When I was entering this place, I wasn’t expecting it to be much different from the Ararat brandy factory. But when we were taken to the ground floor where the wine and brandy were stored, for the first time in my life I saw and could actually touch the wall of Yerevan fortress dating back to 16th century. In Yerevan there is very little left that is as old as the 16th century. Old buildings are mostly religious spots, a few churches and a mosque. And now here it was, the wall from the 16th century, which now served as the basis for this factory. This fortress was actually built by a Persian pasha (ruler) between 1582-1583. In 1827 Russians invaded it. Alexander Griboyedov’s “Woe from Wit” was for the first time performed here in the author’s presence. In 1865, after the army left this fortress, the rich trader Nerses Tayirov bought it and in 1877 he started wine and later brandy production with the support of his friend painter Ayvazovski.
Brandy tasting is possible here. The break hours are between 13:00 and 14:00. The tasting we had included two types of brandy and one type of wine as old as 1944. In order not to get drunk or dizzy, there is some chocolate or fruits. But that didn’t help me. I was too dizzy when I got out of the factory so my friend had to hold me for a while. And yet that was the best brandy and wine I’ve ever tasted.