- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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Wc came at last to the great estates, where there
were extensive vineyards, besides maize-fields, and,
so far as I understood, some cotton-fields. The
ground looked to be rich, and in places there was a
wealth of vegetation threatening to overgrow all the
cultivated land. Especially on the great estate that
had belonged to Prince Vorontsov-Dashkov there
were valuable vineyards. Wc came to the buildings,
which had suffered greatly during the Revolution.
The mansion itself had been wholly destroyed, and
the rest of the buildings were also partly in ruins.
It was, indeed, the general case that the peasants
drove away or killed the owners of estates and
destroyed the mansions. Wc saw the great cellars
where the famous wine from this estate was formerly
kept; they had partly been destroyed, but were
now repaired, and soon the more valuable wine
can be laid down in them again.
The estate gave the impression of being a very
valuable one with a good soil ; and for anyone who
knew how to carry it on rationally there were
undoubtedly great possibilities there. But now it
was partly ruined, and its management evidently
suffered from the need of capital to bring it back
to its former prosperity. The government, therefore,
is very ready to let out the estate under a concession.
If the tracts wrhich are now sour were properly
drained again, and the irrigation regulated and
brought under control, much would already have
been done. Malaria was now rife here, and over
half the people were said to suffer seriously from it ;
it hampers their powers ofwork and their enterprise.

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