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Full text of "Observations on the character and culture of the European vine, during a residence of five years in the vine growing district of France, Italy and Switzerland"

Book > 1 f)3_ 



OBSERVATIONS 
ON THE CHARACTER AND CULTURE OF THE 

EUROPEAN VINE, 

BURING A RESIDENCE OF FIVE YEARS IN THE VINE GROWING 
DISTRICTS OF 

FRANCE, ITALY AND SWITZERLAND, 
BY S. I. FISHER. 



TO WHICH IS ADDED, THE 

MANUAL OF THE SWISS VIGNERON, 

As adopted and recommended by the Agricultural Socie- 
ties of Geneva and Berne. 

BY MONS. BRUN CHAPPUIS. 
AND 

THE ART OF WINE MAKING, 

BY MONS. BULOS, 
Member of the Institute of France. 

TRANSLATED PROM THE FRENCH. 



y 

PHILADELPHIA: 
KEY AND BIDDLE — MINOR STREET. 

18 3 4. 



.F53 



Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1834, 
by Key & Biddle, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of 
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 



PREFACE. 



In submitting to the agricultural communi- 
ty the following pages, I am incited by a deep 
conviction of the importance of the subject. Hav- 
ing long entertained a predilection for the Vine, I 
have been naturally led to an investigation of the 
habits of the plant, and an observation of the dif- 
ferent methods of vine dressing in those coun- 
tries where fortune has thrown me. 

During a residence of five years in the vine 
districts of France, Switzerland, and Italy, I had 
the most favourable opportunities — ^particularly 
in Switzerland — to study the theory, and observe 
the practice of their cultivation and wine making; 
to inquire of intelligent proprietors the results of 
their operations and investments; to mix with the 
vine dressers in the several divisions of labour; 
and to compare with the agriculture of our coun- 
try the expenses and returns of the land holder 
and farmer, under their peculiar circumstances 
and different cultivation. The result is, a deci- 
ded conviction of the profits of vine growing, and 
a settled belief, that by adopting the system oi 
Swiss cultivation, we shall in time succeed in 
the difficult task of acclimating to our country, 
the foreign vine. There is perhaps no vine 
country of Europe — certainly none which I have 
seen — where the cultivation of the Grape has attain- 
ed so great a perfection, and where the results ol 
the vintage are so mediocre; where the vine- 



IV PREFACE. 

yard blooms in vernal luxuriancy, the summer 
cheers with flattering hopes, and a treacherous 
autumn so illy redeems the deceptive promises of 
the seasons. 

-^ With few exceptions, I consider the wines of 
Switzerland to be the most inferior productions 
of the European Vine; and it is due to the skill 
and perseverance of the Swiss proprietor, and to 
the unwearied industry of the vigneron of the 
Cantons, that the sterile hills of their romantic 
country have attained their present value, and a 
culture formerly unknown, arrived at such per- 
fection as to support the dense population with 
which the. country teems. 

Switzerland has but little commerce, and pro- 
duces nothing to exchange for foreign luxuries. 
The government of the Cantons, aware of the deep 
stake at issue, and sensible of the importance of 
extending to this cultivation a fostering protec- 
tion, has given to the members of it every possi- 
ble facility at their command. Patriotic and 
public spirited individuals have associated in agri- 
cultural societies, inviting to their membership 
such practical vine-dressers, as can promote 
the objects of the cultivation, and improve by 
their writings, their experience, and their coun- 
sel, the system of Swiss vine-dressing; awarding 
to such as require it, pecuniary aid, and to others 
of more propitious circumstances, honorary testi- 
monials, where skill and experiment have thrown 
new light on the subject, and improved the condi- 
tion of the Swiss vine-dresser. 

The Canton of Geneva has done much for the 
cultivation, by encouraging such societies, and 



PREFACE. V 

eliciting important information from practical 
vine growers. Among the best of these may be 
cited the little Manual of Mr. Brun Chappuis, 
adopted and recommended by the Agricultural 
Society of Geneva, and that of Mr. Reymondin. 
The first of these is a treasure to the vine grower. 
'Tis a breviary of practical instructions on the 
duties of the vineyard, and contains such plain 
and concise directions, as can scarcely fail, if pro- 
perly attended to, of resulting in the establishment 
of a successful vineyard. 

This little pamphlet — now > out of print — was 
difficult of access,; but through the influence of 
my friend Mr. Charles do Bonstetten, of Geneva 
and Valeyres, I procured it — and having transla- 
ted, have annexed it to this work. One chap- 
ter of Mr. Reymondin I have also translated, that 
the agriculturalist may compare in part the sys- 
tem of each. Though containing a fund of prac- 
tical instruction, his work is encumbered with 
much irrelevant matter. In giving the chapter 
here annexed, I have husked the chestnut, retain- 
ing the kernel, and rejecting the useless burr. 

Wine making is better understood in France 
than in Switzerland. Many valuable works have 
been written on the subject by the French masters. 
The treatise of Chaptal is pre-eminent, and such 
as was to be expected from the pen of that distin- 
guished chemist. It is however too elaborate for 
our purpose, and fit only for the advanced state 
of wine making. 

The little work of Mr. Bulos is an epitome, pre- 
sentins: a condensed view of practical wine mak- 
ing, and is of the same character with the Man- 



VI PREFACE. 

ual of Brun Chappuis. I have translated it care- 
fully and annexed it also to this volume. Both 
deserve the attention of the agricultural commu- 
nity; and if, in following the directions they give, 
the American farmer shall succeed in domestica- 
ting among us the foreign vine, subduing by cul- 
tivation the savage character of the native plant, 
there is reason to believe that an ample reward 
will await on the experiment. 

To the authorities of our country, whether State 
or Federal, may it not in this age of internal im- 
provement be worth theinquiry,why thedifferent 
governments of Europe, both absolute and liberal, 
have so long considered the Vine an object of 
national protection, and whether the introduc- 
tion of it amongst ourselves as a staple of agri- 
culture, be not deserving the formal and serious 
attention of legislative enactment. Europe fears 
it and I have often heard the sentiment expressed 
among political economists, that it is incumbent 
on them to make a change, and to adopt some 
means to counteract a loss of the American market 
as an outlet for their wines. Sooner or later they 
anticipate such a change; and the only surprize 
among them is, that it has not yet arrived. 

Among the vine growing countries of Italy, 
the grand duchy of Tuscany is unquestionably 
the most prosperous. Though her government 
is absolute, a just and forbearing prince sways the 
sceptre of the Medici, and Tuscany blooms under 
the civil code of the Leopolds. The chief source 
of the wealth of this State is in her agriculture. 
The most productive of her cultivations are, the 
olive, the silk worm, the vine and the Leghorn 



PREFACE. Vii 

straw. The first of these may be probably culti- 
vated to advantage in Georgia and the Floridas. 
The silk worm is already in promising favour 
among ' us, and little doubt, I believe, is enter- 
tained of the ultimate success of this branch of 
industry. From the Leghorn straw we have less 
perhaps to hope, as the labour required in the 
manufacture of the article is too heavy a compo- 
nent, to promise an advantageous result in our 
sparse population. It is a cultivation moreover 
which has resisted the efforts of France, and foil- 
ed the skill of her judicious agriculturalists. The 
patrimony of St. Peter haslong abandoned the hope 
of introducing it into the States of the Church, 
as it is a plant, it would seem, peculiar to the Ap- 
penines. But the vine isfoutid through most of 
the countries of Europe, from the thirty-sixth to 
the fiftieth degree of latitude, in the various 
grades and qualities springing from their va- 
rious climates, soils, exposures, and positions, 
affording the flattering expectations that the paral- 
lel advantages of our own country will even- 
tually produce their similar results, both as to the 
plant and the vintage. 

