we experienced first hand only how easy it was to keep sampling the free wine, given to us by the eager locals. Exploring further up the hillside we stumbled upon a potter who invited us to spend the afternoon in his garden. Sitting amongst his organic vegetables and array of flowers, we attempted to break the language barrier and admire his work. Such experiences are at the heart of Sirince; perhaps the sweetness of its wine has filtered into the people, for there are few places so resourceful, friendly and welcoming.