This tour combines visits to both commercial wine factories and home facilities, where the households are making wine in ways that have not changed for hundreds of years. You can taste local wine all year round. However, if you wish to participate in the wine making process, you had better visit during the harvest season between mid-September and early November. Many seasonal activities are also available.

2
days

WINE TOUR in Vayots Dzor Region

  • DAY 1

    • Perhaps, the best introduction to Vayots Dzor wines will begin by visiting the “Areni” Wine Factory, where you may taste a variety of 14 grape and fruit wines.

    • Visit the factory’s grape fields near Areni. Your guide will help you find the fields. In addition, if weather permits, on the way back the guide can show you the location of “Kosajur” – a mineral water spring (bubbling water), where you can swim in the pool. During the day, most locals are out working in the fields, but in the evening, you will often meet them nearby making “khorovats” (Armenian BBQ). Most likely, you will be offered to join!

    • After the “Areni” factory it’s worth it to visit with some local residents, where you can observe, and depending on the season also participate, in the process of wine making. Those can be home-based, small-scale wine making operations. Most of the time Armenian and perhaps Russian are the only languages spoken, so, your guide will be acting as an interpreter. 

    • Such visits to local Families will help you make your own wine. With pre-arrangement, they will keep your wine for several days until you return. Continue your visit to the south of Armenia, Karabakh (Artsakh), Meghri. When you return to Yerevan, stop back in Areni to pick up your wine. If you like, and for a small fee, they will keep your wine for years until you return.

  • Optional: visit the Areni-1 (Bird’s) Cave. As the excavation is still in process, entering the cave is not always possible. However, you may ask the local guide for possible pre-arrangement. You do have the option to view the outer section of the cave, where the oldest leather shoe was found some years ago.

    • Lunch with a local B&B or in a restaurant along the Arpa River.

    • Drive to Aghavnadzor village to the Norayr’s Old Style Armenian House and “Maran” or winemaking facility. Taste his dry and semisweet wines pared with cheese. Visit his fields. Picnic lunch in the fields is possible with pre-arrangement.

    • Overnight at a B&B in Areni or Yeghegnadzor.

 

  • DAY 2

    • 􀂋Visit the grape fields near the Gladzor and Vernashen villages to see the different ways of grape cultivation in mound gardens /թմբային այգի/ [tm’bay’een a’gee].

    • Visit Barrel factory - “Izoton” wood factory in Yeghegnadzor. Large and small, 400-700 liter, wine barrels are produced here for the local wine industry. Tour the small production facility. Small barrel souvenirs are available.

    • Visit to willow bottle pack maker’s house. Artur Petrosyan produces interesting wine bottle sheaths from local willows and river cane materials. These unique products are a great addition to any Armenian handicraft s souvenir collection.

    • Lunch in Yeghegnadzor at Arman Hakhverdyan’s Wine House. Arman has converted the front of his home into a wine production and tasting hall complete with dining facilities. At his vineyard located near his home, Arman uses organic fertilizers and bio-ecological production standards. Before crushing the grapes, he hand-sorts each bunch to produce unique blends. Arman’s Wine House is also a gallery for local artists and painters who are interested in the nature of Vayots Dzor.

    • Again, if you are planning to spend a second night in Vayots Dzor, there are many available B&Bs in Areni and/or Yeghegnadzor. Optional: return to Yerevan OR continue to the South of Armenia, to the Syunik region.

Calendar of activities:
Homemade wine
Tour gallery
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WINE TOUR in Vayots Dzor Region
  • March and April – pruning and fixing of dry branches.

  • May – cultivation and fixing of green branches.

  • June, July, August – irrigation, weed control, treatment and fertilization.

  • Early September - harvesting and eating different varieties of grapes.

  • Late September, October, early November – harvesting the “Areni” variety of grapes, which is the most famous.

   Depending on the temperature and percentage of sugar, within a few days you can make young wine. You should, however be careful with such young wine. As the fermentation process is ongoing, the wine will possess natural carbonation.

   Similar to carbonated soft drinks, if you are not careful when opening you will receive a shower spray of fizzy wine! For 2-3 days, take a tour, make some wine, and then venture further south to Karabakh (Artsakh) or Meghri. When you come back, taste the wine you made!