We have greater reasons to indulge in such 
hopes than they who have preceded us, as we 
have the benefit of their skill and experience, 
their observations and writings. Let us, there- 
fore, at least make the experiment, in the confi- 
dence that though gathered into the service at 
the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard will 
smile on the work, and crown our efforts with 
the like rewards, so liberally extended to those 
who have borne the heat and burden of the day. 



INTRODUCTION. 



In the wide range of political economy, there 
is perhaps no subject exciting so deep an interest 
as the unexampled prosperity of the United 
States. The theory of self-government, so ob- 
noxious to the advocates of legitimate rule, seems 
destined to shake to its centre the established 
dynasty of Europe, where systems, which for 
centuries have mingled with every relation be- 
tween the ruler and the governed, seem fading 
before a Liberty that at no distant day shall es- 
tablish her fane on the ruins of the sceptre and 
the throne. 

The experience of fifty years has confirmed 
in the history of the Republic the predictions of 
the warmest friends of freedom, which, like the 
types and shadows of ancient prophecy, year 
after year unfolds to view ; as in the civil and 
political institutions of the country, we see the 
happiest accomplishment of the promised bless- 
ings. 

Religion, the corner stone of the social fabric, 
unfettered by protecting legislation, dispenses 
around us the blessings which attend in her train; 

B 



14 INTRODUCTION. 

and a perfect security of liberty and possessions 
springs from her just and salutary laws. Whilst 
the decayed and exhausted monarchies of the 
old world are plunged in embarrassment and 
debt — taxing, by every indirection, an indus- 
trious and oppressed population, circumscri- 
bing their liberties, and drawing from the 
sweat of their brows the means which minister 
to the vices of pageantry, it is reserved to these 
States to exhibit to the world the anomalous 
spectacle of a treasury embarrassed in its opera- 
tions from excess of revenue, and a people delv- 
ing amid the mysteries of finance, — not to 
devise the ways and means of supplying a defi- 
cient income, but to shape their course with the 
swelling tide of national prosperity, and so to 
adapt under auspicious circumstances their sys- 
tem of import, as to lessen the requirements of 
government on the resources of the nation, with- 
out a formal surrender of the right inherent to 
the social compact, to call on the citizen in the 
hour of emergency, for his just and equitable pro- 
portion of the public burdens. 

Such is the paradox presented to the world, 
by the condition of the United States. The in- 
trepid firmness of our ancestors wrested from the 
iron gripe of oppression the fairest portion of 
the globe, and the rich inheritance blooms in 
the delegated administration of constitutional 
laws. 

The onward march of the country to power 
and distinction is unchecked by foreign broils, 
and vexatious collisions, and though, as we have 
seen, the stormy passions inseparable from hu- 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

manity, may cast a momentary shade on our 
domestic harmony, it only proves the extent of 
individual liberty among us, and the wisdom 
and foresight of those who originated the politi- 
cal machinery with which our Republic is di- 
rected. 

Prosperity on every side invites to action. 
Within the last few years the commerce of the 
country has increased beyond the most sanguine 
anticipations, and throughout the civilized world 
there is hardly to be found a haven where tne 
genius of traffic, and the enterprising spirit of 
our people have not displayed the constellation 
of the Union. Every quarter of the globe is 
tributary to our advancement, and the tropics 
and the zones haA^e swelled with their richest 
productions, the growing wealth of the land. 

Our navy is respected abroad, and the Ameri- 
can seaman pursues in the remotest region a 
hazardous duty, under the protecting shadow of 
its wing. 

Individual prosperity is national wealth, and 
pours into the coffers of the State, a redundant 
harvest, through every inlet of commercial en- 
terprise. The genius of the country is the pro- 
tection of trade. Our geographical position re- 
moves us, in a great degree, from the hazards of 
collision with other nations, and little appears 
left us, but to improve the advantages, and bring 
into action the abundant resources, which Provi- 
dence, as it were in wasteful bounty, has scat- 
tered throughout the land. Nor have these been 
neglected. If we look to the internal improve- 
ment of the different sections of the country, it 



16 INTRODUCTION. 

will be seen that, they have proceeded, pari 
passu, with our commercial relations. Railways, 
canals, turnpikes, and steam navigation, have 
combined in the great work of developing the 
resources of the nation, and mountains and floods, 
where but a few years since, solitude maintained 
her undisputed sway, have, like the wise men of 
other days, beheld the star of the east, and roll 
in their fragrant ofierings through a thousand 
tributary streams. 

It is difficult to conceive a contrast more im- 
pressive than that presented by the condition of 
Europe at the present daj^, as contra-distinguish- 
ed from that of the United States. 

Despotism and absolute' rule seem fading in 
many parts of it before the march of intellect; 
and the absurd doctrine of the divine right of 
kings, cowers before the spirit of an enlightened 

^se- ... 

It is impossible, however, that nations should 
pass from a condition so servile, or shake ofi" the 
chains with which time and long habit have 
trammelled, not less the mind, than the body, 
but by the moral and physical suffering incident 
to the convulsion. 

In every part, therefore, of that continent, we 
see the people bending under the weight of evils, 
the concomitants of a strife for freedom ; a want 
of sufficient co-operation to direct and control 
their patriotic struggle ; disunion amongst them- 
selves, the thirst of personal aggrandizement, op- 
posed to settled governments ; treasuries to 
meet the exigency of military preparation, and a 
systematic league of oppression against liberty ; 



INTRODUCTION. 17 

and the coalition of kings against the inherent 
rights of the people. The contrast for us is in- 
deed most happy. Happy for our country, that 
her people are sovereign, and their rulers the de- 
legated agents of the nation, dependent on a 
public opinion they dare not oppose, and con- 
trolled by constitutional restraints they cannot 
infringe. 

The picture of national prosperity would be 
complete, could we see the agriculturalist parti- 
cipating the general happiness. To the extent 
we could wish, such is unfortunately not the case. 
Europe is at peace. Her sword is transformed 
to the ploughshare. Her camps broken up and 
her warriors scattered over the face of the earth. 
The fields of Waterloo, so late the theatre of 
mortal strife, now make glad with their golden 
harvest, the heart of the husbandman, and like 
the vallies of Israel, stand so thick with corn, 
that they laugh and sing. In this situation the 
interests of agriculture appeal to our patriotism, 
and call on us to adopt the remedy which may 
avert the impending evil, and by a new culture, 
supply the place of a staple production, which we 
were wont to exchange for the produce and 
manufactures of Europe, but for which, in a spirit 
of improvidence we now send abroad the specie, 
essential to a sound circulating medium at home, 
and necessary to support the operative members 
of our own political household. 

A cultivation hitherto neglected or overlook- 
ed, invites the attention of the agriculturist, and 
promises to restore to his operations a recupera- 
tive energy which shall succeed the paralysis 
B 2 



18 INTRODUCTION. 

that now checks the spirit of that important 
branch of the community, and repair the waste 
under which cultivation languishes, in a loss of 
the European market for her flour and her bread 
stuffs. 

To an attainment of the object we have every 
variety of soil, and all the different shades of ex- 
posure and position. A long line of territory 
from the twenty-fifth to the fOrty-eighlh degree of 
north latitude, from Key West to Canada, affords us 
every vicissitude of temperature and climate, and 
the belief can hardly be resisted, that by a judi- 
cious availing of the manifold advantages within 
our reach, we shall ultimately succeed perhaps 
beyond the hope of the most sanguine, in the cul- 
tivation of the vine. 

