Armenian Grapes

Armenian Grapes Varieties

According to biblical legend, the Great Flood ended after Noah's ark landed on the top of Mount Ararat. When Noah saw the vine, a sign of life and hope for the creation of a new world, he knew he came to the right place. Thus, grapes became one of the main symbols of fertility and took an important place in the culture of the Armenian people. More than 400 authentic grape varieties grow in Armenia.

In Soviet times, winemaking in Armenia fell into decline because of the decision of the party: at that time, Armenia was given the role of a brandy producer, and neighboring Georgia was entrusted with the creation of wines. However, since the beginning of the 1990s, hard-working Armenians have begun to successfully revive the cultivation of the vines.

In this article, we will tell you about the most popular grape varieties in the country and immerse you in the world of amazing Armenian wines.


Armenian Grapes Varieties: White Grape Varieties


Voskehat is an ancient endemic white grape variety. Locals started to cultivate it about 3.5 thousand years ago. It is widely distributed and used by winemakers throughout the country. Voskehat is especially popular in Vayots Dzor, the Armavir region, located close to Lake Sevan. The variety is resistant to frost and fungal diseases. The grape has light green color. The variety is distinguished by the high yield.

Wines have a rich aroma, with notes of pear, exotic fruits, spices, and honey. The intense taste of wine envelops delicate hints of vanilla, citrus fruits, nutmeg, and lychee. An elegant bouquet of drinks from Voskehat is admired by connoisseurs of wines from the first sip. Wines made from Voskehat go well with lean meat, poultry, and seafood dishes.

Garan Dmak

Garan Dmak is a white grape variety, used to create delicious table wines. The soil plays a direct role in the volume and quality of the crop. Garan Dmak is most productive on stony, clay, and semi-desert soils. At the same time, the resistance of the variety to winter frosts is quite low, so the vines must be insulated before the arrival of frosts. Ripe grapes are fleshy, sweet, and juicy. Garan Dmak can be used to produce grape juice as well. This grape variety grows mainly in the Armavir region of Armenia.

Garan Dmak is quite sensitive to environmental conditions, so it requires careful and scrupulous care. It is more prone to fungal diseases than other varieties, and the winemakers need to regularly inspect the vine. However, if weather conditions and plant resilience allow the process to be completed, Garan Dmak's yields may outperform other popular varieties.

The wines are distinguished by lightness and pleasant aftertaste, with a rich bouquet of juicy green apples, a ripe pear, and a delicate hint of vanilla. These wines can be served both as an aperitif, and with light snacks, and as drinks with full-fledged poultry, fish dishes.


Kangun is a white Armenian grape variety, which is a hybrid bred by the selection of Rkatsiteli and White Sukholimansky varieties. In the Armenian language, "kangun" is translated as "persistent", which fully reflects its characteristics. It is resistant to pests, tolerates winter frosts well, and rarely suffers from fungal diseases. The grapes have a greenish-yellow color with a noticeable brown tint. The peel is usually covered with a characteristic wax coating. Kangun crops are harvested quite late compared to other Armenian varieties.

Kangun is used to create wines of varying degrees of strength. In addition, it is used as a material to produce brandy. Wines from the Kangun grape variety are characterized by pleasant softness and lightness, and the taste of honey, wildflowers, and green apples. The aftertaste has pleasant herbal hints. Wines made from Kangun are served with fruits, nuts, and seafood dishes. The temperature of the drink should be from +8 to +10оС.


Mskhali is the third most popular grape variety in Armenia. It is spread in almost all wine-growing regions of the country. Wines from it are prepared mainly according to European technology: the must is kept in stainless steel tanks at low temperatures. Mskhali has poor resistance to frost.

At the final stage of ripening, grapes acquire a yellow-greenish tint. They are distinguished by a high sweetness, slight sourness, and fleshy texture with a lot of juice. Mskhali is a late-maturing variety and usually produces high yields, especially when there is adequate rainfall or regular irrigation. This variety does not require soil of any special characteristics to grow. This is probably why it grows in many regions of Armenia.

