Armenia is one of the most ancient countries on the wine map of the world. The homeland of several hundred indigenous varieties of grape growing on own roots. Here the richest cultural tradition which contains several millennia is connected with winemaking. Confirmation to that is a find of archeologists in a historical appellation of Areni. Here in a cave on the river bank of Arpa is found the most ancient winery in the world (age more than 6 100 years).
Main winemaking regions of modern Armenia: the Ararat valley is extensive and rich with grapes (in the territory of provinces Ararat and Armavir); mountain region Vayots Dzor; Aragatsotn is located at a bottom of an extinct volcano Aragats; Tavush is well-known for the limy soils capable to give interesting white wines. In the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh there is an ancient vinegrowing region Artsakh.
Armenia is one of the mountain countries of the world. Common features for the majority of wine regions of Armenia are location at the heights from 800 to 1900 m above sea level and deficit of moisture. In Artsakh and in Tavush vineyards are located slightly lower than 800 m, climate is more damp. Generally soils all over the country poor, stony. In many regions a basis of soil structure is volcanic breeds.
Wine growing in Armenia has several important features. In the territory of the country there are more than 15 thousand hectares of not grafted vineyards (mainly on the Ararat plain, Aragatsotn and in Vayots Dzor). The grapevines grows in Armenia on own roots. As well as a millennium ago.
In total in the territory of Armenia and Artsakh there are about 17 thousand hectares of vineyards. Bulk (about 12 300 hectares) is located on the Ararat plain (5143 hectares – the province Ararat and 7136 hectares – in Armavir). About 1 700 hectares in Aragatsotn, slightly less than 1 000 hectares in Artsakh, 940 hectares in the territory of Vayots Dzor, about 1 350 hectares in the Northeast of the country.
Extremely low level of precipitation on the most part of the territory of Armenia causes need of an irrigation on vineyards. Systems of drop irrigation are used in the most modern wineries.
Armenia is the country with severe climate for which the hot summer with a temperature over 40C and frosty winters are characteristic. For protection against cold weather grapes in Armenia are covered for the winter, digging in grapevines by earth. This agrotechnology is especially important on the Ararat plain. In recent years because of mitigation of climate the most frost-resistant grape varieties are preferred not to be covered.
In Armenia there are several hundreds of endemic varieties of grapes. Unfortunately, many of them are lost for industrial wine growing. Areni Noir is the main variety of the region Vayots Dzor,it remains the most important variety today. The major white variety is Voskehat ("Gold berry") which comes from the region Aragatsotn. The main variety of Artsakh is the red Khndogni which is already glorified winemaking of Nagorno-Karabakh. Selection varieties Kangun, Hakhtanak, Karmrakhyut, Anahit and others are also widespread in Armenia.
The modern winemaking in Armenia is rather young. At the time of the USSR in the republic it was made generally brandy and some names of fortified and dry wines. Over the past few years in winemaking of the country there was a huge break. Now in Armenia there are already more than ten perspective projects of different scale, the modern winemaking equipment appeared. In the country acknowledged masters of world oenology like Michel Rolland, Paul Hobbs, Alberto Antonini works. They are inspired by uniqueness of the region and special style of classical grades of grapes.
Wines in the assortment of The «Amelia Wine Company» are selected in such a way to acquaint you most in detail with modern winemaking of Armenia, with its most important regions and the most interesting varieties of grapes.