I have passed the last five years principally 
in the vine growing districts of France, Switzer- 
land, and Italy ; have been in each during the 
different stages of the cultivation and the vintage, 
and from a strong attachment to the subject, 
have given to the varied progress of the work, 
from the incipient state of the vineyard, to the 
operations of the wine press, the faculties of the 
mind and the feelings of the heart. Under the 
influence of such motives! have mixed in the 
labours of the vine grounds, broken with the in- 
dustrious vigneron of the Cantons his oaten loaf, 
and accepted his freely offered wine cup, and in 
the interchange of courtesy and kindness, melted 
the frost which separated the European peasant 
from his fellow man, which unlike the liberal 
habit of our country, confines each professioa 
within its peculiar orbit. 



INTRODUCTION. I^ 

The theory of the vineyard, and many of the 
important principles of it, may be gathered from 
books and the intelligent proprietor; but the 
practical details of the cultivation must be sought 
from another source. 

To arrive at these we must drink at the foun- 
tain, and, with proper feelings, ^tis of easy ac- 
cess. 

There is, perhaps, no being of a more kindly 
nature than the poor vigneron of Switzerland. 
I never approached the vine grounds of the poor- 
est without meeting the smile of welcome. To 
manifest an interest in the subject by which he 
is wholly absorbed, creates at once a point of 
meeting, and calls up his warmest feelings. The 
vineyard is his home; and though small as is the 
space he occupies among his fellow men, there 
his empire is undisputed, and he presides over his 
little domain with a sovereign's sway. Even 
his proprietor seldom interferes with his opera- 
tions, but, in a spirit of confiding security, com' 
mits his interest to his industry and skill. 

To inquire, therefore, into the mysteries of the 
cultivation to which his life is devoted, is to flatter 
his pride, and gratify his self-love — placing him at 
once on a favourable ground towards him he ad- 
dresses. He feels the superior, imparting in- 
struction to an attendant pupil, and in a spirit of 
self-satisfaction, opens to him the store house of 
his knowledge, not unfrequently the rich accu- 
mulation of half a century's practical expe- 
rience. 

In no part of Europe of which I have the least 
knowledge, is there a crop, which, in pecuniarjr 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

profit, will compare with the cultivation of the 
vine. Commerce in France is an auxiliary, 
rather than a principal of fiscal resource. Agri- 
culture and manufactures are the leading objects 
of national protection, and the cultivation of the 
vine is the main artery through which the agri- 
culture of France conveys her tribute to the na- 
tional exchequer. 

The heavy imposts levied on the vine pro- 
prietor by the late, as well as actual government 
of France, as a direct asse^ment in the first in- 
stance on the vine grounds, and subsequently in 
the various ramifications of the trade, from the 
wholesale purchaser at the wine press, to the 
vendor of the single flask to the consumer, proves 
how heavily the hand of power presses on this 
branch of French agriculture, and the productive 
returns of the crop that can sustain without sink- 
ing under the unrighteous exactions. 

Though France may justly claim to be among 
the finest of the European States, much of her 
soil is barren to the last degree, and it is in such 
soil, so unfavourable to the cultivation of grain, 
that the vine is found a flourishing staple of the 
country. Such, for example, is the case with 
Burgundy, one of her celebrated wine making 
districts, when we find the soil in the neighbour- 
hood of Dijon, her capital, a loose gravel that 
will scarcely produce a crop of grain, sufficient 
even in that country, where labour does not ex- 
ceed the half of our prices, and wheat is double 
the value of that article in Pennsylvania, to de- 
fray the cost of producing, without any calcula- 
tion of interest on the capital invested in the land. 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

Yet there, as is well known, the barrens 
around the city produce their wines, which though 
exceeded by many other wine grounds in quan- 
tity, are rarely equalled, it will be admitted, in 
quality, by the lover of Burgundy. 

It is the misfortune of the cultivator of Bur- 
gundy that his wines deteriorate by transporta- 
tion, and lose the exquisite flavour for which at 
at Dijon they are so deservedly famed. To be 
enjoyed in perfection, they should be drunk at 
the birth place. They are held as inferior, even 
at Paris, to the wines of the department. 

A deep interest in the cultivation and wine 
making took me to Dijon during the vintage of 
1826, and a similar feeling induced me to visit 
that capital in the spring of 1827, and autumn of 
1829, and of that of 1832, and I should violate the 
grateful sense I feel, of the reception accorded to 
an entire stranger, if I did not here acknowledge 
the patient politeness with which they replied to 
my inquiries at the vineyard, and the character- 
istic urbanity which admitted me without re- 
serve to the operations of the wine press. I 
passed an entire vintage at the press of an affluent 
proprietor at Dijon. He was an intelligent man, 
and had devoted years of observation to the im- 
pro«vement of his vine grounds. Cultivation was 
his idol, and to preserve the high fame abroad, 
which an unwearied industry had secured to his 
wines at home; the acme of an ambition to which 
his ceaseless efforts were directed. 

He had, a few years before, pressed from se- 
lected grapes, a quarter cask for a friend at New 
Orleans, on which it appeared he had bestowed 



22 INTRODUCTION. 

unusual care. The fruit was all carefully exain^ 
ined. Every bunch ascertained to be ripe, an^— 
in the proper state for the press. The grapes were 
all detached from the stems, which, together with 
the small and imperfect fruit, were rejected. 
The process of fermentation, so delicate a feature 
in the arcana of wine making, was conducted un- 
der his immediate observation, and when finish- 
ed, the wine was, at proper intervals, several 
times transvased, to purify it from extraneous 
matter. In this state it was put up for exporta- 
tion. The quarter cask carefully closed, was 
placed in the middle of a hogshead, and secured 
in its central, position by iron stanchions; when 
thus secured, the hogshead was filled with brandy. 

The wine, hermitically sealed from the action 
of the air, was sent by land to Marseilles, whence 
it was shipped to New Orleans, where, on arrival, 
it was so changed, that the purchaser, for whom 
it had been so carefully prepared, and who was 
at Dijon at the vintage, could not recognise it as 
the same wine. The vintner who directed the 
operation, had been sanguine as to the result of 
his theory, and was chagrined at the failure of 
the experiment. His proprietor believed it the 
efiect of agitation, and notascribable to the voyage 
by sea, or the climate of Louisiana; but he admits 
that his opinion was mere hypothesis. 

Both the white and the black grape are exten- 
sively cultivated at Burgundy, though the culti- 
vation of the latter predominates. There is a 
strong resemblance in the black grape of that dis- 
trict to the small chicken grape {vitis sylvestris) 
of our own country. The difference between 



INTRODUCTION. 23 

them is chiefly in the size of the berry and the 
flavour of the fruit, as the grape of Burgundy 
possesses an agreeable sweetness, which ifsuffered 
to wilt a little on the vine, deprives it of the acid 
character, and renders it palatable as a desert for 
the table. The appearance of the different fruits 
is so much the same, that it is easy to believe the 
superiority of that of Burgundy, over the little 
indigenous grape of Pennsylvania, may not be be- 
yond the effect of cultivation, judicious pruning, 
a soil congenial to its habits, and the favourable 
inclination of the ground, on which in that coun- 
try the vine is generally found. The acidity be- 
longing to our native grape will be so changed 
by cultivation that we may reasonably expect 
from it a fair wine, as it is perfectly understood 
by the European cultivator, that the fruit most 
highly esteemed for the table, affords in general 
an inferior wine, and is seldom cultivated for 
that object. 

