The story of Korubaşı vineyards begins in 1999 with our first ever trip to the west of Behramkale after a 7 hour drive from İstanbul. Driving the last stretch of a long journey, we were already in awe of the beautiful terrain but as we made our last turn towards the area known as Yeşil Liman just 5 kilometers past Behram, we were so struck by the wild, untouched and rugged beauty of the northern Aegean that we had to stop and take some pictures. The unpaved road eventually led to the shores of Yeşil Liman which seemed mostly uninhabited except for a few houses all distantly located to each other and a few locals chatting by the fountain. “There is some land for sale at the top of the hill,” said one of the locals, sensing our excitement. “I can show you the land and call the owner if you want”. He himself was a hermit of some sorts, having left the big city some 20 years ago to live alone in a house that was still in the process of being built. Driving back to the top of the hill, we met Osman who showed us his land, a beautiful but mostly barren field with some oak trees and an amazing panoramic view of Assos, the bay of Edremit all the way to Ayvalık on the east, Lesbos and as far as the eye can see on the west. “We survive on olives around here,” said Osman, “the best olive oil in the world comes from this region. This piece of land has no olive trees as you can see, otherwise I would never sell my land, but I have two sons, and need money for their weddings.” It was as simple as that, we were looking to buy some land for a while on the European side of the Dardanelles and failed to find any land which was affordable and as beautiful, and just as we actually were not looking for anything, the land found us. Once the purchase was through Osman asked us what we were going to do with the land. “This land will feed 8-12 people” he said, “there is some work but plant tomatoes, fava beans, and olive trees if you aren’t in a hurry, or herd some sheep, but don’t waste it.” It was of course grapes that was in our minds, and maybe some olive trees, little did we know what lay ahead of us.
It has now been 20 years since the first encounter at Yeşil Liman with Osman and 15 years since we planted our first grapevines. It has been an exciting, pleasant, tiring, expensive, motivating, very fulfilling and a very challenging project for us, not necessarily in that order. Yet more than anything it made us happy, dedicated people and helped us appreciate hard work, though we were hard working people to begin with. It provided us with many friends, many happy harvests and much to our delight with some pretty good wine that we were proud to say, “we made this”. We learned many new things that we did not think we had the power to do so. That encounter at Yeşil Liman was one of moments that changed history for us. It took 20 years to create a healthy vineyard from a mostly barren field where only sheep and cattle grazed once. As the Turkish proverb says, “bakarsan bağ olur, bakmazsan dağ olur- if you take care of your land you will have a vineyard, if not a mountain”. To see the present layout of the vineyard these days in the summer of 2019 please click on the link.