Representatives of Waters Edge Wineries invited from the USA got acquainted with Armenian wines, as a result of cooperation of AGRI CAMP Program and Storica-Wine, an Armenian wine import company in the US.
There’s a bigger demand in the world for wine made from endemic grape varieties. Ancient World wines are becoming more and more popular. To stimulate market growth and increase export volumes the AGRI CAMP Program establishes new connections with international distributors.
Storica-Wine cooperates with Waters Edge Wineries for many years. The latter is an innovative urban winery system bringing the cultural experience of wine to communities across the US. As a large operation with over 20 locations Waters Edge Wineries owns not only winemaking factories but also function facilities holding dinners, weddings, concerts, events, etc.
Waters Edge Wineries has already become one of the largest customers of the wines of Armenia and now is preparing to present a rare collection of Armenian wines to various communities in the United States.
AGRI CAMP Program in collaboration with Storica-Wine invited to Armenia Waters Edge Wineries’ representatives, a group of winemakers and business people, on July 17 to July 22, 2023 to get to know Armenia better, as well as to select and purchase more of Armenian un-bottled wines. Selected wines will be bottled in the USA and sold under the label WATERS EDGE WINERY and PRODUCT OF ARMENIA․
Upon arrival in Armenia, AGRI CAMP invited the guests to AgriHAB, where Lusine Tadevosyan, the AGRI CAMP Chief of Party, introduced the Program and shared details about ZYAC – Zabel Yesayan Agribusiness Campus of ICARE Foundation. Vine and Wine Foundation of Armenia Expert and EVN Wine Academy graduate Amalya Iskandaryan presented the ancient history of Armenian winemaking and current developments in the wine industry of the country.
The participants were even more impressed with the Armenian winemaking culture and history after the trip to Areni Cave and visit to Wine History Museum of Armenia.
Very interested in the ancient technology of Armenian winemaking the representatives of Waters Edge Wineries also visited several Armenian wineries that are trying to restore and preserve those ancient traditions.
The agenda of the visit was extremely busy. During the study tours and almost all the places visited the guests have been introduced to a great variety of quality Armenian wines – from table wines to reserve. Visits to Voskevaz Winery and Van Ardi were interesting and impressive. Wine tasting at the Hin Areni office in Yerevan and travel to WineWorks winery-incubator in Yerevan added more of stunning impressions about the nature and the quality of Armenian wine. The agenda also included visits to vineyards in the main wine regions of Armenia: Vayots Dzor and Aragatsotn. The guests were lucky to enjoy high altitude vineyards of Zulal Winery located in Vayots Dzor region at 1300-1500 meters above sea level. They also visited the unbelievably picturesque vineyards of Noa Winery in Vayots Dzor. The trips gave them the opportunity to learn about Armenian endemic grape varieties and viticultural techniques as well as the chance to explore the uniqueness of Armenian terroir.
Raising awareness about Armenia as an ancient winemaking country with substantial wine heritage, cultural sights and history was not the only goal behind the visit organized by AGRI CAMP. The guests also get acquainted with nowadays Armenia which offers vibrant and outstanding wine and gastro experience and, of course, they fell in love with Armenian dolma and lamb khorovadz.
However, the agenda would not be complete without a visit to Pegan temple of Garni and curved in a cliff magnificent Geghard Monastery, as well as a lavash baking ceremony. Returning to the capital after their travels, the guests enjoyed walking in the center of Yerevan until late at night, admiring the friendly attitude of the people and the safe and secure atmosphere of the city.
As a final chord, AGRI CAMP organized a wine tasting event on July 20 to introduce the products of USAID beneficiary companies that produce wine from endemic grape varieties. Among the participants were two of AGRI CAMP beneficiaries: Mijnaberd Alco; Eco Winery, and four of RED-NEO: Wine & More LLC; Manukyan Wines LLC; Kataro LLC; and Jraghatspanyan Winery LLC.
When we asked Waters Edge Wineries’ representatives what they thought about the quality of presented wines, Mark Mitzenmacher, Director of Operations at the WEW said that for him “the scale ranges from very good to excellent”. “We also heard personal stories behind the wine, which makes it even more attractive”, – Mark said.
Most of the guests had never been to Armenia before a knew almost nothing about the country. On the last day of visit Rebecca White Maroney, the PR expert of the group, confessed that she was so happy that agreed to travel to Armenia: “…when I only think that I could have missed one of the best trips in my life!”, – she said.
The fact that we heard only positive feedback during this visit was quite expected, because we worked hard to make it happen. The seven days the guests spent here were enough to get to know the high-quality Armenian wines and love it. The representatives of Waters Edge Wineries were thrilled to be new ambassadors for Armenia as an outstanding wine and gastro destination when they are back to US.