Van Ardi is a project of Varuzhan Muradyan and his family. Each of Varuzhan’s wines bears the mark of the author, which makes his project especially interesting. Van Ardi will never be an industrial project, so demand will always exceed the supply. Any (even ordinary) sample of Van Ardi is interesting in its own special way.
The project is located on a 60-hectare plot in the Aragatsotn region. The vineyard area is nine hectares, of which six hectares are under fruit-bearing vines. Altitude is about 1,000 m above sea level. The climate is hot and arid, with maximum of 350 to 400 mm of annual precipitation. The soils rest on tufa and other volcanic rocks. The vineyard is irrigated in a traditional manner. Although winter temperatures in the region may reach –22° C, the vines are not ploughed under for winter.
The project’s varietal assortment consists of four red grapes: Areni, Syrah, Kakhet and Haghtanak; and a single white grape, Kangun. All vines, including Syrah, grow on their own roots. The vines were planted in 2009–2012, so the youngest plants are just becoming fruit-bearing from a commercial viewpoint. The first yields of the young vines were not used for winemaking purposes. Harvest normally begins in late September. Grapes are picked into small plastic boxes.
The project has a small but well-organized and neat winery, equipped with a press and temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Wine is aged in barrels from Karabakh oak crafted by the Varanda cooperage. In the future, construction of a bigger winery is not excluded – its design has already been developed in San Francisco. The existing winery can produce about 40,000 to 50,000 bottles of wine a year.
The Van Ardi project is fully controlled by its founder and owner, Varuzhan Muradyan, and his wife. A financial auditor by profession, Varuzhan worked for many years in the USA, where he studied Californian winemaking, visited Napa Valley wineries, and got a diploma from the Wine Executive Program of the University of California (Davis Wine School). He continues his self-education by reading specialized literature, and has now fully devoted himself to winemaking. Josef Welz from Germany is an invited consultant for white and rosé wines.
All six wine brands of the project are distinguished by a very high professional level and an incredible style. Each wine reflects the soul and the smile of its author. Each position has a character of its own, but it is clear that they all come from the same craftsman.
Van Ardi is a tourist-oriented project. It takes only 30 minutes to drive there from Yerevan. When a wine connoisseur reaches them, they will undoubtedly like the atmosphere of the place, sipping boutique wines on a little terrace next to the winery and admiring the scenery of snow-covered Ararat summits.