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Duration: 1:04:00





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Brian J Griffith: Alright, welcome everybody so.


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Brian J Griffith: I want to provide everyone with an introduction to this book talk series first and then that will be followed up by.


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Brian J Griffith: An introduction for today's speaker and then our presentation, so my name is Brian J Griffith I am the host for today's virtual book talk event.


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Brian J Griffith: Just as a little bit of biography for who I am I am you know i'm really huge and Jacqueline Weber postdoctoral scholar in European history at you see Los Angeles.


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Brian J Griffith: And this book talk is the second in a series of book talks that i'm hosting in conjunction with a course that i'm currently teaching here at UCLA titled interwar crisis Europe 1918 to 1939.


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Brian J Griffith: So our next virtual book talk the third in the series will be on Wednesday may 19th from 12 to 1pm Pacific standard time.


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Brian J Griffith: And we'll focus on Claudio fogle's recently published monograph the fishing net and the spider web Mediterranean imaginary is and the making of the Italians if you'd like to see the list of the remaining book talks in the series.


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Brian J Griffith: you'll have to take a look at the book talks some page on my course website which you can see here in the chat dialog.


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Brian J Griffith: And there's also registration portals available there for anyone who would like to register the two remaining book talks.


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Brian J Griffith: i'd also like to acknowledge the series of co sponsors, which are UCLA Center for European and Russian studies which can be found on Twitter and Facebook under the handle UCLA CRS UCLA CRS.


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Brian J Griffith: Also UCLA is department of Slavic Eastern European and Asian languages and cultures and finally UCLA is Russian flagship program and you steal his program on Central Asia, so we were very happy to have all of these entities that UCLA on board for this particular meeting.


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Brian J Griffith: A few words here on the meeting format and procedures so i'm going to begin by providing an introduction for today's speaker, which of course will be.


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Brian J Griffith: Dr Stephen the bittner and that'll be followed by a 30 minute presentation.


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Brian J Griffith: by Dr bittner on his recently published book lights and reds after Dr fitness presentation we'll have time, probably about 20 to 30 minutes for some q&a.


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Brian J Griffith: From the audience if you're joining us here on zoom in fact that's the only place, you can join us on zoom right now, because Facebook live is not functioning at the moment for me.


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Brian J Griffith: please feel free to use the chat dialog to submit your questions and or comments during during the presentation or after I will be taking them in the order in which that they're submitted in that location.


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Brian J Griffith: And I just want to say, if you submit an entire question in the chat dialog I will read that.


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Brian J Griffith: As your indication that you'd like me to read it on your behalf, if you would like to ask your question yourself and have your.


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Brian J Griffith: Video appear, then you can just indicate your desire to be next in line and i'll call on you in that order.


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Brian J Griffith: Finally, as a courtesy to our speaker, as well as to the other attendees i'd like to kindly request that you mute your microphones and tell.


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Brian J Griffith: It is your turn to speak just so we can minimize any background noise during the presentation alright so onward to Dr vintners introduction, so it is my pleasure.


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Brian J Griffith: A truly my pleasure to introduce you to Dr Stephen the business so Dr bittner is a social, cultural and political historian of Russia and the Soviet Union.


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Brian J Griffith: Steve earned his doctorate in Russian and Soviet and Eastern European history at the University of Chicago and 2000.


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Brian J Griffith: And shortly thereafter served as a research fellow at the Kennedy Institute for Advanced Russian studies in Washington DC and I believe it was simultaneously, but he was serving as a visiting professor at Lafayette college in easton Pennsylvania.


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Brian J Griffith: Dr bittner is currently a professor of modern European history at sonoma State University, which of course is my Alma mater.


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Brian J Griffith: Steve has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including from the social science, research council, the National Endowment for the humanities, which he.


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Brian J Griffith: won twice the National Council for your Asian and East European research, the international research and exchanges board and a canon Institute for Advanced Russian studies again two times.


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Brian J Griffith: Dr fitness research has appeared in many prestigious journals and edited volumes to too numerous to name here, but I do want to mention the three edited volumes and monographs that he has published over the years, so he is the author of Dimitri shep loves it, am I pronouncing that correctly.


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Brian J Griffith: I should pillows pillow Thank you his translated edited mock memoir published by Yale university press in 2007, and that is titled the kremlin's scholar.


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Brian J Griffith: That was followed by the many lives of Khrushchev saw published by cornell university press the following year in 2008.


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Brian J Griffith: And, most recently, and the subjects of course of today's virtual book talk is whites and reds a history of wine and the lands and Czar and Commissar.


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Brian J Griffith: published by Oxford University press just this year, the month before last, I believe it was march 2021.


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Brian J Griffith: And if you haven't already purchased a copy of his most recent book, I would like to share with you the link to Oxford University presses website, and I also need to link to.


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Brian J Griffith: This discount code which will get you a 30% off discount when it purchase if you're interested in doing that today.


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Brian J Griffith: Dr bittner has a couple of different projects currently underway as well, that will be the follow up projects to whites and reds which includes a history of Soviet presence in Antarctica which is really an interesting.


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Brian J Griffith: topic for me and an investigation of the various locations were refugees from Bolshevism encountered refugees from Nazi ISM so without further ado, please join me in welcoming Dr Stephen the business.


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Stephen Bittner: Thanks Brian That was a very kind.


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Stephen Bittner: Introduction you.


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Stephen Bittner: Smooth over all the the unpleasant parts which, which I appreciate.


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Stephen Bittner: So i'm going to spotlight myself.


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Stephen Bittner: doesn't look like I can do that, but Brian Maybe you can spotlight me.


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Stephen Bittner: And so I just want to start by saying that you know i'm doubly proud today, because this is really the first time i've talked about a new book as a new book, that is.


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Stephen Bittner: So project and process, but also, as you probably gathered from from brian's introduction Brian was once one of my students.


00:07:06.240 --> 00:07:14.190

Stephen Bittner: And I was thinking, this morning I remember telling Brian at some point that he had figured me out he had figured out how to get an A in my class.


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Stephen Bittner: And so, probably, it was time for him to look for for bigger ponds and obviously you're in a very big pond right now at UCLA.


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Stephen Bittner: So I want to start today with with a story and then i'll work my way around this story through the remainder of my talk.


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Stephen Bittner: So that the story begins in 1919 amid the chaos of the Russian civil war.


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Stephen Bittner: And then in 1919 a group of bandits arrived at a winery outside of Nova sees in the hills not far from the Black Sea.


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Stephen Bittner: And according to published accounts, the bandits were greeted graciously and perhaps naive Lee by the wineries chief vintner but obviously the bandits had not come for friendly conversation.


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Stephen Bittner: When the vendor refused to hand over the keys to the wine cellar the bandits threatened to shoot the vintner escaped death by hiding in an empty wine barrel, the wine in the cellar which data as far back as 1870 was not so lucky.


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Stephen Bittner: And this story has a number of hidden meanings with which i'll draw out in a series of thematic and chronological arcs around that day and 1919.


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Stephen Bittner: And i'll start with the most narrow, are they are closest to the events at hand the individual.


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Stephen Bittner: So the unfortunate vintner who barely escaped with his life on that day in 1919 was Anton for left bar graph.


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Stephen Bittner: In fall off a graph in 1919 was already a giant in the world of Russian winemaking, he was born of wealth and privilege in Siberia, where his father was the chief representative.


