2017 marked the start of Krush! The Armenian Wine Newsletter. We are so thankful for the support of our family and friends at home who made it possible with their web expertise, design talents and educated palates. And special thanks to all of our new friends in Armenia; winemakers, wine educators, merchants and wine enthusiasts who gave us such a warm welcome.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here’s the Krush! list of what all Armenian wine lovers should be thankful for in 2017:
It’s impossible to overstate the impact that Semina Consulting and EVN Wine Academy have had on the Armenian wine industry. Both organizations provide tremendous resources and support to the industry, working tirelessly to improve Armenian wine and promote the industry world-wide.
Vahe Keushguerian and his team at Semina provide services for virtually every aspect of wine making. They maintain and nurture two nurseries of Armenian grape varietals, help new labels get started by providing “incubator” winery resources and offer sales and marketing support as well. Their client list is a virtual “Who’s Who” of Armenian wineries. When we talked to people about Krush! The Armenian Wine Newsletter, their first response was always “Have you talked to Vahe yet?”
EVN Wine Academy is a joint initiative between Semina and ICARE (the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education). EVN provides a professional certificate program in Enology and Wine Business which is supported by Germany’s Geisenheim University. It also offers short courses for wine professionals and enthusiasts, as well as providing ongoing Wine Chemistry Laboratory services for wineries to certify the chemical composition of their wines. Most importantly, EVN graduates now fill key positions throughout the Armenian wine industry.
Today there are roughly 20 wineries making fine wine in Armenia, and we hope another five will open in 2018. But this was not the case 17 years ago. At that time there were no “fine” Armenian wines, no modern wineries, just a struggling economy and a country still finding its footing after Independence. Two pioneers, first Armen Khalatyan of Old Bridge, and then Zorik Gharibian of Zorah had visions of Armenian fine wine and invested their blood, sweat and tears into making that vision a reality. They made the first great Armenian wines and continue to make great wine today.
ArmAs, Armenian Wine Company and Karas have invested many millions of dollars into planting vineyards and building modern wineries in Armenia. They have set the standard for Armenian wine, driven the Armenian wine export business and created the foundation for an industry that allows the ever-growing number of boutique wineries to innovate and prosper.
Great grapes are needed to make great wine, and in today’s global marketplace it certainly helps if you have unique grape varieties to work with. Armenia is blessed with many unique indigenous grapes, including two very special ones: Areni, which makes complex “Pinot- like” red wines and Khndoghni, which produces powerful “Cabernet-like” reds. We expect the future will be full of many amazing wines from these two great varieties.
Being a wine lover in Yerevan is like being a child in a Grand Candy store. Every week seems to bring a new wine, a new wine bar, a new vintage to try. The wine community is full of innovative, enthusiastic and talented individuals. We are thankful to be a small part of it.