Lysistrata and the Mystery of Kalecik Wines – OpEd – Eurasia Review


Lysistrata is a one-act play written by Aristophanes in 411 BC. The play, believed to have been first staged in the spring of 411 BC. . It is about the events that take place when the women, tired of waiting for their men to return from the war, decide not to share their bed with the men in order to end the war. When the men fail to end the war, Lysistrata thinks the women must take over and enforce the peace. First they will refuse to sleep with their men, then they will seize the Acropolis, the state reserve currency stored in the Parthenon, and they will bring down the war power of Athens. Lysistrata gathers women, including Lampito from Sparta and women from other hostile states. Although the women are reluctant at first, they accept Lysistrata’s plan and swear to carry it out. This is Aristophanes’ third play. Recognized as the author’s most established and human comedy, the play has been staged by hundreds of theater companies in many countries around the world.

A similar incident was depicted in the movie “The Shalwar Case”. I will tell you about another similar incident today. “Kalecik Karası” grapes, known by the name of the same place, are grown in Kalecik, a small county in Ankara. Local investors who want to produce grapes, they have been renting vacant land from the Treasury for 49 years. The investor makes the land suitable for agriculture, then plants “Kalecik Karası” grapes and takes care of it. In about 5 to 7 years, the vines grow, develop and begin to produce local, large-seeded black grapes. These grapes are not intended for table consumption. Grape juice is pressed, then the grape juice is used to make vinegar, molasses, and wine. Some regional villages have grown these grapes at home for centuries, some of them have seriously aged wines.

Landowners who want to make wine for industrial sales, harvest the grapes with day-to-day farm workers, load them onto trucks, and take them to nearby vineyards during harvest season. Some sell them all to nearby factories, some buy them bottled or in oak barrels in exchange for grapes. These young wines are aged, bottled after 2 to 4 years and then put on the market. There are VinArt, Kavaklıdere and Diren vineyards producing Kalecik Karası wines in the county. Kalecik Karası is also produced on the slopes of Alacati, Thrace and Cappadocia in other regions, but the plants from these regions are mixed with other grapes and are genetically degraded. Therefore, it is necessary to give priority to grapes and factories from Kalecik region for Kalecik Karası wine.

In one of these factories, the factory managers wondered: “How is traditional wine produced in the neighboring villages? », the inhabitants of the neighboring villages produce wine, but they do not put it on the market, they consume it on the spot. Few are for sale at the weekly open farmer’s market, and few are offered to guests as a courtesy during family home visits.

Managers then send mostly male food engineers to the nearby village cafe to learn how to make wine locally. The young people enter the café, greet a group of old men and then inquire about the local winemaking method. A grandfather, who is a leader among the elderly, twists his mustache into a machete, then explains the situation thus: “I don’t know how to make wine, I just drink a fair amount of it every day. Women make wine here.

The young people go this time to the fountain, they ask the same question there, the women answer: “The women make wine here, what happens to you men? They see that this information gathering business is not working, they can’t get information, the young lady among the food engineers was sent to the fountain. The women of the village take the young food engineers to their homes and explain in detail the traditional ritual of winemaking.

During the harvest period, from mid-August to early October, the grapes on the vines are picked by men, these grapes are pressed by men because only washed from the rain, the grape juice is filled inside in wooden barrels that were buried in the ground centuries ago, there is still yeast in the barrels. The lids are closed. Every month, the covers are opened and the foam created on top is removed. When the first young wine is produced in six months or a year, it is then pumped into aging barrels, aged there, and then bottled. The wine is presented to their father. Of course, good wine is given to a good father. The mother of the family does not give good wine to the man of the house who mistreats her, they only make vinegar that year. The fathers do not know the winemaking of the ancients, but they drink the best homemade wine all year round.

After hearing this story, I went to the nearest kiosk in town. I found the 2020 production of Kalecik Karası red wine from Diren Winery, it had a price of 65 lira before Christmas, now it is selling for 85 lira. We find various fruit aromas with a predominance of plum, no alcohol is felt, no astringency, no acid.

Go to the public bazaar in the Kalecik district for vintage, if you’re respectful and polite, maybe they’ll give you half a glass for a tasting as a courtesy.

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