The origins of Maran date back to 1828-30, when Sargis, son of Eynat, the Prince of Khoy, and his wife Maran repatriated from Persia to the Armenian province of Vayots Dzor. In 1860 Harutyun, Sargis’s son, expanded the vineyard his parents had planted and called it Marani as a tribute to his mother. A few years later he built a semi-industrial wine press by the vineyard.
The vineyard was acquired back by the family in 2020. It still flourishes and is known as “Maranents Chri Eqi”. That is because it is at the high end of the village, by the Chrr waterfall, which irrigates it.
Harutyun’s son, Maranents Avag, went on with his business. He had a difficult destiny: in the spring of 1920 was wounded by the Turks in the Arpa canyon. To avoid captivity he had thrown himself off a cliff, and the bullet got him in the water. He was found downstream three days later near the Areni village and lived on to 1938, remaining a brave fighter in the collective memory of the village. That cliff overhanging the Arpa river was called Avag’s Rock.
Ovsanna, his wife, in spite of a ban by the authorities, was resolute to erect a khachkar on the grave of her beloved, which she commissioned in a workshop upstream by the river. It rained heavily the night before the delivery of the khachkar with three crosses, and the river washed the ornate tombstone away.
Ovsanna found it, quite by chance, 15 years later. In 1953 she went on a pilgrimage to the monastery of Tsakhats Qar; she got tired of walking and, by divine providence, sat on a stone by the river to take a rest. Scratching the sand and moss off the surface she discovered the long lost khachkar.
In 1931 Avag’s junior son Frunzik was born. He planted his heirloom vineyard in the late 1950s above in his native Artabuynq village. This may have been the plot of Seda’s vineyard about 900 years ago. We are not aware of Seda’s identity, but an inscription on the 10th century Tsakhats Qar monastery nearby indicates that in 1251 a benefactor donated that vineyard to the monastery.
Though Frunzik may have planted his vineyard on the plot of another, more famous, Sirkants vineyard. A later inscription on the walls of the monastery, dated 1367, recounts how the villagers swapped that vineyard with the Mongols in exchange for the liberty of young men from Artabuynq that had been taken captive.
Frunzik’s sons, Avag founded the “Maran Winery” in 1992. In the same year the first batch of wine was made from Areni grape variety and was named Noravank. By the merit of its distinctive design and high quality the wine immediately stood out in the market of newly independent Armenia.
In 1996 we embarked upon a new project with our colleagues from France and started exporting wines to France and internationally. Over years the combination of Armenian tradition and modern technologies gave birth to our wines, each one better and more successful than the previous.
In 2018, German oenologist Rainer Ruettiger joined our team and our family grew even more.
Together we embarked on a new winemaking journey, which brought us to MALAHI: a new line of red and white wines that represent the crossing of different winemaking parallels and different terroirs.
MALAHI is the original name of the Areni grape variety. The bottle bears the work of Armenian architect Ararat Haydeyan.
Rainer with his immense experience has been by our side be it at the winery or vineyards. Currently, our joint cooperation includes not only MALAHI but the entirety of Maran’s range of wines.