|Growing season||Cold snowy winters
Warm, dry, sunny summers
|Heat units||Region III, IV, V|
|Precipitation (annual average)||400–600 mm|
|Soil conditions||Volcanic soil|
|Total area||29,800 km2 (12,000 sq mi)|
|Size of planted vineyards||1,459 km2 (1,000 sq mi)
|Varietals produced||Areni, Kangun, Voskehat, Vitis vinifera, Pinot noir, Rkatsiteli, Pinot blanc, Aligoté, Madrasa (grape)|
- 1 History
- 2 Wine-making in Armenia
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Since ancient days Armenia was famous for the wine makers where original traditions were kept until this day. It is possible to learn about this even from works of such philosophers, as Herodotus and Strabo. In 401–400 BC, when the Greek armies led by Xenophon "were passed" on the country Nairi (one of the most ancient names of Armenia), in the Armenian houses they were treated with wine and beer which was kept in deep dugouts in special "karases" (clay pots). In karases with beer, reeds have been inserted which served for our[who?] ancestors as saltcellars. Archaeological excavations carried out by academic Pyatrovski in the 19th and 20th centuries have confirmed that in the 9th century BC, the area of modern-day Yerevan was a wine-making region. Archaeologists have found, in the fortress Teishebaini, a wine storehouse with 480 karases, which hold 37,000 daL of wine. During excavation in Karmir Blur (one of the most ancient settlements of Armenia where first attributes of life are found out a little thousand years ago) and Erebuni (city-fortress in territory of present Yerevan, built 2800 years ago and became in 2700 the capital of Armenia) had been found 10 wine storehouses in which were 200 karases. Still ancestors of Armenians – inhabitants of one of the most ancient states of the world - Urartu, were engaged in wine growing. In historian certificates, that in thus one of the most ancient states in the world the special attention was given development of wine growing and fruit growing were kept. Often in the historical data which have reached to us manufacturing techniques of wine and beer are mentioned. During Soviet Union period the Armenian wine makers were on peak of the glory.
From 1940 to 1985, manufacturing of wine increased by nine times, brandy by seventeen times, and from 1960 to 1986, the production of sparkling wines increased by a factor of ten. In the 1980s Armenia annually processed an average of about 210 thousand tons of grapes from which received 14–15 million decalitres of wine. Two million from them were used in manufacturing of brandy; the remaining part was used for wine making. 37, 4% of incomes of Armenia in the field of foodstuffs were necessary for winemaking. In 1980s Armenia provided 25% of brandy made in all Soviet Union, 3% of wines (5–6% of strong wines) were necessary on a share of Armenia. Three quarters of released production was exported mainly to Russia. During that period the Armenian wine making has been concentrated in "Ararat-trest". Having visited here, Maxim Gorky has told that it is easier to rise on mountain Ararat, than to leave storehouses "Ararat-trest". There, in the cut gorge, there is a museum of wine making in which collection is registered more than three thousand versions of wines, aged few centuries. There are only three similar storehouses of wines in all over the world: in France, Italy and Armenia. Today many peasants, as well as three millenniums ago, process grapes and receive wine in special premises. In wine factories the material for wine is stored in oak barrels, but in many villages kind traditions of fathers to now are used, and karases are used for storage of materials of wine. Owing to its pinkish structure, Armenian oak allows receiving wines with natural taste of vanilla, chocolate and dried fruits. Wines from local Armenian grades of grapes adjoining to the surface of the barrels from the Armenian oak, give rise to unique bouquet. This unique combination is impossible to reproduce in any other country of the world.
The fertile valleys of the South Caucasus, which Armenia straddles, are believed by many archaeologists[who?] to be the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, over 6000 years ago. Although not a large player in the world of wine today, Armenian wine played an important role in the history of wine, and it has been suggested that the domestication of the Eurasian grape first occurred in the mountainous regions of Armenia before moving to the south. During all this time they never stopped making wine. They were one of the main wine producers in the Soviet Union and have since started exporting their wine worldwide. Armenian wine spread to Africa. During the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, some Armenians fled to Ethiopia, where they cultivated vineyards. Many Armenian reds are very sweet and rich, and Ethiopian wine has a similar quality. During periods of Islamic rule, Armenians were the suppliers of alcoholic beverages, such as wine, to the Muslims, who were not allowed distill alcohol.
