Armenian brandy production up 27% in 2016

Armenian brandy enjoyed healthy growth in 2016 with production rising by 27% to 21.6 million litres over the previous year, according to the latest figures released by the National Statistical Service (NSS).

ArArat brandy, one of the most famous brands in Armenia.

The Caucasian country, although not a globally known wine producing nation, is one of the oldest winemaking countries in the world, along with its neighbours Georgia Turkey and Iran. In 2016, the country’s wine production volume grew 14.8% to 6.8 milllion litres compared with 2015.

Its vodka production, however, dropped by 13% to 8.2. million litres. Its beer production also sagged with a 10.4% drop year on year to 18.6 million litres, according to NSS.

The country’s whiskey production however rose by 23.2% to 1.4 million litres, and there was also an increase in sparkling wine production by 8.4% to 713,400 litres.

Armenian wine and brandy was served to the British prime minister Winston Churchill during the war. Not only did Soviet premier, Joseph Stalin, send him a few cases once but during the Yalta talks in 1945 it dominated the drinks on offer. Churchill tucked into “buckets” of Armenian ‘Champagne’ an aide remembered, while Armenian brandy was also served at all hours.

Naturally, this has inspired yet another (potentially) apocryphal Churchill quotation: “Cuban cigars, Armenian brandy and no sport!” – apparently in response to the secret of his long life – and the claims that the country’s spirit was his particular ‘favourite’.

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