A few weeks back I made a visit with some friends to Paso Robles—one of the premier wine regions in California after Napa and Sonoma. During our visit there, we came across a winery with the name Minassian-Young and of course I had to inquire about it's origin...
I spoke to David Young, the owner, and asked about the Armenian portion (Minassian) of his vineyard. It turns out that David's grandfather was an Armenian who escaped the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and fled to Burma (today known as Myanmar). Now, after two generations and half-way around the world, here we are in this small town in California with a winery named after the original family name. And mind you, their wines were pretty good (this isn't just according to my taste buds, but it did pretty well with other reviewers as well).
Unfortunately, the circumstances (we were at a wine festival) were not ideal for asking detailed questions about David's family line over the years or how he chose to name his winery even though he doesn't use the Minassian name in his own surname. We'll leave that for another visit.
Updated 1-Aug-2011: The story of the Minassian name and the winery is chronicled in a short article in the July-August 2011 (Issue 14) edition of Yerevan Magazine