The mode of vine growing in general use in 
Burgundy, appears objectionable on some points, 
and is considered so, I believe, by many practi- 
cal cultivators of that country, who, nev,ertheless 
continue to tread in the footsteps of their ances- 
tors, as the result perhaps of long habit, and in- 
fluenced, it may be, by present pecuniary circum- 
stances. 

A century haS elapsed since the establishment 
of many of their present vinegrounds, and during 
that time the vineyard has assumed a different as- 
pect, as new lights have opened on the cultivator. 
The late plantations bear the evidence of an im- 
provement in the cultivation, but to avail of these 



24 INTRODUCTION. 

the proprietor of the ancient vineyard must of 
necessity break up his vine grounds, and eradi- 
cate his plantSj commencing de novo, a cultiva- 
tion costing an immediate heavy outlay, and the 
sacrifice of eight or ten years of present produc- 
tive revenue. Such considerations check the 
spirit of improvement, and tend strongly to af- 
fix on Burgundy the appearance of a slothful 
and negligent agriculture, foreign to the character 
of the department, an impression which will 
probably continue, as the vine has been so long 
established in the country, and may be said to be 
immortal, the life of the plant, under judicious 
management, being interminable. 

On a superficial view of the vine grounds, it 
appears that their cultivation has for its object, 
the quantity rather than the quality of the pro- 
duct, as in, most of the plantations of forty or fif- 
ty years growth, and of such, much of that wine 
district is composed, the vines are crowded to^ 
gether in such a confused mass, as to neutralize 
the advantages derived from a judicious exposure, 
so favourably conducive to a ripening of the 
fruit. To this disadvantage may be added, the 
actual injury inflicted on the young and tender 
branches, during the periods of weeding, an ope- 
ration necessary three or four times in the season, 
as belonging to the system of vine dressing, and 
forming a feature of thrifty agriculture, not to be 
disregarded by the prudent vine grower, who 
performs at .the same time the twofold operation 
of ridding his plants of a superfluous vegetation, 
and collecting the bountiful tribute which the 
luxuriant growth of the vine returns to the com- 



INTRODUCTION. 25 

post of the barn yard. The general cultivation 
of the vine in northern France appears the same. 
When such a situation can be commanded, the 
vineyard occupies the inclination of a hill. 
From such selection, two advantages are derive 
ed. An increased degree of temperature from 
the reflected heat of the declining aspect, and a 
correspondent dryness from the openness of the 
soil, and precipitous descent of the position; 
desiderata contributing greatly to the prosperity, 
and, in some countries, essential to the existence 
of the vine. Though important, certainly, to the 
results of vine growing, I do not consider such a 
position asindispensabletothe cultivationinPenn- 
sylvania. The climate of the State affordsa tempe- 
rature favourable to a production of the delicate 
winesof France. Thelatteris a consequence of the 
evaporation from our summer sun, by which we 
may reasonably expect sufficient dryness, when 
the soil be not argillaceous, and the position af- 
ford the necessary descent to carry off the heavy 
rains as they fall. The flank of the hill may be 
esteemed then in general as the favourable posi- 
tion for the vine ground; but that it is not ex- 
clusively so, and that good wines, nay /ne wines, 
are derived from the vineyard of the plain, can 
be demonstrated by many instances in the histo- 
ry of French cultivation. The district, for ex- 
ample, of Medoc, department of the Gironde, is 
a plain, and we know that there are found the 
vineyards of Lafitte, Chateau, Margaux, Leo- 
ville, La Rose, and Branc Mouton, the excellence 
of whose productions are as well known in our 
country as in France. 

C 



26 INTRODtJCTION. 

The wines of St. Denis, and of Shadillon^ in 
the department of Loiret, are also from the plain; 
so are the best wines of Orleans. The like 
position in the department of Sonne, through 
which I have frequently observed the cultivation, 
as well as on the banks of the Rhone, afford also 
superior wines; and we may further observe that 
the wines of Languedoc are from the vineyards 
of the plain. In my intercourse with the Euro- 
pean vine dressers, I have often been struck with 
the capricious nature of the vine, and the utter 
impossibility of a knowledge, a priori, of the re- 
sults of a new cultivation. Neither the French 
nor the Swiss vignerons, have the least confi- 
dence in their foresight as to the results of a new 
plantation, and anxiously await till the first vin- 
tage, and first wine making, shall determine the 
character of the young vineyard. 

One of the strongest illustrations of this fact is 
related by Mr. Thicabout, adistinguished French 
agriculturalist. He says, that in the little vine- 
yard of Mont Rachet, in the department of the 
Cote d'or, there are three distinct and separate 
divisions and qualities of the wine from the 
same species of the vine — the same plant— -a result 
of which the proprietor, at the timeof planting, had 
not the least idea or anticipation. He describes 
the position, soil, and exposure of the entire vine- 
yard to be to all appearance precisely the same, 
but yet the quality of the wines so different, that 
they are well known through France, and sold 
at different rates, according to their different 
character and reputation. This little vineyard, 
originally intended as one plantation, is staked 



INTRODUCTION. 27 

off and partitioned into three divisions. The 
first of these is called the Canton de VAini; the 
second, the Canton Chevalier; the third, Canton 
Batard. 

The wines of these divisions, though all sub- 
mitted to the same cultivation and making, are 
essentially different ; nor does it appear within 
the scope of agricultural skill to fathom the mys- 
tery, or assign any tenable hypothesis for the 
erratic deviation. 

The vine is the staple of the country from 
Dijon to Lyons, and, with few exceptions, the 
cultivation is similar, and the appearance of the 
vine grounds the same. The rows of the vine- 
yard are about two feet asunder, and the plants 
cut down to the height of four feet, supported in 
some cases by two upright props placed on each 
side, at the distance of a foot from the vine. In 
most of the plantations, however, there is but one 
prop to each ; arising probably from motives of 
economy where, from the scarcity of timber, the 
expense is by no means to be disregarded. It is the 
general practice in Switzerland to take up these 
stalks in the autumn immediately after the vintage. 
They are usually kept in the barn, or some dry 
building, protected from the snows and rains of 
winter, and though the labour of so doing, and that 
of replacing them in the ensuing spring, would 
probably prevent with us such a measure, it is in 
that country considered that the preservation of 
them thereby gained for three or four years 
longer fully indemnifies the vigneron for the la- 
bour of the operation. 

As I have not, in France, been farther south 



# 



28 INTRODUCTION. 

than Lyons, I cannot from personal observation 
speak of the vine districts of that quarter, cele- 
brated as they are for the superiority of their 
productions. It is but seldom that the best 
wines of France are to be met with in the United 
States; though I have been told that one of the 
fine vineyards of the south has been leased for 
ten years by a commercial house in New York. 
The vintage of their prime grounds is in ge- 
neral forestalled by the agents of English com- 
mercial houses, who pay for it, good or other- 
wise, as the case may prove, an exhorbitant price, 
supplying at a correspondent rate the wine loving 
portion of the British community, from the 
presses of Chateau, Margaux, Cote Rotie, or La- 
fitte. 

