Hin Areni has a vineyard of its own, and an up-to-date winery. Its French-style wines nonetheless correctly represent the character of its indigenous grapes.
The Hin Areni vineyard is located in a historic appellation near Areni village, at elevations of 1,200 to 1,250 m above sea level. The first grapevines were planted nine years ago; currently the project has 17 hectares of fruit-bearing vines on their own roots, with another 15 hectares to become fruit-bearing in the near future. Then Hin Areni will become one of the largest vine-growers in Vayots Dzor. The local soils are diverse, with volcanic rocks and limestone prevailing. Despite frosty winters, the vines are not ploughed under for the cold season, as the local varieties are quite cold-resistant. The main grape variety is Areni, followed by Voskehat, which yields good results on the local limestone soils. This varietal composition is a good choice for a winery that strives to represent Armenia’s winemaking style.
The Hin Areni winery was founded about 20 years ago. Since its reconstruction in 2014, it has been equipped according to the latest advances in winemaking technology: temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, grape processing machinery by Bucher Vaslin, and an up-to-date cold bottling line by GAI. Grapes are picked into small plastic boxes, sorted on a vibratory table, and processed within a couple of hours after harvesting – the vineyard is located nearby. All reds are aged in barriques, tonneaux and vats from Karabakh (Caucasian) oak. Annual output amounts to 100,000 bottles.
The current idea of the project appeared in 2013. Its author was Henik Karapetyan. Project Director Vardan Mkrtchyan, an engineer by education and long-time politician and MP, decided a couple of years ago to devote himself to oenology – to the benefit of national winemaking. Levon Sarkisyan is responsible for the company’s vineyards. Oenological advice is provided by Didier Cornillon from southern France, assisted by the young winemaker Andrei Davtyan.
The winery sits in the very heart of the ancient village of Areni, next to the Areni-1 cave complex with the world’s oldest winery (over 6,100 years old) and Noravank ravine with an 800-year-old monastery. After seeing these sights, it is worth visiting the Hin Areni winery and its tasting hall to enjoy wines to the accompaniment of nice food.