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Stephen Bittner: Of the Ministry of state property he had studied viticulture in winemaking, as a young man in Madeira and bardot.


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Stephen Bittner: And, like many people in late Czarist Russia many young people for left the Gray, have had dabbled in progressive politics, he lost his job at the winery i'll be an only temporarily for speaking at a meeting of revolutionary minded employees in 1905.


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Stephen Bittner: And then the years before 1917 for left the grey of sparkling wines were among the most coveted labels and all of Russia.


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Stephen Bittner: And for this achievement Nicholas the second or awarded him the orders of St Anna and Stanislav 30 years later, for left bar graph would receive the Stalin prize for devising a technology that mechanized the notoriously tricky process of champagne production.


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Stephen Bittner: So far left bar graph is the US among a very small cohort of people and, in fact, he might be the only person formerly commended with the highest awards of both is our best and Soviet states.


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Stephen Bittner: But for all if a graph is important for another reason as well.


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Stephen Bittner: He was emblematic of a certain social type in the late Czarist and early Soviet wine industries.


00:10:30.570 --> 00:10:41.580

Stephen Bittner: And that is as his background suggests the wine industry was not exactly a bastion of Communist sympathy during the late Czarist years it was dominated by aristocrats and foreigners.


00:10:42.180 --> 00:10:49.920

Stephen Bittner: It was notable for its popular it's disparagement of popular taste and it's genuflection to French expertise.


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Stephen Bittner: Ambitious commercial vintners cut their teeth by training abroad, they were children of privilege aristocrats university graduates and scientists.


00:11:00.720 --> 00:11:07.650

Stephen Bittner: After October 1917 some of these persons chose emigration over the likelihood of persecution in the Soviet Union.


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Stephen Bittner: The errors of them gulliksen lanes are us russia's most famous ventnor left the family, a state in Crimea for France in 1920.


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Stephen Bittner: and for good reason, friends, family members in domestic staff persons who stayed behind in Crimea were ordered by the new Bolshevik government to appear for registration, one of them was shot, he was a Chamberlain to the royal family in the son of in a cultural inspector.


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Stephen Bittner: Andre chellis chef whose father had been Chief Justice in the Russian imperial court nearly died on the battlefield in Crimea in 1921 in immigration chela chef and lit at bellevue vineyards in napa where he became known as the maestro for his sublime cabernet sauvignon.


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Stephen Bittner: later in life chela chef would form a close friendship with california's most famous anti Communist Ronald Reagan.


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Stephen Bittner: It far more common in the wine industry, where people who sought a modus vivendi with Soviet power despite their own less than impeccable revolutionary credentials.


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Stephen Bittner: vassily tire off lanes are us russia's most famous of in a cultural scientists remained at the experimental vineyard near Odessa that bore his name.


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Stephen Bittner: Even though he had extensive connections to the highest levels of bizarre estate in 1926 he was fired in his vineyard was renamed for the evolutionary botanist Clement team jasa.


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Stephen Bittner: Your ego galliano ski, who was the author of an influential guidebook to live in a culture in winemaking survived until 1931 or 32 when he disappeared in the camps.


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Stephen Bittner: He was an early victim of tripping y CINCO Mikhail share but cough, who was the director of the new kiki botanical garden in Yalta.


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Stephen Bittner: did not have any revolutionary resume prior to 1917 except for a university friendship with Alexander Louisiana lennon's older brother who was executed for participating in a plot to kill the tsar.


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Stephen Bittner: When the czar's general in charge of Yalta visited the botanical garden in 1910 he saw a photograph of Leon off on a sign table.


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Stephen Bittner: And who do we have here the general asked without hesitating shcherbakov answered that is my university comrade Alexandria Louisiana.


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Stephen Bittner: But I haven't even better photograph of you general after 1917 shcherbakov found work at a winery in the coupon and then at an ecological laboratory in Moscow.


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Stephen Bittner: So, despite backgrounds of bourgeois or even aristocratic privilege, all of these persons in many others, common cause over wine with Soviet power.


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Stephen Bittner: They lobbied early Soviet officials even Lenin himself to regulate the wine trade and to protect producers from unscrupulous merchants, even those merchants who worked for the Soviet state and who wore the leather trench coats of Bolshevism.


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Stephen Bittner: In 1936 When Stalin embrace champagne as part of the good life of socialism as a crucial vessel vessel of Soviet cool Twitter and this and that and that word probably requires a little bit of explanation, it means appropriately cultured in Stalinist jargon.


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Stephen Bittner: So these are his holdovers got their wish and Stalin wine was important enough to regulate and promote, even though Stalin ISM would spell are already had spelled the destruction of so many of them.


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Stephen Bittner: And there's far more to this story than continuity in the civilizing process across the revolutionary size zora.


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Stephen Bittner: These persons of former privilege wine cosmopolitans through and through were almost unanimously opposed to the free wheeling capitalist ethos of nap.


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Stephen Bittner: Wine, in their view, was too important to leave to the chaos of the free market, so we might think of them as a highly unusual non Communist opposition to net.


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Stephen Bittner: joined paradoxically in their disdain for Lenin strategic retreat with the Trotskyist in the trade unions, the militant Council members who badgered the professorial and, of course, eventually, with the Stalinist and the politburo vanquished the last defenders of nap in February 1929.


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Stephen Bittner: So wine made for very strange bedfellows during that first Soviet decade.


00:16:04.650 --> 00:16:14.340

Stephen Bittner: So I want now to draw slightly wider Arc from that moment in 1919 when for left but Graham barely escaped with his life.


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Stephen Bittner: The winery that the bandits ransacked was called a brown door Sue it was a crown estate meaning its revenues went directly to the upkeep of the royal family.


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Stephen Bittner: In addition to our outdoor Sue there were several crown is States across the southern frontier Masonic dre IDA Neil live adia ensue Doc and Crimea dog a nice near Sochi and CNN Dolly and the ahead, the end plane and Eastern Georgia.


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Stephen Bittner: In 1912 know vcs in Crimea became a crown estate when it passed from the gilead since to the Romanovs by virtue of an unusual bankruptcy arrangement.


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Stephen Bittner: Where the wineries tax or ears were forgiven in return for title to about half the estate and one of these crown is states live adia Nicholas the second maintain the residence, you see it here that Palace would famously host the ultra conference in February 1945.


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Stephen Bittner: Now abroad dorsey traced its origins two grand prints Mikhail Nikolai of itch, who is the youngest son Nicholas the first and the governor General of the Caucuses during the 1860s and 70s.


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Stephen Bittner: The region surrounding our broader issue was notable for having a sizable Muslim population, which was by no means contract indicative of wine production or consumption.


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Stephen Bittner: The region was seated to Russia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in wars with the Ottoman Empire, it was not fully pacified until long after that.


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Stephen Bittner: Now crown estates like eyebrow doors, who were places where the latest in viticultural in ecological expertise could be found.


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Stephen Bittner: They were often the first places in their regions were vineyards were trellis were European varietals were planted were ancillary blooms were removed in the spring.


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Stephen Bittner: And where the resulting wines had sufficiently high alcohol contents to avoid spoilage which tended to be around 11% by volume.


00:18:27.120 --> 00:18:39.720

Stephen Bittner: crown estates employed Western vintners or Russian vintners who had trained abroad, the chief vintner at the crowne estate and semen Dolly in eastern Georgia was Italian by origin.


