Transcription

[Page 48]

dryness of the atmosphere, so unfavorable to the growth of Crypto gamus plants, the Oidium tho it appeared everywhere, has done Spain no harm in the only wine growing country which has escaped this curse.  They told me that along side the road ways, where an enormous amount of Calcareous dust is raised in the summer, the disease always disappears.  I mentioned this to Geustin, & he told me that they had tried the effect of sprinkling with lime & found no good result.  Sulphur alone enables them to save their grapes.  [indecipherable] this wretched disease, as it has appeared at the Cape, I see no reason why you should expect to remain exempt in N.S.Wales though recurrence of years of drought might perhaps save you.  Geustin tells me that his house have lost by it from first to last £150,000!  Nothing can be more slovenly I am told than the way in which the wine is made in Spain[?] & I earnestly believe this from what I see of their filthy habits generally & yet one man gets some wine.  Throughout Catalonia & Valencia the wine is all like what used to be called Blackstrap.  There was more or less [indecipherable] in proportion to the time it has been kept in the keg there or has become imburst with that peculiar [indecipherable] flavor so remarkable in Manzanilla resembling Chamomile.  This is so [indecipherable] in some places that I suspect that they found their wine for bundles of the odoriferous [indecipherable], which along the East coast of Spain form the sole undergrowth.  It may however be a natural result of the soil.  I do not dislike it in Manzanilla, but I never got reconciled to it in the strong red wines of Catalonia.  Malaga[?] wine is an abomination, tasting exactly like sherry and treacle mixed, and tho they denied it, I am satisfied that sugar is added.  I tasted some 100 years old that was really good and I could have managed a second glass of the 50 year old wine, but the younger growths I thought positively disagreeable.  There is no Frontignac flavor in it at all.  It is made like other sweet wines of nearly dried grapes, the fermentation being suspended by Brandy.  Leaving the coast you get a far better class of wines about Seville.  They [indecipherable] a white wine very like your best Reisling & [indecipherable] tho it smacks too much of the pigskin.  You will for the first time the best wine Spain produces, the Valdepenas.  This oaken one gets it unpolluted by the tannin & [indecipherable] mallow of the skins is a glorious wine, I think the best wine I have ever tasted.  I do not know how to describe it, it is [indecipherable].  It is something like Burgundy, only its flavor is more subdued.  Its great characteristic is the absence

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