Our Armenia Wine Tour
Half day tour
Depending on the departure point, with a half day tour it is generally possible to visit two wineries selected among the most representative of the region.
Full day tour
With a full day tour you can visit 2-3 cellars including lunch in one of the wineries or in a local restaurant to taste the local cuisine and a traditional khorovats (barbecue).
Vayots Dzor Region
Vayots Dzor is located south-east of the capital Yerevan, and is significant historical province of Armenia, first mentioned in Armenian history by Movses Khorenatsi, a 5th century historian and author of the “History of Armenia”. Sites and objects were found that date back to the Paleolithic Era and the Bronze Age.
It is a mountainous region with many rivers, mountain springs and government protected wildlife sanctuary.
The climate is continental and dry with hot summers and cold winters. Local grapes are well suited to the harsh climate.
The Areni Cave
The Areni cave complex and the 6100 year old Areni winery discovered in excavations, revealed that the region was already inhabited during the 5th millennium BC. The winery consists of fermentation vats, a wine press and storage jars and is believed to be the earliest known winery in the world. The site is very well maintained and can be visited during any wine tour in the region.
Many churches, monastic complexes, bridges and caravanserais (notably the well preserved Orbelian’s Caravanserai) were built between the 10th and 13th century.
An Armenia wine tour of Vayots Dzor is not only an opportunity to taste interesting “Ancient/Historic World” wines but also to immerse yourself in history and traditions.
The most obvious starting point is the capital Yerevan, Areni is located 109 km south east of Yerevan, please note that due to road conditions travel time is up to two hours. The area can be reached easily from other often visited areas such as Jermuk and Martuni/Lake Sevan. The Transcaucasian Hiking Trail offers a number of stunning hikes in the area.
Established in 1998 Old Bridge Winery is a family run business. The production originates in 3,5 ha of own vineyards near the tiny village of Arpi, on the hillsides of the Arpa valley at an altitude of 1200 meters asl.
The main grape is Areni for red wines, which are 100% Areni Noir blends. The grapes are hand harvested and carefully selected before fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 15-20 days, followed by malolactic fermentation.
The wine is then aged in 350 l Caucasian oak barrels for twenty-four months. In recent years, the Voskehat grape was introduced to produce a white wine with late grape harvest and therefore high sugar content and unique taste. Their wines, throughout all production phases, combine traditional Armenian and modern winemaking technologies and equipment with a strong link to the 6000 years old Armenian tradition.
For more information: Old Bridge winery.
Trinity Canyon Vineyard
Established in 2009 by three partners (therefore named Trinity) in the close vicinity of the Areni Cave, Trinity Canyon Vineyards produces a medium-wide range of red and white wines under different labels.
Trinity Canyon has 4,5 ha of own vineyard on the Aghavnadzor plateau, at the altitude of 1300 m asl.
The two main tendencies in the Trinity production are, on one hand, a classic European wine making technique, based on local grapes – and in some cases a blend of local and international grapes. Trinity is the only producer in Vayots Dzor that grows international grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot next to the local Areni Noir and Voskehat.
Ancient wine making techniques
On the other hand, we find the re-discovery of the traditional Armenian wine making technique in karasi (amphoras) buried in the ground.
In 2014, Trinity Eh Areni Noir was awarded a Gold medal at Mundus Vini International Wine Award.
Winery Hin Areni, was founded in 1994 and fully renovated in 2014 with the introduction of French and Italian systems in a combination of local tradition and modern equipment.
The winery was designed by the renowned Argentinean winery design expert Mario Japaz.
The name translates as “Old Areni”. The winery has 32 ha of vineyards located in the historical terroir of the village of Areni at altitudes of 1215-1250 m asl. The vineyards are located on a plateau around the village, the soil is stony, well drained and with a high content of limestone. The main grape varieties are Areni Noir and Voskehat. The vineyard uses modern agricultural methods and makes limited use of pesticides. Red wines are aged in oak barriques from Karabakh and France. The winery processes approximately 300 tons of grapes per season and currently produces approximately 150000 bottles of wine per year.
Areni (sometimes referred to as Areni Noir) is one – and arguably the most popular – of the approx. 400 Armenian indigenous grapes. Areni grapes have been made into wine for millennia. The Areni grape, which is aboriginal in the Vayots Dzor region, has a thick skin and is amber black. It has a high resistance to diseases and adapted to a dry and harsh climate with extreme variations in night and day temperatures. Areni vineyards tend to be of limited size due to the limited availability of water and arable land in the rough terrain of the region.
The wine appears light to medium ruby in the glass, with a smell of cherry and berries and a defined acidic content, which create a bright and juicy flavour. Oak (in this region Caucasian oak) can add vanilla and smoky notes.
Acidity: Medium to high
Age: On average, to be consumed within a couple of years from production. The best quality wines can improve, and gain in complexity, for a decade or more.
In recent years, Areni wine has gained popularity and received a number of international awards.
Our tours are informative, in-depth and fun.
You will visit some of the most representative wineries of Vayots Dozr, tasting and comparing great wines.
The tour is fully customizable. We will try to include in the itinerary the wineries that you would like to visit.
Our tour includes transport and English speaking guide.
Tasting fees are not included in order to give you full flexibility on the choice of cellars.
Our guide will assist you if you want to purchase and ship wine back home.
Book Your Armenia Wine Tour
Do not hesitate and contact us for further information or to book your tour.