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Stephen Bittner: He provoked a minor brouhaha around the turn of the century, when he refused to authorize for sale and the British market wine that he knew to be flawed so brand protection and reputation is vintner mattered more than profit, the wine was turned into vinegar instead.


00:19:01.140 --> 00:19:12.660

Stephen Bittner: Now, most important, the Crown is states were emblematic of a type of wealthy man spin a culture that became common in the Russian South over the course of the 19th century.


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Stephen Bittner: In Crimea cultural patterns came to resemble those of Bordeaux were wine from a famous Chateau might fetch several times the price per volume as wine from neighboring peasant villages.


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Stephen Bittner: In Crimea Russian wealth in non Russian poverty existed, side by side, dozens of been a cultural estates were built over the course of the 19th century by many of the empire's most famous aristocratic families.


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Stephen Bittner: In the hills outside the naval base at Sevastopol then a culture became a popular pastime for high ranking military officers.


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Stephen Bittner: There were foreign colonists often many generations removed from their homelands, who cultivated grapes.


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Stephen Bittner: There were foreigners in the service of the tsar who cultivated grapes, and even just foreigners who saw in Crimea in Moldova or Bessarabia as it was called in Czarist times and other places in the south, a good business opportunity.


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Stephen Bittner: By the end of the 19th century there was even a tongue in cheek guidebook for wealthy persons who aspired to be even a cultural isn't in Crimea it warned that life on even a cultural estate was a far cry from the posh vacation culture of Yalta.


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Stephen Bittner: Now wealthy vineyard estates with their modern modes of production became a convenient foil for the backwardness of indigenous Finnish culture.


00:20:46.680 --> 00:20:54.180

Stephen Bittner: There were Crimean qatar's who are impervious to even the most well intentioned advice from the imperial newcomers.


00:20:54.900 --> 00:21:04.440

Stephen Bittner: They were ahead tea and peasants who saw, why not as a civilization marker but as an unpretentious staple of their daily diets.


00:21:05.070 --> 00:21:18.540

Stephen Bittner: And there were Moldovan peasants who, according to some sarcastic 19th century wordplay we're the only ones who might taste in their wines quote the sweet fruits of their own Labor.


00:21:20.040 --> 00:21:30.900

Stephen Bittner: Yet indigenous culture also spoke to instabilities in the empire this ours across the south from Bessarabia in the West to Georgia in the East.


00:21:31.380 --> 00:21:45.000

Stephen Bittner: Then a culture had roots that predated the Russian encounter by many millennia Georgia claims today to be the place where humans first mastered the grape 6000 years before the common era.


00:21:45.780 --> 00:21:54.540

Stephen Bittner: wine making is scarcely younger in Crimea and Bessarabia in Russia wines roots are shallow by comparison.


00:21:55.170 --> 00:22:04.170

Stephen Bittner: Although wine was present in key oven Ruse because of trading routes at linkedin yep or base and with Greek civilization that Constantinople.


00:22:04.650 --> 00:22:16.140

Stephen Bittner: And with non Slavic communities along the Black Sea wine, mostly disappeared until the 17th century as Islamic civilization shifted north and east.


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Stephen Bittner: Even the wine, the eucharist is difficult to trace during the mongol period it probably came from the Rhine via nov grid or arkhangelsk but but it's difficult to be certain.


00:22:30.270 --> 00:22:41.790

Stephen Bittner: During the trial period wine production and consumption were identified as European characteristics part of that great transformation of the Russian gentry that Peter initiated.


00:22:42.720 --> 00:23:06.030

Stephen Bittner: Mikhail pagoda and the great 19th century critic of the PETRA and reforms famous famously wrote that Peters corruption range from calendar to wardrobe from language to table setting from civil rank to canal dredging and even the wine reminds us of Peter, for we had no wine before him.


00:23:08.220 --> 00:23:19.440

Stephen Bittner: Now the juxtaposition of indigenous experience with the Russian non experience in winemaking has implications for the way we understand the Russian imperial project.


00:23:20.460 --> 00:23:38.070

Stephen Bittner: It suggests that the science had been a culture in winemaking in the Russian Empire was often compensatory it helped write imperial hierarchies that had been turned on their head by the equity and depth of in a cultural experience and expertise in the borderlands.


00:23:39.360 --> 00:23:47.940

Stephen Bittner: nathaniel night has argued that Russia by offering what he calls an awkward triptych Europe Russia in Asia.


00:23:48.960 --> 00:23:57.690

Stephen Bittner: Russia confounds the stark dichotomy between orient an accident, upon which the analysis of Edward side and many others hinge.


00:23:58.890 --> 00:24:10.860

Stephen Bittner: The story of Russian winemaking further complicates these divisions by adding a second category in between East and West European or Europeanized subjects of the empire.


00:24:11.730 --> 00:24:23.520

Stephen Bittner: The Non Russian peoples of the South, with their long standing and deeply entrenched wine traditions, had a claim on one aspect of European this that the core of the empire lacked.


00:24:24.330 --> 00:24:45.690

Stephen Bittner: To borrow lennon's famous question though como who whom when it came to winemaking in the borderlands who has a culture rating whom have been a cultural science of European origin in Russian transition made it possible for the imperial newcomers to the region to answer this question.


00:24:47.730 --> 00:24:53.550

Stephen Bittner: Now, my third Arc is drawn from those bandits who threatened to shoot for left but Gray, if.


00:24:55.020 --> 00:24:57.750

Stephen Bittner: They were hungry workers from nearby Nova receive.


00:24:58.860 --> 00:25:11.340

Stephen Bittner: For them a crown estate was too tempting a target to pass up wine offered immediate relief in the form of drunkenness, but it could also be used as a form of currency to purchase food.


00:25:12.150 --> 00:25:20.940

Stephen Bittner: Even the abroad doors who workers later traded the wine, they produced for flower that came from the American famine relief.


00:25:22.950 --> 00:25:39.180

Stephen Bittner: In similar scenes were playing out across the fragmenting Russian empire in 1919 as they had other moments of societal duress, such as the revolution of 1905 and even the poor child rebellion in the 1770s.


00:25:40.500 --> 00:25:48.900

Stephen Bittner: In Crimea aristocratic families tried to evacuate the contents of their wine cellars before they could be looted by the advancing Red Army.


00:25:50.160 --> 00:25:55.590

Stephen Bittner: The elites and families ship 20,000 bottles to Paris from the port that Theodosius.


00:25:56.430 --> 00:26:14.550

Stephen Bittner: General wrangles military government saw wine is an important asset that could be used to fund continued struggle at home or resettlement abroad, it said commercial envoys to Paris in London, hoping to profit one last time from foreign demand from Crimea and wine.


00:26:15.660 --> 00:26:26.100

Stephen Bittner: in St Petersburg, the wine cellar at the winter Palace was looted soon after the palace was seized, it was one of the largest private sellers in the world.


00:26:26.580 --> 00:26:38.580

Stephen Bittner: The wine that wasn't consumed or destroyed in the seller was carried outside producing something that resembled the battlefield drunken workers and soldiers prostrate and unmoving.


00:26:40.080 --> 00:26:52.140

Stephen Bittner: Unless ignominious fate befell Matilda kitchen sky is seller, she was the prima ballerina absolute at the Marine ski and Nicholas the seconds lover before his marriage.