There is a small town in France, at the foot of 
the Jura, called Poligny, but a small distance 
from the Swiss frontier. A wine esteemed for 
the delicacy of its flavour is produced there; but 
such is the extreme sensibility of the wines of 
Poligny, that they do not bear a transportation, 
consequently are but little known, except to the 
traveller in the neighbourhood. The best pro- 
duction of that district is the Vin de VEtoile, a 
delicatelight wine, of exquisite flavour, approach- 
ing more nearly in character to a fine champaigne, 
as I thought, than to any other wine of France. 
It is cultivated on the side of the Jura, on a 
stony barren, and on the plain extending about 
a hundred yards from the foot of the mountain, 
the soil of which is a mixture of stone and gravel. 
Both these positions are famed for the excellence 
of their wines, possessing, however, a marked 
dissimilarity of character. They are white and 



INTRODUCTION. 29 

red, and it is generally conceded that the moun- 
tain production is the superior wine. Whenever 
these wines are sent out of the district which 
produces them, they are, of necessity, so highly 
reinforced, as to destroy, in a great degree, the 
delicacy of their flavour, and change their origi- 
nal character. No correct idea can, under these 
circumstances, be formed of the primitive wine. 
Both are highly esteemed at Poligny, and cost 
there a high price. 

There can hardly be a greater dissimilarity 
than that existing between the wines of Poligny 
and of Switzerland, distant but a day'sjourney on 
the southern side of the Jura. The wines of the 
Canton of Geneva are, in general, light, weak, 
and of little flavour; and if we except those from 
the coast, taking, from their position on the shores 
of the lake, the name of Vin de la Cote, are 
for the most part difficult of long conservation, 
becoming hard and sour when but three years 
old. The district producing the Vin de la Cote, 
stretches along the shore of the lake Leman, 
near the town of Nyon, and that which gives to 
this wine the character it bears, of superiority 
among Swiss wines, istiot an intrinsic excellence, 
but because it is better than the other Swiss wines 
of the neighbourhood, which, by any one unac- 
customed to the hard and sour wines of that 
Canton, would be pronounced as inferior, and, in 
any other country, not worth the labour of produ- 
cing them. From these remarks as to the lake 
wines, may be excepted the wines of Neufchatel, 
in the Canton of that name ; and those of Vevey, 



C 2 



30 INTRODTJCTION. 

in the Canton of Vaud, on the distant extremity 
of the lake of Geneva. 

In a favourable season, both these wines, 
though essentially different in character, are 
good; but yet I believe few of the Swiss pro- 
prietors profess that their quality is equal to the 
wines of Malaga, which, with us, unquestionably 
rank as mediocre productions of the vine. 

The proportion of red wines made in the 
Canton of Geneva is small. The white grape 
prospers more generally in their unequal climate. 
Both, however, are of a quality so inferior, that 
the slender resources of that beautiful country 
can alone account for the cultivation of the vine, 
to the extent to which it exists among them. 

In the family of the Swiss peasant, wine is es- 
sential, and supercedes the use of tea, coffee, or 
other stimulating beverage. Inferior, 'therefore, 
in quality as their wines unquestionably are, 
they are sold at a price, giving in many parts of 
the country a value to the lands, which, but for 
the vine, would be a waste, unfit for cultivation. 

It is the absence of foreign commerce, pro- 
ducing a system of exchange betwixt neighbour- 
ing nations, which alone may explain why the 
Swiss do not import the fine wines of France on 
one side of their country, and of Italy on their 
southern border, in preference to drinking the 
meagre productions of their own vine grounds. 
Their country produces nothing to give in ex- 
change, and they have not in general the means 
to pay for them. But they have in a great de- 
gree the virtue of contentment ; and if they do 
not offer to the stranger as good wines as their 



INTRODUCTION. 31 

neighbours, they give him the best of their own 
production, give it with a kindness far exceeding 
their limited resources, and commensurate only 
with the warmth of their feelings, and the frank 
and open-hearted character of their national 
hospitality. 

Adjoining the Canton of Geneva is the Canton 
of Vaud, one of the most extensive of the vine 
growing districts of Switzerland, supplying their 
neighbours of Berne, Fribourg, and the Grisons, 
with their inferior wines, considered by them as a 
necessary of I ife, and which in general would hardly 
be esteemed equal to the good cider of our coun- 
try. 

It is doubtful if, indeed, it would commandi in 
the markets of Philadelphia and New York, 
where superior foreign wines are abundant, as 
good a price, unless purchased for the purposes 
of adulteration, by the American brewer of 
wines. 

Among the vines of the Canton of Vaud, the 
best may be considered as that of La Vaux, 
near Vevey, and the Vin df Yvo7iie. It is proba- 
bly in the district of La Vaux, between Lausanne 
and Vevey, that the vine lands of that country 
have attained the maximum of their value. So 
profitable in the agriculture of the Cantons is 
the vine, that in the capricious inconstancy of 
his climate, the Swiss Vigneron considers him- 
self indemnified for his excessive labour, by one 
good crop in five years. This, to be sure, is an 
unfavorable calculation, but 'tis by no means unu- 
sual for three successive years together to in- 
tervene between what they consider as their fa- 



32 INTRODUCTION. 

vourable seasons of wine making. Before I had 
been a month in the country, I was accidentally- 
apprized of this fact. Mr. Correvon,the Syndic 
of Yverdon, whose urbanity of manner and frank 
hospitality, have made him favorably known to 
most strangers visiting that ancient city, and 
whose active and efficient participation as a mem- 
ber of the " Grand Conseil,^^ has distinguished 
him in the political economy of the confedera- 
tion, is among the intelligent and successful cul- 
tivators of the Canton of Vaud. An amateur, 
curious in the process of wine making, his cellars 
contain a collection of wines, the productions of 
his own vine grounds at La Vaux, the most 
recherche, and surpassed in quality by that of 
no other proprietor of that Canton. 

In showing me his wines, I was impressed by 
inference with the belief, that the climate of 
Switzerland, or at least that of Vaud, does not 
afford in a given time, more than one-third of 
the seasons which are favourable to the wine 
making. 

The first he offered me as of a superior vintage, 
was that of the year 1791; then, 1795; then, 
1801 ; then, 1805; and so on, up to 1826; and I 
found that the intervention of time between the 
seasons which had given a character to the vintage, 
was seldom less, and frequently exceeded three 
years. Yet, under all the multiform disadvanta- 
ges, the Swiss Vigneron finds a better return for 
his labour, and the land holder a better interest 
for his capital, than in the cultivation of grain, 
even though the price of labour seldom exceeds 
twenty four cents per day; and the quartron of 



INTRODUCTION. 33 

wheat, the Vaudois grain measure, now com- 
mands in the market of Yverdon (April 1832) 
about ninety cents of our money. 

The quartron of that Canton appeared to me 
aboutone-thirdofthe bushel ofPennsylvania, mak- 
ing the wheat of Vaud equal to two dollars and 
seventy-five cents per bushel. Other objections 
combine, which, if fairly considered, operate 
against the Swiss vine dresser, and incline the 
balance toward the side of American cultiva- 
tion. The unfavourable influence of the climate 
of Switzerland, from the proximity of the Jura, 
the line of separation between France and that 
country on the one side, and the chain of Alps, 
with their eternal snows, which skirt the south- 
ern boundary on the side of Savoy, expose the 
cultivator of Vaud to the various injuries sustain- 
ed from the late frosts, which frequently nip the 
blossom of the vine, and the equally dreaded 
destruction of the young fruit, from the violent 
hail storms of the months of July and August, 
by which, in many cases, the whole crop is total- 
ly destroyed. I have more than once seen this 
mischief inflicted on the vineyard, and heard the 
poor Vigneron of the Cantons lament the reverse 
to which a capricious climate so peculiarly ex-» 
poses his profession. 

