Prince Trubetskoy


    “Not even all experts know that native wine industry owes its development not only to prince Golitsyn, but also to representative of other princely family Peter Trubetskoy (1858-1911). He owned two estates near Moscow – Uzkoe and Bolshoe Golubinoye, and worked as trustee of Zemstvo primary specialized schools in Konkovo village. All these settlements have long been a part of South-Western district of the capital. Their names have been passed on to the nearby new housing estates. Peter Trubetskoy was a typical Russian landlord, who loved to eat and lead a joyful life, valued thoroughbred horses and fine women, which eventually happened to be fatal for him.

    Mother of Peter Trubetskoy, Lyubov, born countess Orlova-Denisova (1828-1860), died, when he was still a boy. Thus, prince was brought up by her sister – Countess Sofia Tolstaya (1817-1885). It is from her that Uzkoe passed to Trubetskoy in 1883. It was bought by prince, but it was not more than a formality, taking into account the price, indicated in documents: only 3500 rubles.

    On October 1, 1884, Peter Trubetskoy married princess Alexandra Obolenskaya (1861-1939) – beautiful and imperious girl. A few years later prince had to rebuild the ramshackle lordly house in Uzkoe for the needs of young family”.

    In the times, when estates ran wild, prince Trubetskoy was absolutely sure, that if nobility is destined to survive as a class, it should have an example of responsible and diligent attitude to land. When he received from his grandfather Orlov-Denisov “Kazatskoe” estate, located in 70 km north-east from Kherson, he expanded it to area of 67 000 acres. Over time it has turned into an exemplary winery.

    The first vineyards were planted in 1896. By 1910 they covered about 550 acres with high-quality varieties of grapes like Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon, Cabernet and Riesling.

Winery of prince Trubetskoy produced 14 kinds of dry table wines.

    Grape processing was carried out in Kazatskoe, where a winery and huge cellar for wine storage, equipped with the latest technology of the time, have been built. In 1900 wines, produced by Trubetskoy, were awarded Grand-prix on the International exhibition in Paris, and in 1902 received domestic award for the best Russian grape wine. Later Trubetskoy was engaged in producing light dessert wines. In July, 1910, three varieties have been put on the market: dessert Claret, wine of French Chateau d’Yquem sort and Riesling. In 1910 Trubetskoy winery was awarded gold medal on Odessa factory-and-works, artistic, industrial and agricultural exhibition for white table wine, made of Moselle sort Riesling.

    Peter Trubetskoy started service in the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and over the years has constantly held high public office, first as Moscow district (in 1887-1889), and then provincial (up to 1906) marshal of the nobility. During the first Russian revolution, the prince became one of the founders of the Union of Russian people – almost the only Black Hundred organization in Russia. After meeting of provincial marshals on June 12-16, 1905, which adopted a resolution on the need of rapid creation of national representation system, it became obvious that Trubetskoy will not be re-elected for another term. Prince understood it and decided to leave the post of marshal. The ground was his election in 1906 to the Council of State from noble societies, which forced him to spend more time in Saint Petersburgh, rather than Moscow.

    In the State Council Trubetskoy headed the land commission, which was familiar and close to him. At one time he was the chairman of the centrist-minded deputies, which was seen as a well-known liberalism. Only persons, appointed to the upper chamber of the Russian parliament personally by Nicholas II rather than by election, became chairmen of groups and parties.

    Peter Trubetskoy suddenly died on October 4, 1911. He was killed by one of his own nephews Vladimir Kristi. The tragedy happened in Novocherkassk, where families of Trubetskoy and Kristi met together. It was the day of solemn ceremony of transferring the ashes of Don military leaders (including their ancestor, the hero of the Patriotic war in 1812, the Cossack Ataman count Orlov-Denisov), to the burial-vault of the just built army cathedral. Thanks to the relationship this branch of Trubetskoy family has traditionally been included to the Cossacks. Peter Trubetskoy owned a share in Pyatiizbanskaya Cossack village in the second Don district. In 1883 the regular meeting of the nobility of Don Cossacks elected him as an honorary trustee of Nizhnechirskaya male gymnasia. The younger brother of Vladimir Kristi, Viktor, student at St. Petersburgh University and eighteen-year-old sister Sofia were supposed to be registered at the Cossacks. Therefore, they brought rich gifts, traditionally required of people, admitted to the Cossacks. After a boring mourning ceremony Trubetskoy decided to have some fun. Together with the wife of his nephew, beautiful blonde Mariya Kristi, born Mikhalkova (1883-1966) – great-grandaunt of the famous film directors Nikita Mikhalkov and Andron Mikhalkov-Konchalovskiy – he left for a car drive. The couple arrived at the railway station and made themselves comfortable in the personal car of the prince. The conductor was sent for coffee and cognac. Just before he returned, the furious husband rushed into the car. He has been looking for his wife for a long time and, without a single word, took out a browning. A number of beautiful estates lost their owner in a blink. Lady tried to help the victim, but it was too late. Trubetskoy died in her arms in few seconds after the shot. He hasn’t lived till his fifty-third anniversary, noisy celebration of which was planned on the next day. “My crazy husband killed the prince!” – said the blonde to the conductor, who rushed into the car.

