Located just next door to the city of Yeghegnadzor in a beautiful spot tucked amidst the mountains is the winery of the Khalapyan family. A small family-run business that can ensure a down-home, meaningful experience for you. The family owns a winery, a tasting area, a restaurant next to it, and B&B in the city. Our experience with them already has proved how people love their homeland and strive for the better each and every day. They know each tourist attraction brings people to the region and ensures its sustainable development.
Old Bridge Winery: How it all started?
The story goes back to the 1990s when one of the family members started wine production in Vayots Dzor. The curiosity led the father of the family to plant the first vineyard, which eventually turned into love and passion for wine-making.
After that, the family also had a goal to produce good quality wine, which would become famous and introduce Armenian wine-making in a new light. In this way instead of an office, co-op or pop-up events they contribute in a big way to make Armenia one of the top wine regions in the world.
The Old Bridge Wines from Vayots Dzor
The Khalapyan family is originally from Eghegnadzor, which is the provincial center of Vayots Dzor, the famous wine-making region in Armenia. Furthermore, they make their wines from the Armenian indigenous type of grape - Areni. It’s also the name of the cave, where the oldest wine-making place in the world was found with 6100 years old history. The seeds that were found in the cave genetically were similar to Areni type of grape. So the family is making wine in the birthplace of viticulture in Armenia. All their red wines are made from Areni. They make 15000 bottles of wine a year and export to countries including the UK, USA, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Old Bridge has the smallest wine production in Armenia. It’s a family production starting from 1998. They are particularly specialized in red wines and produce around 10.000 bottles of red wine a year. The mission statement of the business is “quality over quantity” which is the key to their success. As they say “you can never make a great wine with bad grapes”, so imagine the hard work that they put in the production, selecting, washing the best, and mature grapes to get the desired result.
Wine, Dine and Sleep Fine
At first, the tastings were held in the wine factory in an adjacent small room where a barrel was serving as a table for the wine tasting with a few drinks and something to eat. However, throughout the time the number of guests increased and there was a need for a larger space to provide good quality wine tastings. So a separate tasting room was opened next to the factory, where later the kitchen area was added and the place automatically was turned into a “wine restaurant”. Now visiting the Old Bridge Winery and restaurant you have a chance not only to taste their wines but also to enjoy meals from fresh and local products.
The idea of the Bed and Breakfast came at the latest. It is in the city of Eghegnadzor and run by the whole family. Where you can stop, have a rest, and continue your beautiful journey!
The Old Bridge is Real!
If you’ve been wondering where the name “Old Bridge” comes from, here is your answer. It’s directly connected with a 13th-century old bridge right in front of the winery and tasting area. Historically the bridge was considered to be part of the famous Great Silk Road, where merchants used to transport their goods from Asia to Europe.
The bridge is just a 5-minute-drive away from the winery located at the slopes of the nearest mountains. It’s a very beautiful and unique arch bridge with solid stone construction. It was designed to be constantly under compression, so the more weight was put onto the bridge, the stronger it became. Thanks to this, nowadays you can see the original Old Bridge, where not even a single stone is changed.