Armenian wine is produced in some of the most fertile and ideal climate environments for growing and cultivating grapes. Also known for flavorful beer and brandy, Armenia excels at making amazing wines and following fermentation traditions that date back to ancient times.
Many Armenian wineries continue winemaking traditions that date back thousands of years. In 2011, archaeologists discovered the world’s oldest-known winery in a cave in Areni, Armenia. The Areni cave included a press for the grapes, fermentation jars, as well as grape seeds and remains of dried grape vines that are still being used to produce wine today!
flickr/Dr. Harout Tanielian
The entrance to Areni cave
The discovery dates Armenian wine production back to as early as 6000 BC, which is about 900 years before the previous winery remains found in Egyptian archaeological sites.
Armenian history, in regards to the production of wine, is in rare form indeed in that the ancient accounts of wine making and techniques are intact from ancient times until now. With a history that dates back thousands of years, Armenian wine producers were most successful during the height of the Soviet Union, from 1940 until 1985!
Touring the Armenian wine country is easy, delicious, and the beautiful scenery of the Areni, Noravank, and Yerevan districts can only equal the rarity of the wine.
An Armenian vineyard with Khor Virap Monastery and Ararat mountain in the background
There are many tours that are offered in this area of the world, and some of the most noted wineries include:
– Maran Winery,Maran winery was founded in 1991 but has a fascinating history which dates back to 1829.
– Getnatoun Winery, this is a modern Armenian winery and produces high quality wine.
– Areni Winery, Located closest to Areni cave.
– Armenian Winery, one of the biggest wine companies in Armenia.
Wine tasting at Areni winery
Each winery offers various tastings, information about their production process, and some wineries even offer tourists active participation in the making of the wine itself!
The best time to visit Armenian wine country is definitely during the Areni Wine Festival which is held at the beginning of October of every year. The festival includes wine-maker’s exhibition fairs, contests, national music, theatrical performances, dancing games and most importantly, the opportunity to drink some of Armenia’s most delicious wine!