Armenian Autochthonous Varieties
We continue our tour on Armenian autochthonous grapes. In the previous publication were described Muscat Vardabuyr, Kakhet, Kangun and Haghtanak grape varieties. Here we will present Voskehat and Areni Noir unique Armenian varieties. Before we get to Armenian widespread varieties description, let us try to get acquainted with the term “autochthonous” at first. “Autochthonous” ( from ancient Greek autos “self”, and khthon “soil”) are the grapes originated from determined areas or regions. By the term “autochthonous” we also mean grape varieties that are almost entirely the result of natural cross breading or mutations in a particular wine area. Except this term, there are also used “indigenous” and “native” definitions. These are ancient autochthonous varieties, which embody the nature of traditional Armenian winemaking.
(also known as Khach Kharji, Kharji, Katvi Achq, Kanachkeni)
Voskehat in Armenian literally means “golden berry”. Numerous archeological excavations of Teishebaini proved that Voskehat is an ancient Armenian autochthonous grape variety. During those excavations the remains of some varieties were found, and the analysis of seeds showed that some of them belong to Voskehat variety.
This high-yield grape has medium-sized, orbicular leaves with five blades. The flower is androgynous. The bunches are medium-sized with cylinder-conic shape. The berries are small, orbicular and white. Voskehat is comparably resistant to fungus diseases.
Voskehat has classic, neutral aromas. Depending on wine making technology the wine may have one or another characteristics: in wine can prevail aromas of fresh white fruits and hints of citruses. In case of fermentation and ageing in oak barrels the wine can be with hints of bread and oak. According to our observations this variety is similar to French Chardonnay. Here, at “Voskevaz Winery”, we value the rich potential of Voskehat, and create Armenian authentic white wines such as classic “Voskevaz” dry, “Voskevaz” semi-sweet and aged “Voskepar”.
The ancient Areni Noir grape has an important peculiarity: it has its’ own, not transplanted, root system. Areni is considered to be one of the most valuable native grape varieties.
Areni Noir is a variety with late maturation period. The leaves are medium-sized, sometimes orbicular. The flower is androgynous. Bunches are medium or large and thick. The berries are medium-sized, sometimes large and oval with rich livid wax film. Areni Noir has thick skin, which protects the berries from undesirable consequences of temperature overfalls. The plump is juicy with yellow-green hue. This Armenian variety has high resistance to fungus diseases.
The properties of Areni Noir with are similar to French Pinot Noir. This unique grape grabs your attention with its’ delicacy. Elegant red wines with soft and shrill structure are made from this grape variety. Wines made from Areni Noir are unique and have great potential for ageing in oak barrels. This variety, as well as Pinot Noir, doesn’t have bright color, but has rich and multifarious taste.
Armenia has great advantage over wine producing other countries: that is the abundance of autochthonous grape varieties. These varieties ennoble the wines by imparting unique hints in aroma and taste. And although Armenian varieties aren’t known abroad, one should not undervalue their potential. After all the autochthonous grape varieties embody the true nature of Armenian winemaking.