Awash Winery, The Oldest Estate Of Ethiopia
Awash Winery, which has been in existence for 70 years, is the oldest active winery in the country. This 117-hectare estate, which is situated majestically on a mountain plateau rising to 1,200 meters above sea level, will soon expand its vineyard planting another 180 hectares, alongside the existing vineyard.
Because the estate, acquired in 2013 by Blue Nile, a company created through a partnership between Mr. Mulugeta Tesfakiros – an emerging real estate Ethiopian developer – and 8 Mile, a capital pool company chaired by Sir Bob Geldof, famous Irish musician and activist for the African cause – prospects for development now appears very good. “Continuous improvement of the quality of wine, renovation of equipment and training of Awash staff will help to establish Awash Winery as a strong brand in the country”, Mr. Tesfakiros told us. The vineyard’s potential is impressive.
Renovations are numerous (much equipment have to be replaced) and the cellar is old, but once the site will be finished, wine quality will improve.
For now the winery isn’t far from the 10 million bottles mark produced annually, with exclusive consumption on the Ethiopian market. And even though Awash Winery has already been approached by foreign customers, there are no exports planned at the moment, since there isn’t even enough wine to satisfy the local demand.
The vineyard is located in Awash Merti Jersu, only 115 km southeast of Addis Ababa. However, we had to get up at dawn since we had to go back the same day and as it takes a good 3 ½ hours driving with a 4X4: the roads are very bad and we had to drive carefully.
The landscapes were of breathtaking beauty: houses with thatched roofs, half-naked children playing on the floor in front of the ocher doorstep, endless stretches of desert, majestic palm trees and camels greeting us throughout our journey, all in a patchwork of colours worthy of the finest clichés…
Source: Read the full story on http://www.wine-explorers.net/en/travelog/ethiopia-african-jewellery