“Areni Wine” Festival
Armenia is known not only as the first Christian state, but also as an ancient center of winemaking. The foundations of winemaking date back to the time of the biblical Noah ․ "And the ark came to rest on Mount Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month of the year. - And Noah began to cultivate the land and plant a vineyard. (Book of Genesis 8: 4, 9:20) »
During the excavations carried out in the "Bird Cave" in the area of Areni village in 2010, archaeologists discovered clay vessels, cups and grape stones intended for fermentation, preservation of grapes, which proves that wine was made in Armenia more than 6100 years ago. This cave is the oldest wine factory known to mankind. The grape seeds found in the vessels were "Areni" type grapes. This proves that one of the oldest types of grapes is "Areni" grown in Vayots Dzor region.
The above is in fact a solid precondition for the development of tourism in Armenia, which began to be used with new approaches, became a complex festival, a cultural product based on natural heritage. The latter aims to present the rich history of Armenian wine, its culture, preservation and strengthening, to make the national peculiarities of Armenia invincible, to promote the development of tourism in Areni and in the surrounding villages, and to open new perspectives for development. It enables local producers to present their products in a different way, find new customers and partners and open development prospects. One of the goals of the festival is to present Armenia as one of the world cradles and important centers of winemaking. The key goal of the festival is to develop wine and related agricultural and ecological tourism in order to increase the level of well-being of the communities.
Areni Wine Festival provides a great opportunity to discover Armenia. One who has even visited the Areni Wine Festival in Armenia once will never forget the bright impressions received. At Areni Wine Festival you will be able to taste the best assortment of Armenian wines.
Areni Wine Festival is an annual pan-Armenian wine festival, which is traditionally held on the first Saturday of October in Areni village. The festival was held for the first time in 2009. It is organized by "Areni Wine Festival" foundation. At the roots of this festival is the initiator of the festival Nune Manukyan, through whose efforts it became a reality and an international tourism brand for Armenia.
Various events and competitions are held during the festival. In particular, the main activities of the festival are: wine producers' exhibition-fair, public-professional tasting, exhibition-sale of traditional dishes prepared by the best Armenian restaurants, business meetings, national music, dance, games, theatrical performances, art program, participation of amateur art groups. The action of squeezing the grapes with your feet. The following competitions are organized: "Armenia through your eyes" best wine label competition, "Golden Barrel" best wine competition among the best wine producers, wine tasting award among homemade wine makers, "The best souvenir of the holiday". Painting exhibitions and painting competitions are held as well.
The festival itself was an innovation for Armenia both in type and content. It was one of the first events that started to involve tourists in cultural activities, in particular in the process of squeezing grapes by feet.
Key partners and supporters
The festival was supported by the RA Ministry of Economy, the RA State Committee for Tourism, the RA Vayots Dzor Regional Administration, the Tourism Development Fund of Armenia, the Viticulture and Enology Fund, GIZ-Armenia,, the Communities Union of Armenia, Paparazzi Group, EVN Wine Academy, ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE Bank etc.
Participants, local community and customer segment
The number of participants, both winemakers and tourists, has increased year by year. The number of winemakers participating in the festival has increased from a few to more than 20, with more than 100 pavilions. Not only winemakers but also various local drinks, food producers or small enterprises take part in the festival. This festival stands out with its international reputation, it is true that only 200 tourists took part in the first festival, but before the epidemic, the number of tourists, according to the organizers, had reached about 30,000.
Communication and dissemination channels
The organizers of the festival carried out marketing steps, which helped raise people's awareness. A number of social platforms were used: Facebook, Instagram. Various videos have also been posted on YouTube. The availability of the festival was also announced on TV. You can get detailed information about the festival, both the organizing process and the event that has already taken place, from the following links:
Specific elements and features
Areni settlement is 110.7 km away from Yerevan, 16.3 km from the regional center Yeghegnadzor. Areni village is located in Vayots Dzor region, on both sides of the lower Arpa river. More information on accessibility can be found at https://t-armenia.com/en/app.
Different tour-operators organize tours to Areni during a festival day.
Image Sources: https://www.facebook.com/AreniFestivalFoundation
Republic of Armenia, Vayots Dzor region, village Areni
The festival is organized in Autumn, at the beginning of October.