Revisiting the Past Creating the Future

tradition is not the veneration of the ashes but the passing of the flame
Undoubtedly the pièce de résistance in ZORAH’s winery are the traditional Armenian clay vessels, karasses, which have shaped the millennial story of Armenia’s winemaking. For us it has been an emotional journey. For over two decades we have been reconnecting, researching and learning about how our ancestors made wine thousands of years ago and while these vessels hint to a story of a different era, to us, they also provide a passionate glimpse into vistas of a possible future.


We don’t intervene in the winery. Our focus is to preserve the character of the grape in the truest expression of its terroir. We add nothing, but guide the wines, paying attention to their needs so that the wines can keep their expressive spontaneity and personality. We seek natural yeast, minimal extraction, mild filtration, very little sulphites. The clay karasses used in the aging are a neutral force, they are living, breathing vessels which cradle and nurture the liquid allowing full freedom of expression.


Inspired by three thousand year winemaking techniques, the karasses at ZORAH are buried three quarters below ground and one quarter above ground, a nod to the three thousand year old archaeological site of Karmir Blur and the Golden Age of Armenian winemaking.

This ancestral method, unique to Armenia, provides maximum temperature control of the liquid during aging while simultaneously creating a temperature disparity between the buried and exposed parts of the vessel. This in turn creates a slow, continuous natural rotation of the wine in the karasses during the aging period.


In contrast to the ancient karasses, which are found roaming the villages, large, rough modern, temperature controlled concrete vats, are also used in the winery.
These, similar to the karasses, allow the wine to breathe enhancing the wine’s complexity, elegance and depth while large untoasted casks help improve tannins without overpowering the wine flavour.