Three years ago, Stepan Davtyan, 66, and his wife, Margarita, 62, decided to establish their very own “gastro yard” in their small village in Armenia’s Tavush Region.
While Stepan’s family has made its own wine for generations it was primarily kept within the family. By launching Davtyan’s Wine in 2018 they hoped to be able to host local and foreign visitors and introduce them to the family label.
Last year, Stepan applied for FAR’s Small Business Assistance Program (SBA), which expanded during 2020 from exclusively helping Syrian-Armenians to also assisting entrepreneurs in the Ijevan Region of Tavush. The program provides much-needed financial assistance to business owners in order for them to launch or expand their enterprises. SBA helped Stepan to purchase much needed tools like a wine filtering kit, bottles, corks, etc.
“The production process has become much faster than before. If not for the filtering kit, we would have to take the containers to a wine production unit to be filtered, which takes days,” said Stepan.
Both Stepan and Margarita are fond of their small family business which has also become their main source of income after previously making their living primarily through animal husbandry.
While Stepan cultivates the rkatsiteli grapes in the field, Margarita dries fruits for visitors, a few of whom did actually come during the last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the nearby Artsakh War.
Margarita proudly states that visitors love to have her homemade pakhlava,which is a must for wine degustation, she said. “I usually have dried fruits, pakhlava and a variety of cheeses for my guests. They love to taste, take photos under our old palma tree, which is rare in this region, breathe fresh air, and chat with us.”
“Achajur [our village] is unique with its clean water, fresh air, and industrious people. Maybe that’s why visitors love this place,” smiled Stepan. “This was a hidden dream for us, to have a gastro wine and produce it properly. Our dream came true.”