Volume 72: Macarthur family correspondence relating to wine, 1846-1900: No. 103
to accompany Mr. Guestier to see the grape gathering & wine making at his nearest estate. I have got a saccharometer with me. The vine disease has not been so bad this year as last year, and they expect from a ¼ to ½ a crop. The quality they say will be excellent. I shall write an account of what I see & learn & you will please to keep this letter to have a sort of memo. to me ere after. I saw a score of things today I want to enquire about. Poor old M. Guestier is so deaf I sometimes could not make him understand what I wanted to get at. He seems to have no reserve and to be anxious that I should learn everything. I hope my coming here may really become of use. I will try to come again to know more about [cultivation ?] details and system. I want now to thoroughly understand their management of the frost processes, and must study the others only when I cannot see the vintage going on. You must understand that in the town there is only the wine which is at least 4 months old, until the mid winter it remains where it was grown. Where the frost has fined it down, it is removed into town on its gross or first [indecipherable] i.e., the red wine. I must ask about the white.
Beautiful bright morg., just going to Breakfast (11 P.M.). I have not spent this day to so much profit as I hoped. I went to the Messrs Barton & Guestiers at noon according to appointment, found them all busy so that after waiting a long time M. Guestier Senr. found he could not leave town until late. There was no help but to wait. He called for me here at ½ past 4 and took me in his carriage to Floirac where is his residence, about a [indecipherable] from town higher up the River and on the north or opposite bank. Shortly after crossing it by the magnificent Bridge we began to skirt a tract of country famous under the name of "Palus" i.e. we travelled up the right bank of the River until opposite the entrance gate to M. Guestiers property, the road being conducted along a causeway or dike, seeping on to the waters of the [Guestiers?] at high tides from the rich alluvial tract recovered from it