Discover award winning spirits with our Armenian brandy tour.
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Whilst the ancient Armenian wine tradition is living its renaissance after a long period of neglect, the brandy production has remained successful for the past two centuries. In the 18th century the industry flourished due to the popularity of brandy in Russia. Armenian brandy was originally named Kanyak, the local spelling for Cognac. At the 1900 Universal Expo of Paris, Shustov & Sons’ (now Yerevan Brandy Company) brandy won the best brandy award, prevailing on Cognac’s main brands and acquiring the right to legally name their product Cognac. That right, however, was revoked after World War II.
Apparently, world leaders at Yalta conference drank Armenian Brandy.
In the picture, from left: Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Iosif Vissarionovič Džugašvili, also known as Stalin.
Yerevan: Armenian (Brandy) Capital
Yerevan has more brandy distillers per capita than any other city in the world. Today Armenia produces approximately 20 million liters per year and the great majority is exported.
Armenian brandy is made only with specific local grapes, which include Voskehat, Garan Dmak and Mskhali. Most are grown in the Ararat valley. The brandy is produced by double distillation process with Charentais stills. The product then matures in Caucasian oak, which contributes the typical flavours of dried fruit, vanilla and herbs.
Our brandy tour
Most major producers are located in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia and a visit to the main distilleries can be combined with any city tour. With a half day tour, it is possible to visit two distilleries and to have lunch in a traditional local restaurant.
Yerevan Brandy Company
Established in 1887 by Nerses Tairyan and Vasily Tairov who had studied French Cognac production methods, the Yerevan Brandy Company produces the most famous Armenian Brandy, Ararat. After the acquisition by a Russian businessman in the early 20th century, the company was renamed Shustov & Sons and grew to become the official supplier of brandy to Tsar Nicholas II. In 1998, Pernod Ricard acquired the company. Ararat brandy is now exported to 30 countries around the world.
Yerevan Brandy Company produces a wide range of brandy varieties, their age spanning from 3 to 25 years, in addition to various exclusive and vintage collections. The tour includes a visit of the Ararat brandy museum and a premium tasting.
Yerevan Noy Wine Brandy Vodka Factory
The factory is located in the area originally occupied by the ancient Erivan fortress, built in the 6th century and boasts interesting architecture and extensive underground facilities. Originally linked to Nerses Tairyan and Vasily Tairov and later Shustov & Sons, it was nationalized during Soviet times. Since 2002 it is part of a group led by Gagik Tsarukyan. Following extensive renovation, the factory re-opened in 2004. The building that used to house the administration offices is now a museum devoted to the history of brandy production in Armenia and to main contributors to such history. The tour includes the visit to the museum, the cellars and a tasting of standard and vintage brandy.