GRAPE VARIETY – Chilar
Completely abandoned by locals and almost on the road to extinction, Chilar is an ancient endemic grape variety to Armenia and present in the highlands of Vayotz Dzor. The clusters are medium, elongated and cylindrical with medium sized berries which tend to be oval in shape with a greenish colour but more yellowish on the sunny side. The skin is hardy, which protects it from disease and substantial temperature variations and has a thin wax coating.
The pinnacle of high altitude viniculture (with altitudes ranging between 1400-1500 mtrs asl (4500 – 5000ft) the Chilar grapes are gathered from among random rows of old, local, small plot vineyards in the surroundings of Zorah estate. A Phylloxera free terroir, all grapes are on their own roots. The soils are low vigour, sub-alkaline and rich in limestone with large stones and a first layer of sand.
2019 VINTAGE INFORMATION
The unusually mild winter, with little snow, was followed by an early start to the season at the beginning of March. An exemplary spring with average rainfall gave way to a very warm second half in July contrasting with unusually cool nights during second half of August resulting in huge day/night temperature variations which followed all the way to harvest. Harvest end of September. Hand-picked. Only the very best bunches were selected for harvest.
VINIFICATION AND AGING
Fermented and aged in large traditional Armenian clay amphorae, (Karasi), with around 60 days skin contact. Aging in clay for around 9 months with further 10 months in the bottle. Natural yeast and very mild filtration before bottling.