Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory
|Type||Closed Joint-Stock Company|
|Owners||Multi Group Holding|
Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory, officially known as Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory or "Noy", is a company owned by Gagik Tsarukyan's "Multi Group Concern"* and established in 1877. The factory is located on the left bank of Hrazdan river in the heart of Yerevan city, occupying the area of the historic great Yerevan Fortress.
Nerses Tairyan was a well-known merchant and philanthropist. In 1877 he started industrial production of wine, in 1887 - of brandy at the territory of the former Erivan Fortress. Hovhannes Aivazovsky, who was a relative of Tairyan, helped him to build the factory. Yerevan Ararat Wine Factory was built in 1938 on the site of the former sardar palace. The building was designed by architect Rafael Israelyan.
In 1898 Nerses Tairyan leased the factory to Nikolay Shustov, who purchased it a year later for 50,000 roubles. Having established his own business in Moscow in 1863, Shustov became one of the first producers of brandy in Russia. Already in the 1870s «Shustov and Sons» company managed to take into its hands 80% of brandy-wine-vodka-liqueur production in Russian Empire. In 1901 Nikolay Shustov incognito sent samples of brandy to an exhibition in Paris. The judges, venerable French tasters, unanimously granted Grand Prix to the unknown brandy-maker, but after they found out that he was not French and the brandy was sent from Armenia, they were so astonished, that made an exception for Nikolay Shustov and granted him the privilege to put the word "cognac" on his labels, instead of "brandy", as it should naturally be. Thus, Shustov became the first and only foreign wine-maker all throughout the history of brandy-producing, who was honoured with this privilege.
In 1899 Shustov invited Kyrill Silchenko, who had just finished Nikitin’s school of winemaking, to work at the factory. He worked at the factory devotedly and dedicated all his life to the development of production of wine and brandy. This is why Armenians called him “the great Ukrainian son of Armenian people”.
The period when Margar Sedrakyan worked at the factory, was called the “Star Time”. The most famous Armenian brandies, based on his technology, were created then. In 1945 at a conference in Yalta, Joseph Stalin offered Winston Churchill a glass of Armenian brandy. Churchill, experienced in noble beverages, each month would receive a box of that brandy from Stalin. Once Churchill noted that the taste of the brandy had changed a bit – it became worse. Stalin’s reaction was immediate: having learned that Margar Sedrakyan -the author of this blend- was exiled, the Soviet leader ordered to set him free, to reinstate in his position of chief technologist of the factory and to give him back the party ticket. So Churchill, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, continued to receive his favourite brandy and drink up to a bottle of this beverage in a day. Later, Margar Sedrakyan received the medal of a Hero of Socialist Work.
In 2002, the factory entered Multi Group Concern. Some 50 million USD were invested into restoration and constructions, acquisition of new bottling line and oak barrels. A number of recipes and technologies were restored by crumbs. With the help of old papers, museum exhibits, family archives, specialists and technologists of the factory assembled and classified the whole invaluable experience, accumulated throughout the period of plant’s functioning, and, consequently, the lost and forgotten glorious name of Armenian Brandy was restored.
Currently there are several claims pending at Armenian and international courts. A German investment fund accuses Multigroup of having deprived them from their right of ownership in a minority stake. See list of sources below.
The factory currently produces several types of Armenian famous brandies including "Noy" and "Araspel". "Noy" is a worldwide well known brandy especially in CIS, Europe and Australia with its 25 year old "Brandy Noy Tirakal".
- R. G. Ananikian. Yerevan: guide. — Прогресс, 1982. — p. 35
- "History of NOY 1877". Yerevan Ararat Factory. Retrieved 2009-09-04.