Zorik Gharibian is an Armenian currently staying in Italy. He made a life altering choice back in 1998: For growing grapes and producing wine in Tuscany, he opted to purchase land in the village of Rind, an area in Armenia's Vayots Dzor Province to create wine and open his winery, Zorah. He researched grape varieties home to Armenia for a decade and had decided to bring them to the stage of the world. One of the wines from Zorah, the Karasi Areni Noir, was even listed on the top 10 wines of 2012 after its delicious taste caught the attention of a Bloomberg author.
Gharibian discovered that he had made it onto the list of the world's top wine list by accident after the article was published. Nine of the other wines that were on the list have been established brands for many decades. For example, 'Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti' sells for between $14,000-$18,000. Another famous one that made it on the list was the 1963 Quinta do Noval Nacional port, priced between $4,500-$6,500 per bottle. Compare these two expensive wines against 2010 Zorah Karasi Areni Noir that will set you back just $45.
In preparation for deciding which brands would make it onto the list, Bloomberg article writer, Elin McCoy tasted her way through more than 4,000 different types of wine during 2012 to find the best ones. She praised Zorah Karasi Areni when asked about why the wine made it onto the list. She explained that she was blown away by her first taste of the Armenian wine while in Izmir, Turkey. She adored the way the wine was stylish, elegant and soft. It resembled a mulberry-like fruit, which was the deal-sealer. She also loved the fact that she was 'drinking history'.
At present, the Karasi Areni Noir is the only wine available to purchase at the winery. The unique wine is exported to many countries including Germany, the Netherlands, UK, France, Italy, the US, Russia and the Baltic states. In the future, it will also be available to buy in Greece and Australia. Gharibian holds the sale to Italy as his biggest victory. The wine is sold for $80 a bottle in specialized shops and some restaurants in Armenia.
Although Zorah is great news for Armenia, Gharibian shares his concerns relating to finding the clay amphorae in which they age the wine. Only by traveling from village to village can you discover amphorae. Gharibian will open a school in Rind purposely for those who want to make clay amphora, which offers a perfect solution to his problem.
Gharibian explained how he felt proud that diasporan Armenian's praise his wine. However, his main ambition is to focus on the outside world for Armenia to be placed on the map abroad, which will raise the countries profile.
The Financial Times writer Jancis Robinson publishes articles based on winemaking. He has already published articles about Zorah and has announced that he will be releasing a book about winemaking and grape varieties. Zorah winery will be used in the book to represent Armenia.