associate all the words in the above title together. As a matter
of fact, until Edgar Vardanian, the founder and owner of Ararat
Import Export LLC provided us with samples, to tell the
truth, I wasn't all that familiar with the creation of wine and
spirit products through the healthy pomegranate.
Little Pomegranate History
As it turns out, the pomegranate is historic in origin and today
is considered a super food. The pomegranate can be traced back to
the Bronze Age and ancient Persia and has been cultivated in Georgia,
Armenia and the Mediterranean region for several millennia. The
word "pomegranate" derives from the Latin pomum ("apple")
and granatus ("seeded"). Its super food status comes from
the abundant polyphenols called punicalagins found in its juice.
Laboratory studies have shown these to have potent free-radical
scavenging properties that increase plasma antioxidant capacity.
Preliminary laboratory research and human pilot studies indicate
that pomegranate juice has been found effective in reducing heart
disease risk factors, artherosclerosis, osteoarthritis and cardiovascular
disease, lowers systolic blood pressure and may even be effective
against prostate cancer. The juice may also have antiviral and antibacterial
effects against dental plaque.
Ararat Import Export LLC
Edgar Vardanian is an Armenian living in Charlotte, North Carolina
who grew up in Armenia enjoying the many forms of distilled pomegranate
juice. The former ballet dancer met future partner Heather Eberhardt
while working together in the Carolina Ballet Company when they
decided to travel to Edgarís home country. It was there that
Heather fell in love with the pomegranate based products and persuaded
Edgar to import them into the United States.
to Edgar, people in Armenia are renowned for their longevity and
he attributes this to their love of the pomegranate. They also import
numerous other products such as Armenian brandy, and wines from
Spain, Chile and Argentina. Imports are currently available in 20
states and growing.
Armenia's viniculture history goes back past Biblical times, however
Noah of Biblical Ark fame is credited with establishing the first
vineyard in the Ararat Valley after the Flood. Excavations in this
area have lent strong support to the theory that some of the very
earliest systematic wine-growing did indeed arise here.
wine production in Armenia started in the 1870's. Armenian wine
production was greatly developed during Soviet times and before
1995 the wine industry was represented only by state-owned wineries.
Since then, however, fourteen out of thirty wineries have been privatized.
There are currently 15,000 hectares of vineyards in Armenia.
The tasting panel at Food & Beverage International was privileged
to sample some of these pomegranate centered Armenian products featured