Within a decade of its inception, Armenia Wine Factory has become a leader on the Armenian market and one of the rising stars of the international wine market. With a wide variety of brands, marrying age old traditions with modern technology and policies, Armenia Wine is a success story with no end in sight.
Company history overview
Armenia has excelled in winemaking since ancient times. Remains of the world’s oldest winery has been discovered there, estimated to be over six thousand years old, and mentions of local wine can be found even in the works of Herodotus. The long cultivated traditions suffered in the 20th century under the Soviet rule, when forced mass production of fortified wines and brandy temporarily pushed traditional Armenian table wines into the background. However, in the late 90s a resurgence of time-honored ways of making wine begun, the result of which was a joint enterprise by the Vardanyan and Mkrtchyanfamilies that begun with the establishment of a vineyard in the Armavir region in south-west Armenia, well known for such grape varieties as Kangun and Haghtanak. Armenia Wine officially formed in 2008 when the winery was built in the Aragatsotn region, where evidence of winemaking reaching all the way back to the 7th century was discovered. Of course, while the tradition remains important, the new Armenia Wine Company and distillery was equipped with cutting edge equipment such as automated bottling lines with membrane filters, grape selection lines, pneumatic presses with inert atmosphere and temperature controlled tanks for fermentation. All that state of the art technology has been purchased from the world’s leading manufacturers. The Armenia Wine Company directly operates a surface of about 50 hectares. The winery is also open to visitors for guided tours (booking a tour in advance is required). The visitors can follow the entire production process, from the vineyards through aging cellars all the way to tasting the wine in a specialized tasting room. Although wines of various kinds are the primary product, Armenia Wine Factory is also a distiller and produces significant quantities of brandy. Since its founding Armenia Wine has established vineyards of 4 ha in Aragatsotn region and plans to expand the territory of its vineyards up to 200 ha. As the wine market has been growing rapidly in the last five years and a culture of wine drinking is again widespread in Armenia, we can speak of a new renaissance for the country’s winemaking , and Armenia Wine Factory is at the forefront of the booming market.
One of the reasons behind Armenia Wine’s exceptional quality is the unique terroir of Armenia – a set of environmental factors specific to the country that happen to be particularly conducive to grape growth. Among those factors are varied microclimates, volcanic soil which imbues grapes with inimitable flavor and high altitudes (as high as 1650 meters above sea level) available for vineyards. Among the vast variety of grapes grown in Armenia Wine vineyards are indigenous Armenian Kangun (notable for its extreme resistance to disease) and Haghtanak, an Armenian crossed grape variety. More widely known varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Francare also grown at the Armavir regionvineyard. The vineyards are cultivated by environment friendly means, keeping both the workers and surroundings safe from hazardous chemicals commonly used in today’s viticulture. After being hand-harvested, all grapes undergo a two-stage selection before having the stems separated from the grapes by a Delta Oscillys destemmer, which uses an inertia effect which also eliminates any shot berries, dry grapes or unripe grapes that may remain on the stems. Finally, to ensure highest possible quality, a third selection of grapes is conducted. Thus prepared and meticulously selected red grapes spend about two weeks in special temperature controlled tanks for fermentation. The cellars where the tanks reside have been designed to take advantage of gravity flow whenever possible allowing wine to be moved around much more gently. After the destemmed grapes have macerated in their respective stainless-steel vat, a pneumatic press can be smoothly rolled underneath so that the grapes can fall straight in the press. White grapes are pressed by pneumatic press under controlled atmosphere to achieve maximum extraction with no oxidation. Sparkling wine produced by Armenia Wine is made usingthe Charmat method, which means it undergoes a secondary fermentation in pressurized stainless steel tanks with an added mixture of yeast and sugar. The Charmat method, also known as the tank method, is markedly less expensive and time-consuming than the “Classic” method that has the wine undergo secondary fermentation in bottles, but does not result in reduced quality of the end product. In fact it helps preserve the freshness and intensity of the grapes’ aromas, and allows for greater control over the quality consistency. After aging in oak barrels, the wine is bottled by a highly efficient bottling-line with a capacity to handle six thousand bottles per hour. An on-site fully equipped laboratory ensures scrupulous quality control at every stage of the production process. Although Armenia Wine is a growing firm and currently employs 200 hundred people, the company believes that every employee’s contribution remains crucial to maintaining the high quality of its products, and the HR department strives at all times to keep the workplace atmosphere friendly and enjoyable without sacrificing efficiency.
Major brands and awards
Currently Armenia Wine products are divided into the following brands: Armenia, Yerevan 782 BC, Sevuk, Takar and Tariri. The Armenia brand is the stalwart backbone of the company’s catalogue, offering red, white and rosé wines in dry and semi-sweet varieties as well Muscat and Pomegranate. Selected, Special Edition and Anniversary sub-brands offer particular variations on red, white and rose Armenia wines. Armenia Muscat was named the best of its kind in the world in the 2013 edition of Muscats du Monde competition, defeating over 220 competitors, and Armenia Dry Rose won the gold medal during the prestigious Le Mondial du Rosé 2015 wine competition in France. Armenia White wine won the Silver Medal of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2017. Among other awards won by Armenia Wine products are the Silver Medal of the English Decanter World Wine Awards for “Takar” White Dry 2014, a gold medal for “Takar” Reserve Red Wine 2014 and Silver Medals for “Takar” Extra Brut Sparkling Wine 2014, , “Takar” Red Dry 2014” Tariri” Red Dry 2014 and “Armenia” Muscat White Semisweet 2016 from the German Mundus Vini competition, a gold medal for “Takar” White Dry 2014 in the French Councours Professionnel International des Vins and a gold medal for “Yerevan 782BC” White Dry Wine 2016 in the French Challenge du Vin 2017. Despite being historically one of the foremost wine-making countries in the world, in modern times Armenia has gone largely unacknowledged in the world of wine enthusiasts until recently. It is mostly thanks to the success of Armenia Wine that this situation has dramatically changed in recent years. Armenia Wine is responsible for almost 70% of all wine production in Armenia and is the country’s leading buyer of grapes. Offering a wide range of wines (from popular to super premium) the company has loyal customers among the entire spectrum of the general public. Its wines are exported to more than 20 countries such as Russia, Belarus, France, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Israel, Canada, the United States, Mexico, China and since 2016, Japan. With sales exceeding 2,5 million bottles a year and growing and an ever increasing presence at international exhibitions and competitions, Armenia Wine Company has cornered the Armenian wine market and is rapidly gaining worldwide renown.