Leading Turkish producer Kavaklidere Wines is investing in the UK market in a bid to win listings at independent wine merchants.

The Anatolia-based company, which is the largest producer in Turkey, said it has noticed an increased interest in Turkish wines among UK drinkers.

It has appointed marketing agency Sopexa to target the independent trade and sommeliers with a new campaign.

Cevza Basman, board member at Kavaklidere Wines, said: “We have noticed an increasing interest in Turkish wines in the UK, and feel that the time is right for us to invest in this important market. 

“Our premium wines have already gained over 900 awards at international competitions over the past few years, but now we want to capitalise upon this very positive feedback, and translate the enthusiasm for our wines into sales. 

“Our strategy will be to target key trade influencers in the UK market, invite them to come and visit us, and show them the passion we have for wine and the range of fine wines that we produce.  I am confident that the reaction will be very positive.”

Kavaklidere became the first private sector wine producer in Turkey when it was founded by Cenap And in 1929 in Ankara, and has gone on to become Turkey’s leading wine producer.

The company owns 645ha of vineyards in the key wine-producing areas of Anatolia, it has a storage capacity for 19.5 million litres and exports around 20% of its production.

It makes wines from international grape varieties, but they are mainly for the domestic market, while it aims to showcase indigenous Turkish varieties over in the UK.

Sopexa has historically worked with French wine clients but recently branched out into Portugal with port producer Sogevinus, and now has another country on its roster, and managing director Anne Burchett is convinced Kavaklidere Wines will be a success in the UK.

She said: “There is a real interest in indigenous grape varieties amongst the wine cognoscenti in the UK and we are looking forward to introducing people to the styles and subtleties of the wines made from Turkish grapes.”