In 2011 archaeologists in Armenia announced the discovery of the world's oldest-known wine production facility. Located in the Areni cave complex, it consisted of a shallow basin to press grapes, a vat for storage, and fermentation jars. They also found grape seeds, remains of pressed grapes, and dozens of dried vines. The seeds were from Vitis vinifera vinifera a grape still used to make wine. The cave remains date to about 4000 BC – 900 years before the earliest comparable wine remains, found in Egyptian tombs.
This is what CNN wrote:
- Forget France. It turns out, the real birthplace of wine may be in a cave in Armenia.
An international research team says it has found the world's oldest winery in a paper published Tuesday in the peer-reviewed Journal of Archaeological Science.: James Owen from National Geographic News quotes archaeologist Gregory Areshian of the University of California, Los Angeles: "The site gives us a new insight into the earliest phase of horticulture—how they grew the first orchards and vineyards"
"It's the oldest proven case of documented and dedicated wine production, stretching back the horizons of this important development by thousands of years," said Gregory Areshian, co-director of the excavation and assistant director of the University of California Los Angeles's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology.
Wine-making in Armenia
Wine production during the Soviet era
In Republics of the Soviet Union the development of studying and producing technologies of wine, especially sherry type, took place between 1930 and 1970. The production of sherry type wines had a significant role in development of viticultural technologies of the Soviet Unioin. In former USSR regions, sherry type wine was produced in Crimea, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Krasnodar, Rostov, and Armenia. Many scientific sources indicate that in Soviet Union the production of sherry type wines was established exactly in Armenia. The production of sherry wine in Armenia was established by scientists in winemaking and viticulture field N.N. Prostoserdov and R.L. Afrikyan. In 1931 the scientists found out that in non-hermetic karases (Armenian clay amphorae) on the surface of wine emerges pellicle, which is formed by yeasts similar to Spanish ones. The authors named the yeast Sacch.cheresiensis armeniensis. They proved that sherry yeast can be found not only in Spanish but also in wines of other countries.
In Armenia sherry type wine was made from Voskehat (Kharji) and Chilar ingenious grape varieties. Armenian sherry was a high quality wine and was the second in volume of production after Armenian brandy production. Ashtarak was the first sherry type wine produced in Soviet Armenia. It was produced by Ashatarak Wine Factory, subdivisions of which were situated in Oshakan and village Voskevaz.
A large number wineries and vineyards are found throughout the provinces of the Republic of Armenia. A winery is a property that produces wine, or a business involved in the production of wine (as well as other types of alcoholic beverages), such as a wine company. Some wine companies own many wineries. Besides wine making equipment, larger wineries may also feature warehouses, bottling lines, laboratories, and large expanses of tanks known as tank farms.
Here is a list of wineries/distilleries/producers of alcoholic drinks, classified by the provinces of Armenia:
The wine produced in Aragatsotn is mainly from the vineyards located to the south of the Aragats and Arteni mountains. The village of Voskevaz has an ancient history of wine-making. Many karases were found in the nearby church of Surp Hovhannes, dating back to the 7th century.
- Voskevaz Winery, opened in 1932 in Voskevaz. The winery produces a variety of wine, mainly under the brands Vanakan, Voskevaz, Urzana, Voskehat, Voskevaz Areni Noir, and Chateau Voskevaz. The winery's Voskevaz Areni Noir red dry wine was awarded gold medal at the Mundus Vini 18th Grand International Wine Award, took place in Germany.
- ArmAs Winery, opened in 2007 in Nor Yedesia. The winery produces a variety of Areni wine under the brand ArmAs.
- Armenia Wine Winery, opened in 2008 in Sasunik. The factory produces wine under the brands Tariri, Takar and Armenia. It also produces the Armenia Champagne.
- Hayasy Group, opened in 2011 in Voskevaz. The winery produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brand Hayasy. It also produces the Hayasy Vodka.
- Wine House Winery, opened in 2011 in Aghdzk. The winery produces a variety of wine under the brands Sarduri and Old Wine.