00:26:52.590 --> 00:27:09.240

Stephen Bittner: She often hosted dinners for fellow connoisseurs in her seller her seller appears to have fallen into the hands of Alexandra colon time who moved into cushion skies home shortly after kishan sky went into hiding in the summer of 1917.


00:27:11.640 --> 00:27:31.350

Stephen Bittner: Now, whether or not these stories about wine mayhem are true is less important than the fact that they were told the soldiers who sees the winter Palace on that fateful night in October 1917 lack the sophistication in erudition to appreciate the wines that they drunk and make us.


00:27:32.460 --> 00:27:38.520

Stephen Bittner: All the misfortune that befell Russia in subsequent years could be for seen at that moment.


00:27:40.470 --> 00:27:51.300

Stephen Bittner: Now this elite hand wringing about wine mayhem reflected a long tradition of wine writing in Czarist Russia that survived to the end of the Soviet period.


00:27:52.110 --> 00:28:00.990

Stephen Bittner: From almost the moment commercial wineries in Crimea and elsewhere began to produce high quality wine for the domestic marketplace.


00:28:01.590 --> 00:28:14.010

Stephen Bittner: vintners complained about the lowbrow tastes and the street, contrary to the aristocracy the burgeoning Russian middle class did not care for wine made in the European fashion.


00:28:14.760 --> 00:28:21.840

Stephen Bittner: It instead preferred sweetened and fortified concoctions then merchants blended in their storage facilities.


00:28:22.710 --> 00:28:39.360

Stephen Bittner: vintners commonly referred to these concoctions as falsified wines some bar more than a passing resemblance to Venice Benedict in a famous famously drunken recipe for tear of a calm, some old girl.


00:28:40.350 --> 00:28:59.760

Stephen Bittner: In 1885 guidebook for for merchants described without irony or shame, how to create a fake Malaga ellicott by mixing communion wine rum, a Cypress flavored Lecour prunes Chinese cinnamon in the seeds of a marshmallow plant.


00:29:01.500 --> 00:29:16.110

Stephen Bittner: Now concern about falsified wine was behind russia's short lived wine purity law which Nicholas the second signed into effect in April 1914 not a good time for new legislation.


00:29:17.250 --> 00:29:30.390

Stephen Bittner: By the 1960s and 70s, virtually all Soviet wine was falsified wine, it was sweetened with beet sugar and strengthened with grain alcohol until it was about half strength vodka.


00:29:31.530 --> 00:29:44.460

Stephen Bittner: sold under the labels maritime aroma of the step or 777 it was referred to in slang as Burma tuco something that makes one mumble.


00:29:45.390 --> 00:30:03.990

Stephen Bittner: barma to QA accounted for about 90% of all Soviet wine production, a huge amount given the fact that the Soviet Union had become either the third or fourth largest producer of wine by volume in the world trailing only France, Italy and maybe Spain.


00:30:05.220 --> 00:30:17.130

Stephen Bittner: Burma tuco was the bane of the pretentious classes well there was no literature of connoisseurship in the Soviet Union, nothing for sure resembling wine spectator.


00:30:18.000 --> 00:30:30.330

Stephen Bittner: The cultural press could be counted on for an article every year or two extolling the sublime characteristics of fine wine and excoriating the lowbrow tastes of the masses.


00:30:31.350 --> 00:30:44.880

Stephen Bittner: dripping in snobbery these articles diverged hardly at all from the elitist elegies to the fine wines that perished in St Petersburg in October 1917 or Odessa in 1905.


00:30:46.020 --> 00:30:56.130

Stephen Bittner: The Soviet civilizing process had failed in regard to why, even at the end of the Soviet period, the vast majority of consumers preferred this will have old.


00:30:57.000 --> 00:31:05.940

Stephen Bittner: But so to had the Soviet anti snobbery project run aground a small minority of self described kind of sewers.


00:31:06.450 --> 00:31:17.400

Stephen Bittner: The diplomats and cultural figures who purchased wine on trips abroad in anyone with special access to the stores that occasionally stocked burgundy's until guys.


00:31:18.180 --> 00:31:28.410

Stephen Bittner: could not help but look with scoring on Burma tuba and the people who drank it, it was class pretentiousness described disguised as wine snobbery.


00:31:30.660 --> 00:31:39.510

Stephen Bittner: So my final art brings us briefly to the present so today abroad or sue the winery that was looted in 1919.


00:31:40.620 --> 00:31:56.490

Stephen Bittner: is one of the largest wine manufacturers in Russia in 2020 it produced 41 million bottles, or does it about three and a half million cases, and this would would by by point of comparison would make it a medium size American producer.


00:31:58.050 --> 00:32:06.150

Stephen Bittner: The chief vintner and abroad dorsey today is French name is George blog keys no relation to the famous chef by the same name.


00:32:07.470 --> 00:32:18.600

Stephen Bittner: In the original winery that was ransacked in 1919 has been transformed into a tourist destination, not unlike the wineries in napa with their phone Mediterranean ambulances.


00:32:19.830 --> 00:32:27.180

Stephen Bittner: there's even a luxury hotel it abroad, very soon, where guests can take in spa treatments in yoga classes before wine tasting.


00:32:29.040 --> 00:32:46.410

Stephen Bittner: Now, if you visit our brand versus website you'll find a 15 minute video, complete with English subtitles that dramatize us in mystical and patriotic ways, many of the persons and events I have mentioned today for all of the graph civil war royal family crown estate.


00:32:47.730 --> 00:32:54.360

Stephen Bittner: So, as in the Czarist and Soviet years the wine culture that opera outdoors who embodies remains aspirational.


00:32:55.020 --> 00:33:13.320

Stephen Bittner: It is unmistakeably elitist in misleadingly artist funnel and itself presentation, but it is also been deracinated in its present politeness form short of it's mixed 19th century parentage in the empire's multi ethnic periphery.


00:33:15.120 --> 00:33:15.690

Stephen Bittner: Okay.


00:33:17.130 --> 00:33:18.090

Stephen Bittner: that's all I got.


00:33:21.270 --> 00:33:28.260

Brian J Griffith: Alright Thank you so much Steve for that interesting presentation we already have a first question.


00:33:28.860 --> 00:33:37.500

Brian J Griffith: I just like to remind everyone in attendance, if you do have a question for Dr bittner go ahead and indicate that, in the chat either type out the entire question.


00:33:37.890 --> 00:33:50.190

Brian J Griffith: And i'll read it on your behalf, or just indicate that you're interested in asking the question yourself and i'll call on you in the proper order, so the first question comes from Carl calls so i'll go ahead and hand the stage over Carl.


00:33:52.560 --> 00:34:01.260

KARL Qualls: fascinate can't wait to read the book Steve I mean sounds sounds really great and it reminds me of one too many falsified wines, instead of a snowball in the 90s i'm not sure if that's a good memory or bath.


00:34:02.760 --> 00:34:18.900

KARL Qualls: I like the idea of kind of the imperial project and all the different types of people that were making wines in the Russian empire, I wonder if you came across anything about sure I Jews in Crimea running their own wineries or working with techstars Russians or anyone else.


00:34:20.280 --> 00:34:29.280

Stephen Bittner: yeah a little bit in fact in your corner of Crimea up in the what is it the Alma Valley, I think there was.


