Areni Winery, Armenia
Areni Winery is one of Armenia’s main attractions for connoisseurs of vintage wines. It is located 110 km from Yerevan, at the entrance to the small village of Areni. The winery is a two-storey stone building with an annexe. It has a cellar with bottles of wine, huge barrels, and a small production facility, as well as a café, souvenir shop, and, of course, a tasting room.
Since 2009, the village of Areni has held an annual wine festival. This is traditionally held on the first Saturday of October, and includes various entertainment events. The highlight is tasting new and mature wines from the local area. In addition, near the village is the Areni Cave archaeological site. A 6,000-year-old wine press and other wine-making equipment were discovered in this cave, making it the oldest known winery in the world.
Areni Winery opened in 1994 as a family enterprise. Since then, the winery’s production volume has increased significantly, and today the winery produces over 250,000 bottles per year. The quality and range of wines has also improved over time: in the tasting room, you can now taste various red and white wines made from different fruits and berries. The most popular are pomegranate and apricot wines, but you can also taste wines made from quince, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, and other fruits.
A tour of the Areni Winery includes: a walk through the small production plant where you can see the technology and process used to make the wines, an explanation of the history of winemaking at Areni and, many visitors’ favourite activity, wine tasting. Fresh fruits and berries, as well as dried fruits and nuts, are served as snacks. You can also buy your favourite wines at the winery.
If you wish to visit the winery, it is open from 10.00 to 19.00, Monday to Saturday (closed on Sunday). The hosts speak Armenian, Russian, and English. The central two-storey building offers traditional wines made from grapes, and the small annexe on the left serves original fruit wines.