Volume 72: Macarthur family correspondence relating to wine, 1846-1900: No. 120

You are here


[Page 120]

of Hhds. reputed to be fitted.  No. 1 for instance gets a tub full, then No. 2 & so on until every one has its tub, then "da capo".  I am not quite sure that they do not distribute the whole crop this way.  M. Bonchereau informed me that he made much better wine by mixing the produce of the stiff calcereous soil & the light siliceous pebbly land together, than he could do with either alone.  The fermentation of the white wine I did not see but it must be very gentle.  Only what runs from the treading trough is made into marketable wine, the rest which is extracted from under the screw goes into the wine for the working people.  I believe the effect of the state in which they prefer to have the white grapes is not to make them richer in sugar, so much as to deprive the ferment of its energy and abate the fermentation.  In after treatment the white wines are racked off 4 times the 1st year, and twice every year after more fined until about to be bottled, but filled up every 8 days! as long as they remain in the crate they endeavour to leave them sensibly sweet at the end of the 1st fermentation and to preserve a portion of that sugar undecomposed when they are bottled.  Hence the system of repeated racking into sulphured Hhds. and the care with which they are kept constantly full.  The bungs are never driven in very tight, and they have an ingenious mode of filling up the lower tiers of Hhds, these being stowed one upon another 4 deep on high.  Monsr. Bonchereau has specimens of more than 1000 varieties of the wine under [indecipherable] local names, and is in this respect one of the best authorities in France.  I had no difficulty in recognising the Caebenet

This page has its status set to Completed and is no longer transcribable.