00:34:30.840 --> 00:34:44.670

Stephen Bittner: Either when, at the moment of annexation there was either the remnants of a carrot Community or just the archaeological remains of one and they were they were.


00:34:45.720 --> 00:34:52.800

Stephen Bittner: had some fairly elaborate irrigation infrastructure that they had constructed, which was impressed, you know.


00:34:53.310 --> 00:35:03.000

Stephen Bittner: I mean the Russians that they you know at the moment of annexation those first couple decades, the Russians were collating and compound and counting and compiling just about everything.


00:35:03.300 --> 00:35:18.060

Stephen Bittner: And so they would create these kind of hierarchies have been a cultural expertise and at the bottom in Crimea, of course, where the top stars and then above the towers, were the Greeks, the carrots the.


00:35:19.170 --> 00:35:21.720

Stephen Bittner: There were some I think jenna wins there as.


00:35:21.720 --> 00:35:27.810

Stephen Bittner: Well, and then, of course, at the top, or the the Russians with their European expertise.


00:35:28.560 --> 00:35:31.140

Stephen Bittner: So I have a little bit on them, but but not.


00:35:31.260 --> 00:35:34.830

Stephen Bittner: Not very much I think kind of more interesting is.


00:35:36.630 --> 00:35:46.710

Stephen Bittner: You know whether any of the wine that these people made was was very good and there was a very prolific wine writer, at the end of the 19th century, who.


00:35:47.220 --> 00:35:53.190

Stephen Bittner: Who kind of suggested in devious ways that some of these people actually really make good wine.


00:35:53.820 --> 00:36:11.250

Stephen Bittner: And what he was doing in a sense, was was playing around with the idea of terroir without actually using that as a conceptual device, and he was saying they know these people have kind of mastered the the difficulty of their specific micro climates over many, many years.


00:36:12.540 --> 00:36:19.140

Stephen Bittner: And they did they produce good wine, despite the fact that they lack any modern modes of production, or even a culture.


00:36:20.220 --> 00:36:25.890

Stephen Bittner: And that was another way that kind of imperial hierarchies were turned on their head in the cultural belt.


00:36:27.570 --> 00:36:28.110

KARL Qualls: Right, thank you.


00:36:29.580 --> 00:36:44.700

Brian J Griffith: Alright, so next we have a question from suki on Kim who writes thanks for the interesting presentation, I would like to know a bit more about some of us in Imperial Russia did they form a distinctive professional group where they mostly foreigners.


00:36:46.290 --> 00:36:54.090

Stephen Bittner: yeah so um you know this is falls into the category of topics that I looked into and.


00:36:55.470 --> 00:37:11.520

Stephen Bittner: enjoy drew mostly a blank on who the Somalis were the ones I came across tended to be foreigners 10 in fact they attended and I every case, I know of, they were French, but there were you know among the Russian aristocracy in the 19th century wine.


00:37:13.230 --> 00:37:20.490

Stephen Bittner: Knowledge about wine with something that it was just expected that you bring into high Polish you know it's like proper French pronunciation.


00:37:21.180 --> 00:37:30.840

Stephen Bittner: Harrison actually writes about this in his memoir about you know experimenting with wine as a young men and so among that kind of very narrow slice.


00:37:31.980 --> 00:37:38.070

Stephen Bittner: At the top of Russian society wine wine knowledge was was was pretty widespread.


00:37:39.600 --> 00:37:46.500

Stephen Bittner: Your allotment and also has written about about this, the elite dining practices in St Petersburg.


00:37:47.700 --> 00:37:50.400

Stephen Bittner: And there are some direct parallels here, I think, with.


00:37:52.350 --> 00:37:59.070

Stephen Bittner: pushkin's yet you have any and yagan you know, and yet again there's a famous scene and and yeah again where.


00:38:00.210 --> 00:38:07.380

Stephen Bittner: where he didn't lenski it's right after they first meet in there lying on the floor in front of the fire.


00:38:08.460 --> 00:38:17.580

Stephen Bittner: In an arrogance ancestral home and in lenski is drinking champagne French champagne.


00:38:18.780 --> 00:38:31.110

Stephen Bittner: In an Egan kind of comments to himself how how this is a simple man's pleasure and then yagan himself prefers the more complex wines of Bordeaux.


00:38:31.590 --> 00:38:54.360

Stephen Bittner: And so you can see how I mean both lenski and an egg in our western Westerners Europeans, you know, in the way that word was understood in 19th century Russia but but Pushkin is using wine to to delineate very precise gradations of social status, and so I need again is the world weary.


00:38:55.470 --> 00:38:56.880

Stephen Bittner: You know pretentious.


00:38:58.140 --> 00:39:10.770

Stephen Bittner: Wine kind of sewer and lenski who has a you know, a degree from a German university is is more primitive in his you know his his wine desires.


00:39:13.320 --> 00:39:20.460

Brian J Griffith: Alright, thanks for that response next we have a question from Matthew Luke Luke a house and i'm pronouncing that last name correct.


00:39:21.480 --> 00:39:25.200

Brian J Griffith: He asks so it's contemporary I broke, my dear Sue any good.


00:39:28.680 --> 00:39:39.300

Stephen Bittner: So you know, often when when I over the years as i've given talks on this as as a work in progress i've i've led wine tastings and so.


00:39:39.720 --> 00:39:47.550

Stephen Bittner: You know i've done this at georgetown and that University of Wisconsin and, most recently right before coven at the University of Illinois.


00:39:48.390 --> 00:40:00.510

Stephen Bittner: And so, the first thing i'm obligated to say is that the central insight in the scholarship on taste from concept to levy Strauss is that taste is subjective.


00:40:01.530 --> 00:40:09.750

Stephen Bittner: Right, and so you know, to some extent that that renders a an answer to the question and possible.


00:40:10.830 --> 00:40:22.950

Stephen Bittner: You know the Russian palate tends to be a little bit sweeter than than the American palate there was certainly the French palette and so on that last slide I showed there's a.


00:40:24.180 --> 00:40:42.690

Stephen Bittner: You know photo of a bottle of eyebrow doors who and it's labeled read semi sweet and what the Russians considered to be semi sweet helps us is would be for our palate very sweet too sweet for for most of us, I think.


00:40:44.220 --> 00:40:51.060

Stephen Bittner: So, so you know if it's good it's good wine designed for people with me for people with different palates.


00:40:52.980 --> 00:40:59.670

Brian J Griffith: All right, very good the next i'm going to kind of bundle the next two questions into one which have to do with.


00:41:00.030 --> 00:41:11.400

Brian J Griffith: source materials so Robert edelman haskins to talk more about his sources and where they were found, and this was echoed by Kelly color who says, I noticed that some of the photographs were from.


00:41:11.910 --> 00:41:19.860

Brian J Griffith: The library of Congress and why PL I imagine this message, and then a diverse source set, and I would also like to hear a bit more about it.


00:41:21.390 --> 00:41:25.380

Stephen Bittner: yeah Okay, so I mean i'll speak first about.


00:41:26.730 --> 00:41:30.270

Stephen Bittner: Well, let me say hi to Kelly Kelly i'm so i'm happy you're here.


00:41:32.250 --> 00:41:35.670

Stephen Bittner: So let me, let me speak first about the work I did over there.


00:41:37.050 --> 00:41:38.400

Stephen Bittner: So I did.


