What is Kareen?
Kareen is the name of an ancient Armenian city located in present-day central eastern Turkey. It is also phonetically spelled Karin or Garin. Kareen is where our family is from. They migrated to the Russian empire (modern day Armenia) in the late 19th century fleeing persecution and constant pogroms in Ottoman Turkey under Sultan Hamid. Today, this city is called Erzurum, erasing its once Armenian name like so many other cities and towns across modern day Turkey. A once thriving cultural center of Armenian life, today there are virtually no traces of our ancestral existence. From the times of the Romans through the era of the Byzantines and finally the invasion of the Ottoman Turks, Kareen was a thriving hub of Armenian culture.
Why did we name our brand Kareen?
We wanted to pay respect to the story of our ancestors as well as paint a picture of a once magnificent city with a rich Armenian past. True, we had many options for our company name but we cumulatively decided to focus on this location and name when we realized that both our family sides initially were form this city.
By naming our wine Kareen we wanted to give this place & memory, a rebirth of sorts. While we are a modern day Armenian – Californian family and naturally all parts of this wine come from the abundance of Californian terroir, we draw our inspiration from the memory of a land once ours. Kareen is a place, a dream and a muse wrapped up into one for us.
Armenian alphabet where we drew our inspiration for the label of 2016 Kareen Malbec. Font Design by Fred Afrikyan
19th Century Armeninan Dress from Kareen.
Migrant route from western Armenia to eastern Armenia during the 19th century pogroms of Armenians in Ottoman Empire. Exact migration route of our ancestors. Map form book by Robert H. Hewsen
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