Armenian wine is very famous all over the world. It is hard to find a wine lover who hasn’t tasted such Armenian wine types, as “Areni”, “Karas”, “Zorah” and many others at least once in his/her life. Drinking Armenian wine once, it’s hard to ever forget its taste.
Armenian wine is among the most popular export products of the Republic of Armenia which is considered to be one of the oldest wine producing countries of the world.
If you have visited Armenia and had the opportunity to taste Armenian wine, then we are sure you will never forget its wonderful taste.
If not, we will help you to find out more interesting facts about Armenian wine.
Basic Information about Armenian Wine
Armenian Wine History
Winemaking in Armenia dates from at least 4100 BC to the present day but Armenian viniculture has been disrupted throughout history by imperial conquests, political revolutions and various shifts in society.
Nowadays, Armenia holds a remarkable depth and diversity of cultural and natural landscapes, all within a very small area. This diversity and richness is evident not only in music, cuisine and arts, but also in Armenia’s burgeoning wine industry.
The Armenian highlands produce a range of microclimates and diverse grapes grow here, starting from the lowest elevations of 2000 feet above sea level to the highest at 5700.
Wine was used for divination in ancient shrines about 3300 years ago. There is a fact that is the most interesting about Armenian wine history.
Near the village of Areni, in the same cave where a stunningly preserved 5500-year-old leather moccasin was recently found, archaeologists have unearthed a wine press for stomping grapes, storage vessels, drinking cups, withered grape vines, the study says.
The above-mentioned fact is reliable evidence and a proof that Armenia is one of the ancient cradles of winemaking and wine production.
Armenian Wine Production Areas
As we have mentioned above, wine making is popular within all the territory of the Republic of Armenia. But, you should also take into account the fact that in Armenia, they have certain regions where the wine production is more developed.
The most popular wine industry center of Armenia is the Vayots Dzor Marz which is considered to be Armenia’s most storied wine growing region. It is exactly here that Areni-1, the world’s oldest winery (over 6000 years old) was discovered recently in the above-mentioned local cave.
In this region, you can find the village Areni which is famous all over Armenia (and not only), due to its wine production. Areni village is situated in the southwestern part of nowadays Armenia.
Owing to the unique dry climate, the valuable grapes of Areni have been cultivated here and nowhere else in Armenia has it shown itself as good as in this village. The particular and specific taste of Areni wine owes to the grapes of Areni.
Areni grape has a black amber color. Areni is an aborigine sort and over course of centuries it has been adapted to the dry climate of Vayots Dzor Armenia.
The most popular types of Armenian wine
Armenian Wine #1: Areni
Areni wine is considered to be one of the most famous wine types not only within Armenia, but also outside of the country’s borders.
Just at the entrance to the village of Areni, right at the road on the left side, a private small wine factory, “Areni”, is located which you can visit to get acquainted with the wine production process, taste the local wines.
The winery “Areni” was founded in the village of Areni in 1994 where the wine from the grapes of Areni type is made through thousands of years. This is a very small economy which is called factory, probably, because of the Soviet habit to gigantism.
8 persons constantly work here. Another 10-12 people treat vineyards. The grapes have been bought formerly but, nowadays, the farm also has its own 10 hectares of young, 3 years old vineyards.
Annually, 250 000 bottles are produced in Areni, the half of which is exported to Russia. It has become a wine brand of Armenia.
Armenian Wine #2: Karas
Another Armenian wine that shapes the face of Armenian wine production abroad is “Karas”. Karas is a newly established winery in the West of Armavir Marz, located in Ararat Valley, between Mount Aragats and Mount Ararat.
Karas has more than 400 hectares of vineyards, located at an average altitude of 1100 meters above sea level. The vineyards are cultivated with modern techniques, together with an individual approach for each varietal, aiming to develop the potential of each.
Karas wines are now available even in the United States of America.
Armenian Wine #3: Zorah
Zorah wine, within a short time, has managed to become one of the beloved wine types of Armenians. Zorah is a winery, produces a wine, called Karasi. It was featured on Bloomberg’s “Top Wines of 2012” list.
Zorah has 37 acres of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 4700 feet above sea level and only steps away from a 6100 year old winery, overlooking Mount Ararat.
The vineyards are situated in the small rural village of Rind, in the heart of Vayots Dzor, Armenia’s quintessential grape growing region, known for quality wines.
Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights here, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soil is rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat.
The indigenous vines are grown on engrafted rootstock, as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.
Areni Wine Festival
Being a wine producing country, Armenia couldn’t miss having a festival, dedicated to wine. If you are fond of delicious wine and don’t want to miss the chance of tasting the wine of Ararat valley, this festival is exactly for you!
“Areni Wine Festival” is organized annually in Areni. This is a great opportunity to discover Armenia. Anyone who has even once visited Areni Wine Festival will never forget the bright impressions.
You will be able to taste the best wines in the range here. Within the festival, an exhibition-sale of Armenian wine-makers’ product is held, as well as public and professional tasting events, business meetings, national and folk music, dances and games.
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Speaking about the history of wine country, we should take into consideration that according to the legend, the winemaking began on the slopes of Mount Ararat from grapes, planted by Noah.
It’s also interesting to know that one of the oldest types of grapes in the world, Areni, is also growing here, 1800 meters above sea level.
You may ask why you should taste Armenian wine. The answer is simple: once you try it, you suddenly get through all the magic wine tastes of Armenia. You can feel the Armenian spirit and, finally, you can experience the opportunity of feeling Armenian just for a while!