Armand Melkonian: “I am Armenian, my document is in French, my blood is the blood of an Armenian”

On October 3, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received Armen-Armand Melkonian, who is considered the first and best sommelier in France. Melkonian was accompanied by his son and Director of the Viticulture and Winemaking Foundation of Armenia Mary Ghevondyan. Armand Melkonian is in Armenia for the first time at the invitation of the Viticulture and Winemaking Foundation of Armenia and within the framework of the visit of international wine bloggers. The visit was organized through cooperation with the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

Greeting the guests, Hranush Hakobyan stated the following: “I thank you for never forgetting your roots and for the fact that you have preserved your national identity, last name, language and have presented yourself as an Armenian in any part of the world, even though you were born and raised in France. You have never been to Armenia, but you have always been proud of your ethnic origin and of the fact that the first grape vines were found at the foot of Mount Ararat. I am very happy and proud that Armenians have achieved success in almost all spheres, have become the best professionals and have made Armenia and the Armenians recognized around the world. We thank you for your important activities. You have done a lot for France and the world. Now let us think about Armenia. We need to help Armenia grow together. Dear Mr. Melkonian, I cordially congratulate you, and on behalf of the Ministry of Diaspora, I award you with the Gold Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.”

Armand Melkonian expressed gratitude for the cordial reception and high appreciation. “The first time I was offered to be a sommelier was when I was working at a restaurant. After that, I felt that I was able to taste wine and loved my job. I thought to myself that I had to be the best sommelier because I don’t like to be second best. I am happy that I visited the Homeland. When I saw Ararat from the airplane, I felt that I am in Armenia. I am Armenian, my document is in French, and my blood is the blood of an Armenian.”

In 1965, Armand Melkonian won the Grand Prize at a sommeliers’ competition in France and has been the top sommelier in France for four consecutive years. There have only been 12 such sommeliers in the world in all times.

Currently, Melkonian is working on a 50-page book/guideline for people to make the right decision when choosing wine.

Scroll Up