OLD BRIDGE WINERY
Snow-capped mountains, terraced vineyards and huge panoramic windows made to savour this unforgettable view while enjoying the wine (just as memorable!). Old Bridge is one of the most picturesque wineries in Armenia. It is hard to believe that just two decades ago this whole area was nothing but wilderness, empty and desolate. Discover our exclusive Old Bridge wine range in the UK.
About Old Bridge
The story of the acclaimed Old Bridge wine began in 1998, when Armen Khalatyan acquired a small plot of land next to Arpi village in the Vayots Dzor region. Nothing had been grown on this land until that time. However, Armen, an enthusiast and a visionary man, knew from the very start that he could turn cold rocks into fruitful vineyards. And so he did!
Years of hard work, tons of rocks turned, never ending attempts to harness the stubborn terroir… As a result, today Old Bridge is ranked among the top producers of the finest Areni Noir wines in the whole country. Deep and characterful, Old Bridge wine truly reflects the strong personality of this unique land of rocks, sands and strong mountain winds.
Of course, the journey has not been easy. The vineyards here are planted at altitudes of 1,250-1,300m above the sea level. Due to various heights and nearly five different geographical positions of the vineyards, the grapes ripen at different times. That is why, the harvest has to be done in stages, taking almost a month.
From Vines To Wines
The climate here is far from mild, with summer temperatures reaching +35°C and winter lows going down to -22°C. Naturally, the vines need some protection from the cold. So every winter the whole village gets together to help the Khalatyans bury their vineyards in the soil. Under this “blanket” the plants “sleep” until spring.
Old Bridge is very much of a family affair, so most of the work is done by the family members. This applies to maintaining the vineyards, as well as to running the charming Bed & Breakfast and restaurant (the one that boasts astonishing views to the surrounding vineyards and mountains).
Armen’s wife looks after the guests, treating them with delicious Armenian dishes. The youngest son, Mushegh takes care of marketing, while the older, Ashot, is responsible for IT tasks.
Old Bridge Wine Labels
The winery gets its name from an ancient bridge found in the Arpi village. It dates back to the 13th century and was part of the famous Silk road. Apparently, Marco Polo himself passed through this very bridge when heading towards China.
This uniquely structured bridge is pictured on the Old Bridge bottle labels. Another world-class historical site is found very close to the winery: the famous Areni cave which contains the world’s most ancient winemaking facility (over 6,000 years old).
Old Bridge’s 3.5 hectares of plantings are mainly under the indigenous Areni Noir grape. In fact, Old Bridge wine made of Areni Noir has become the benchmark of Armenian red winemaking. This wine is matured for at least 1.5-2 years in Armenian oak barrels and spends a few months in bottle in the cool cellar. Complex, deep and refined, Old Bridge wine from Areni Noir shows tremendous ageing potential.
As with any boutique project, the range and the quantities of Old Bridge wines remain small. Therefore, each wine is hand-crafted with tremendous love and attention to detail. With only 8,000-10,000 bottles produced per year, these are some of the most sought after Armenian wines worldwide.