Winegrowing and Winemaking in Russia: The Late Nineteenth Century to October 1917

In: Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography
Lutz K. Häfner Faculty of History, Philosophy, and Theology University of Bielefeld Bielefeld Germany

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The article focuses on winegrowing, winemaking and wine consumption in Russia before October 1917. At the turn of the century, there were two competing narratives on Russian viticulture: the first posited viticulture as prosperous with a radiant future; the second asserted a fundamental crisis in viticulture. This article explores the extent to which war and revolution helped undermine the foundations of viticulture and the wellbeing of winegrowers. It argues that, although war and revolution had deleterious effects on viticulture, structural deficits (such as a pronounced lack of financial capital, technical knowledge) as well as consumer preferences undercut the industry.

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