History of the development of viticulture and winemaking in Uzbekistan
The history of viticulture in Uzbekistan goes back to the distant past and has many centuries of root. Central Asia is an amazing land, one of the most ancient and brilliant centers of viticulture and winemaking culture.
High cultural background and prosperity of artificially irrigated agriculture, including viticulture, were based in Central Asia on the experience of the oldest state formations - Bactria, Khorezm and Sogdiana, founded in the heyday of Persian civilization.
In the ancient parchments of the sacred book of Zoroastrianism - "Avesta", special importance is attached to the multiplication of good material existence (from livestock breeding, irrigated agriculture, viticulture - to large business).
Wine-making was considered a noble business, and, of course, wine consumption was not forbidden - it was treated as an indispensable ritual in all solemn occasions, and wine was widely used not only in the rites of the then prevailing Zoroastrian religion.
After the famous campaigns of the mighty Alexander the Great in 327-329 B.C. in Persia (Iran), and the conquest of Central Asia, the religious and moral-ethnic concepts of the Greco-Bactrian culture developed quite favorably there. This led to a new surge of local viticulture and winemaking - due to the great importance that wine had had in everyday life and festivals of the ancient Greeks.
In the 2nd century B.C., the Chinese envoy, who visited many parts of Central Asia, confirms that in Fergana and all countries located to the west of it, the local population makes wine from grapes: "They love their wine just as their horses like Alfalfa. " Residents skillfully and in large spaces plant grapes (the rich - in large quantities), and withstand it without damage for several decades.
The prosperity of local winemaking is evidenced by archaeological finds: name plates - tarapan, large wine storages - khumkhona, many large and small jugs with long plums, ceramic jars with decorated sides - Mustakhar, adapted for transportation of wine by pack transport, as well as sacred texts and ancient works.
Geopaeontological and archeological studies of recent years show that grapes in Central Asia were introduced into culture about 6 thousand years ago, and that already at that time there was a sufficiently high technique of winemaking.
A medieval traveler, the Venetian nobleman Marco Polo, who passed through all of Central Asia, wrote in his diary:
"Samarkand, Bukhara and other magnificent cities are places, decorated with gardens and vineyards. I had to drink wine from the local population. This fault was more than a dozen years old, and it amazed with its excellent quality. I have never had such a drink before. "
The origins of modern winemaking
Until the end of the 7th century, viticulture and winemaking in Central Asia flourished. However, the conquest by Arabs in the 7th-8th centuries brought significant changes to the local religion. Under the influence of Islam, winemaking in Central Asia fell into decay.
Subsequently, the Arab dominance in the province was expressed in the distribution of table and kishmish-raisin grapes (instead of wine), and in production, in large quantities, high-sugar dried grapes, bekmes (condensed grape juice) and grape vinegar. Wine-making existed in some places only underground, and consisted in the production of musallas.
The Mongol conquest of Central Asia (the beginning of 8th century) was accompanied by the devastating devastation of the conquered lands. According to historians, many prosperous oases "the Mongols with merciless energy doomed to the peace of the cemeteries." With the fall of the Golden Horde in the main regions of Central Asia, irrigated agriculture and viticulture have been restored, although they have not reached their former blooming state.
The richness and diversity of the nature of the region, the abundance of the sun (the sum of active temperatures of 4000-5000°C), the availability of an excellent assortment of grapes and its generous yields on irrigated lands - all this provided a unique opportunity to cultivate a wide range of sunny berries. High-quality production concerned both grapes in fresh and dried form, and the development of all kinds of wines and grape drinks.
With great zeal in the wine and wine industry, large Russian industrialists and specialists began to work in Turkestan. Gradually, commercial entrepreneurship embraced the local population. Thus, new people came to this business, as well as the capital of individuals and banks of Russia. Thus, in the middle of the 19th century, the industrial base of winemaking in Uzbekistan was laid.
In 1867 the merchant of the first guild I.I.Pervushin in Tashkent built a distillery. Subsequently, he began to combine alcoholism with winemaking, and achieved great success in the production of grape wines. Pervushin's wines were supplied not only to domestic but also to the all-Russian market.
In 1868 a well-known commercial entrepreneur D.L. Filatov founded a large winery enterprise in Samarkand for that time. Following the emergence of large wineries, the number of small wineries in the Turkestan region is rapidly growing. So, in 1908 there were 23 of them, and by 1913 there were already 27.
From 1888 five distilleries, or cognac plants, have started working. It should be noted that cognac production, as well as winemaking, at a higher level of technology and better imported equipment, was delivered in Samarkand by D.L. Filatova. Judging by the examinations, at the prestigious exhibitions already at that time among wines of Pervushin and Filatov there were wines of very high quality.
The descriptions of local, original and ancient grape varieties, left in the inheritance from ancient, endless folk selection - Husaine, Bishta, Baktiori, Bouakie, Soyaki, etc., are interesting and laconic.
In the second half of the 19th century, with the accession of Central Asia to Russia, along with the revival of winemaking, the import of grapes of European varieties and varieties of Caucasian origin gradually began to Uzbekistan.
