‘’Bari Galust Hayastan!’’ (Welcome To Armenia)
Playing Tigran Hamasyan in your headphones, feeling the wind blowing through your hair, the sun kissing your face, watching the mountains carrying 6000 year history in front of you and enjoying your every second of breath.
‘’Yes, this is my home, this is where I belong to, finally, I can feel my land in this whole big universe and I’m coming back for sure’’ .
Who’s that? It’s your heart, your soul, and your mind.
From this moment on you start to think ‘’What should I do, from where to start?’’.
It was 1998 when Zorik Gharibyan visited his homeland for the first time. The late 90-s, when Armenia was undergoing through a lot of changes, rediscovering itself as a newly independent country, trying to make first steps, overcoming the status of ‘’In the world, but not from the world’’.
Iran, Venice, Milan, successful fashion business, achieved with a hard work and the strong vision, Zorik promised himself to come back, inspire and be inspired.
Being a student of Murat Raphaelian school in Venice, he was educated to preserve Armenian language, culture and traditions, but the perception of independent Armenia was clouded with many theories.
First visit to Armenia was crucial starting from the very beginning, from the airport, when he heard ‘’Bari Galust Hayastan’’(Welcome to Armenia) to the last minutes of the trip, when he made a promise to come back. This visit proved him that we all are the owners of this country and no matter where we live, what we do, we should have an impact.
From Good To Great: Zorah's Success Poetry
When Zorik started to think about putting high quality wines made of Armenian unique elegance on the world’s stage, people thought he might be crazy. Moreover, the reality was against him: post-soviet Armenia’s winemaking industry had nothing to offer, no professionals, no mechanisms, but only hope for historical heritage and that was enough for him.
‘’Why shouldn’t we revive our winemaking traditions and walk shoulder to shoulder to present the treasures of being an ancient civilization?’’ These thoughts followed Zorik during his research of ancient manuscripts in order to find the unique Armenian grape varieties.
‘’To not dare is to have already lost, because things only happen if we dare to follow our dreams’’.
When the visionary found what he was looking for, he made a decision.
Veni Vidi Vici or Focus, Focus and Focus
Nothing great can be created easily. It takes time, determination, disappointments and after all, every second worths it. It took Zorik about 3 years to find the paradise on earth, a little village Rind located in astonishing Vayots Dzor Region to build his vineyard, about 10 years for the first ever Zorah wine to be produced and the whole Dream (Yeraz) for the world’s highest wine launch on the peak of the mount Ararat.
‘’Zorah is not about business, it’s my poetry, art, my way of defining Armenia. Focusing on the process to achieve the highest quality is my number one priority as the love towards my heritage is unconditional. Representing my homeland to those who have never even heard about it and giving them the chance to taste it’s 6000 year history is a great responsibility. No second chances or choices are allowed’’.
The myth of individualism?
Having a devoted and professional team standing by Zorik’s side is the crucial part of Zorah wines success. As Zorik states ‘’It’s a myth to think that success is an individual matter. Zorah wines wouldn’t be a reality if not my team’s support. Alberto Antonini was the first oenologist of international reputation to believe in the potential of Armenia’s terroir and its indigenous varieties, Stefano Bartolomei accepted the ambitious challenge to turn that potential into wine.
I can never thank enough my wife Yeraz for her support and dedication. From the grape-watering technique to using large, modern temperature controlled concrete vats and preserving wines in karas (amphorae) -the hard work for achieving perfection can’t be done by an individual. The great team can take your dream further and made your production victorious’’.
The ‘’poetry effect’’
Now Zorah wines are on the top lists of the best loved wine magazines, top luxurious restaurants menus and in a world dominated by Italians, Zorah leaves the passion to desire only the Armenian elegance preserved in the karas right from the paradise, the village Rind.
But more than that, Zorik has changed Armenia’s winemaking industry, he cleaned the dust from it, gave the second birth, set the trend of preserving wines with the oldest technology in the world and was in the roots of the new era of winemaking culture in his homeland. Zorah wines are an incredible combination of love, passion, elegance, exquisite taste and history, a bottle of wine that tastes like Armenia.
And in case you want to see your ‘’poetry effect’’, don’t be afraid to dare.