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Smith, Jeremy :

Learning from the French: The Modernisation of Soviet Winemaking, 1955-1961

The paper examines international contacts between Soviet and French winemakers in the context of Nikita Khrushchev’s relaxation of restrictions on scientific exchange and drive to modernise industry and agriculture. The mechanisation of winemaking became a priority for the regime, and French methods and technologies provided valuable lessons for the Soviet Union. The focus is on the Republic of Georgia, which sent delegations of winemakers to France in 1958, 1960 and 1961, and hosted the X International Congress of Winemakers in 1961. The paper shows that in winemaking, Soviet specialists shared Khrushchev’s enthusiasm for adapting foreign technology in order to improve quality, but these gains may have been lost in the pursuit of quantity.

Friday 30 Oct 16.15-18.15 SESSION 6
Panel: Transferring Technology