Table and dessert wines are prepared from Mskhali grapes. They are distinguished by a pleasant rich taste and a long-lasting aftertaste. Such wines usually have a light wheaten color and an expressive aroma, reminiscent of the light smell of freshly cut grass and meadow flowers. On the palate, you will feel the bright colors of ripe fruits and honey. Wines made from Mskhali grapes should be served chilled to +12°C. They go well with light snacks, cheeses, and seafood dishes.

Khatun Kharji

Khatun Kharji grows and is cultivated mainly in eastern Armenia, and its wines are very popular among the local population. This is a white grape variety that is excellent for the production of table and dessert wines. The clusters of this variety ripen quite late, but they give amazing results: even after a long winter, this variety can not only survive but also show its best, giving truly rich harvests in the fall. This seemingly ordinary variety, with proper care, shows itself in all its glory, and in September-October, winemakers can harvest up to two hundred tons of this unique grape from one hectare. The thick skin protects the grapes from damage, keeping them firm and full of juice. The wines from Khatun Kharji are included in the collections of true connoisseurs.

Wines made from Khatun Kharji have a rich aroma, and light amber color with a languid shade of ripe apricot. Sweetness is well balanced with a harmonious spicy aftertaste. Wines from Khatun Kharji go well with poultry and fish dishes.


Chilar is an endemic Armenian white grape variety that grows in the highlands of Vayots Dzor. The grapes have a yellow-green color with light brown tints. Currently, there are about 200 hectares of vineyards with Chilar in Armenia. In addition to the Vayots Dzor region, it is also cultivated in the Echmiadzin, Yerevan, and Ashtarak regions. Chilar grows well on any, even infertile soils, while giving rich harvests. However, it is susceptible to high humidity, so the arid climate of Vayots Dzor is perfect for it. Ripe grapes have a pleasant sweetness with slight sour notes.

Wines from Chilar are characterized by high density and depth of taste. In the aroma, you can catch a light trace of flower honey, walnuts, and quince. The aftertaste will give you tart notes of green apple. The color of wines from Chinar often comes out pale golden with bright amber tints.


Armenian Grapes Varieties: Red Grape Varieties

Areni Noir

Areni Nuar, or Black Areni, is a red grape variety that grows mainly in the east of the country, in the Vayots Dzor region, at an altitude of 1000 to 1700 meters above sea level. Areni tolerates temperature fluctuations well, so it can be planted in such high-mountainous regions. In Vayots Dzor you can find vineyards with vines that are over a hundred years old! Areni begins to produce grapes approximately 160 days after bud break. It has a dense skin, which allows it to maintain its structural integrity for five months of ripening in a harsh climate.

Delicious full-bodied wines are created from Areni grapes, with a well-balanced taste and sweetness. The drink has a dark ruby color and a slightly oily texture. The aroma and taste reveal a rich bouquet with hints of cherry, pomegranate, blackberry, chocolate, and black pepper. When aging wine in oak barrels, you can catch hints of vanilla and caramel. In the aftertaste, a hint of cocoa stands out. Wine should be served chilled from +16 to +18оС. Wines from Areni Noir have a long aging potential, and it is better to drink them at least 2-3 years after release.


Haghtanak is a technical variety of red grapes, which at one time was bred by the selection of two other varieties: 40 Let Oktyabrya and Saperavi. It grows mainly in the Aragatsotn region at an altitude of about 1000 meters above sea level. Grapes ripen quite late: in early or mid-October. Haghtanak is notable for its average resistance to frost, therefore, for the winter period, the vines are often covered with natural materials. Grapes have a rich bright blue color, and the skin is usually covered with a slight wax coating.

