One of Azerbaijan’s most popular ranges of premium quality wine
This is where it all started. Back in 1860, when the town of Goygol was a small village of German settlers known as Helenendorf, a certain Christopher Vohrer started a joint stock company to expand his vineyards into a fully-fledged wine industry. Within a generation this had become Azerbaijan’s single biggest producer of wines as well as the first to export Azerbaijani wines to Europe.
Renamed Concordia, almost half of all grapes harvested in Azerbaijan were processed here in the 1920s. During the Soviet era the wineries were nationalized, and in the 1940s the region’s German population was deported, but today the Goygol winery still traces its origins to the Vohrer original. The company processes 13 varieties of grapes harvested from over 500 hectares of vineyards, and is celebrated for its prize-winning brandies as well as a wine selection at varying quality levels marketed as Xan, Goygol, Yelenendorf and Karabakh.
Yelenendorf Dessert Wine – New in 2018, Goygol’s sweet Muscat is surprisingly delicate for a dessert wine with an aroma of rose petals and a taste that has notes of peach and dried plum.
Karabakh – A range of eight mostly single varietal wines, including a punchy, full-flavoured Saperavi with a spicy cherry finish and some herbal notes.
Xan – Some of the Xan range of workaday table wines are surprisingly drinkable despite almost giveaway prices. The Xan Azərbaycan is a decent budget Shiraz, Xan Kürdəmir Kaqor a prize-winning 16% alcohol red-dessert wine, and Xan Göygöl a fruity, low-strength semi-dry Cabernet Sauvignon.
Visitors can arrange various degustations at the winery’s impressive cellar, but go easy if you choose to do a full tasting of 15 types of wine and brandy. The complex is handily located at the northern end of Goygol town and easily accessible by public transport. Various guest packages are available, some including horse-riding in the vineyards or wagon rides around Goygol town, admiring the tree-lined streets of part-timbered old houses complete with German church. If you have your own wheels, and haven’t yet been drinking, consider driving on to a series of beautiful mountain vistas that open out beyond Hajikand encompassing the rocky beak-like peak of Mt Kyapaz. Further still you’ll reach the gorgeous mountain lake of Goygol for which the town is named.