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Armenian wines—despite a checkered past—look toward a brilliant future.
In a land resembling a cross between rural Utah, inland California and South Pass, Wyoming, with a capital city (Yerevan) that is safe, attractive and progressive, modern Armenian winemakers are a diverse and hardy lot. Representative backgrounds include that of a Berkeley chef, a Milanese fashion guru, an Argentinian infrastructure billionaire, a Moscow MBA graduate and the family of a Bostonian victim of past Bolshevik repression.
This land—smaller than the country of Belgium or the size of the U.S. states of Delaware and Vermont combined—has in the past five years seen a grueling four-day war as well as a separate Velvet Revolution that toppled the government. This period also included a drinking revolution where wine bars in the capital of Yerevan blossomed tenfold, and 25 new wineries were founded in just 2018.