Storica Wines Co-Founder Zack Armen Is Putting The Spotlight On Armenia

Written in partnership with Storica Wines

Photo Credit: Storica Wines

Storica Wines is an American wine import company in the U.S. that is here to celebrate the soul, history, and song of Armenia. Their mission is to let the world know of the heart and passion behind Armenian wines. They believe that for every bottle or glass of wine they sell in the US, they are turning a new person’s attention to a little-known place in the world that has historically been known for attacks on its land and culture from its nearby neighbors. 

Recently, the company’s Co-Founder and President, Zack Armen, chatted with Haute Living about Storica Wines, its mission, and the future of the Armenian wine industry. 

Photo Credit: Storica Wines

How did you get started with Storica Wines?

I travel to Armenia every year, and in 2017 on one of my summer trips, I noticed how good the wine had become, and started to ask people in my network why there was such a rapid improvement in the quality of wine from Armenia. I was subsequently connected to winemakers Vahe and Aimee Keushguerian, who gave me the download on the winemaking renaissance that was going on in the country. I became fascinated by the story of Armenian wine and was compelled by how big of an opportunity it would be to help usher in the category of Armenian wine into the United States. I saw the need to build a company with robust sales, marketing, and operational infrastructure to properly introduce wines from Armenia to the US consumer, along with the importance of being “winery agnostic” and working with many different wineries across the different winemaking regions of the country, and across grape varieties and types of wine.

What is the mission behind Storica wines?

Our mission is to become the leading sales, marketing, and import company of Armenian wines in North America.

Why the focus on Armenia?

We see Armenia as the world’s next great wine region, given the combination of (1) the terroir, which is highly conducive to quality winemaking, alongside the unique yet familiar attributes of Armenia’s most popular grape varietals, (2) the resonant story qualities of Armenia as the birthplace of wine, the story of Noah’s Ark landing on Mount Ararat (in ancient Armenia), its position as a key transit hub along the silk road and as a source of quality goods during the days of the Roman empire, and the current modern-day renaissance around winemaking, and (3) the US consumer’s growing fondness for adventurous, niche products from lesser-known parts of the world. Each of these categories lends itself to Armenia becoming an impactful region in the world of winemaking, and given the nascency of Armenian wine in the US, this also presents a strong opportunity for Storica from a value creation perspective.

Photo Credit: Storica Wines

The U.S. just recognized the Armenian genocide, what are your thoughts on that?

President Biden’s use of the term genocide to rightfully describe the Armenian Genocide was an important step along the path toward true recognition of the horrific events of 1915 committed by the Ottoman Turks. The country of Turkey’s continued denial of the Genocide, and ongoing xenophobia towards Armenians is unfortunate and scary, especially when looked at alongside the recent attacks on Armenia and Artsakh by Azerbaijan and their continued human rights violations in the aftermath of this war. As a company, we condemn this continued hatred waged against our people, however, we do applaud our President for acknowledging what was a tragic part of our history and hope there will be continued steps taken toward full recognition of the Genocide and actions taken in response to the ongoing human rights violations being committed by the autocratic regimes of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

What do you hope to see for Storica Wines and Armenia in the future?

We hope to see continued momentum behind the wave of Armenian wine as a new and exciting category in the US wine industry, as demonstrated by the progress made across our key business fronts: Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Product/Brand. Within each of these areas, our aim is to grow sales volumes, expand the markets we are selling into and the channels through which we are selling, drive further consumer engagement and awareness through beautiful content and within a diverse array of digital/physical media, and to become more efficient in our international and domestic logistical operations, financial planning and performance, and overall organizational structure. We believe strongly and wholeheartedly that the time for Armenian wine is now, and it comes at a pivotal time in the history of the US, Armenia, and the world. If successful, the impact will be felt well beyond our own economic success as a company: building Armenia’s wine industry will directly contribute to economic growth, and drive tourism and overall recognition of Armenia on a global scale. Every person who drinks one of our wines is one more person who has heard of Armenia, and who has Armenia in their hearts and minds. We are privileged to play this role in helping stimulate the Armenian wine industry, and hope that everyone in the US gets a chance to experience and celebrate the richness and beauty of our wines!

For more information, (or to buy a bottle or two), please visit their website here