Try Armenia's "Best Homemade Wine"

Try Armenia's "Best Homemade Wine" image

Outdoor wine tasting nestled into the vineyard. (Photo courtesy of Momik Wines)

Nver Ghazaryan’s family has been growing and producing wine from the endemic Areni grape near Areni village for more than 40 years. The results of their efforts are quality wines, one of which the Areni Wine Festival awarded "Best Homemade Wine" in 2011. You can taste some of these wines and learn about Armenian winemaking traditions with Nver and his wife Narine.

Their Momik wines use only red Areni and white Kharji grapes in their production. They grow the grapes on their family’s land, in soil that is rich in limestone and calcium. This style of production makes the grapes sweeter as well as eliminating the need for artificial fertilizers. The wines are aged partly in karases (enormous clay vessels), partly in wooden barrels, and partly in glass barrels.

The tasting area, which Nver and Narine call the “wine cube,” takes its name from Momik, the famous Armenian architect, sculptor, and artist who helped construct Noravank Monastery and churches in Areni village in the 14th century. Narine is an accomplished stone carver, who will explain the characteristics of the regional limestone that is used in many local buildings, including the monastery itself.

After demonstrating wine production and offering some tastings, Nver and Narine will guide you through their small vineyard to learn more about Areni grapes and micro-wineries. Nestled in one of Vayots Dzor’s many valleys, their vineyard is a wonderful illustration of the natural beauty, winemaking traditions, and hospitality of Armenia.

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