My name is Ruben Lokk, a wine lover, and producer who knows how to appreciate wine. I am not a hereditary winemaker and not the owner of inherited vineyards. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately.
I am a lawyer and criminologist by profession. I lived and worked in my specialty in Moscow. In 2012, I moved to Yerevan and my move coincided with the opening of the InVino wine bar in the same year. I lived on Saryan Street next to InVino. From that moment everything has started: wine tastings, presentations, new acquaintances – wine lovers, winemakers, producers, etc. Wine began to call, pull, and lure me.
My first serious acquaintance with wines happened in 1995 when at the age of 19 I started working for the Kazumyan company (a company that imports elite alcoholic beverages to Russia). “Kazumyan” was the first to deliver cognac Hennessy to Russia, champagne and sparkling wine of Laurent-Perrier and Codornio, wine of Beronia, Gonzalez Byass, etc. I was not very fond of alcoholic beverages, but once I got into the world of elite drinks, I began to read the stories of Chateau and Domains, stories of brand founding, how experience, quality secrets, and philosophy of this or that House is passed from generation to generation. It was then that I learned that Merlot is not a wine or a brand, but a grape variety. This influenced me a lot and my attitude towards wines changed dramatically.
My first alma mater in the world of wine is InVino. It was there that I began to get acquainted with Armenian wines, winemakers, and wine lovers. It was there that I learned a lot about winemaking, viticulture, both in Armenia and other countries. And it was there that my friend told me about the academic program called “Enology and Wine Business Program” of EVN Wine Academy which equips students with an in-depth understanding of winemaking from scratch: from vineyards to wine bottling, viticulture and winemaking, marketing, and winery management. I decided to collaborate my favorite hobby and skills in selling and promoting wine, I decided to enter EVN WINE ACADEMY and produce my own wine.
EVN WINE ACADEMY gave me the opportunity to go through the entire stage of wine production in practice, it also provided a large theoretical base in the field of wine marketing and promotion. And this is all under the guidance of winemakers and marketing specialists.
Now I am creating my story. From scratch. Everybody once started – some from scratch, some from the foundation founded by their ancestors. The knowledge gained in EVN Wine Academy helps me a lot.
Why have I decided to choose SHOROR as the brand name for my wines?
I am a perfectionist by nature. For a long time, I thought about whether I should start this business without having my own vineyards or not. In Armenian we say ‘’ororvel-shororvel’’ which means not being sure if you’re choosing the right path for yourself or if you’re making the right decision. I needed to track from the ground and the vine to the bottle and glass. And I found a way out: a winemaker who does just that – keeps an eye on everything from looking after vineyards to bottling. The back label of the bottle bears the inscription “Sometimes doubt is a moment before the right decision”. But SHOROR is not a doubt, it is the moment before making the right decision.
My values are TRUST! When I buy wine, I know what I choose and for what, the main principle is trust in the producer. I produce what I drink myself, which I will not be ashamed to offer my family, friends, and relatives. And I also offer wine to my consumer. There is no other way.
SHOROR is an ARENI variety. Why Areni, everything is simple – this is my favorite Armenian variety.
Our first vintage is 2019, with 1468 bottles in total. 100% Areni, aged in Karabakh oak for 12 months. We wanted to get a “light” aged wine both for solitude and meditation alone and for good company, for a long conversation. SHOROR 2019 in 2021 received a silver medal in Berlin (Berliner Wine Trophy) and a bronze medal in London (Decanter).
A message for the EVN Wine Academy students and applicants
EVN Wine Academy students and applicants, I would recommend you to look at this course more broadly. EVN Wine Academy offers a wide range of opportunities – to become not only a winemaker but also a producer. Live examples: my classmate, already during his studies, found himself in the promotion and sales of wine, got a job as a Head of Sales Department from one of the largest manufacturers. And his studies at the EVN Wine Academy played a significant role. Another graduate has set up a marketing agency that exclusively promotes wines.
You can become a sommelier, wine critic, wine tour organizer, etc., it all depends on your view of the world of wine, on what you like, and what you want. I would recommend future producers, already at the stage of the study, to decide on the grape variety with which you want to work, the name of the wine, and to organize production at least small quantities – 50, 100, or 200 bottles. It doesn’t matter! The main thing is to start. Trust me, my 1468 bottles and 50 bottles are not a business, but they are a start. It will give you the opportunity to experience the world of wine from the point of view of business in the prism of your philosophy, to build a solid foundation for further and competent expansion. And if there are doubts on this difficult, but an interesting and beautiful path, remember the story SHOROR is not a doubt, it is a moment before taking the right one solutions.