Dry, semi-dry, and sparkling wines are prepared from Haghtanak. The drinks are slightly tart, with an astringent aftertaste. When tasting, you will, first, feel a delicate aroma that combines shades of herbs, and vanilla with a slight smoke. The taste will clearly feel the taste of cherries, wild berries, prunes, and oak. The finish of the wines is long and pleasant, with elegant hints of almonds. The body of the wine has a rich, soft-enveloping silky texture, and the color of the drink is bright garnet. Wines from the Haghtanak variety can be served with cheeses, as well as meat and wild poultry dishes.


The red grape variety Kakhet grows mainly in the Aragatsotn and Ararat regions, high in the mountains. The abundance of sunny days in this area provides a high sugar content of grapes. Ripe Cahet berries are sweet and juicy and make a great refreshing grape juice. Kakhet is a late-ripening variety that gives abundant harvests. According to its morphological characteristics and biological properties, it belongs to the ecological and geographical group of varieties of the Black Sea basin. Grapes have a rounded shape and a dense skin of dark purple, almost black color, hidden under a thick layer of wax coating. However, one has only to rub it a little, and it acquires a noticeable, rich shade characteristic of this variety. The clear sweetness of Kakhet is harmoniously combined with a pleasant sourness. In order for Kakhet to successfully endure frosts, its vines are covered for the winter.

Judging by the name of the variety, it could be assumed that it is somehow connected with the Georgian region of Kakheti. However, the Armenian Kakhet has nothing to do with Georgia, being a completely autochthonous variety. It began to be cultivated on local lands thousands of years ago.

Wines of the Kakhet variety have a rich bouquet and rich composition. Dense and full-bodied, they are distinguished by high tannins and a soft combination of sweetness and astringent sourness. The rich ruby color of the drink will turn a bright red when you lightly shake the wine in a glass. On the palate, oak notes are usually felt with the addition of ripe plums and chocolate. Each sip ends with a pleasant spicy aftertaste. Wines from Kakhet are served with a cheese platter and meat dishes.


Tigrani is a red, late-ripening variety. Grapes are juicy and sweet and have dark purple color. They are great for juices as well, which are distinguished by sweetness with a noticeable tart aftertaste. This variety is resistant to external influences and usually gives stable yields regardless of negative environmental influences. Tigrani is unpretentious and enduring, and the strength of its natural character is fully reflected in the taste of the wine that is made from it.

Experienced sommeliers will not confuse wines from Tigran with anything else, with the obvious fullness of the drink and a characteristic tart sensation in the aftertaste. The wine has hints of dried fruits, a peculiar shade of spicy spices, and a soft aftertaste of ripe cherries, and ripe pomegranate.


The Khndohni red grape variety is cultivated in Armenia mainly in the Armavir region. The name is translated from Armenian as “coloring”. Khdohni gives abundant yields even with poor watering. It grows well on the southern and northern mountain slopes, and also feels good in the lowlands, where a large amount of sunlight enters. This variety does not have good frost resistance, and if the air temperature reaches -20 ° C, the vine may die, so it is covered for the winter.

Drinks made from Khndohni have a bright red-cherry color. The taste of wine is characterized by spicy-fruity aromas combined with woody notes that appear when the must is aged in oak barrels. In addition, wines combine pleasant sourness, perceptible sweetness, and a slight hint of spicy spices. The wine has a rich voluminous texture and a refined aftertaste that stays in the mouth for a long time. If the wine is prepared together with the stems and skins, then the finished drink acquires an even more pronounced tart character. In the bouquet of wine from Khndohni one can distinguish shades of pomegranate, cherry, and dogwood. This variety is often used in combination with other grape varieties to obtain drinks with the most harmonious taste. Khndohni is also used to make excellent ports and Cahors wines.

Armenian wine is gradually reaching the international level, and many experienced connoisseurs and sommeliers are paying attention to it. Armenian winemakers make effort to ensure that wine lovers around the world see their love and dedication to their work. We believe that, after reading this article, you will want to immerse yourself in the world of ancient Armenian winemaking and viticulture and become a real expert in this field!