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Yerevan Brandy Company
Type Closed Joint-Stock Company
Founded 1887
Headquarters Yerevan, Armenia
Key people Herve Caroff (President and General Director)
Industry Drinks
Products Alcoholic beverages
Website www.ybc.am

Yerevan Brandy Company (YBC) (Armenian: Երևանի Կոնյակի Գործարան) is the leading enterprise of Armenia for the production of alcoholic beverages. Its main brand name is Ararat. Currently the company boasts a large following, particularly in Russia, as well as in Ukraine and Belarus. The Russian market accounts for about 85% of exports.[1] YBC is owned and operated by the French giant Pernod Ricard.

Contents

History

Yerevan Brandy Factory as seen from the entrance of the Yerevan Wine Factory

YBC was founded in 1887 by a wealthy 1st guild merchant Nerses Tairyants with the help of his cousin Vasily Tayrov. Tairyants began distilling brandy at the winery he had founded ten years earlier inside the former fortress of Yerevan. The enterprise reached its hey-day in 1898, when it was acquired by Nikolay Shustov, a well-known Russian vodka and liqueur producer. Shustov's company, Shustov and Sons were appointed as the supplier of His Imperial Majesty’s court. During the International Exhibition in Paris in 1900, the brandy received the Grand-Prix and the legal right to be called ‘cognac’, not ‘brandy’, following a blind degustation.[2] In 1948, in connection with the reorganization of the Yerevan Wine & Brandy Factory (known until 1940 as the Shustov Factory), the factory building was separated into the Yerevan Wine Factory and the Yerevan Brandy Factory. The independent history of the plant began in 1953 when a new building was constructed specifically for the production of brandy. The new building stands on a high plateau at the other end of the Victory Bridge in Yerevan, opposite to the Yerevan Wine Factory. With its nine austere arches, and long flight of steps leading to it, the building is hailed as one of the best architectural examples of the Soviet period in Yerevan. In June 1998, the YBC entered the Pernod Ricard group, an international corporation that owns a number of famous trade marks of alcoholic beverages and ranks third in the production and sales of alcoholic beverages in the world. Pernod Ricard obtained the YBC on the international tender for $30 million.

Closeup of the building

Production and current state

From 1953 until 1991 YBC was the only plant that produced Armenian brandy. The remaining plants of Armenia were occupied solely by distillation. YBC bottled ordinary (three -, four- and five-year) brandy's as well as the famous labelled brands ("Dvin", "Yerevan", "Nairi", "Vaspurakan", "Ararat" and "Akhtamar"). YBC's monopoly to bottle and export brandy was liquidated in 1991. For more than 20 years (from 1948 through 1973) the chief technologist of YBC was Markar Setrakyan (Hero of Socialist Labor). YBC was privatized in 1998 and was sold to the international group "Pernod Ricard". The sum of the transaction was 30 million US dollars. The Armenian government was heavily criticized by the general public for the sale.[1]

One of YBC's oak barrel depositories

In April 1999, on the initiative of YBC a new standard was introduced in the Republic of Armenia named "Armenian cognac", which rigidly regulates the production of this beverage. YBC remains the uncontested leader on the volume of production and the export of Armenian brandy. YBC possesses approximately 60% of the total reserve of brandy in Armenia. Several YBC brands are inaccessible to the retail network and can only be obtained by a special order: "Erebuni" - 25 years, "Kilikia" - 30 years, "Sparapet" - 40 years and "Noah's Ark" - 70 years of endurance. Currently YBC brandy is supplied to 25 countries. 47 countries have registered the trade marks of YBC. For four years in a row the brand "Ararat" was favored in Russia as "Good of the year". Armenian brandy is very famous in the central regions of Iran.

Ararat (Donagan) Armenian Brandy

References

External links

Coordinates: 40°10′36.02″N 44°29′49.83″E / 40.1766722°N 44.497175°E / 40.1766722; 44.497175

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