As we embarked on this wild and wonderful voyage more than a decade ago, we found ourselves in front of a huge churning storm of uncertainty. Our dream of creating wines unique to our terroir which would speak of our land invited us to embrace the unknown. We could never have imagined that navigating those uncertainties would have opened up a world brimming with possibilities.
When looking back at history, Armenia’s wine has quite a story to tell; but after enduring centuries of war, religious intolerance and depression the language of our vines has been lost to narrative.
Goethe once wrote “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men”, and so ZORAH dreams big; it dreams of the revival of native grapes, the rediscovery of forgotten places and for a passionate future in Armenian winemaking.
The most colorful threads in the tapestry of Armenia’s wines lie in its indigenous grape varieties. These are our inheritance and championing them will be part of the beauty and diversity of our countries wine future. It is through these varieties that we will eventually be able to tell the story of our land in a glass. Grape growers and winemakers will have to come to understand the distinct identity of each variety and see what works best in each local climate and soil. It is essential to understand and valorize Armenia’s geographic diversity, we have to rediscover our fantastically diverse terroirs, for even though small, there are many ‘different Armenia’s’ each of which will impart its inescapable imprint on future wines.
The road ahead should very much be the road back. Our long history of winemaking, that’s buried deep in the past, must be revived and traditional wine making techniques, which risk dying out, should be embraced so that we can rebuild our unique wine culture and re connect with our roots.
Quality focused, young, passionate and talented winemakers with respect for their origins, working in small or medium sized vineyards will be the success of Armenia’s future wine industry. Armenia will never be able to compete on quantity or price so it will have to compete on quality, regional typicity and look for that ‘sense of place’ in its wines.
The dream for Armenia to offer wines that matter, wines that ’if you listen carefully’ will show you the road to this incredible place, is still very much a work in progress, but it can become reality. We cannot predict our future, but we can create it!
ZORAH – 6000 years of history in every bottle