- Van Ardi Winery, opened in 2013 in Sasunik. The winery produces a variety of wine under the brand Van Ardi.
The wine produced in Ararat is mainly from the vineyards of the Ararat plain.
- Aregak Brandy Factory, opened in 1889 in Dalar. The factory produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brands Aregak and Arvest.
- Ararat Wine Factory, opened in 1903 in Ararat village. The factory produces a variety of cognac (Vershina Armenia, Strana Kamney, Stariy Kupazh, etc.), wine (Areni and Saperavi), fruit wine and champagne.
- Artashat Vincon Winery, opened in 1905 in Mkhchyan. Cognac is produced mainly under the brands Artashat, Argami, and Artavazd.
- Ararat Cognac Factory AKZ, opened in 1932 in Avshar. The factory produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brands Grand Sargis, Ariné, Legend of Armenia, etc. It also produces a variety of fruit brandy and fruit wine.
- Vedi Alco Winery, opened in 1956 in Ginevet. The winery produces a variety of wine derived from the grapes of Areni, Kagor, Muscat and Saperavi, with the most notable brands being Yerevantsi, Getap Vernashen, Hayq, Khoran and Vivat Armenia. Vodka brands of Vedi include Afisha, Senator, and Leader. Cognac brands of Vedi include Duduk and Araks. The winery also produces fruit brandy, fruit vodka and fruit wine.
- Avshar Wine Factory, opened in 1968 in Avshar. The factory has a variety of Armenian cognac brands, including Avshar, Erivan, Gladzor, Ardvin, Marmara, Tigris, etc. The winner produces the Imperskaya white vodka and a variety of fruit vodka as well.
- Yeraskh Wine Factory, opened in 1970 in Yeraskh. The winery produces a variety of wine, cognac and fruit vodka.
- Van 777 Winery, opened in 1992 in Taperakan. Cognac is produced under the Arnak and Airen brands, while the wine variety is produced under the brand Tushpa.
- Agatat-Gold Winery, opened in 2007 in Nor Kyurin. The winery produces a variety of Armenian cognac with the main brands being Old Kilikia, Arseni, and Artashavan. Wine, vodka and fruit vodka are also produced under the brand Kilikia.
- Shato Arno Winery, opened in 2002 in Ayntap. The winery produces a variety of Armenian cognac including Shato Arno, Armiansky Standard and Armianskoe Zoloto. A variety of Kakheti, Kharji, Areni and Muskat wine is also produced by the winery under the brand Arzakan.
- Mrganush Brandy Factory, opened in 2002 in Mrganush. Cognac is produced under the brand Mrganush. Vodka and fruit vodka are produced under the brand Abri.
- Tavinko Winery, opened in 2006 in Taperakan. The company produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brands Amaras, Karot, Maré, etc. A variety of wine is also produced by the winery.
- Shahumyan-Vin Winery, opened in 2006 in Shahumyan. A variety of wine, cognac and vodka is produced by the winery.
- Shaumyan Alco opened in 2007 in Artashat. The company produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brand Grand Nariné. The winery produces a variety of fruit vodka as well.
- Sis Alco Distillery, opened in 2007 in Hayanist. Vodka and fruit vodka is produced by the distillery.
- Abrikon Distillery, opened in 2010 in Ararat village. The company produces a variety of apricot vodka and apricot brandy under the brand Abrikon.
- Proshyan Brandy Factory-Aygestan Branch, in Aygestan.
The ancient city of Argishtikhinili located within the territories of Ararat province, was a major centre for wine production. Large storage areas for wine and grains were found by archaeologists within the fortifications of the ancient town dating back to the 8th century BC. The wine produced in Armavir is mainly from the vineyards of the Ararat plain.
- Echmiadzin Winery (SarKop Company) for wine, cognac and vodka, opened in 1928 in Vagharshapat.
- MAP Winery for cognac and wine, opened in 1942 in Lenughi.
- Yerevan Brandy Company-Armavir branch, opened in 1966 in Armavir.
- Merdzavan Brandy Factory for cognac, wine and vodka, opened in 1998 in Merdzavan.
