In the south-eastern region of Armenia, in Vayots Dzor, 1800m above sea level grows one of the world’s oldest sorts of grape –Areni. And when the grapes crack from sugar in the valleys, a century old garden’s harvest pierced into the heaven start to ripen little by little.
And here’s the Ararat valley, where the ancient grapes full of bright sun and Mt. Masiss (Mt. Ararat) again entered a sail, will revive the fantastic cognac and wine and will tell: “Drink me, for I am your ancestors’ earth’s blood, embrace me with your palms, for communicating with the heavenly world, which is called Armenia”.
Talking about the country of wine and about the history of wine-making in Armenia it should be mentioned that according to the Biblical legend, the winemaking dates back to the grape planted by Forefather Noah in the slope of Mount Ararat (Bible, Genesis 8:3, 4; Genesis 9:20, 21).
The wine was a reward for Noah and for his companions for all the sufferings that they overcame during the great flood. According to the scientifically proven facts, winemaking in Armenia has 6 thousand years history. Archeologists have found nuclei of grapes in Armenia, which being put in number of complicated analysis have confirmed the hypothesis, that winemaking in Ararat Valley has centuries old history. Many tares and winemaking equipments with wine remains and grape nucleus have been found in the caves near Areni village. These studies about the history of winemaking in the Old World have been done by a group of Armenian, American and Irish people. The Armenians were the first who engaged in wine exporting.
Armenia is a country where the boundary of the reality and myth is invisible. A country which existence is a myth, but the history is real. Armenians are ancient people in an ancient country. Their homeland is the plateau sprawling around the biblical Mount Ararat, the mountain on which according to the legend, Noah’s Ark came to rest after the global flood (Genesis 8:4). In those highlands more than 3000 years the State of Armenia has struggled for its existence, and recently, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, September 1991, has restored its independence. Armenia’s 2790 years old capital city Yerevan was founded by the king Argishti A in 782 BC, and was called Erebuni- “dwelling of Eri/Ari tribes”.
During the excavations of Erebuni Town-fortress has been found 10 wine storages, where they have found 200 wine jars.
Armenia has long been famous for its wine-makers, which unique traditions have been preserved till today. This can even be notified from such philosophers, such as Herodotus and Strabone. In 401-400 BC, when the Greek troops led by Ksenofon were passing through the country Nairi (the ancient name for Armenia), in their homes they were treated by be
er and wine, those wines were stored in deep underground storages in special clay jars.
In 19-20th centuries the excavations done by academician Petrovski confirmed the fact that this country which has got a birth in 9th BC located in the interaction of The East and The West was a developed wine-making country. It is proved by archeologists who revealed more than 2500 years old wine storage with 480 jars in Red Hill castle (Teyshebaini), where could have been saved for about 37 thousand decalitre wine.
Yet the ancestors of Armenians, who are the inhabitants of Urartu one of the ancient States of theworld, have been occupied with viticulture. In the chronologies have been preserved statements about that, that in such an ancient country of the world like this a special attention was given to the viticulture and fruit-growing. In the reached historical information there are mentioned various technological tricks of wine and beer preparation. Wine production traditions are carefully preserved for many years. It is impossible to deny the fact that even today many villagers as 3 millennia ago are reprocessing grape and get wine in special buildings as wine-press. And this one handful massif, which is famous for its hardworking inhabitants and the people who toil very hard, with its apricot odor and soft tune of duduk, with its red pomegranate and with its mountains flooded by sun is called Armenia.
VAYOTS DZOR REGION
Each corner of Vayots Dzor region attracts the visitors with its beauty and charm, which is impossible to describe calling a miracle. These areas cannot leave indifferent any nature loving tourist in any season of the year.
There was also located the first medieval Armenian University- “Gladzor University”, which had become a science and enlightenment national pan-Armenian center enjoying all of great renown in 13-14th century.
Historical Vaypts Dzor has been one of the most important spiritual and cultural centers of Armenia. About that confirm more than 1000 magnificent historical monuments, which are scattered throughout the region’s area. Among them there are many fortresses and castles, churches and monastic complexes, shrines and cross-stones, caravanserais and bridges, olive-mills and water-mills… In this small area there are also located more than 150 hot and cold mineral springs flowing from the ground, to which magic power and might are attributed. Among them the most famous mineral water is “Jermuk”, which is considered to be “queen” of the waters not only for Vayots Dzor but also for all Armenia. Jermuk’s restorative mineral waters have been used from ancient times not only by ordinary people but also Syunats princes on purpose of the treatment of the most different diseases.
The region Vayots Dzor is also memorable for its variety of churches and monastic complexes. Here are located many churches of great importance for Armenia, such as Noravank, Gndevank, Khachik’s Qarkop monastery, Shativank, Zorac monastery, Tsakhatskar, Arates, Herher’s St. Sion Lim, Areni’s Snt. Astvatsatsin, Martiros’s church hewn in stone, etc.
ARENI WINE FESTIVAL
Each year in Areni village takes place already a traditional “Wine Festival”, where besides the inhabitants of the region there are also present representatives of various departments.Areni Wine Festival gives a great opportunity to discover Armenia. Those who even once have taken part in Areni Wine Festival in Armenia will never forget the bright impressions. During the Areni Wine Festival you will be able to taste the best range of Armenian wines, which are very highly valued by European consumers.
The Areni Wine Fetival opens with the bright and colorful and spectacular parade of the best wine-makers, combined with the song and dance combination.
The festival program includes;
· Opening ceremony
· Armenian wine-makers’ Fair
· Public and professional wine tasting
· Exhibition-fair of traditional dishes, made by the best Armenian restaurants
· Business Meetings
· National music, dances, games, theatrical performances
· Art program, participation of art amateur groups
- “Armenia in your eyes” best wine label contest,
- “Gold Keg” prize for the best wine among the best wine-producers,
- Homemade wine producers contest
- “The best souvenir of the festival”
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