Saturday, 5 May 2018

Armenia on our mind

Zara Muradyan herself
We met Zara Muradyan at Pro-Wein 2017 and were so impressed with her wines that we awarded them the Slotovino Red wine of the Year award in our Slotovino Awards 1016/17.

grapes include (from left), Karmrahyut/Areni/Kakhet/Meghrabuyr blend, Kangun/Rkatsiteli blend, Saperavi, Haghtanak and Tigrani
Subsequently we started a lengthy process in order to obtain some bottles but met difficulties all along the way. Eventually we were referred to an Armenian online shop called 'Shoppingian' and managed through them to land a case of Zara wines with a couple of others from Armenia, notably ArmAs.

Voskehat (white)
ArmAs rose is very dark in colour

the same wine in the sun. Karmrahyut is the grape

This ArmAs rose was so good we set about buying a case.

the shipment of ArmAs from Armenian Brandy and Wine arrived in record time
Preferring to try another way to import this wine, we came across Armenian Brandy and Wine, a company based in Belgium. They proved to be just as charming as Shoppingian but it has to be said easier to deal with and more efficient at dispatching and shipping.

Armenian Brandy and Wine's 'About Us' Spiel goes thus;

Impressed with quality of Armenian wine and brandy, a few months ago we took the gamble of starting to market them in Europe. We can’t wait to share these products with you and take you on a flavour and aroma filled journey through Armenia.

The wine houses represented by them are as follows;

Armenia Wine
Hin Areni
Old Bridge

Shoppingian has a fuller range of ArmAs wines and are the only people to stock Zara wines as far as we can tell.

Charles Masraff (left) founder of Armenian Wines
In the UK, Armenian Wines import from the these wineries;


GInVino stand at London International Wine Fair, 2017
There is another source, GInVino, based in London;

Old Bridge
Van Ardi

Back in Yerevan, you can source Armenian wines from Armenia Wine (not surprisingly). They offer wines from

Armenia Wines (presumably their own brand)
Yerevan 782 BC
Armenian wines are extraordinary given that the grape varieties in there are in a large part bred for Brandy production thanks to Stalin who wanted Georgia to have the limelight in the production of table wine. Armenia actually has about 400 of its own indiginous grapes and a history of winemaking going back as long as that of Georgia.

After independence Armenia was left to make wine from what was at hand and it must be said they have done a great job. even Armenian oak has proved a success. It will be interesting to see how these talented people take their winemaking forward. the first hurdle might be to convince the Armenian diaspora among whom Armenian wine doesn't have a very good reputation. On the basis of the wines we have tasted (and bought), they should be happy to support their tribal cousins in Armenia.

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