The Azerbaijani Wine
Today there are five major winegrowing regions: 1) Shamakhi, 2) Ismayilli, 3) Gabala, 4) Ganja, & 5) Tovuz (see map)
According to the Wine Institute, in 2012 Azerbaijan produced 5 million liters of wine (approximately 555,000 cases), which is quite small compared to nearby Georgia’s 95 million liters in the same year. However, despite being 93% Muslim, Azerbaijan’s per capita wine consumption was 10.24 liters per capita in 2012; very similar to the US at 10.42.
Of the more than 30,000 acres of primarily replanted vineyards, grape varieties include the classics, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling, as well as traditional varieties such as Madrasa, Saperavi, Rkasiteli, Muscat and many others. Wine styles tend to be slightly sweet, including the reds, though there is a trend towards producing dry wines to pair better with food.
Today there are 17 wineries in Azerbaijan.