The story of a master or how Churchill contributed to the future of Armenian brandy
Margar Sedrakyan, the man who created the best varieties of Armenian and Ukrainian cognac.
The elite drinks created by him were a great success at diplomatic receptions, and Sir Winston Churchill once said: "Never be late for dinner, smoke a Hawaiian cigar, drink Armenian brandy." It turned out that it was this well-known British politician, not knowing about it, even saved the “father of Armenian cognacs” Margar Sedrakyan from his unfortunate fate in the 1940s.
Survivor of the Armenian Genocide Margar Sedrakyan was born in 1907. In the village of Harakonis, located in the Ottoman Empire. He grew up in one of the orphanages in Yerevan, where he ended up with hundreds of children who have lost their parents.
At 23, Margar graduated from the Agrarian University and just 5 years later he developed the first high-quality Soviet cognacs, created new blends and tastes. In 1940, 33-year-old Margar was already considered the main taster of the Soviet Union and became a process engineer at the Yerevan Brandy Factory.
During this period, he discovered a new technology for the production of cognac spirits and presented the world with "Yntir" and "Armenia" cognacs. With the production of "Armenia" brandy, his dream came true - to have brandy in the name of Armenia. Before that, having created the Yubileiny cognac, he wanted to call it Armenia, but the people next to him persuaded him not to take this step. And they did the right thing. 1937-1938 thus, he could become a defendant in a criminal case on nationalism.
A tricky move for the sake of cognac
The Great Patriotic War, which began in 1941, could undermine the Soviet brandy production. Comrade Stalin personally ordered all factories that produce alcoholic beverages to assign military grade.
They should have been mined and detonated in the event of a surprise attack by Turkey or Japan. Convinced of his justice, Margar Sedrakyan refused the order and personally handed over the explosives to the NKVD. Six years later, he was pursued and arrested.
The country's chief taster has committed yet another official abuse. The fact is that all simple spirits had to be sent to the military front, where they were distributed to soldiers before the attack. Cognac spirits were distributed to officers and generals.
Only previously produced ready-made cognacs were to remain in the warehouses of the factories. Margar Sedrakyan used all his "charm" to convince Snegovsky, an employee of the Central Tasting Commission, to illegally print 1,000 Artashat cognac labels, which were supposedly released in March 1941 but did not actually exist. Under this name, it was possible to save the best cognac spirits of the USSR, which subsequently played a large role in increasing the prestige of our country.
Churchill's new favorite drink
n 1942, Margar Sedrakyan created a unique brandy "Dvin" with a strength of 50%, which was first presented in 1943 during the Tehran conference. It was brought as a gift to Winston Churchill, who turned 69 in those days. When the British Prime Minister tasted the drink, he stated that he would never touch another brandy again. Until his death in 1965, he received from the USSR 10 boxes of cognac (20 bottles each) on a quarterly basis.
In the late 1940s, Winston Churchill asked to tell Stalin that the quality of the Dvin cognac sent to him had dropped sharply. Joseph Stalin, a lover of dry wines, demanded to quickly deal with this issue. As a result of the official investigation, it turned out that the problem arose due to the fact that the tasters did not know the correct technology for creating the necessary mixture, and Margar Sedrakyan no longer works in Yerevan.
God of cognac art
Returning to Yerevan, the master restored the quality of Armenian cognacs, creating such new cognacs as “Yerevan”, “Ararat”, “Tonakan”, “40 years old”, “Nairi”, “50 years old”. Only in 1967 did the Akhtamar brandy appear, which existed on paper for 26 years, and after the death of the master Vaspurakan. In 1971, Margar Sedrakyan was awarded the title "Hero of Socialist Labor" for services to the Motherland.
The great master lived for 66 years, and the cognacs created by him have won the best awards at international exhibitions for many years. 2007 A special postage stamp was issued for the 100th anniversary of Margar Sedrakyan.