- Karas Winery (Tierras de Armenia Vineyards) for wine, opened in 2003 in Arevadasht.
- Winar Winery (Brest Wine Factory) for wine, opened in 2004 in Norapat.
- Parakar Wine-Brandy House for wine and cognac, opened in 2005 in Parakar.
- Armen Alco for cognac, opened in 2008 in Aygeshat.
- Voskeni Wines, opened in 2008 in Araks. The winery produces red and white wine labeled as Voskeni Wines.
- Arpenik Winery for wine and cognac, opened in 2009 in Arshaluys.
- Alvan Alco Winery for wine and cognac, opened in 2010 in Lukashin.
- Interalco Winery, opened in 2014 in Aygeshat. The winery produces Armenian cognac under the brands Kartlos, Haos, and Japheth.
- Proshyan Brandy Factory-Armavir village branch for cognac, wine and vodka, in Armavir.
- Samelon Vardenis Winery, opened in 2000 in Vardenis. The company produces a variety of Armenian wine and fruit vodka.
- Yeghvard Wine-Brandy Factory, opened in 1966 in Yeghvard. The company produces a variety of wine and Armenian cognac.
- Samkon Brandy Factory, opened in 1970 in Abovyan. The company has a collection of Armenian cognac under the brands Ti Aspetto, Karin, and Shushi.
- Byuregh Alco Winery, opened in 1996 in Byureghavan. The winery produces a variety of vodka under the brands Champion, Byuregh, Marshal, etc. The company also produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brands Harutyun, and Ishkhan. Wine is also produced under the brands Znaberd, Arshaluys, Karmir, etc..
- Ptghni Gold Winery, opened in 1996 in Ptghni. The company produces a variety of wine and liquor.
- Glanzh Alco Winery, opened in 2003 in Aramus. The winery produces a variety of Armenian cognac under the brands Glanzh, Manazkert, and Arse. It also produces a variety of Kagor, Areni, Muskat, Saperavi and Voskehat wine as well as pomegranate wine.
- Rukar Group for vodka and calvados, opened in 2010 in Verin Ptghni. The company produces fruit vodka under the brands Tet-A-tet, Shivini, and Dlya Druzey. It also produces calvados under the brand Carvani.
- Shahnazaryan Wine-Brandy House, opened in 2011 in Yeghvard. The winery produces a variety of cognac under the brands Armyanski Cognac, Gayaso, Zhemchuzhina Armeniy, Shanazaryan, etc. It also produces vodka and wine.
- Ginevan Winery, opened in 2011 in Abovyan. The winery produces a variety of cognac under the brands Arivan, Arpeni, and Ginevan. The winery also produces a variety of wine under the brand Georgeo Varlamess..
- Helias Vineyards, opened in 2013 in Dzoraghbyur. The winery produces the Helias Roubin red dry wine, the Helias Pearl white dry wine, and the Helias Reserve red dry wine.
- Shirak Wine, opened in 2009 in Shirakavan. The factory produces a variety of wine under the brand Kumayri.
- Meghri Wine Factory, in Meghri.
- Freedom Distillery, opened in 2014 in Norashenik. The factory produces a variety of fruit vodka under the brand Kashuni.
The wine produced in Tavush is mainly from the vineyards of the Aghstev river valley. Modern viticulture in the Tavush region has been developed since the 1950s. However, the Ijevan winery is particularly famous for its pomegranate wine.
- Ijevan Wine-Brandy Factory, opened in 1951 in Ijevan. The factory produces a large number of well-known wine brands including Sargon, Ijevan, and Khachkar. The factory also produces a variety of Armenian cognac including King Abgar, Nemrut, Arqa, Vanuhi and Old Ijevan.
- Berdavan Wine Factory, in Berdavan.
Vayots Dzor is one of the ancient regions that produce wine in the Caucasus. The wine produced from the Vayots Dzor vineyards -particularly from the region of Areni- is known as Areni wine. Vayots Dzor is home to the annual Areni wine festival launched in 2009.
- Getap Wine Factory-Vedi Alco Winery branch, opened in 1938 in Getap. Getap winery is operated as a branch of the Vedi Alco Winery.
