The Yerevan Brandy Company has a rich history dating back to 1887, when it was founded in Yerevan, Armenia near the Victory bridge and the Erivan fortress. The company eventually split into two separate factories: Yerevan Brandy Company and Yerevan ArArAt Brandy Company. Many of my readers are probably familiar with ArArAt brandy. It has become a symbol of Armenia and is known for its delicious, fresh taste.
In this post I’ll tell you more about the brand’s history and products. Also, you will learn about how you can experience the best of it firsthand in their factory in Yerevan. And, as always I encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences with me on Instagram or Twitter, with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
Yerevan Brandy Company history
Yerevan Brandy Company was founded in 1887 in Armenia by Vasily Tairov and his brother Nerses Tairyan. It quickly gained recognition for its high-quality brandy, which was produced using classical French technology. In 1902, the company’s Fine Champagne Select brandy received praise at an exhibition in Bordeaux. During the First World War, the company faced challenges due to the Russian Empire’s Dry Law. However, some diplomacy was used I think :-), and the employees worked hard to keep the plant running. In the years of Soviet revolution and consequent takeover of Armenia by the USSR, the company was nationalized. As a result it became part of a Wine and Brandy Trust in USSR.
In 1937, Markar Sedrakyan began working at Yerevan Brandy Company and created several successful brandy blends. The company managed to withstand the difficulties of the WWII. As a result, at the end of 1940s it began a major expansion of its production capacities due to its growing popularity.
The 3* and 5* brandies from Yerevan Brandy Company rose to prominence during the Soviet Union’s economic expansion. They changed the company’s name to Yerevan Brandy Company in the late 1980s, and in 1999 it became a joint stock company. Using time-honored techniques and ingredients obtained locally, Yerevan Brandy Company still produces premium brandies today. Nowadays, people all over the world enjoy Armenia’s famous ArArAt brandy, which has become a symbol of the country.
The history of the Yerevan Brandy Company is long and fascinating. Six different languages are available on their website for information on the brand’s history and manufacturing method. So, be sure to check it out if you want to learn more about it with wonderful visuals and in a more interactive way.
Yerevan Brandy Company tours & tastings
Visitors to the Yerevan ArArAt Brandy Company can take a tour of the factory and museum. This is a great way to learn more about the brand’s history and production process. As I said, the company has a friendly and informative website. There you can book a tour in the ArArAt brandy museum and taste different flavors of the brandy.
Degustation tours give you the opportunity to discover your favorite ArArAt flavor and purchase a bottle from the museum shop. The tours can vary in price between 4500 AMD and 10000 AMD per person. This is not the cheapest way of entertainment for the Armenian standards, of course. But, to be honest, it’s totally worth it if you want to experience something unique. And especially if you like brandy!
Discovering your favorite ArArAt taste and learning more about the variety of flavors offered by the brand are both made possible by these tasting events. A competent staff member who can walk you through the tasting process conducts the tastings. Additionally, they will offer information on the various brandy tastes and manufacturing processes, both of which are highly fascinating.
You will get the chance to try a selection of ArArAt tastes at a tasting event and contrast them. Both traditional varieties, like the original ArArAt brandy, and more recent ones, including Cherry, Coffee, and Apricot, can be available to you. The personnel at the tasting event can also make suggestions for the flavors that might be most appealing to you.
What to expect during the degustation tour?
In addition to the tastings, here you can:
- learn about the history and production of ArArAt brandy,
- hear about the brand’s long history firsthand, as well as the traditional production methods used to create the brandy
- learn about the different grape varieties used in the production of ArArAt and how they contribute to the flavor of the brandy.
All in all, I think these degustation tours are a fun and educational experience that everyone can enjoy. Of course, provided you are of legal drinking age, which in Armenia is 18 or above. So, if you’re planning a visit to the Yerevan Brandy Company (see the location here on the map), be sure to book a tasting tour. It will allow you to fully experience all that the brand has to offer.
The Yerevan ArArAt Brandy Company also has a gift shop on site. Here visitors can purchase bottles of the brandy, as well as other branded merchandise. ArArAt brandy is a popular gift or souvenir to take abroad. It is available for purchase at the factory and museum shops, as well as at many supermarkets in Armenia. So, it’s worth considering.
Yerevan Brandy Company products
ArArAt brandy is made from locally sourced white grapes grown in the Tavush region of Armenia. The region is known for its dense forests, clean air, and abundant sunlight, all of which contribute to the fresh, delicious taste of ArArAt brandy.
Btw, there is an amazing national park called Dilijan in this region. The park has wonderful waterfalls, hiking trails, mountain biking and many other great recreation activities. Check out my what you can do in Dilijan National park post to learn more.
The brand has recently introduced several new flavors: Cherry, Coffee and Apricot. All of which are a reaction to the need to modernize the brand and make it more appealing to todays’ consumers. While maintaining its classic roots, it’s striving to be modern and relevant, and I love this! I think all Armenian brands should follow suit to open new opportunities for themselves in the world.
New ArArAt design and the “Under One Sky” movie
Recently, the ArArAt brand underwent a redesign, introducing new labels, gift packages, and a contemporary bottle design. The company celebrated the redesign with the release of the film “Under One Sky”. The movie illustrates the brand’s eternal values and genuine, heartfelt connections.
“Under One Sky” is the collaboration of the ArArAt brand with filmmaker Alexander Hant. He has won significant international awards such as “Nika” and a prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. It is the first major project for ArArAt following the redesign, although the brand’s philosophy and values remain unchanged.
Where to buy ArArAt brandy
ArArAt brandy is available for purchase at the factory and museum shops, as well as at most supermarkets throughout Armenia. The brand is also actively exporting its products worldwide. But to be fair it may take some time for the new flavors to be widely available in certain areas.
If you’re planning to travel with alcoholic beverages, be sure to check any limits or restrictions on importing them to your country. ArArAt brandy is a popular gift or souvenir to take abroad and it is often purchased by travelers visiting Armenia. It’s on the pricier side, but if you want to take it as a gift, it’s worth it. Especially if the person to be gifted likes exclusive spirits. Btw, I have a whole post about what you can bring back from Armenia as gifts. So, check it out to learn more.
This factory has always been a source of great pride for local Armenians. And most will say that you should absolutely visit it, especially if you are not on a tight budget. And if you’re not into museums and history and have other alcohol preferences, alright – don’t visit the museum. But, please take a chance and try the Apricot ArArAt brandy while you are in Armenia.
Believe me, it’s nowhere near the regular brandy you might know. It’s a sweeter, flavorful drink resembling something stronger than wine and more flavorful than apricot juice. That has a great potential to become your best brandy experience. Trust me and give it a try. And then share your feedback with me on Instagram or Twitter, with #ArmeniaTravelTips.
Featured image credits: Veni Markovski on Wikimedia (CC)