00:41:40.710 --> 00:41:48.600

Stephen Bittner: You know I made my first trip to to rush on this project, I think it was the summer of 2009 and I went to Crimea.


00:41:49.800 --> 00:41:59.640

Stephen Bittner: And, and then you know I found enough there that I thought you know, maybe there was an article in this, you know I wasn't sure how much.


00:42:00.720 --> 00:42:10.230

Stephen Bittner: I was how much time I was going to devote to it, but I just kept every summer and every intercession I would go back and so I ended up doing archival work in Georgia.


00:42:11.400 --> 00:42:16.740

Stephen Bittner: in Tbilisi in in Crimea, and some for opal and Yalta.


00:42:18.270 --> 00:42:24.810

Stephen Bittner: In Odessa, which was a really fruitful excursion I went there several times.


00:42:25.830 --> 00:42:37.470

Stephen Bittner: in Kiev in in Moscow, and so the big thing i've left out there is St Petersburg I I looked there and I just didn't find enough to.


00:42:38.790 --> 00:42:40.080

Stephen Bittner: To merit the time.


00:42:41.490 --> 00:42:58.830

Stephen Bittner: And so that was principally archival work, with one exception in some for opal there's this is, which is the was the kind of capital of Crimea is the capital of Crimea there's this place called museum of tar ride the ride museum.


00:43:00.390 --> 00:43:15.930

Stephen Bittner: And they just had this fantastic old book collection and so a lot of my 19th century work, which is the first three chapters of the book were done in this library and they were very generous with letting me photograph things.


00:43:17.460 --> 00:43:20.400

Stephen Bittner: Now that he kelly's brought up the the stuff from.


00:43:21.810 --> 00:43:25.080

Stephen Bittner: You know the stuff from and why PL and llc.


00:43:26.700 --> 00:43:28.290

Stephen Bittner: I have actually.


00:43:29.700 --> 00:43:34.800

Stephen Bittner: had planned a trip to library of Congress in March of 2020.


00:43:35.970 --> 00:43:44.820

Stephen Bittner: And it literally that the Monday I was going to arrive was the Monday the reading room at LSE closed.


00:43:45.750 --> 00:44:00.480

Stephen Bittner: Because of coven and and so in the purpose of my trip was to gather illustrations and so as it turned out, I was only able to gather illustrations from llc and ny PL that I could find online.


00:44:01.530 --> 00:44:12.960

Stephen Bittner: So you know i'm really generous that that procurement gorski collection has been digitized because I have a couple of illustrations from that my book, and the noi PL.


00:44:14.310 --> 00:44:29.340

Stephen Bittner: yeah I mean I found it less rich then library Congress, but, but I also do a couple of illustrations from that and then a lot of the illustrations in the book are just things that you know photographs that I had taken and photographs of wine labels.


00:44:30.450 --> 00:44:41.940

Stephen Bittner: But, but you know, in so far as the book has a coven weakness, it is the illustrations which is, it was my intention to have more and it's just something I had.


00:44:43.050 --> 00:44:46.770

Stephen Bittner: unwisely saved until the end, and then epidemic gotten away.


00:44:48.300 --> 00:44:57.600

Brian J Griffith: Well, I have a feeling just to make the note of it that that's that's probably a universal experience for people writing monographs the illustrations come probably within weeks.


00:44:58.050 --> 00:45:03.930

Brian J Griffith: of finalizing the manuscript and sending it off to the editor so that I don't think you're you're you're out of the ordinary there.


00:45:05.370 --> 00:45:21.690

Brian J Griffith: Alright, so next we have a question from Lisa jacobson who I should point out, is also working on a history of alcohol, but in 20 century America, and she asks just curious how has wind been incorporated into Russian restaurant culture.


00:45:23.640 --> 00:45:27.900

Stephen Bittner: Even then, I assume that the question is is post Soviet Russia.


00:45:28.950 --> 00:45:43.590

Stephen Bittner: And so, so interestingly here the bar metallica has disappeared and It just seems that you know Burma pharma to could could not withstand.


00:45:45.060 --> 00:45:50.280

Stephen Bittner: The sort of opening of Russia to the outside world and so.


00:45:51.540 --> 00:46:02.310

Stephen Bittner: In so you know Moscow, I mean a lot of my Russian his colleagues will know Moscow now has you know, several of the very best restaurants in the world, and you can spend a lot of money there.


00:46:04.350 --> 00:46:07.470

Stephen Bittner: In and a lot of these restaurants have really highbrow.


00:46:08.610 --> 00:46:14.790

Stephen Bittner: Wine, you know wine collections that they're happy to let you browse.


00:46:16.140 --> 00:46:33.330

Stephen Bittner: But young people, you know, in a world where where young people can pull up the latest Robert Parker reviews of the Bordeaux vintages on their iphones and where they can travel for kind of epicurean weekends to you know to Tuscany.


00:46:34.950 --> 00:46:43.530

Stephen Bittner: Or to France it's just you know bird dog or Burma to could could not survive that and I think that that.


00:46:45.000 --> 00:47:05.160

Stephen Bittner: You know I mean that's is indicative I think of the power of the capitalist civilizing project that you know the the Soviet state used, you know all the tools at its disposal to to create a culture, a fine line in the 1930s and 40s and they failed.


00:47:06.210 --> 00:47:15.990

Stephen Bittner: You know, they could not win Russian or Soviet consumers from these sweetened and strengthen wines and then and now they've disappeared almost entirely.


00:47:17.280 --> 00:47:24.540

Stephen Bittner: And I see Steve Marx is here i'm doing something with with Stephen and a couple weeks, and he was going to purchase some.


00:47:24.810 --> 00:47:35.670

Stephen Bittner: Some wines for the event, and I said oh it'd be great if you could get a bottle of Bourbon to QA, but of course it's impossible to find barma to guy anymore, in fact, that that you know there's it's a slang word it.


00:47:37.230 --> 00:47:41.640

Stephen Bittner: it's just disappeared entirely from from from the universe.


00:47:43.710 --> 00:47:54.510

Brian J Griffith: All right, great before I turn to and steve's question Steve Marx question is the next and and the order before I turn to that question I wanted to just briefly return to.


00:47:55.590 --> 00:48:01.590

Brian J Griffith: The comments were making about sources and locations for research, I know you talked about at least here in the states, you talked about.


00:48:02.130 --> 00:48:12.630

Brian J Griffith: The New York public library in the library of Congress on but myself carrying out a book, like the project on the history of wine and Fascist Italy, I have found uc Davis.


00:48:13.140 --> 00:48:19.680

Brian J Griffith: they're in their viticulture library to actually be really useful they have a lot of Italian sources there that i've.


00:48:20.190 --> 00:48:30.210

Brian J Griffith: borrowed and have been really critical for my research so i'm wondering, have you did they do, they have like a dearth of Russian sources there or have you found anything of abuse.


00:48:30.600 --> 00:48:32.400

Stephen Bittner: Oh well, to the contrary.


00:48:33.600 --> 00:48:47.340

Stephen Bittner: So yeah I was remiss and not mentioning Davis, and you know, the largest specifically collection of wine materials in the western hemisphere, is that university California at Davis.


00:48:47.880 --> 00:49:00.180

Stephen Bittner: And the the wine library in their actual Borg it's just a national treasure, in fact, I have one chapter in the book about a professor at uc Davis.