- Maran Winery, opened in 1992 in Yerevan. A variety of wine is produced under the brands St. Anna, Zarm, Noravank, Bagratuni, and Arpa. Areni wine is produced under the brands Areni Maran, Areni Malishka and Areni Yeghegnadzor, while Pinot wine is produced as Avagini Rouge and Avagini Blanc. Pomegranate wine is produced as M. Parajanov, while apricot wine is branded as Maran Apricot. The winery also produces a variety of fruit vodka labeled as Bark. The company's Bagratuni red dry wine received a bronze medal in the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards.
- Areni Wine Factory, opened in 1994 in Areni. A variety of red Areni is produced by the winery under the brands Vayots Dzor, Lernashen, and St. Etchmiadzin.
- Old Bridge Winery, opened in 1998 in Yeghegnadzor. The company produces a variety of red Areni and white Voskehat wine under the brand Old Bridge.
- Getnatoun Winery, opened in 1999 in Yeghegnadzor. The winery produces a variety of wine under the brands Getnatoun, Vernasehn, Nariné, and Elen.
- Vayk Group Winery, opened in 2000 in Vayk. The winery produces wine under the brands Zakaré, Areni Vayk, and Lusiné. Apricot Vodka is also produced by the winery.
- Ginekar Winery, opened in 2000 in Aghavnadzor.
- Mets Syunik Winery, opened in 2001 in Aghavnadzor. The winery produces the Matevosyan Wine of the Areni grapes, as well as the Matevosyan Pomegarnate Wine.
- Zorah Wines, opened in 2001 in Rind. The winery produces Areni wine under the brands Karasi, Voski, and Yereaz. The company's 2010 Zorah Karasi Areni Noir was ranked in the 2012 Bloomberg's top 10 list.
- Areni Wine Winery, opened in 2003 in Areni. The winery produces red Areni under the brands Areni Wine and Areni Country, as well as white Areni under the brand Sun Areni.
- Hin Areni Vinyards, opened in 2007 in Areni. The winery produces a variety of red Areni and white Voskehat wine under the brand Hin Areni.
- Trinity Canyon Vineyards, opened in 2009 in Aghavnadzor. The winery produces a variety of wine under the brands Trinity, Jazz, and 6100. It also produces the 6100 Trinity Ancestors orange wine.
Archaeological excavations carried out by academic Pyatrovski in the 19th and 20th centuries have confirmed that in the area of modern-day Yerevan was a wine making and producing region as early as the 9th century BC. In the Urartian fortress of Teishebaini near Yerevan, archaeologists found a wine storehouse with 480 karases (wine potteries), which hold 37,000 daL of wine. During excavations in the most ancient settlements of Erebuni/Yerevan, including the Karmir Blur site and the Erebuni Fortress of 782 BC, archaeologists found 10 wine storehouses in which more than 200 karases were kept.
- Yerevan Ararat Brandy Factory, opened in 1877 in Yerevan. The factory produces the famous brands of Noy and Kremlin Award.
- Yerevan Brandy Company, opened in 1887 in Yerevan. The company produces a series of Armenian cognac known as ArArAt, including Erebuni, Nairi, Tonakan, Vaspurakan, etc.
- Yerevan Champagne, opened in 1939 in Yerevan. The factory produces a large variety of wine, fruit wine, cognac, vodka and champagne. Main wine brands include Hayk Nahapet, Renaissance, Anna, and Lilit. Armenian cognac is produced under the brands Pride of Armenia, Voske Dar, Frans, Naré, and Trdat. Vodka brands include Mujik and Russkaya Nakhodka. Semi dry, red sparkling, dry and semisweet champagne are all produced by the factory under the brand Armenian Champagne.
- Armco Brandy Factory, opened in 1972 in Yerevan. The factory produces the cognac brands of Mother Armenia, Evening Yerevan, and the Armco Brandy.
- Proshyan Brandy Factory, opened in 1980 in Yerevan. It produces a large variety of cognac, champagne, wine and vodka. The company's most famous brand is the Mané brandy. Other famous cognac brands include Khent, Charents, Vardan Mamikonyan, King Pap, Queen Tamara, etc. The company also produces the Spitak Yerevan champagne, Partez and Proshyan wine, the vodka brands of Generalskaya, Kalina Krasnaya, Russa, and Alaska, along with the Hookup vodka cocktail.
