Welcome to Areni
Few grape varieties can thrive in Armenia’s climatic extremes, but the Areni grape is an exception to the rule. Most of the country’s vineyards are on the Ararat Plain, but the valleys from the village of Areni up to Yeghegnadzor comprise a quality wine-growing region. When you drive into the village you'll see plenty of roadside stalls selling large bottles that look as if they're filled with cola. These are in fact filled with red wine, camouflaged so that Iranian truck drivers can smuggle the bottles over the border. Summer fruits (especially apricots) are also sold from the stalls.