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Armenia looks back on thousands of years of wine history, yet for most wine lovers it is a blank spot on the map. Yet there are a number of young winemakers, autochthonous grape varieties and exciting wines to discover. Anna Burghardt immersed herself in Armenian wine culture.

300 days of sunshine per year, 80 percent mountains, about 17,000 hectares of vineyards and far more than 400 grape varieties: these are impressive figures that give a rough idea of Armenia's wine culture. Probably more important for the self-confidence of the small Caucasus state, which borders Georgia, Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan, however, are the following facts: In 2007, archaeologists found evidence of an approximately 6,000-year-old wine culture in the Areni Cave, not far from the important Noravank Monastery in the Arpat Valley. A wine press, clay fermentation and drinking vessels as well as grape seeds were excavated here. Armenia is thus now considered one of the oldest wine countries in the world.