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Azerbaijan, an ancient cradle of viniculture

Beautifully balanced wines are made with love from grapes grown on Caucasian slopes, soaked in sunshine and soothed by Caspian breezes.

Come... Taste... Delight…


While Azerbaijan doesn’t have strictly defined viniculture regions like France’s AOC (appellation d’origine controlée) system, most major wine producers fall geographically along three main ‘routes’ that fan out from Baku.

North along the Caspian Shoreline; west through ‘Shirvan’ along a beautifully varied road that follows the foothills of the Greater Caucasus; west on a more southerly route through the centre of the country via historic Ganja.

Inexpensive car hire makes it relatively affordable to visit a selection of the country’s wineries. However, since you’ll doubtless want to taste plenty of the wines en route, you might prefer to join a tour.


Azerbaijan Wine Traditions



Millennia ago, long before the Caucasus region was divided up into nation states, people living here were cultivating grapes. And pretty soon they hit on the sterling idea of crushing them to make wine.

An ever-increasing body of archaeological and micro-botanical research suggests that wine was made in considerable quantity over 6000 years ago at sites along the Arpachay River, a valley in Nakhchivan’s Sharur region. Several sites suggest an even older knowledge of wine by the Shulaveri-Shomutepe Culture near Aghstafa in what today is western Azerbaijan. Evidently, the South Caucasus region is of the oldest centres of wine making anywhere on the planet. But for the first major step in Azerbaijan’s modern wine development, we fast forward to the early 19th century and the town of Goygol, then called Helenendorf. It was founded by destitute settlers from Germany, excited to head towards the land of Noah following an invitation from Tsar Alexander. The first group of 1400 settlers left from southern Germany in 1816 and over the next few decades, despite an epic series of difficulties, they planted new vineyards. By the...

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Azerbaijan is a country of fascinating surprises.
The dazzling 21st century architecture of Baku.
The glitzy ski resorts of Shahdag and Tufandag-Gabala.
The Silk Route gem-city of Sheki…
And, yes, the wonderful wine.



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