The district of Granson, on the lake of Neuf- 
chatel, but half a league distant from Yverdon, is 
a vine growing country, and on either side of 
the ancient chateau, whose lofty turrets and stern 
defences still exist, the rude memorial of their 
iron age, the peaceful labours of the vine dresser 
are in unhappy contrast with those " by gone 



34 INTRODUCTION. 

days/^ when the feudal barons of Granson sway- 
ed an arbitrary rule over the tributary depend- 
ants of the Fief, and levied their unrighteous ex- 
actions on the defenceless trader, who visited, in 
the prosecution of his craft, their limited do- 
mains. 

Luxuriant vineyards crown the heights where 
the gallant countrymen of Tell OfTposed the dar- 
ing inroads of Charles, and sheltered by their 
mountain fastnesses, overthrew, with a handful of 
vdetermined men, the disciplined legions of Bur- 
gundy's powerful Duke. 

The interest of the story is deepened by the 
popular tale of " Anne of Gierstein.'' Granson 
is classic ground from the pen of the master spi- 
rit who has so happily interwoven her fictions 
and her facts, and spun from them a web, which 
rivals in grace the fairy woof of Arachne. 

But such scenes are passed at Granson, where 
now the patient Vigneron pursues his daily round, 
heedless of the dream of fancy which recalls to 
life the chivalry that time has quenched, or mar- 
tial deeds consigned to oblivion by the magi- 
cian's wand. The dull realities of life excite his 
active energies; and his physical powers are tax- 
ed to repair the ravages of the tempest. I have 
known on these hills, the entire product of ex- 
tensive vine grounds, bounding beneath the pro- 
mises of exuberant vintage, totally annihilated 
by a sudden hail storm, of half an hour's dura- 
tion, sweeping, with destructive fury, the line 
over which it passed, and which did not, per- 
haps, exceed the breadth of half a mile, leaving 
the country on either side of its path entirely 



INTRODUCTION. 35 

free from the calamitous desolation. The un- 
sparing element levelled in its passage the sheds 
and corn ricks of the barn yard, uprooted the 
majestic oak which for centuries had opposed its 
fury, and prostrated a long line of vineyards with 
their ripening clusters, leaving the poor Vigne- 
ron to mourn over the sad mutation which a 
single hour had shed on his promised fortunes. 

It is fortunate for the Swiss cultivator, that 
such visitations are practical in their mischievous 
effects; the governments of the Canton of Vaud, 
and I believe of some of the other vine growing^ 
Cantons, have established a system of insurance, 
from which the prudent proprietor seeks indem- 
nity from the losses arising from this danger, the 
premiums paid being fully equal to the partial 
damage sustained. It is the poor V igneron who 
is in general the sufferer ; as from the want of a 
prudent thrift, or an inability to afford the re- 
quired premium, he assumes himself the risk, and 
frequently neglects to insure against it. The 
danger from this source, it is true, is diminished 
by the custom prevailing in that Canton, of erect- 
ing in different quarters of the vineyard, metallic 
conductors supported by high poles, which tend 
to discharge of the electric fluid the clouds over- 
hanging the vineyard, and so raising the tempera- 
ture of the atmosphere, as to liquify the hail be- 
fore it reaches the surface of the earth. 

Without such protection from the vicissitudes 
of climate, afforded to the proprietor by the in- 
surance of government, the vine could not exist 
in the Canton of Vaud to the extent to which it 
is cultivated. From such obligations we are 



36 INTRODUCTION. 

happily exempt, by a genial climate, as the late- 
ness of the season at which with us the vine un- 
folds its blossom to the vernal sun, is a guarantee 
from the first ; the latter being of such rare oc- 
currence among us as scarcely deserving to be 
considered among the objections to the cultiva- 
tion. 

Now, apart from these sources of drawback, 
the Swiss vinedresser considers his crop a mini- 
mum, when the Pose of land produces but three 
chars of wine, and the vintage of La Vaiix has 
been known in a favourable season to yield to 
the proprietor the surprising return of eight chars 
of pure wine to the Pose. 

This, to be sure, is an extraordinary product, 
occurring probably but once in seven or eight 
seasons. Let us suppose, however, in the esti- 
mate, a calculation justified, I think, by the facts 
as they exist, and assume as the medium that the 
Pose of land produced an average of five chars of 
wine. 

The land riieasure of the Canton de Vaud is 
decimal, the foot being ten inches, and the Pose 
Vaudois forty thousand square feet. By a re- 
duction of the foot Vaudoise to the measure of 
Pennsylvania, it results that the Pose of thftt 
Canton contains 33,333 and a fraction square feet 
of land, our measure. The char of Vaud, like 
the pound sterling of England, is imaginary, con- 
taining four hundred Pots^ the Pot of the Can- 
ton being about equal to two bottles, as the 
wine bottle is rated in America. 

On this estimate, therefore, it appears that the 
cultivator of that Canton derives from his vine* 



INTRODUCTION. 37 

yard, an annual average of four thousand bottles 
of wine to the Pose of land. The price at which 
this wine is taxed by the municipality of each 
commune, varies with the concurrent circumstan- 
ces, and is such as has but little influence, in ge- 
neral, on the actual sales of the vintage. The 
object of the official tariff", is to establish between 
the vigneron and the proprietor the price to be 
paid as the compensation of the services of the 
former, who though labouring in the vineyard 
for a stipulated proportion of the vintage, is paid 
in money the amount of his dues from the land 
holder, who, by the municipal law, is compelled 
to take on himself, the trouble and risque of dis- 
posing of the wines. This is a measure absolute- 
ly necessary, from the poverty and improvidence 
of that class of the community, constituting the 
larger poi^tion ofthe vigneronsofthatcountry. Ge- 
nerally, during the summer, they draw, from time 
to time, from the proprietor, as much for their daily 
support as amounts to their full proportion of the 
vintage. I have known in the Canton of Vaud, 
as a consequence of three successive unpropitious 
seasons, the poor vigneron deeply embarrassed by 
the necessary advances made by his proprietor, 
and which in an unproductive vintage has great-, 
ly exceeded the amount of his proportion, as af- 
fixed by the municipal tariff". Such misfortune, 
occurring for two or three successive seasons, ac- 
cumulate on the vine dresser a long list of arrears, 
involving him in difficulties from which a long 
life of toil and self-denial can hardly extricate 
him. 

But in that country, property does not ex- 
D 



38 INTRODUCT,ION. 

change masters as with us, and the inheritance 
of a good vineyard is considered the best pos- 
session which a prudent father can transmit to his 
children. Equally stable is the profession of the 
vinedresser, who generally toils his life time in 
the grounds cultivated by his fathers before him ; 
and educates his son to the same walk of life, 
from which he rarely dreams of departing. In 
such circumstances an unfortunate vigneron is 
sure to experience the sympathy of his proprie- 
tor. They have passed the days of their child- 
hood together, and an association of juvenile re- 
collections establishes the happiest feelings be- 
tween them. It is a rare occurrence to find a 
Swiss proprietor pressing with undue rigor his 
unfortunate vigneron. This is a feature of their 
system of agriculture which will not bear on the 
cultivation in America, as no such class of ope- 
ratives exists among us. The vine will be in 
the hands of the owner of the soil, and prosper 
only under his personal care. 

Though the municipal tariff is general, it is 
not in force throughout the whole of the Canton 
of Vaud. The wines, for example, of La Vaux 
are too valuable to be the subject of such inter- 
ference, and the proprietor of that district usu- 
ally employs his vigneron at a stipulated pecu- 
niary price. The tariff of the neighbouring 
communes has, nevertheless, an important in- 
fluence on the profits of his vintage, as in a season 
when the product of the vine is abundant, the 
wines of La Vaux, though superior in quality, 
command, when new, a price not generally ex- 
ceeding fifty per cent, beyond that of the best 



INTRODUCTION. 39 

productions of the adjoining districts. This ad- 
vance, however, is considered sufficient to ex- 
empt them from municipal interference. 

