The Armenian Harvest Promotion Centre (AHPC) CJSC, together with Yerevan Brandy, is to set up 5,000ha of Sultana Vineyards in the Republic of Armenia.

AHPC also intends to increase the export volumes of Armenian high value and demand sultana grapes in foreign markets within five to seven years.

Sultana grapes are known to be used as high-value table grapes or as raw materials for raising and vine production.

For the establishment of vineyards, AHPC has collected over 400,000 purebred sultana grape cuttings from pure-bred vineyards in spring.

For rooting the grape cuttings, nurseries spanning around 3.1ha have been established in the free area of the Institute of Hydroponics Problems and in experimental farms in Nalbandyan village, Armavir region of the Scientific Center ?f Viticulture, Fruit Growing and Wine Making under the Armenian State Agraraian University.

By 2012 autumn, the nurseries will supply around 200,000-250,000 high-quality pure-bred rootings for the vineyards.

And, by 2013 autumn and spring, around 80-100ha vineyards will be established with the received rootings, including 10ha of stool-bed.

All the in-vitro tests related to planting material are carried out in the Scientific Center of Agribiotechnology.

To maintain the quality of wine, sultana grapes are subjected to approbation, selection, genetic identification and passportization.

AHPC investments director Aleksan Arakelyan said the firm conducts negotiations with landlords and horticulturists in order to establish vineyards with pure-bred rootings in accordance with modern technology solutions.

"Under the program, we shall support investors in the establishment of the vineyards, realisation of the produce and in receiving other appropriate assistance," Arakelyan added.

"Guaranteed mechanisms regarding export and realisation of products will be introduced in parallel with increase in the production volumes of sultana grapes."

Sultana Vineyards project is supported by The National Academy of Sciencies of Armenia, the State Agraraian University, the Yerevan State University and Tierras de Armenia company.

Image: The seedless and oval shaped sultana grapes are used to make white wine. Photo: Armenian Harvest Promotion Centre