Areni is a wine grape used in the process of red wine making. This dark skinned grape is known for its ability to make a full bodied red wine in the Transcaucasus region, particularly in Armenia and Turkey, which are considered to be the birthplace of viticulture.
History of Areni grapes
Areni grapes have been made into wine since historical time. In fact, this region finds its mention in the bible where it is mentioned that winemaking dates back to the time when forefather Noah planted a grape along the slopes of Mount Ararat.
This wine was awarded as a reward to Noah and his companions since they overcame all the sufferings which happened during the time of the great flood.
According to scientific facts, winemaking in Armenia has been happening since the past 6000 years.
Archeologists apparently found nuclei of the available grapes in Armenia which were subjected to a number of analyses which put up a stamp of acceptance on the hypothesis.
Winemaking has been happening in the Ararat valley since centuries & many winemaking equipments and tares with grape nucleus and wine remains have been found out in the caves of Areni village.
Research also managed to point out to the conclusion that Armenians were the first people to engage in exporting of wine.
In 401-400 BC, the Greek troops were passing through Nairi which happens to be the ancient name for Armenia.
When these troops were passing by, led by Ksenofon, the troops were treated with beer and wine which were stored in underground special clay jars.
Even today, the tradition of winemaking has been preserved since ancient century.
Viticulture of Areni Grape
The Areni grape is an amber black coloured grape having a thick skin.
This grape is extremely disease resistant & is well adapted to the strong diurnal variations in temperature.
This is a key quality for a grape cultivated in harsh continental climates, such as that in the Transcaucasus, where the temperature in the day exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees centigrade) & drops to less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees centigrade) at dusk.
The tough and robust skin of this grape not only maintains a structural integrity, but also helps retain a degree of freshness and elegance which is a must in a wine grape.
Areni grape vineyards are typically small in number due to the lack or scarcity of water & unavailability of land.
Characteristics of Areni grape
Areni grapes derive their name from the village which is located to the southwest of Armenia.
This grape is typically grown in Areni region, and thanks to its unique dry climate, the place is best suited for the growth of this grape.
The grape does not grow so good in any other place in the whole of Armenia. Basically, if the home land of Areni needs to be pointed out, it definitely has to be the Armenia’s Vayots Dzor region, thanks to the exceptional quality of grape this region produces.
This grape gives a pleasant sourish and a specific taste and hence it makes very good wines.
Areni grape is of aborigine sort which has over a period of time adapted to the climate of Vayots Dzor.
Characteristics of Areni wine
Areni wine is virtually unheard in the international wine market. However, in the year 2012, this wine apparently featured amongst the top 10 wines of the world according to Bloomberg and that is when this grape gained prominence.
This was even more worth mentioning, for the fact that it stood side by side to wines like 1989 Château Haut-Brion and Quinta do Noval’s National Legendary Port.
Flavours and taste of Areni wine
This wine typically appears light to medium ruby in the glass, with a smell of mulberry and huckleberries.
Thanks to the strong acidic content of this wine, the strong huckleberry & mulberry flavors give a bright juicy flavour.
This wine also has faint tannins in the background along with peppery notes which tend to linger in the mouth at the end, adding a great finish to the wine.
I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