One of the brands that are worth seeing and tasting in Armenia is the Armenian Brandy. According to the Bible, Armenia is the cradle of viniculture and winemaking. The first winemaker was Noah, who has left his ark at the foot of Mount Ararat, and has planted the first vines.

The modern history of brandy making in Armenia dates back to 1887, when the Yerevan Brandy Company was founded by a first guild merchant Nerses Tairyan, who began distilling brandy at the winery he had founded earlier inside the former fortress of Yerevan. The distillation of brandy spirit was done using classical French technology. In 1899, a famous Russian company, “N.L. Shustov and Sons”, purchased the Yerevan Brandy Company. Armenian brandy became the preferable beverage served at the Russian Court. When the Soviet system was established in Armenia, the factory was nationalized and entered a new stage of development, enlarging the brandy production. And in 1999, Yerevan Brandy Company became a part of the Pernod Ricard Group, a French company producing distilled beverages.

All stages of producing the brandy take place in Armenia starting from picking up the grapes and ending with bottling. The stages are: grapes, grape juice, fermentation, white wine, brandy spirits, ageing, blending and bottling. Only local endemic grape varieties, such as Voskehat, Garan Dmak, Kangun and others, are used in Ararat production. The blending process has its distinctive features, and one of them is that instead of using distilled water as in classical French production, spring water is used at Yerevan Brandy Company. It runs through filters and goes through bacteriological tests before blending. Right after blending, the brandy is chilled and then it runs through filters for the second time to make sure that all sediments have been removed. As for ageing, the brandy spirits are aged exclusively in barrels made from Caucasian oak. The Yerevan Brandy Company currently owns over 38,000 barrels. The barrel quality determines the final flavor, taste and color of the originally transparent distillate.

The oldest brandy kept at Yerevan Brandy Company is the 1902 OTBORNY brandy, the first of the Armenian vintage brandies. Alc. by vol. – 55,2%.

A Peace Barrel of brandy has its special place in the factory that will be opened after the Azerbaijan issue is resolved. Visitors are invited to add their own calls for peace to the barrel and the surrounding walls.

Guests have the opportunity to taste 3 year old and a 10 year old brandy, along with small piece of chocolates and a glass of water. According to the Armenian tradition, you should hold the glass in your left hand, as it is nearer to your heart. Slightly warm it in your hand and then taste it.

Many famous world leaders and celebrities, such as Russian president Vladimir Putin and Russia’s prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev, Poland’s current president Bronisław Komorowski, 16th President of Lebanon Michel Suleiman, Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan, George Benson, Peter Gabriel, Emir Kusturica and many others, have their own personal barrels of Armenian brandy that are kept in the company and it’s up to them to decide the future of the barrels.

In February 1945, during the Yalta Conference, Winston Churchill was so impressed with the Armenian brandy Dvin given to him by Joseph Stalin that he asked for several cases of it to be sent to him each year. Reportedly 400 bottles of Dvin were shipped to Churchill annually. When aged Churchill was asked about the secret of his longevity, he answered without hesitation: “Never be late for dinner, smoke Hawaiian cigars and drink Armenian cognac!”