On May 5th and 6th, Yerevan celebrated its first “Wine Days” Festival. Organized by the Areni Festival Foundation, the Municipality of Yerevan, and the Ministries of Economic Development and Tourism with the huge support of Anna Mazmanian, the goal of Wine Days is to promote awareness of Armenian wine.
Fittingly, the event was held on Saryan Street, which is already well populated with wine shops and restaurants. The street was transformed into a giant wine tasting area, where for a 4,000 AMD entry fee visitors received a glass and the opportunity to taste over 100 wines from 25 different wineries from Armenia and Artsakh.
Restaurants located on Saryan Street offered a special menu for wine festival and booths were set up to offer cheese, sausage, desserts and other delicacies. Despite rain, the event was well attended by tourists and residents, providing an opportunity not only to taste Armenian wines and meet the winemakers, but also to socialize and meet new people who share the same passion – wine.
The winemakers we talked to were enthusiastic about the future of the Armenian Wine Industry. Vosekeni representatives noted the increased interest and demand for dry table wines. They are planning to make more traditional table wines to respond to the growing demand. Gevorkian winery, which made its reputation on fruit wines, also commented on the shift towards table wines.
Russia is the largest export market for Armenian wines and had the largest tourist participation in Wine Days. Igor, who came to Armenia from Saint Petersburg, said that it’s incredible to get the opportunity to taste such a huge variety of wines for such a low price. He felt that even though he has tasted wines in many countries, Armenian wine is different, perhaps because of its soil and the history that the wines bring with them.
Anna Mazmanian, one of the organizers of the festival, promised to make Wine Days a tradition and organize such an event at least once a year. Along with the Areni Harvest Festival in the fall, Armenia now has two wine related events on the annual calendar.
Arpi Janyan, Reporter