Old Bridge Winery, Armenia

Old Bridge Winery, Armenia

In the heart of Armenia, Old Bridge Winery stands as a testament to a proud family's commitment to exceptional winemaking. This homely, family-owned winery is a pioneer in reviving the nation's ancient wine-making traditions. During the Soviet era, while Georgia was designated the wine provider and Armenia as the cognac producer, Armenians, akin to Georgians, had centuries of history crafting exquisite wines from unique grape varieties. Old Bridge Winery was at the forefront of this renaissance in the early 1990s, following Armenia's independence.

The winery's name, Old Bridge, originates from an ancient arch bridge that served the Great Silk Road in the early Middle Ages. Nestled close to the winery, the bridge offers a stunning view of the rushing river and mountain peaks to those who traverse it.

Planting their first vineyards in 1998, the winery's landscape then was starkly different from the lush greenery seen today. What was once a rocky desert has been transformed into fertile soil bearing fruit, thanks to the family's tireless efforts. A quarter of a century later, Old Bridge has earned recognition as one of the country's premier wineries, attracting global sommeliers and featuring in TV reports.


Situated on the right bank of the Arpa river, near Yeghegnadzor, Old Bridge's vineyards sprawl over five hectares at altitudes ranging between 1250-1300 meters above sea level. Strategically planted across five different positions and planes, they ensure optimal sun exposure. The owners, the Khalatian family, meticulously chose their seedlings to yield the finest Areni and Voskehat grapes. A single hectare yields 2.5-3 tons of grapes, with each berry handpicked and carefully sorted to guarantee only the ripest and undamaged bunches are selected for wine production.

Winemaking Process

Old Bridge Winery merges traditional Armenian and contemporary European techniques in its winemaking process, which unfolds in several stages. After pressing, the juice ferments fully in stainless steel tanks, initiated by top-grade Danish yeast. The must's temperature is strictly regulated throughout this process. The wine is then moved to metal vessels and filtered twice to eliminate sediment. The final stage involves the must maturing in oak casks for a period of 1.5 to 2 years. Only then is the finished wine bottled and left to rest for an additional 4 to 6 months before going on sale.

This rigorous and multi-layered production process at Old Bridge Winery culminates in wines that possess unparalleled, distinctive taste profiles. As you savor the "Armenian Gold," you'll detect a delightful medley of aromas – from mountain flowers and fresh field grass to apricots, dried fruits, cherries, and even chocolate. The wine's density and buttery texture are indeed a treat to the palate, urging one to savor every nuanced sip.

Old Bridge's wines, celebrated not just in Armenia, are exported to numerous European countries, the United States, and Russia. They can be purchased directly from the winery during your visit or ordered from their website.


Old Bridge Winery produces dry white and red wines, bottled in branded 0.75-liter bottles. A visit to their website reveals that they don't release wines every year, testifying to the Khalatian family's stringent quality control. If they deem the vintage to be subpar or the grapes fail to meet their standards, they won't proceed with wine production. Such is their reverence and commitment to their craft. Here's an overview of the wines they produce.

Their white wine is crafted from the Voskehat variety. It possesses a delightful sweetness balanced with a distinct acidity. The first wine of this kind was launched in 2012, and this unique vintage is still available for purchase. It exhibits a light wheat color and offers delicate flavors of wildflowers, pear, and peach. This wine pairs excellently with fish and seafood dishes, vegetables, and can be complemented with nuts and cheeses as appetizers.

The Areni variety, known for producing robust red wines, forms the base for Old Bridge's array of exquisite dry red wines. As you gently swirl the glass, the wine's full-bodied, buttery texture and deep ruby reflections captivate you. The aroma teases with lively notes of ripe dried fruits while the palate reveals a tangible tartness, distinct notes of cherries, prunes, and a pleasing hint of cocoa beans. This wine is ideally served with kebabs and other meat dishes, as well as cheeses and dried fruits.

Winery's Restaurant

The winery boasts a charmingly designed restaurant where visitors can indulge in scrumptious Armenian cuisine, featuring delicacies like dried tomatoes and bastruma. A selection of cheeses, olives, and fresh pastries also await. You can even arrange for a celebratory banquet or an outdoor wedding ceremony in this expansive space, by making a special request. However, it's recommended to reserve a table at the restaurant in advance.

Guest House

In addition to their esteemed wine business, the Khalatian family also runs a guest house where visitors can immerse themselves in genuine Armenian hospitality, delectable meals, and breathtaking views that grace each room. Every corner of the Old Bridge Hotel reflects the family's taste and care in its design. Nestled within walking distance from Yeghegnadzor and yet close enough to nature for undisturbed tranquility, this establishment perfectly balances convenience with serenity. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a swimming pool, a fireplace lounge, a verdant courtyard with comfortable seating, and a basketball court.

The hotel's strategic location also makes it a perfect base for exploring the local attractions. Visitors can easily reach the 13th-century Noravank Monastery or the Areni karst cave, a historical treasure trove that has yielded artifacts over 6,000 years old.


We would like to end this review with a quote from the founder of the winery, Armen Khalatyan: "Time passes, civilizations fade, new ones emerge. What endures is the work we do and the legacy we leave on this planet. Our family strives to make our mark through our wines." It's this ethos of hard work and passion for their craft that has guided the Khalatian family in their journey. With Old Bridge Winery, they have not just built a thriving enterprise, but also played a key role in reviving the grand traditions of Armenian winemaking.