Zorik Gharibian, an Armenian based in Italy, worked with Attilio Scienza to find precisely the right location for this exciting project. After three years of research and detailed analysis of every aspect of the region, he finally bought the land in Vayotz Dzor. This is historically known as the most prestigious wine region in Armenia. The intention was to create a wine of the highest international quality. Winemaker Alberto Antonini and viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei brought a great deal of passion and planning to the project, as well as a profound understanding of how to make it a success.
Zorah has 15 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 1,400 metres above sea level and only steps away from a 6,100 year old winery. The vineyards are situated in the small rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayotz Dzor, Armenia's quintessential grape growing region for quality wines. Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soils are rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat. The indigenous vines are grown on ungrafted rootstock as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.
2016: a year characterised with initial frost and a rainy spring followed by a hot summer with high day-time temperatures and strong sunlight balanced with fresh cool nights. The day/night temperature differences averaging 20°C during the ripening season. The weather remained dry until the end of September with harvest commencing mid/end of October.
The grapes were harvested by hand into small 15 kilo crates. After destemming, the grapes were gently crushed. Fermentation and maceration on the skins took place in concrete tanks with no epoxy lining. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. The wine was aged partially in concrete tanks, partially in large untoasted wooden casks in order to soften tannins, but mainly in traditional Armenian amphorae (karas) of varying sizes which were sealed with wax and buried partially below ground to maintain a constant temperature. The wine was very lightly filtered before bottling, and spent a further six months ageing in bottle before release.
100% Areni Noir.
Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has complex aromas of red fruits, lightly spiced with an elegant toasted note. The palate reflects the exotic nose with hints of soft red fruits, dried mountain herbs and wild earth. Generous and soft with balanced, full-bodied structure and mature tannins before a long, evolved mineral finish.