00:49:00.810 --> 00:49:12.780

Stephen Bittner: Who took several sabbatical trips to to Russia as as scholar, and then as kind of sore and then, as representative of Pepsi Corporation.


00:49:13.260 --> 00:49:19.260

Stephen Bittner: which had opened up a bottling plant in Nova see skin was trying to figure out how to repatriate it's.


00:49:19.860 --> 00:49:37.830

Stephen Bittner: it's ruble denominated profits, and so it actually toyed around with the idea of importing Soviet wine back into the United States, this is actually the way that's the leash and I a vodka comes to America it's through this Pepsi investment there.


00:49:39.210 --> 00:49:52.890

Stephen Bittner: And, and so you know, without question, that facilitated my my my proximity to Davis facilitated this this project I also i'll just point out, you know I also made a trip to Ithaca New York cornell is kind of the.


00:49:53.190 --> 00:50:06.120

Stephen Bittner: The Davis of the East coast, you know i've been the finger lakes wine country, and there was a person who, who I had encountered His name was Constantine fronk who was folk storage.


00:50:06.840 --> 00:50:28.470

Stephen Bittner: and worked in in interwar Georgia as a vintner in was in Odessa during German Romanian occupation and certainly as as a privilege folks though he would have witness atrocity there and and when.


00:50:29.940 --> 00:50:32.550

Stephen Bittner: You know Odessa fell.


00:50:34.350 --> 00:50:46.800

Stephen Bittner: To the Red Army he fled West and he ended up in the American zone in Austria and then he ended up at the cornell agricultural extension station in Geneva New York.


00:50:47.910 --> 00:50:57.270

Stephen Bittner: And he actually carried out an entire set of books that were of interest to me and they're exceedingly rare it's called the in the Deli of what I see.


00:50:58.350 --> 00:51:10.830

Stephen Bittner: And it's a six volume set in as far as I know, UCLA had one copy Harvard University had the entire set at the weed nerd library, but they were checked out.


00:51:12.030 --> 00:51:25.440

Stephen Bittner: And then the New York botanical garden had a set, but they were all bow they were bound six volumes were bound together and they said they wouldn't let me use it, because they were afraid I would crack the binding and so.


00:51:26.430 --> 00:51:33.300

Stephen Bittner: process of elimination meant I traveled to Ithaca New York a couple years ago to take a look at these.


00:51:34.530 --> 00:51:40.260

Brian J Griffith: Well fascinating i'm glad that uc Davis was of abuse to alright.


00:51:40.800 --> 00:51:50.850

Brian J Griffith: So next in line we have Steve Marx, he says, I was wondering and there's kind of two point question here one if there was a market for the wine cellars of X aristocratic estates.


00:51:51.420 --> 00:52:01.140

Brian J Griffith: In the NDP and to can you speak to Jewish kosher wine production and the pale of settlement where did Russian Jews make forget their wines.


00:52:02.010 --> 00:52:04.200

Stephen Bittner: Okay, so so first of all.


00:52:05.220 --> 00:52:14.880

Stephen Bittner: You know the expropriation of wines from private wine cellars yeah for sure that happened in those are some really interesting documents to read.


00:52:16.620 --> 00:52:29.130

Stephen Bittner: You know, I came across those a guy at the Russian state economics archive and, interestingly, a lot of these wine cosmopolitans whom I spoke about at the beginning of my talk.


00:52:29.730 --> 00:52:39.510

Stephen Bittner: They were called in in the 1920s, to conduct a DEMO starts yeah my tasting to assign prices to these wines and.


00:52:40.290 --> 00:52:49.800

Stephen Bittner: I mean i've never seen such a collection of treasures mentioned in one place, I mean there were you know 10s of thousands of bottles of shuttle the feet.


00:52:50.100 --> 00:53:00.810

Stephen Bittner: And whole bry on, and you know just every possible wine treasure, you can imagine, with vintages stretching back to the you know the 1870s in the 1880s.


00:53:01.500 --> 00:53:18.630

Stephen Bittner: And these people had to give them a price for the net marketplace, so I think that suggests a couple of things it suggests, first of all that the you know the Bolsheviks knew that this was an item of value was not an interchangeable commodity.


00:53:20.430 --> 00:53:37.440

Stephen Bittner: And, and it also suggests, interestingly, that there were no great wine bargains to be had in Moscow and Len in Leningrad during nap right because everything was priced appropriately to what kind of sores had determined to be fair.


00:53:39.390 --> 00:53:42.960

Stephen Bittner: So so that's the answer to your first question your second question.


00:53:43.980 --> 00:53:45.570

Stephen Bittner: You know the wine of the shtetl.


00:53:46.710 --> 00:53:57.810

Stephen Bittner: This is even more difficult, I think, to to trace was more difficult for me to trace than the wine or the eucharist in Russia, except that you know most.


00:53:58.980 --> 00:54:04.860

Stephen Bittner: The lands of Poland and Eastern or Western Ukraine Bella Russia.


00:54:07.410 --> 00:54:24.930

Stephen Bittner: You know, these were kind of outside of that kind of place where Islamic civilization migrated after 1237 and so, you know as far as we can tell the first grapes that were planted at is my lipski.


00:54:25.980 --> 00:54:40.710

Stephen Bittner: outside of Moscow in the 17th century actually came from a Ukrainian monastery, and so it seems like though though Venus veneer for a disappeared from what would become Russian civilization, it was present.


00:54:41.400 --> 00:54:48.090

Stephen Bittner: In territories farther to the West these territories, of course, that would become part of the pale of settlement.


00:54:49.290 --> 00:54:57.000

Stephen Bittner: And so I assume that that means that wine was our grapes were not so rare there.


00:54:58.200 --> 00:55:02.880

Stephen Bittner: And, but, but you know, in the archival 19th century archival documents.


00:55:04.290 --> 00:55:11.040

Stephen Bittner: kosher wine is always treated as a separate category entirely I mean there's kosher wine and then there's church wine.


00:55:13.770 --> 00:55:23.460

Brian J Griffith: or green very good next is just a comment here an offer actually from from Carl quality says, I still have a 96 misandry if you want it probably vinegary by now.


00:55:25.380 --> 00:55:29.220

Brian J Griffith: Alright next in line and Steve estes hello to Steve estes.


00:55:30.360 --> 00:55:41.910

Brian J Griffith: The question is to what extent is the deeper multi ethnic story of wine from the imperial Soviet borderlands now being deployed for nationalist purposes by former Soviet republics.


00:55:44.400 --> 00:56:00.990

Stephen Bittner: yeah so you know the answer is it, it is a weapon, and you know, in the lead up to the the war in the Caucuses in 2006 Russia band or 2008 Russia band.


00:56:02.580 --> 00:56:19.350

Stephen Bittner: Georgia and Moldova and wine in the reason was completely contrived it was they said there were pesticides traces of pesticides in the wine nevermind the fact that more most Georgian and Moldova and producers were too poor to afford pesticides.


00:56:20.700 --> 00:56:31.470

Stephen Bittner: But, but those were the Russia was the biggest export marketplace for both Moldova and Georgia, and so it was a way of kind of striking back.


00:56:32.040 --> 00:56:41.550

Stephen Bittner: You know, is came right at a time where Moldova was seeking and association agreement with the European Union and, right after the so called Rose Revolution.


