Armenia can be considered the cradle of winemaking. According to the legend, after the Great Flood, Noah planted the first grapevine in Armenia. It goes without saying, that the Armenians are fond of wine, and wine is an inseparable part of every Armenian feast and party.
Recently, more and more events evolve around winemaking and attract foreigners from all over the world. Two festivals especially have become an annual tradition: Yerevan Wine Days and Areni Wine Festival.
YEREVAN WINE DAYS
This two-day open-air festival is usually organized in May on Saryan street which is traditionally the street with countless wine restaurants in Yerevan. The two days become a feast and gather all the wine lovers from Yerevan and abroad where more than 15 local wine companies showcase their products.
You can find a wide selection of red, white, rosé and sparkling wine – they are there for you to taste them and perhaps also take a couple of bottles and enjoy it with your loved ones!
The festival is free of charge but you do need to pay a symbolic fee if you want to have unlimited access to tasting the wine ($5-10/€4-8).
On top of trying as much wine as you’d like, there is also delicious Armenian food to keep you company. A large variety of food is offered by Armenian famous restaurants at the festival. Just stroll in the pavilions with a glass of wine, enjoy live music and winy atmosphere. Sounds like the perfect night!
ARENI WINE FESTIVAL
Lots of wine, mouth-watering food, music and people from all over the place: tempting, isn’t it? This is what you get when attending Areni Wine Festival. The event is usually held in October in Areni (Vayots Dzor region), and every year thousands of people take part in this celebration.
This is a one of a kind experience for wine lovers, as the best Armenian wine assortments are all in the same place. Of course, besides wine, you will also find Armenian national food, handmade crafts and of course, you will enjoy Armenian national music and dances. Just observe a couple of performances and the locals will make you dance with them immediately!
During your visit to Areni, do not miss the chance to stop by the Areni cave, also known as Birds’ cave (trchunneri karayr in Armenian). Here, archaeologists found the oldest winery in the world. The cave consists of three rooms and it is cold and dry inside.
As you are walking inside the cave, feel the way ancient Armenians lived and made wine. You will then be transferred to thousands of years back to see uncovered layers of material culture dating to different periods and of course, to see the ancient wine pots. Breathtaking, isn’t it?
Whenever you come to Armenia, there will always be wine restaurants offering you the best selection possible. But, of course, May or October are the best times to visit if you want to attend wine festivals and have the time of your life!
So, what do you think – should we open a bottle of wine yet?
source – Caucasus Holidays