Armenia as a wine travel destination: 5 interesting facts to know

History
08.02.2022
armenian wines

Traditions of Armenian winemaking date back thousands of years. The industry has been growing more rapidly over the last few years, and the quality of Armenia's top wines is frequently stellar today.

Already curious to learn more? We picked a few interesting facts you should know about this captivating world of Armenian wines.

1. Armenia - the cradle of winemaking 

Since ancient times, Armenians have been cultivating grapes and producing wine. According to the legend, the first grapevine was planted by the forefather Noah at the foot of Mt Ararat. Moreover, famous historians and scholars Herodotus, Strabo, and Xenophon also referred to Armenian wine and winemaking in their recordings. In 2011 the oldest known winery and winemaking equipment in the world were found in Areni village, Vayots Dzor region, dating back to 4100 BC. The cave is called Areni-1 Cave Complex, which is an exciting multi-component archeological site.

Areni-1 Cave Complex

2. Major regions for winemaking

Armenia is a landlocked country with a territorial area of over 29700 square kilometers. The main winemaking regions are Vayots Dzor, Ararat, Aragatsotn, Armavir and Tavush. All these regions boast not only auspicious terroir for winemaking and magnificent landscapes but also authentic must-visit large and boutique wineries with a huge wine tourism potential.

 Winemaking regions

3. Key grape varieties

Any wine expert will prove that wine quality strongly depends on the grape quality and character. Historically, Armenia grew over 400 different varieties, but today only about 30 are grown commercially for wine and brandy. Key local autochthonous grapes used to make exciting wines are: reds like Sev Areni (or Areni Noir), Khndoghni (Sireni), Haghtanak, Kakhet (syn. Milagh), and whites such as Voskehat, Khatouni, and the rare Chilar. Мore recent local crosses Kangun and Karmrahyut can also produce quality wines.

Grape Varieties

4. Unique terroir of Armenia

The exceptional quality of Armenian wines mainly depends on the diverse terroir of Armenia, i.e. a set of environmental factors like microclimates, volcanic soil that gives grapes inimitable flavor, and high altitudes due to the country being essentially a boiling pot of mountains. All these factors result in a diverse and special assortment of grape varieties and give Armenian wines an incredibly unique taste.

5. Vibrant Wine Festivals

To get a better taste of Armenian wines, one should visit a few interesting wine festivals in the country. Bringing together locals and guests, these festivals also include elements of Armenian rich culture - performances, traditional Armenian dances, and songs. 

Once in Armenia, check out Yerevan Wine Days, Areni Wine Festival or Voskehat Wine Fest to not only savor exquisite Armenian wines and mingle with locals but also immerse into rich Armenian culture, arts and crafts.

Yerevan Wine Days

To wrap up, wine has always been an integral part of Armenian culture and heritage since ancient times. Boasting rich winemaking traditions, the country currently sees renaissance of wine culture with an increasing number of new quality wines, must-visit wineries and wine festivals. Order a bottle or two on our website to explore Armenia through a glass of wine. 

Photos: Vine & Wine Foundation of Armenia