Azerbaijan Working on First Wine Route

Azerbaijan is looking to develop wine tourism with a new wine route.  

© Shutterstock

Azerbaijan is looking to develop wine tourism with a new wine route.  

© Shutterstock

Wine tourism
Azerbaijan is working to develop wine tourism, including the former Soviet republic‘s first wine route. The State Tourism Agency told Trend news agency that work was underway to create the Iter Vitis Caucasus route. Iter Vitis is a cultural route of the Council of Europe dedicated to wine landscapes and the heritage of wine production that has forged civilisations. It unites different wine-producing countries including France, Croatia, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Russia and Georgia. 

More than 15 wineries
Sharifa Hasanova, the head of product development at the Azerbaijan Tourism Board, told Trend there are more than 15 wineries in the country. "In Azerbaijan, this route starts in Baku and covers Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Gabala, Shaki, Ganja and Tovuz [cities],” she said. “We’ll slightly expand this route and include Balakan [city] in it. Negotiations are underway with Georgia over implementing the Iter Vitis Caucasus route and a single proposal will be presented once Georgia has prepared its proposal, Hasanova said.

New thematic route
“This is an innovation for the Caucasus, since there are no unified routes in the region yet. Common cultural routes are proposed covering Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, but such a thematic route hasn’t been developed before. This is a new and innovative route," Hasanova told Trend.  The Caucasus region has a long wine-making history, with research suggesting that wine was made in considerable quantities over 6000 years ago along the Arpachay River, a valley in Nakhchivan’s Sharur region, according to Azerbaijan Wine.

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