The wines of the communes of Orbe, Valey- 
res, and Montcherand, were, by the tariff of 1831, 
assessed at four batz* the Pot. If we assume as 
the value of the vintage of La Vaux for that year, 
the rate of six batz the Pot, at which price, 
however, I have no idea it could have been 
bought of the proprietor, it will result that the 
Pose of that district produced to the cultivator 
the sum of three hundred and sixty dollars, our 
money. This calculation is made on the assump- 
tion that the Pose produced an average of two 
thousand Pots of wine, which I believe was fully 
within the product of the vintage of that year. 

To arrive at the net amount which a similar 
cultivation would with us return to the vine 
dresser, the expense must of course be deducted; 
and this is a problem, the solving of which falls 
necessarily within the purview of the practical 
agriculturalist, acquainted with the results of 
labour in Pennsylvania. If in the estimate there 
be error, I incline to the belief that it will not 
be found against the American cultivation. The 
amount of duty in our country, paid by the con- 
sumer of foreign wines ; the expenses of trans- 
portation abroad to the port of shipment ; the 
charges of freight, insurance, commission of 
factors, with the various items which swell the 
cost of the foreign article by the time it reaches 
our market, operate as a bounty on the domestic 

* The batz is equal in value to three cents, our money. 



t • 



40 INTRODUCTION. 

cultivation, and if fairly set against the low rate 
of foreign labour, will tend, I think, to equalize 
u^ with the European vine grower. If to such 
considerations be superadded the cost of an acre 
of land in the vine districts of Europe, as com- 
pared with the value of the same ground from 
which in the United States we may reasonably 
expect success, it seems hardly possible to doubt 
the issue of the experiment, or to close one's 
•eyes against the tide of advantages to flow from 
the successful attainment of such an auxiliary to 
our suffering agriculture. 

In reflecting on the cultivation, of Switzer- 
land, where in an unequal climate it often oc- 
curs for several successive seasons, that a tem- 
perature of seventy degrees of Fahrenheit, does 
not continue for more than three or four weeks 
of their precarious summer, during the greater 
part of which they have an obscured or overcast 
sky, we must be strongly impressed with the fa- 
vourable difference afforded by our climate, to a 
cultivation, the success of which so much depends 
on a temperature of seventy-five or eighty de- 
grees, for at least a fair portion of the summer, 
and a continuation of sunshine for three or four 
months of the season. The point, I remarked, of 
difference in their favour, and 'tis certainly of 
great importance, is, that the month of September 
in the Cantons is usually dry, having in general 
a clear unclouded sky, and but little rain. Heavy 
fogs prevail in many districts of the country, but 
it is generally conceded that the ripening of the 
fruit is promoted rather than retarded by that 
circumstance, the influence of the sun usually 



INTRODUCTION. 41 

dispersing the mist, which at meridian is suc- 
ceeded by a warm, invigorating sunshine, con- 
tinuing through the day at a temperature of 65 
or 70 degrees. Our month of September is in 
general the reverse of this, and the rains which 
characterize with us the autumnal equinox, may 
be deprecated as the greatest difficulty opposed 
to the cultivation. It is at this moment of its 
progress towards maturity, that the grape re- 
quires an arid soil, and dry atmosphere, and no- 
thing, perhaps, in every stage of the cultivation, 
exercises so strong an influence on its ultimate 
success, as the absence of heavy or continuous 
rains at this critical moment. The deleterious 
eJQfects of such rains are dangerous to the pros- 
perity of the wine making, whilst on the contra- 
ry the mild and softening dews of the nightfall, 
and the gentle evaporations of a neighbouring 
river or lake, impart to the grape a life giving 
vigour, equally salutary in its influence on the 
quality and abundance of the harvest. 

The injurious effects of our September rains, 
though pernicious to the European vine, not ful- 
ly acclimated, may be less dangerous to the 
native grape, the hardy constitution of which, 
will resist the damps of our autumnal season, af- 
fecting so unfavourably the stranger plant. Yet 
I cannot withstand the belief, that notwithstand- 
ing this feature of our September, we possess a 
climate more auspicious than that of Switzerland, 
and that in adopting the cultivation which has 
been so eminently successful in the Cantons, we 
shall arrive at the same result, and acclimate in 
our country, the foreign vine. "Necessity," 

D 2 



42 INTRODUCTION. 

says the adage, "is the mother of invention;'^ 
and to this stern parent is the vigneron of the 
Cantons indebted for the series of experiments 
which has established on his hills those delicate 
vines, that require but little comparative labour 
in the more genial climate of the neighbouring 
states. 

The process by which the vigneron of Swit- 
zerland, acclimates to his country the southern 
vine, draws heavily on the patience of the culti- 
vator, and taxes his industry for a period of eight 
or ten years. It is unknown to the cultivator of 
France or Italy, because neither France nor Italy 
requires the adoption of it. It is the peculiar 
cultivation of Swiss industry, and I shall speak 
of it at large in its proper place. 

It cannot be denied that much labour is given 
in the Cantons to the cultivation of the vine, and 
this fact is urged as objectionable with us against 
the system of vine growing. 

A little reflection on the comparative situation 
of the two countries, and the mode of culture 
growing necessarily out of the peculiar situation 
of each, may be sufficient, I think, to satisfy those 
whose honest doubts are opposed to the measure. 
The high rate of labour, is constantly urged as 
objectionable with us against the introduction of 
the vine. 

I readily admit the extravagant price of labour 
among us. It is greater, perhaps, than in any 
other settled country. But while the dispropor- 
tion of labour in the United States and many 
parts of Europe, is as three to one against us, 
an equal if not greater disparity in our favour is 



INTRODUCTION. 43 

to be found in the price of wine. On this point, 
however, important as it is to the question, I lay 
no stress. We live in an age when mind is suc- 
cessfully opposed to matter, and a country where 
thews and sinews are supplanted by the powers 
of labour-saving machinery. It is on the difier- 
ent mode, therefore, of applying the remedy, as 
suited to the sparse population of our country, 
that we must rely to overcome the objection. 

In many parts of the wine countries of Europe, 
(and it, is peculiarly so in Switzerland) a dense 
population is crowded into such narrow limits, 
that the agriculture of the country but barely af- 
fords them the plainest necessaries of life. The 
price of grain, corresponding with the demand 
for it, is high ; and as a consequence, the labour 
of man is cheaper than the labour of beast. 

As it is a settled principle of agricultural tactics 
with the Swiss farmer, to keep no animals not 
necessary to the business of his farm, resource is 
had to every means to avoid the support of such 
expensive members of the agricultural family. 
Nor in fact is it necessary. The revolutions of 
the country have broken up the ancient feudal 
tenures, and divided the lands of the great seig- 
niories among the people. In a country where 
no right of primogeniture exists, and where an 
equal division of property of the parent among 
his children, forms, as with us, the basis of here- 
ditary descent, the natural sub-division of pro- 
perty supersedes the necessity of an agrarian law. 
The possessor, therefore, of twenty acres, is an 
important member of the commune of which he 
is the bourgeois, and courtesy not unfrequently 



44 INTRODUCTION. 

assigns to him the appellation of his domiciliary 
village. Few among them are so rich, as to 
possess great estates in land ; and there are but 
few families having prudence and industry, that 
do not own an acre of ground. In this situation 
of the country, much of the farm work is by the 
hand. 

