Why did you decide to do wine tours?
In today’s world travel is changing – it’s no longer about visiting the main tourism countries, receiving lots of information and going sightseeing. Today we have travellers, not tourists, and they’re looking for new places and new experiences. The reason I started the wine tours is that, as a local, I enjoy the food, wine and hospitality of our people, so I share it with my guests and they love it. It’s as simple as that – the world is becoming more and more digitalized and sometimes we lose that human touch. These things will be even more in demand as people look for authentic experiences.
How do your clients react to Azerbaijani wine?
Most importantly, our guests come on wine tours thinking that Azerbaijan is a strictly Muslim country, so the first question they ask is: How do you do wine tours here? My answer is that Azerbaijan is beautiful because of its contrasts. For example, you walk around the Old City and see the modern Flame Towers in the background – the contrast of old and new. We are a proudly secular country where all religions live together happily. So they leave surprised, especially after trying our wines and saying they never expected such quality.
The next reaction they have is: why don’t they see Azerbaijani wines in shops in their countries? I explain to them that the Azerbaijani wine industry has gone through some really tough times but now its flourishing and soon our wines will be known internationally and take their place in the world of wine. In short, if you were to ask me to describe the wines and wine industry in Azerbaijan in the minds of tourists, I would use two words: pleasantly surprising.
What makes Azerbaijani wine unique?
Lots of sunny days and ideal terroirs are our main advantages when it comes to producing great wines. The price to quality ratio is also excellent. If someone is open-minded and sees two wines in a shop, one from France and the other from Azerbaijan, and tries our wines, they will be amazed by how great they are. All our guests leave surprised by the quality of our wines.