    “We have lost not only an outstanding figure of state, society, agriculture, in particular winemaking, but also a charming man, with kind and sympathetic soul, friendly to everyone, always helping others!” – as Trubetskoy was described on the meeting of the Winemaking Committee of the Imperial society of agriculture in southern Russia by the member of Committee Bertenson (prince was the head of the Committee).

    The tragedy in Novocherkassk has caused a wide public resonance. Figures of that rang and high positions as Peter Trubetskoy, as a rule, do not often die because of affairs with other men’s wives. The story looked particularly homely in the light of family relations. In order to prevent unwanted disclosure of details, his widow princess Alexandra petitioned the Emperor to terminate the initiated investigation. Nicholas II listened to her request and used his old autocratic right of expulsion guilty nobles to their estates with prohibition to leave.

    It may seem that it was a light penalty as for a murderer, but it is not exactly true. The thing is that trial by jury was already used in Russia, and in cases like this they usually justified the actions of husband in the clear evidence of his wife’s infidelity. And princess Trubetskaya didn’t want to bring the case to court.

    Trubetskoy’s widow Alexandra inherited his estates. However, farming was carried out under the supervision of their eldest son, cornet of Life Guards Cossack regiment Vladimir Trubetskoy (1885-1954), who had to resign. The spouse, involved in the story, divorced in the result of the tragedy. Mariya Mikhalkova returned to her maiden name and in 1913 married for the second time. Her new darling was another nephew of Trubetskoy – Moscow district marshal of the nobility Peter Glebov (1879-1922), member of the city Central Committee of “Octobrists” party. In 1915 they gave birth to their son Peter, future People’s Artist. He became famous after his role of Grigoriy Melekhov in “Tikhiy Don” movie.

    In 1917 Vladimir Kristi, as a person, who had strongly suffered from the Tsarist regime, was appointed a Commissioner of the Provisional government of Bessarabia, and after the parliament was formed occupied position of “interior affairs director” in the local government. In 1917 Trubetskoy family visited Uzkoe for the last time. After the October battles in Moscow they left for resort Essentuki in the low season right from the estate. Later the family emigrated.

    In 2006 great grandson of Peter Trubetskoy, Peter Bryun de Saint Ippolit, visited the winery. He brought a copy of Peter Trubetskoy’s son, Vladimir Trubetskoy, book “History of one farm”, from which we know all the details of formation and development of the only historical chateau in the country. He wrote:

    “My father loved the open steppe, air, fertility of these steppes, completely surrendering himself to the grace of nature, the charm of the southern sun, strength, softness and resplendence of the South. His unchanged assistant and friend was the son of the old manager – Adolf Shmidt, and together they pondered and settled large Kozatskoye farm… Buildings have mushroomed out. I will never forget how they built the winery and cellars – a huge room stored 180’000 buckets of wine”.

    “Under the influence of famous winemaker prince Lev Golitsyn my father ran away with the idea. They hired a boat and studied the Dnipro River for a long time, called in all the coastal landowners, and finally decided to plant a large vineyard in Kozatskoye. Golitsyn examined the soil, the approximate amount of precipitation and, taking into account the favorable slope of Dnipro, persuaded my father to plant 550 acres of exclusively first class table wines Riesling and Cabernet at once”.

    According to the article of Mikhail Korobko “The Star and Death of Peter Trubetskoy”, 13.02.1999, Moskovskaya pravda TRUEBASE.RU Media data base, as well as archival materials.