Ginifest: Armenian wine festival draws hundreds in Burbank

Around 700 wine connoisseurs attended the third annual Armenian Wines and Spirits Festival at Castaway Restaurant in Burbank Sunday.

Ginifest started as just an idea in 2017 and within a few short years has grown to become a popular event. This year it was a sold out show.

The purpose of Ginifest is to introduce the public, both Armenians and non-Armenians, to special and unique Armenian wines.

This year, 28 wineries were represented… six from California, the rest from Armenia. In past years, Armenian winemakers living in Argentina and Chile have participated.

"Every winery that is in Armenia is going to be represented here, and it makes me so happy to have them here," said Executive Director of Ginifest, Anush Gharibyan O’Connor. 

The Armenian wine industry dates back to thousands of years.

"Armenian winemaking, wine industry and wine are very special and very unique for a few reasons. Primarily, Armenian winemaking industry dates to 6,000 years. So we have been making wine for a long long time and also some of our varietals are as old as our wine making traditions," Gharibyan O’Connor added. 

She says Armenian wines are unique and the industry has greatly developed in the past 10 to 15 years.

"Indigenous varietals, high elevation, we have volcanic soil, all of those attributes are very attractive to make wine that is very memorable and can compete in the world market."

Many winemakers have competed in worldwide competitions and have won. 

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

Ginifest features red wine, Rosé and dessert wines as well as highlights Armenian food, artists, designers and so much more.

If you want to attend next year, the date is already set for May 22, 2022.

In the meantime, you can pick up a bottle of Armenian wines at specialized wine stores. If you live in the valley Remedy Liquor, Mission Liquor and some Trader Joe’s stores carry them. Jon’s supermarkets and Wally’s on the Westside do as well. Or you can order online at and