If you start making wine and winemaking, then it’s already impossible to get away from it …
Today, in our heading # 10_questions_ to a winemaker, oddly enough, not a winemaker, but a person striving to become a winemaker. But, at the same time, having a direct bearing on wine. And not just wine, but management of one of the largest wineries in the Vayots Dzor region.
We spoke with David Mkrtchyan, Deputy Director of the Hin Areni factory.
1. About choosing a profession
In any traditional Armenian family, children want to go in the profession after their fathers and in our family it was the same. My father was a politician. I also really liked politics. And I went to the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia at the Department of Political Science. But later I changed my mind and graduated from the National Agrarian University of Armenia, I am a financier.
I have been doing business for a long time. And then my father became the director of a winery. And for about a year or two I just went to visit him, looked. And day after day I liked this work more and more. And now I already realized that if you start to engage in wine and winemaking, then it’s already impossible to get away from it …
2. About traditions
Our task, the task of my father, the task of the owner of our factory was to make traditional Armenian wine. So that the world learns not only about Armenian cognac, but also about Armenian wine. Armenian traditional wine is homemade wine, it has this hardness. Our wine, it also has this hardness. Because we were given this stiffness by nature along with Areni grapes. We don’t deal with blends, we make 100 percent wine from Areni. But French technology gives a slight French touch.
3. About winemaking
The famous French winemaker Didier Cornellenion works with us. He tried Areni grapes and saw in it the special thing. He himself wanted to get exactly Armenian wine. Yes, there are, of course, some nuances that make us closer to French wine. But these are more production issues. Our red wine Areni – it is typically Armenian.
4. About the factory
Work began in 2013, and already in 2014, the Hin Areni factory was ready. Not only production was ready. We immediately prepared a tasting room – this is important. The first wine we had was the 2013 harvest: white Voskehat wine and red Areni. And in 2014 it was already on sale in bottles.
5. About differences
We are a little different from small traditional wineries. Our tastes are a bit different, but the technology is completely different. For example, we get rid of the skin and seeds a little later, in our country berries are immediately separated from the branches. And most importantly, we harvest the crop differently. We have our own vineyards. We grow our own grapes. And we do not load the vineyards, we do not set the task to get 10 tons of grapes per hectare, as is usually done. We get up to 4 tons per hectare – this is the maximum. It makes a difference in taste.
6. About the news
The Areni variety is an endemic grape variety. Areni wine is good anyway. But if you look at the production, quality – our every year becomes better and better.
At the moment we have in our assortment Red Areni, Red Areni Reserve, Pink and White Voskehat. But literally in 2 weeks we will have a white Voskehat Reserve. White wine has been kept in an oak barrel for more than a year, but has not changed its color at all. But the taste, of course, is completely different.
We will already begin to present it in our tasting rooms. We leave a very small amount in reserve. And after 5 years we will try them again. And then it will certainly be exclusive wines. There are a small number of them, but they are still there.
7. About philosophy
Our Vayotz Dzor region is famous for its winemaking. And typical grape varieties for our region are Areni and Voskehat. The rest of the varieties are something introduced. And our point of view is this: if we are in this region, then we make wine from grapes characteristic of this region. Areni is famous not only in Armenia, but also all over the world. And Voskehat is the queen of our vineyards. In other regions of Armenia there is also a Voskehat, but to taste, in its color scheme, everything is different there from our region.
8. About beloved wine
As such, all the years, all the crops we had were good. But still there is a difference. For example, in 2013, the harvest was weaker. The taste range is the same, but the wine is softer and weaker even in degrees – there are 13 degrees. But, starting in 2014, all years were very dry and sunny. Therefore, the strength and taste range are different from 2013. However, for me there is a difference between, for example, 2014 and 2015. Personally, my taste is the harvest of 2015 red and 2016 white. Personally, I like them more.
9. About wine culture
Each country has its own wine culture. In Armenia, for a very long time this wine culture did not exist. The tradition was interrupted. In Soviet times it was not there. After the collapse of the Soviet Union for 20 years, they again drank only vodka, beer and cognac. But the last 10 years, and this year it will be 10 years, as young people began to drink wine. And this is very good.
10. About the future
I have already begun to study winemaking. I watch, learning, study and think that in five years I’ll take a chance and try to make wine myself. We must strive for the goal. The main thing is to have a goal, and the rest itself. I have already moved here from Yerevan to Vayotz Dzor, because I like mountains, good people, atmosphere. And I invite everyone to visit us in Armenia, in Vayotz Dzor, to taste the wines of Hin Areni.