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How Churchill Rescued the Life of an Armenian?

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“Never be late for dinner, smoke Havana cigars and drink Armenian brandy” - Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill.

Churchill, the world-renowned leader with the shortest speech in history (“Never, never,never give up”) is a source of inspiration for many. The young man who was interested in history from an early age, and who was destined to become the world's most famous Brit. However, there is a story about him that isn’t known even by the most enthusiastic fans…

No, Churchill isn’t an Armenian, but it is told that he rescued an Armenian life. In February 1945 during the Yalta conference, when the three world leaders came together to solve the evil problems in the world, Stalin served Churchill the most honorable brandy in the USSR – “Dvin,” which was produced specifically for that conference with alcoholic strength of 50% vol. This moment later became a turning point in the life of one Armenian…


​Brandy production in Armenia began in 1887 by a merchant named Nerses Tahiryan (Tairov) at the territory of the Old Erivan fortress and the first brandy factory of the Russian Empire. In the late 1930s, Margar Sedrakyan, the master of the 10-year-old Dvin brandy, went into exile because of his statement, "Armenian brandy is the best in the world.” Regardless of his fate, he still insisted on it, and later it should become clear that he was right…


During the dinner Churchill liked the Armenian brandy so much that later “Dvin” wassent to England by boxes under the control of Stalin. Even on the 75th anniversary of Churchill, Stalin sent 75 brandies to him. Churchill’s response was: "What a pity, I don’t celebrate my 100th Anniversary..." It’s believed that Churchill drank one bottle of “Dvin” a day, but one day he claimed to Stalin that the quality of the brandy was not the same. He was told that the masterof “Dvin” brandy had been exiled because of his statement that “Armenian brandy is the best inthe world.” Churchill’s love towards Armenian brandy and respect for the master of “Dvin” was so big that he influenced Stalin’s decision to set Margar Sedrakyan free. That is the story of howChurchill rescued the life of an Armenian.

​Today this factory is called Yerevan Brandy Company, where you can also visit the ARARAT museum. Visit the Yerevan Brandy Company and the ARARAT Museum toexperience true craftsmanship and discover the history of Armenian brandy.

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