- Arabkir Alco, opened in 2003 in Yerevan. The distillery is the producer of Barov vodka.
- Gevorkian Winery, opened in 2006 in Yerevan. It is the producer of 365 Wines, Mi Tas Wine and Ariats Wine.
- Alex Grig Alcohol Plant, opened in 2007 in Yerevan. The distillery produces a variety of vodka. It also produces whiskey since 2014, under the brands Mac Alex and Mac Grant.
- Astafian Wine-Brandy Factory, opened in 2008 in Yerevan. The factory is the producer of the cognac brands Astafian, Aregi, and Hatis. The company also produces wine under the brands Villa Wine, Amor, and Artuyt. Vodka is also produced by the company under the brands Moliere, Beli Gorod, and Molka.
- Jerandevu Winery, opened in 2014 in Yerevan. The winery is the producer of Qotot Wines.
- Highland Cellars, opened in 2014. The company is the producer of Koor Wines.
- Arssi Alliance, opened in 2015 in Yerevan. The distillery is the producer of H2O, Godfather, and No Problem vodka brands.
- Babayan, Knar (May 21, 2014). "Made in Artsakh: Kataro Wine Breaks Into Armenian and Russian Markets".
- "In Vino Veritas". Asbarez. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Armavir Vineyards - Information".
- "Winar- HISTORY OF ARMENIAN WINES". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- Randolph E. Schmid, "Researchers Find Oldest Known Winery In Cave In Armenian Mountains", The Associated Press, January 10, 2011.
- "Archaeologists discover world's oldest wine press in Armenia". 12 January 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- Hotz, Robert Lee. "Perhaps a Red, 4,100 B.C.". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- "World's oldest winery discovered in Armenian cave". Retrieved 21 August 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Earliest Known Winery Found in Armenian Cave
- Sherry wine in Armenia
- Soviet sherries
- USSR Wine Production
- About the Voskevaz Winery
- Voskevaz Winery wines
- Voskevaz won a Gold Medal at Mundus Vini
- ArmAs Winery and cellar
- Armenia Wine
- Hayasy Group
- Sarduri Wines, Wine House Winery
- Van Ardi Wines
- Artashat Vincon Winery
- Ararat Cognac Factory AKZ
- Avshar Wine Factory
- Van 777 Winery
- Agatat Gold
- Mrganush Brandy Factory
- Tavinko Winery
- Shahumyan-Vin WInery
- Shaumyan Alco
- Ararat Abrikon
- Alekseyev, V. P. (1968). Contributions to the archaeology of Armenia. Peabody Museum. p. 15. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- MAP Winery
- Merdzavan Brandy Factory
- Interalco cognac products
- Samkon Brandy History
- Byuregh Alco Winery
- Flanzh Alco Armenia
- Rukar Group
- Shahnazaryan Wine-Brandy House
- Helias Wines
- Shirak Wine
- Shirak Wine products: Kumayri wine
- Kashuni Vodka in Armenian market
- Ijevan Wine Factory
- Areni, the winemakers' country
- Areni wine festival
- Maran Winery Yerevan
- Independent Armenia's First Wine Producer Receives Bronze Medal in 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards
- Old Bridge Winery wines
- About Getnatoun wine factory
- Vayk Group wines
- Vayk Group apricot vodka
- Matevosyan Wine
- Zorah Wines: Our story
- Armenian Wine Makes Bloomberg's Top 10 List
- Armenia's best wineries
- About Hin Areni Vinwyards
- Trinity Canyon Vineyards
- Noy Brandy
- ArArAt brandy
- ArmChampagne products
- Armco products
- Proshyan products
- Hookup vodka cocktail
- Arabkir Alco factory
- Gevorkian Winery, Yerevan
- Mac Alex whiskey
- About Astafian Factory
- Koor Wines-Highland Cellars
- H2O Vodka
- No Problem Vodka
- Godfather Vodka
- Arssi Alliance
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