Yerevan Brandy-Wine Factory Noy
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Address: 9 Isakov, Yerevan
Working days: Monday-Sunday
Working hours: 09:00-18:00
Erivan Fortress was built by Persian Farhad Pasha in 16th century. Commodity and vegetable markets, bath-houses, crafts stalls and the mint were all located here. The fortress was used by Persian khans as a cultural centre and a domestic site. Around the fortress several mosques were built. All this area occupied most part of the town. Numerous legends, stories and events are connected with the fortress. But in 1858 it was ruined by an earthquake, and later, in 1865, it was purchased by merchant of the first guild Nerses Tairyants.
Nerses Tairyants was a well-known merchant and philanthropist. In 1877 he started the industrial production of wine, in 1887 – the production of brandy at the territory of the former Erivan Fortress. The idea to set up a wine-vodka factory was suggested to Nerses Tairyants by his cousin, Vasiliy Tairov, who used to be a distinguished wine-maker in Odessa and editor of the “Bulletin of Winemaker” magazine. The famous painter H.Aivazovsky, who was a relative of Tairyantsts, helped him to build the factory.
At the factory we have a barelief that is taken from the Ayvazovski’s picture, who was the cousin of Nerses Tairyants. Ayvazovski helped him financially during the reconstruction works. This barelief is devoted to the Griboedov’s comedy “Woe from Wit”. He visited the Yerevan fortress in 1827, and for the first time performed his comedy behind these walls.
In 1898 Nerses Tairyants leased the factory to Nikolay Shustov, who purchased it a year later for 50,000 roubles. Having established his own business in Moscow in 1863, N.Shustov became one of the first producers of brandy. Already in 1870-s «Shustov and Sons» company managed to take into its hands 80% of brandy-wine-vodka-liquer production in Tsar Russia. In 1902 Nikolay Shustov incognito sent samples of brandy to an exhibition in Paris. The judges, venerable French tasters, unanimously granted Gran Prix to the unknown wine-maker, but after they found out he was not French and the brandy was sent from Armenia, they were so astonished, that made an exception for Nikolay Shustov and granted him the privilege to put the word “cognac” on his labels, instead of “brandy”, as it should naturally be. Thus, Shustov became the first and the only foreign wine-maker all throughout the history of brand- producing, who was honoured with this privilege.
In 1912 Tsar Nikolay II tried Shustov’s brandy at a testing competition and highly assessed the unique quality of the brandy, and Shustov’s company was honoured to become the chief Supplier of the Russian Emperor’s Court. In the beginning of the last century the company was awarded with numerous prizes and gold medals for highest quality of the alcoholic drinks produced, and the foundation of the world fame of the Armenian brandy was laid. And the bell became a symbol of " N. Shustov and Sons" company.
Shoustov had very interesting plan. He gave his people money and sent them to the foreign countries. They came into the famous restaurants and after good dinner or supper used to order the Shoustov’s brandy. The waitresses got surprised and said that they hadn’t such a brandy. Those peoples made a scandal, and said that they would never come back. After such incidents the owners of those restaurants looked for Shoustov and asked him for corporation.
Mkrtych Musinyants was one of the greatest experts in production of brandy. He finished school of wine-making in France, Montpellier, afterwards, in 1892, was invited to the factory by Nerses Tairyants. In 1902 by classical technology of Musinyants production of “Fin Champagne Selected” brandy started. Due to the efforts of Musinyants before the First World War, 35 per cent of brandy spirits, produced in South Caucases, was made in Yerevan factory. In the world rating the factory hold the sixth line after the leading French producers. In 1920 Mkrtych Musinyants became the director of the factory, and in 1928 he was appointed the mayor of Yerevan.
In 1899 Shustov invited Kyrill Silchenko, who had just finished Nikitin’s school of winemaking, to work at the factory. He worked at the factory devotedly and dedicated all his life to the development of production of wine and brandy. This is why Armenians called him “a great Ukrainian son of Armenian people”.
The period when Margar Sedrakyan worked at the factory, was called the “Star Time”. It was the period when the most famous Armenian brandies, based on his technology, were created. In 1945 at a conference in Yalta Stalin offered Churchill a glass of Armenian brandy. Since then experienced in noble beverages British leader each month would receive a box of that brandy from Stalin. Once Churchill noted that the taste of the brandy had changed a bit – it became worse. Stalin’s reaction was immediate – having learned that Margar Sedrakyan, the author of this blend, was exiled, the Soviet leader ordered to set him free, to reinstate in his position of chief technologist of the factory and to give him back the party ticket. So the Prime-Minister of Great Britain continued to receive his favourite brandy and drink up to a bottle of this beverage in a day. Later Margar Sedrakyan received the medal of a Hero of Socialist Work.
In 2002, YEREVAN ARARAT-BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY entered Multi Group Concern, gained a new owner and felt a master’s hand. Some 50 million USD were invested into restoration and constructions, acquisition of new bottling line and oak barrels. A number of recipes and technologies were restored by crumbs. With the help of old papers, museum exhibits, family archives, specialists and technologists of the factory assembled and classified the whole invaluable experience, accumulated throughout the period of plant’s functioning, and, consequently, the lost and forgotten glorious name of ARMENIAN BRANDY. We had no rights to enter the market, look into the eyes of our customers without serious preparations. And the number of factories with 50-year-old brandy spirits in stock is not big at all! But we resisted, we did not surrender to the temptation of immediate profit. We are worthy of the fame which is genetically linked with the name of YEREVAN ARARAT BRANDY-WINE-VODKA FACTORY.
In the museum you also can see “Shoustov and sons” company’s corner. As it was told they purchased this factory by 50 000 rubles in 1899. In 1902 Shoustov, without saying his name, sent the samples of “Phin Champaign” brandy to France, where an exhibition was taking place. The judges awarded the brandy Gran-Prix for highest quality. And then when they found out that the brandy maker wasn’t French and the brandy was made in Armenia, they got surprised and let that company on his brandies write not brandy, or “cognac” in Latin letters. That was at the first time that so right was given not to the French brandy maker. In 1902 this advertising poster was released in Nijni- Novgorod. On this poster you can see the bell, which was the symbol of Shoustov’s company; because they always used to say “We are ringing all the bells about our brandy all over the world.
Mkrtich Musinyants, who was the first director at the factory after nationalization. Brandy “Phin Shampain” was made by his technology. Then that brandy called “Phin Shampain selected”, and later “Selected”. In 1928 M. Musinyants was appointed the major of Yerevan, unfortunately only for 1 year, because in 1929 he died.
K.Silchenko was an Ukrainian by nationality, but all his life he devoted to development of brandy and wine making in Armenia. Such famous brandies, as “Dvin”, “Ani”, “Nairi”, “Vaspurakan” were made by M. Sedrakyan’s technology. He made also “50% brandy”, which liked Churchill very much. And Stalin every month sent to him that brandies. Some time later Churchill noticed that the brandies tasted worst. He said about it to Stalin, who ordered his people to find out the reason. He was told that M. Sedrakyan was deported to Syberia. Stalin ordered to take him back immediately. So we can say that Churchill saved M. Sedrakyan’s and Armenian brandy’s life.
Since 2006, the Yerevan Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory Ararat became the official supplier Kremlin.Yerevan Ararat Brandy-Wine-Vodka Factory is an associate member of the International Bartenders Association. IBA.