In one of the most picturesque places of Armenia, Hrazdan gorge YEREVAN ARARAT BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY OJSC is situated. In XVI century Persian Pharhad Pasha built Erivan fortress, which occupied a large part of the city and served as a cultural and household centre.
In 1858, as a result of an earthquake, the fortress was completely destroyed.
In 1865, the Armenian merchant of first guild Nerses Таiran acquired the territory of the former Erivan fortress and in 1877 founded the winery.
At the beginning wine production was in makeshift conditions and made only 1200 buckets.
Already in 1887, Nerses Tairyan started brandy production with the support of his cousin Vasily Tairov, who was the founder of winemaking and viticulture in the Russian Empire.
Vasily Tairov, sponsor of which was his cousin, the famous Armenian marine painter Hovhannes Ayvazyan (Rus. – Ivan Aivazovsky), got his education in France.
Nerses Tairyan is considered to be the founder of the Armenian wine-making and brandy making.
Then, in 1868, he invited the master of brandy production, the graduate of winemaking school of the French Montpellier school Mkrtich Мusinyanc. The factory, built by Nerses Tairyan, was considered to be the most advanced brandy factory, equipped with the French equipments.
Professor M. Gerasimov in his textbook “Technology of wine” wrote the following: “The so-called brandy factories were small, artisanal enterprises equipped with one, rarely two, distillers. Only the factory of Yerevan was equipped with Charente type equipments, and there were storages for aging brandy spirits in normal conditions”.
In 1898 the Nerses Таiryan had difficulties with the realization of its products. Thus, the factory was leased, and a year later, in 1899, Nerses Tairyan sold it to “Nikolay Shustov and sons” company.
The company was founded in 1863, and in 1870 took over 80% of the alcohol market of tsarist Russia.
In 1899 Shustov invited to the factory Kyrill Silchenko, who had recently graduated from the winemaking school of Nikitin. Kyrill Silchenko was called “the Great Ukrainian son of Armenian people”.
“Nikolay Shustov and sons” company carried out major investments in the factory’s operations and represented its products in international exhibitions.
In 1902 only Shustov, the only one in the world, was granted with the right to use the name “cognac” for the brandies produced in Armenia. In the history of brandy production it was an exceptional advantage, as only the French had the right to use the word “cognac”. According to the international law, the name “cognac” was appropriated to products, which were made of special varieties of grapes grown in certain areas of France. Even cognac from grapes grown in other areas of France, should be called «brandy». In 1912 “Nikolay Shustov and sons” company, for the highest quality of their products, became the Supplier of the Imperial Court.
In 1913 181 thousand buckets of brandy spirit were produced in Yerevan, which was accounted as 51% of all the alcohol distilled in the Russian Empire. 81,5 thousand buckets of them were produced at Shoustov’s factory.
THE REBIRTH OF A LEGEND
From 1920-1991 different experienced brandy makers and wine-makers headed YEREVAN ARARAT BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY OJSC. But in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union , the factory was in abandoned and sad state.
Since 2002, YEREVAN ARARAT BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY OJSC has gained a new owner – Gagik Tsarukyan, the founder of “Multi Group” Concern. Feeling the presence of the powerful owner the factory gained its second breathing. Due to him another historical place of Armenia was preserved and restored. Every day many tourists from different parts of the world admire with walls made of egg white, preserved from the 16th century, as well as the catacombs that are at the depth of 30 meters.
It took about two years to revive the origins of the production of cognac, which represent historical value. The factory started restoration and reconstruction works, acquisition of new bottling line and oak barrels were made. A number of recipes and technologies that were the results of long years’ work and genius activity of the experienced specialists have been restored.
It is impossible to create the bright future neglecting the achievements and mistakes of the historical past. This is the principle lead by Gagik Tsarukyan – the owner of YEREVAN ARARAT BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY OJSC, the great philanthropist of the nation.
On November 23, 2004, the reopening of the parent factory that was really a long wait was held. The Armenian brandy production, originating within these walls, spreads throughout the world the ancient history of the Armenian brandy production and its long-lasting, impressive taste and flavour.
ARMENIA AND BELARUS
The establishment of relations between the regions of Armenia and Belarus is an important component of enhancing bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Strengthening and development of inter-regional cooperation ensures the promotion of bilateral economic projects and the creation of a joint competitive capable of products in demand not only in domestic markets, but also in third countries.
Currently the close Armenian-Belarusian cooperation is moving to a new level of development. For realization of the investment project YEREVAN ARARAT BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY OJSC and the Republic of Belarus, Minsk was founded the joint enterprise “Armenian standard”.
The investment project has made it possible to start production on the territory of the Republic of Belarus for bottling of the legendary cognac, delivered from Armenia factory, founded in 1877, which is the cradle of the production of brandy.
At the moment there are all preconditions for the further development of partnership relations between Belarus and Armenia, consolidation of the existing and establishing long-term investment projects.