As I sipped a glass of wine at the Marriott Armenia hotel in Yerevan, I started to wonder about the country's wine industry and its export markets.
Armenian wines have a long and rich history, dating back to ancient times when wine was an essential part of religious and cultural practices. The country's unique terroir, with its volcanic soil and high elevation, has helped to produce distinct and flavorful wines.
Armenian winemakers have faced numerous challenges over the years, including political turmoil, economic sanctions, and a lack of modern winemaking technology. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Armenian wines, both domestically and internationally.
One of the main challenges facing the Armenian wine industry is competition from its neighbor, Georgia, which is known for its unique winemaking techniques and flavorful wines. While Georgian wines have gained widespread recognition in recent years, Armenian wines have yet to achieve the same level of recognition.
Despite these challenges, Armenian winemakers are making strides in the international market. Several Armenian wineries have received accolades at international wine competitions, and there is a growing interest in Armenian wines among wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs.
Armenian winemakers are also making efforts to improve the quality of their wines by investing in modern winemaking equipment and techniques. Many wineries have also begun to focus on sustainable and organic winemaking practices, which have helped to produce high-quality and distinctive wines.
One of the unique features of Armenian wines is their use of indigenous grape varieties, such as Areni, Voskehat, and Kangun. These grape varieties are well-suited to the country's terroir and produce flavorful wines that are unlike anything else in the world.
Armenian wine production has been steadily increasing over the years, with an estimated total production of 1.8 million liters in 2020. The majority of Armenian wine production is consumed domestically, with only a small portion being exported.
Armenia's main export markets for wine include Russia, the United States, and European countries such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Armenian winemakers are working to expand their export markets by participating in international wine exhibitions and events and by increasing their online presence through e-commerce platforms.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Armenian wine exports have continued to grow in recent years. In 2020, Armenia exported a total of 320,000 liters of wine, with Russia being the largest export market, accounting for over 50% of total exports.
Armenian winemakers are also working to increase their presence in the Chinese market, which is one of the fastest-growing wine markets in the world. In 2020, Armenia exported 13,000 liters of wine to China, and winemakers are hoping to increase this amount in the coming years.
In conclusion, Armenian wines have a rich and fascinating history, and the country's winemakers are making strides in the international market. While they face stiff competition from Georgian wines, Armenian wines are slowly gaining recognition for their unique flavors and high quality. If you have the opportunity to try Armenian wines, be sure to do so – you won't be disappointed.
As far as investment is considered - I see a potenital exporting these wines to the Chinese market.