HISTORY OF ARMENIAN WINES

Map of ArmeniaSince 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 Herodot and Strabon. In 401-400 B.C., when the Greek armies led by Ksenophon "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". It's interesting, that in karases with beer have been inserted reeds which served for our ancestors as saltcellars. Carried out by academic Pyatrovski at 19-20 centuries archeological excavations have confirmed the fact, that else in the ninth century B.C. Armenia was developed as wine-making state. Archeologists have found out in fortress Teyshebaini wine storehouse with 480 karases, in which could makespace for 37 thousand decalitres 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 Erebouni (city-fortress in territory of present Yerevan, build 2800 years ago and become 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.

Manufacturing of wine during 1940-85 has increased in 9 times, brandy in 17 times, and about 1960-86 release of sparkling wines has increased in 10 times. In 80-s' in Armenia annually it was on the average processed about 210 thousand tons of grapes from which received 14-15 million decalitres of wine. 2 million from them were used in manufacturing of Brandy; the remained part for winemaking. 37, 4% of incomes of Armenia in the field of foodstuffs were necessary for winemaking. In 80-s' 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 winemaking 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". Here, in the cut gorge, there is a museum of winemaking in which collection is registered more than 3 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. It is impossible to miss that fact, that 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 till 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.

Traditions of manufacturing of wine are carefully kept in current for many years. At the same time manufacturing is constantly improved and the control over quality becomes tougher.

And now quality of wine which is received by the Armenian wine makers in similar conditions, surprises the leading experts with the taste and irresistible aroma. Though the new stage of the Armenian winemaking has begun with positive shifts which are gradually observed.

 

 "Praise to WINE, which glass confluences people and helps us to come back to sources of mankind to settle wisdom and knowledge of our grandfathers".