00:56:42.300 --> 00:56:49.860

Stephen Bittner: You know that brought Mikhail Saakashvili to power in Georgia, who was Columbia educated and friendly with all the Republican neo cons.


00:56:51.570 --> 00:57:15.090

Stephen Bittner: And, and then it didn't help when, after the ban was enacted that the Minister of Defense in Georgia, said that oh it doesn't matter we always export it to Russia are worse stuff because the Russians will consume quote even fecal material.


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Stephen Bittner: You know so each side was kind of using wine as a weapon.


00:57:22.710 --> 00:57:32.940

Stephen Bittner: You know, against the other side, but you know the the territory around abroad dorsey you know the indigenous roots of winemaking have been you know deleted.


00:57:34.050 --> 00:57:50.100

Stephen Bittner: that's not part of the the story, and you know I highly encourage you to go to the website and watch this video, and you know there's no mention of the fact that wine has existed for millennia in this part of the world it's something that Russia built.


00:57:51.810 --> 00:58:00.180

Brian J Griffith: are very good, we have time, I believe, just enough time perhaps for the final two questions I know it's it's one till and I want to be timely here.


00:58:00.660 --> 00:58:13.920

Brian J Griffith: But, but we do have two more questions we'll see if we can get through them, the first one comes from randall Clark, he says, please detail the transition period from Soviet collectives to the current privatized wine business.


00:58:15.630 --> 00:58:18.180

Stephen Bittner: yeah so so that's a that's a big.


00:58:20.340 --> 00:58:26.940

Stephen Bittner: that's a big question that would take a you know very long response but well, let me just say that you know the Crown is states.


00:58:28.260 --> 00:58:32.610

Stephen Bittner: In 1918 the Crown estates all become San Jose state farms.


00:58:33.690 --> 00:58:40.320

Stephen Bittner: And then you know, so what happens to the sub Boise in 1991.


00:58:41.640 --> 00:58:47.760

Stephen Bittner: Well, it depends, where you are they have a different faith in in Crimea than.


00:58:48.750 --> 00:58:56.880

Stephen Bittner: than they do in Russia, one of the big problems in Crimea, has been the migration of been a culture away from the southern shore.


00:58:57.180 --> 00:59:11.850

Stephen Bittner: Since 1991, and this is simply a product of the rising real estate values that vineyards are being torn out in luxury mansions are going in and even today my sondra sources, most of its grapes from.


00:59:13.320 --> 00:59:21.990

Stephen Bittner: Bulgaria and Macedonia, so you know that, in the Soviet era advertising slogan was Sandra.


00:59:22.830 --> 00:59:39.030

Stephen Bittner: bottle Crimea and sunshine, but that's not true anymore, because those are for the most part, not Crimea and grapes anymore, and if they are coming from Crimea they're coming from the less prestigious step vineyards north of north of sinful robo.


00:59:40.170 --> 00:59:52.290

Stephen Bittner: You know the the Crimean topography is such that there's this mountain range right along the southern shore that kind of drops really precipitously and dramatically into the ocean and it's in those valleys.


00:59:53.070 --> 00:59:56.970

Stephen Bittner: Where you know you get these very small micro climates.


00:59:57.510 --> 01:00:15.060

Stephen Bittner: But if you go north of that just 20 miles to the north you're you're out on the open step, and you have that continental climate which makes it into a culture much more much more difficult, so, so the future of Crimean culture is at this moment very, very uncertain.


01:00:17.040 --> 01:00:33.870

Brian J Griffith: Right, I think we have time perhaps for for a short response to I think a question that could probably be responded to shortly, the question is from a Jared bateman and it is was under ground was an underground market created from Moldova and wine when Russia bandit and 2013.


01:00:35.340 --> 01:00:47.370

Stephen Bittner: yeah so I write a little about this just in the conclusion so there was a I mean the there was some sort of criminal conspiracy that.


01:00:47.790 --> 01:01:00.990

Stephen Bittner: For a couple of weeks, was the outrage of the moment and in Russia were in an Orthodox monastery and was it a Korean border was continued to import.


01:01:01.860 --> 01:01:12.360

Stephen Bittner: wine from Moldova in the wine, they were importing was cold water it's what the Russians call it its core, is what we would call it the wine in the style of a cohort.


01:01:13.440 --> 01:01:21.360

Stephen Bittner: And in the wine was being brought in into Russia in the personal car of the hagerman of the monastery.


01:01:22.350 --> 01:01:43.230

Stephen Bittner: And you know and so like very high up church officials were involved in this scheme and then Moldova was using was exporting wine to Cyprus and then from Cyprus importing the wine into Russia and so even Moldova found a way around the.


01:01:44.370 --> 01:01:51.510

Stephen Bittner: You know around this band, but you know both Moldova and Georgia have have sought, you know Western.


01:01:52.350 --> 01:02:06.840

Stephen Bittner: markets for its wines there's restaurants in San Francisco now nice restaurants, where you can find wine from pheasants tears, which is kind of the highest of the highbrow Georgian producers and they make wine in the traditional Georgian way and then for I.


01:02:08.040 --> 01:02:20.460

Stephen Bittner: In in there was even a moment was probably 10 or 15 years ago where it was rumored that Saakashvili was going to come to sonoma state and speak at our wine business program and, for some reason that never materialized.


01:02:23.280 --> 01:02:31.230

Brian J Griffith: All right, it is three after, so I think we've we've ran through the time that we've allotted I want to in closing and conclusion.


01:02:32.400 --> 01:02:44.250

Brian J Griffith: bank Dr Brittany first time coming here today, sharing your research with us and engaging with us in this Q amp a but In closing, I want to acknowledge Dr beginners.


01:02:45.720 --> 01:02:54.300

Brian J Griffith: You know role within my own research program so as I was leaving sonoma state graduated with my bachelor's Moving on to my master's Program.


01:02:54.900 --> 01:03:00.960

Brian J Griffith: I heard from Steve that he was beginning this research project and yeah even at the title of the time white and red stuck with me.


01:03:01.380 --> 01:03:09.270

Brian J Griffith: Because I was such a fascinating topic and I also left with an interest in totalitarianism, I kind of knew that I didn't want to learn certainly again.


01:03:09.720 --> 01:03:20.160

Brian J Griffith: and go in towards the Soviet industry but but I, you know, I was interested in totalitarianism, I was interested in having lived in sonoma county along with you in wine.


01:03:21.000 --> 01:03:27.120

Brian J Griffith: And it was it was the combination of these things that I took from my time at Steve but snowballed into my dissertation project and now.


01:03:27.660 --> 01:03:42.480

Brian J Griffith: My my first book project which is on winemaking and Fascist Italy so it's truly been a pleasure to be able to host the the apex of this project, but the publication and the promotion of it in this virtual book talk so I thank you for your time and for your influence over the years.


01:03:42.990 --> 01:03:47.280

Stephen Bittner: Thanks Brian that's kind of when your book comes out i'll return the favor.


01:03:47.550 --> 01:03:48.990

Brian J Griffith: And we'll do it in person.


01:03:49.560 --> 01:03:53.820

Brian J Griffith: that's good it'll be a deal all right, thank you to you and thank you to everyone who attended.


01:03:54.780 --> 01:03:56.190

Stephen Bittner: By thanks everyone.


01:03:56.220 --> 01:03:57.030

KARL Qualls: Thanks Stephen well done.