A significant impact on the development of viticulture, gardening, the study of Turkestan wines and the development of measures to combat falsification was provided by the Turkestan Agricultural Society, established in 1895. The chairman of this society was R.R. Schroeder, whose role in the development of Turkestan gardening and viticulture on an industrial basis was exceptionally high.
The imperialist and later, civil wars had a detrimental effect on the state of viticulture and winemaking. The area of the vineyards was reduced by about 1/3, the yield of grapes from ordinary in Turkestan 400 pounds per 0.1 hectare was reduced to 160 pounds.
In 1904 a school of gardening, viticulture and winemaking was opened in the city of Samarkand, which served the entire Turkestan region.
The prohibition since August 1914 of the sale of wine has finally undermined the economy of wineries - and, at the same time, the farms that supplied grapes for processing.
In 1924, the Republic of Uzbekistan was formed in the former USSR. From this time, a noticeable development of viticulture and revitalization of wine production begins. No matter how difficult it was for Uzbekistan, it was able to allocate funds for the revival and improvement of the wine and wine industry.
A number of fruit and vine farms were organized in which the best canteens and wine grape varieties were used for new plantings. Agronomical service and protection of plantings from pests and diseases were also established. There began an improvement in the organization of processing of grapes and increase in the capacity of wine stores. Based on them in the following years, independent wineries were organized in Bukhara, Denau, Shahrizab, Yangiyul, Kitab, and others.
The greatest creative growth in the revival of modern winemaking was caused by the arrival in 1927 of a world famous wine scientist, Professor M.A. Khovrenko.
Under the supervision of the chief specialist of the Uzbekvino Trust (Uzbek Wine Administration), M. A. Khovrenko, his followers and co-authors of many famous brands of wine, such as V.I. Kryukov, L.I. Tumanyants, A.A. Abdullaev, N.S. Sabirov, E.S. Burtsev, K.K. Mukumbayev, I. S. Katz, S.V. Motalev, S.Kh. Khaidarov, E.M. Bueverova, A.I. Volodina, A. G. Olkhovsky, Т.S. Saliev, H.S. Yusupov, A.N. Kornoukhov, V.K. Gljantseva and others.
M.A. Khovrenko and his winery school developed a number of technological schemes for such fine wines as the refreshing "Hosilot"- in the heat, "Shirin"- golden in the light, the famous vintage wine "Uzbekistan", the fragrant "Gulya-Candosa", the chocolate tones "Cabernet Liqueur" and many others.
The success of creating vintage wines is, first of all, the result of a happy merger of the three main "components". The first is the art of the winemaker, the second is the originality of the soil and the climate of the area, and finally, the third is the successful selection of varieties of grapes.
Based on creative research M.A. Khovrenko and experimental works of scientists of the former Central Asian branch of the head center of branch science - the "Magarach" Institute, the non-governmental organization of gardening and winemaking named after Schroeder, the most suitable for grape and wine soils and unique microclimate were determined in areas that were considered to be slightly unfavorable.
Long-term and hard work enabled to prepare detailed plans for the sorting of viticulture in Uzbekistan. In accordance with these scrupulous searches for the expansion of wine growing areas, a specialization was developed for the production of dessert and semi-sweet wines, as well as wine materials for branded brandies.
Technological study of the assortment of grapes in connection with the terrain and, accordingly, climatic changes made it possible to compose a wine ensemble for obtaining excellent table and sparkling wines in the foothill and mountain regions of the Chatkal range, in the northwest of the Tashkent region. In this region, rightly called "Uzbek Champagne", micro districts have been identified which, in their natural conditions, can have a particularly favorable effect on the quality of the wines obtained with regard to the fineness of their bouquet, the freshness and harmony of taste.
In addition, technological study of grape varieties has shown that in Uzbekistan, in comparison with other vine-growing regions, it is more possible to produce different types of wines, depending on the time of harvesting, in the same conditions from the same variety.
For example, in the Tashkent oasis from the Rkatsiteli variety, you can get dining and quite full wines at an early collection, and with an average term - strong, so-called yellow wines with thin tones of salted walnut. From this same variety, at a late collection, magnificent dessert wines with shades of dried grape and Chardjou melon are made.
A new technical revolution in the wine-making industry of the republic began in 1956. From this period, visible features of agrarian-industrial integration began to appear. The main producers - large farms and factories combine to produce grapes and turn it into wine. In winemaking, low-capacity units are replaced with highly efficient technological equipment.
For many years, winemaking in Uzbekistan evolved and improved. In 1980, Uzbekistan produced 13.6 million decalitres of grape wine. At the time of the USSR, 58% of all grape plantings in the Central Asian region were concentrated in Uzbekistan, and 85% of the total amount of kishmish and raisins produced in the country was produced.
However, the deplorable campaign against alcoholism, declared during the times of the Soviet Union, caused great and irreparable damage to this industry. But, despite all the negative factors, the industry has survived, remained afloat and is developing to the present.
Today Uzbekistan is the main producer of grapes and products of its processing in Central Asia. Favorable for this industry climatic conditions allow you to grow here many varieties, suitable for obtaining high-quality varieties of raisins, raisins and table directions. They have the ease of winter storage and good transportability for shipment for long distances, as well as raw materials for the production of different types of wines, juices, concentrates, cognac and champagne.