An associate professor of viticulture from a country with one of the world's longest records of winemaking, Dr Elman Bahar, recently worked with EIT scientists on several industry research projects.
From Namik Kemal University in Turkey, Dr Bahar primarily worked with EIT researchers on a study aimed at establishing whether the use of an anti-transpirant spray may be a viable alternative to removing foliage on grapevines - a practice aimed at achieving optimum berry ripeness and wine quality.
Dr Bahar is the first international researcher to be based at EIT on sabbatical.
During his three-month stint, he worked with School of Viticulture and Wine Science researchers Dr Petra King and Associate Professor Carmo Saunders-Vasconcelos.
As the growing season got underway, the research team mainly focused on setting up the second year of the study, which is being extended to include Sauvignon Blanc as well as Merlot. Dr Bahar also assisted in developing and training members of EIT's wine sensory panel.
Dr Bahar has maintained contact with EIT since meeting an international marketing team in Turkey five years ago.
Having read about New Zealand's wine industry in specialist publications, he wanted to see it for himself.
While his experience was largely limited to Hawke's Bay, he says the two countries are very different in terms of their viticulture.
Turkey, he says has a hot climate and the industry encompasses traditional and new methods for making wine.
"New Zealand has cool climate conditions and attracts a lot of rain. You don't have the same diseases we have in Turkey. Your wines are completely different - they are more aromatic and fruity and floral. In Turkey the wines are more tannic."
Turkey was among the first countries in the world to domesticate the wild Eurasian grapevine and wine is believed to have been made there for at least 7000 years. It is the world's fifth biggest grape growing region, harvesting more than four million tonnes of fruit a year.
Most of the production, however, is for table grapes and raisins. Turkey produces less wine than New Zealand.
It is ranked 35th in the world for wine production and New Zealand 18th.
New Zealand is ranked 37th in the world for its vineyard area and only a small proportion of Turkey's grapes end up as exported wine.
Anatolia, on the Asia Minor side of Turkey, is where Vitus vinifera, the common grapevine, originated and the 300,000 hectares of vineyard in this region are mainly for growing table wine.