Life begins in the vineyards …” This is the motto of the Armenian Wine Company.
Armenia is known as the cradle of winemaking, as according to the legend, the wine development in the Armenian valley goes back to biblical times, when our forefather Noah, after landing on the sacred Mount Ararat planted the first vine on its slopes. In the households involved in winemaking, there was a wine press “khandzan” near the house or in the garden. Inside the press, there was a long reservoir made of stone or brick and covered with thick lime mortar, the reservoir had a slightly sloping bottom and a whole opening onto a stone jar dug in the earth. Men, having taken off their shoes and thoroughly washed legs, tread the grapes in this reservoir. The produced must be fed from the first jar to the second, and then poured with the help of large long ladles to “karas” (greybeards), which were stored dug in the earth, as it was customary in Urartu. The wine was also used to produce wine vinegar, while the pulp was used to make vodka in special winemaking apparatuses.
“Yerevan Wine Days” is being held since 2017 in Yerevan. It’s an annual festival held in a “street-fest” style. The festival usually lasts 2 days and unions the winemakers, wine restaurants, and wine lovers in the streets of Yerevan. The festival gathers over 25 wineries and 30 restaurants from Armenia and Artsakh. Over 200 types of wine from different regions of Armenia are being presented to the visitors. Yerevan Wine days attracts thousands of visitors from around the world, including international food bloggers and tourists. “Areni Wine Fest” takes place on the first Saturday of October of each year. During the festival, the guests have the opportunity to taste Armenian wines made from the “Areni” grapes and Armenian cheese, listen to national songs and participate in different competitions. Participants of the wine festival are both professional and homemade wine and cheese producers.
Now I want to introduce a list of some of the most popular Armenian wine brands that you must try when you visit.
Kataro -This wine is produced in the Hadrut region of Artsakh and is known for its rich flavor. Founded in 2010, it’s estimated that the brand produces 60,000 bottles every year. Hin Areni -This brand was established by a wine expert from Argentina. You can visit the winery any time you’d like in Areni. The brand produces 150,000 bottles of wine every year. Koor -This brand started to produce wine in 2014 and it is produced exclusively in the Vayots Dzor province. The brand produces an estimated 100,000 bottles of wine yearly.Karas -Karas is another important brand that started to produce wine in 2010. They often use different types of European grapes in their wines.