IDTT Wine 481: Wine Before and After the Genocide

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Zorik Gharibian is the founder of the Zorah winery, in the Vayots Dzor region of southern Armenia.

Zorik discusses the long history of wine production in Armenia, referencing evidence that there was wine made in Armenia in the Copper Age (about 6,000 years ago). He talks about the grape remnants and clay storage jars that have been found from that time. And he discusses other wine related finds in Armenia, both in the pre-Christian era and later. Zorik then explains why a hundred year gap occured in the dry wine production of Armenia, and he talks about the situation for wine as he found it in Armenia in the 1990s.

Zorik explains his rationale for beginning his own winery in Armenia, and talks about the different winemaking regions of Armenia. He gives special emphasis to the area that he chose to base his production in, Vayots Dzor. He talks about the native grape family of that region, which is known as Areni, and his experiences with planting a new Areni vineyard. That is contrasted with his comments about a much older vineyard of Areni, which he also works with.

Zorik also talks about the amphora clay containers that housed wine in Armenia in ancient times, and which he uses today as well. He gives his explanation for why he chose to mature his Areni wine in amphora - known as Karas in Armenia - as opposed to wooden barriques. And he relates details about his search to find amphora that were already existing in Armenia, as well as to develop production of them there today. He further gives a summary of the drinking habits of his surrounding region in Armenia, and an outlook for what working in Armenia means today.

This episode also features commentary from:

Katherine Moore, Union Square Wines

Lee Campbell, Early Mountain Vineyards

Conrad Reddick, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

This episode is sponsored by:

The New York Wine and Grape Foundation: a resource for amazing tastings and authoritative online webinars featuring wines from New York State.

DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market.

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