Though being an ancient cradle of winemaking and viticulture, Armenia, was known mostly for its brandy for many decades. During the years of the planned economy in the period of the Soviet Union, Armenia was to produce only brandy, which resulted in the interruption of the millennia winemaking culture. In recent years, once off the radar, Armenia has experienced its winemaking Renaissance reviving its viticulture and winemaking traditions and bringing back its place on the world wine map. Gradually winemaking has become one of the leading branches of the Armenian economy.
New vineyards were established, and new wineries opened every year. Today the total vineyard surface is 16.700 ha, and the number of Armenian wineries has reached 67. There are more than 400 indigenous grape varieties, 50 of which are used in winemaking. The field has also become attractive for investors: many repatriates started to return to the motherland and invest in winemaking bringing new quality and style to Armenian winemaking.
Thanks to ancient indigenous grape varieties' unique features, mountainous and rocky Armenian terroir, warming sun, Armenian winemakers started to craft authentic wines rich with a unique bouquet of aromas. Armenian wines gradually started to win foreign wine enthusiasts' hearts and become highly competitive in the international market.
Grape Wine Production in Armenia in 2014-2019, hectolitres
Due to this fact, volumes of wine and brandy produced in Armenia have been showing steady growth in recent years. Only In 2019, winemaking had a 31, 6 % production growth. In 5 years, dynamics we can observe that grape wine production in Armenia is almost doubled. Simultaneously, wine exports have noticeably increased. Only in 2019, the export growth is 27.7 %. In the two main export markets of Armenia (Russia and the USA), Armenian wines' average CIF price holds a middle position among imported wines. These price fluctuations are conditioned by the difference in types of wines exported each year, as well as by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Simultaneously, consumption of wine in Armenia has also had a significant growth reaching 3.5 litres per capita/year. Increasing quantity and quality of wineries’ production is the focal point of all companies and one of the priorities of the Government of Armenia in the strategic plan for the decade. “Armenian wines are kicking with quality”,-Forbes!
The positive shifts in Armenian winemaking haven't passed unnoticed internationally either. For instance, The 2010 Zorah Karasi Areni Noir, made from indigenous Armenian grapes of the Areni region, Armenia, was ranked in Bloomberg's top 10 list of wines in 2012. Armenia Dry Rose 2014 awarded the gold medal at Mondial Du Rose 2015. Armenian wine companies were awarded 87 medals –30 gold, 40 silver and 17 bronze medals–at March 2017 Mundus Vini Grand International Wine Awards in Neustadt, Germany.
For the efficient and coordinated development of the sector and the introduction of new strategies of state policy and developmental programs, the RA government established the Vine and Wine Foundation of Armenia in 2016. The VWFA developed a strategy to create all the necessary preconditions for high-quality raw materials for wine production, focusing on the enhancement of competitiveness of Armenian wines in the international market from one hand and the enhancement of legislative frameworks and quality control mechanisms from the other hand, targeting the development of professional capacities, improving the business environment and increasing export volumes. See more on the official website of the Foundation.