Except their mountains, the Swiss have but 
little pasture grounds. The cattle are driven 
into the Jura in May, and returned thence in 
October, when from heavy frosts they can no 
longer be sustained by the herbage of the moun- 
tain. The value of the vine ground is such, that 
they have crowded on to the acre more plants 
than should be given to it, a mistaken economy, 
which is yielding progressively to the experience 
of time, as it is found in such plantations, that 
from a dense foliage the rays of the sun are so 
shut out, that they do not derive the full advan^ 
tage to be attained from a more judicious plant- 
ing. It is easily perceived when such is the 
case, that all tillage and weeding must of neces- 
sity be the work of the hand. This is generally 
performed by the women and children, as being 
the lighter part of the labour, though the men 
also, at times of less pressing requirement, are to 
be seen in the vine grounds in the seasons of 
weeding. The profession of vine dressing in 
Switzerland, forms a distinct and separate branch 
of agriculture ; and I have seldom observed the 
vigneron mixing in the ordinary business of the 
farm, nor, in fact, has he time at command for 
such employ. The regular system of labour re- 
quired in a well ordered vineyard, affords but 



INTRODUCTION. 45 

little interval of abstraction from the main business 
of his occupation, as each day brings with it a 
peculiar duty, and the Swiss vine dresser, from 
the commencement to the termination of the 
season, is pressed by the business which a rapid 
vegetation accumulates on his hands. 

Proprietors in the Canton de Vaud give usu- 
ally to an experienced vine dresser, a moiety of 
the vintage, as the remuneration of his labour. 
At the season of wine making, the proprietor, as 
I have before mentioned, is obliged by law to take 
the whole of the wine made, and in money pay to 
the vigneron the amount of his portion of the crop. 
Nomisunderstandingonthissubject takes place, as 
the law of the municipality establishes the value 
of the wine measure, and from the municipal 
tariJ0f there is no appeal. The valuation thus de- 
cided is affected by several circumstances, as the 
stock of wines remaining on hand from a previous 
vintage, the quality and quantity of wine made, 
the demand from a neighbouring encampment 
of troops, and the spirit of speculation among 
the capitalists, many of whom, from want of con- 
fidence, have withdrawn of late from the public 
debt of the neighbouring States, and who, in a 
country so barren of resource, seek out such an 
investment of their unemployed funds. 

It is the duty of the municipal convention of 
the different communes to ascertain the several 
causes which thus exercise an influence on the 
value of the vintage, and when known they are 
called together, usually in the month of January, 
to fix by their official the value of the wine mea- 
sure of the preceding crop. I passed in Switzer- 



46 INTRODUCTION. 

land some time at the chateau de Montcherand, 
the vigneron of which cultivated five acres of 
inferior vine land, half the produce of this was 
his whole support though he had a family. 

It will not, I presume, be supposed that a vine 
dresser in any of the good vine districts of 
France, the neighbourhood, for example, of Bor- 
deaux, receives a moiety of the crop as a remu- 
neration of his labour in the vineyard. The 
wines of that country are in great demand for 
European consumption, and are sold at an ex- 
travagant price. The vigneron of those districts 
is employed at a stipulated consideration. Go- 
vernment in France mixes with the business of 
the wine makihg, and appoints in the different 
departments, the day on which the work shall 
be commenced, and the duration also of the ope- 
rations of the wine press. It must all be per- 
formed within the given time, as, for example, 
three or more certain days. In France, where 
they have no fences, and where frequently the 
only mark of demarcation between neighbouring 
vineyards is a small footpath, of the width about 
eighteen inches, the protecting influence of such 
a measure, is one of the reasons assigned for the 
adoption of it, as on those certain days (and on 
no other) the grapes are all gathered. 

Every proprietor is in the field, and takes care 
that his neighbour respects the line of partition. 

The spirit of freedom existing among us, and 
which causes us to revolt at the interference of 
authority with our pecuniary or personal con- 
cerns, will always prevent such a controlling re- 
gulation. But it is the theory of many of the 



INTRODUCTION. ' 47 

governments of Europe, so to shackle and im- 
pede the free operations of the people, as to in- 
duce a belief that they are incapable of protecting 
their interests, and like infants who have not cast 
aside the swaddling clothes of dependence, re- 
quire the salutary restraints of discipline and 
guardianship. This is even the case in republi- 
can Switzerland, where in many of the towns of 
the Canton of Vaud, the farmer does not open 
his sack of grain to expose it for sale until a cer- 
tain hour at which the municipality have decided 
he shall be at liberty to treat with the purchaser. 
He must also close it at another fixed hour, after 
which no public sales of grain, or other produce, 
can be made in the market place on that day. 

Such regulations do not, however, affect his 
private transactions, as beyond the jurisdiction of 
the municipality of a market town, he may act 
at pleasure in the disposal of his produce. We 
adopt the wiser course, which leaves every one 
free to direct his business as he may deem most 
conducive to his interest. Commerce, like the 
flowing stream, always finds its level, and pros- 
pers most when least fettered by the hand of 
protective legislation. 

The interference of France in the afiairs of the 
vintage, may be ascribed in part to her system 
of finance; as the amount in which the proprietor 
of the French vineyard is annually mulcted, 
forms no inconsiderable item in the revenues of 
the public exchequer. To retard the period till 
the grapes are fully ripe and fit for the press, is 
one of the professed objects of the interdict, as 
though the cultivator of the vine could not as 



48 INTRODUCTION. 

well discriminate in his operations, as the grower 
of a field of corn, on whom no such restriction is 
imposed. The period of the gathering varies, of 
course, with the season and situation, allowing 
thereby the vine dresser of the south, where the 
vintage is generally fifteen or twenty days ear- 
lier in the season, to migrate northwardly, to aid 
in the gathering of the late districts. The go- 
vernment of France has a property to sustain 
abroad in the character of her wines, and the 
measure may resemble the law of Pennsylvania, 
which prohibits the exportation of the flour of 
the State, previously to an inspection as to its 
quality. This regulation prevails in Switzerland, 
and produces, it appears to me, all the inconve- 
nience arising from the measure in France, with- 
out the redeeming point which mitigates in some 
degree the odium of the French law. Switzer- 
land has but little, if any, export for her wines, 
and the law which compels the proprietor to 
gather his crop within a specific or given pe- 
riod, greatly increases the expense of the vintage, 
as well as that of the wine making establish- 
ment. 

I passed the summer, and vintage of 1831, 
among the vine covered hills of Valeyres, in the 
Canton of Vaud. My adjoining neighbour, Mr. 
Charles de Bonstetten, son of the celebrated au- 
thor of Geneva, is among the most intelligent 
and successful cultivators of the Canton of Vaud. 
To accomplish the work of his vintage, he is 
obliged from the circumstance of being thus 
limited by the municipal restriction, to employ 
seven presses to perform the work of fifty acres. 



INTRODUCTION. 49 

These presses are beautiful specimens of me- 
chanical power, and cost in that country one 
hundred and fifty dollars each. The whole bu- 
siness of his wine grounds could easily be efiected 
by two presses, perhaps by a single one, where, 
by a change of workmen, the pressing is con- 
tinued day and night, if he were allowed to 
gather his fruit at discretion ; for in 1831, three 
weeks of fine weather succeeded the termination 
of the time fixed by the municipal law for the 
gathering of the crop, during which time the 
grapes would have improved if they had been 
permitted to remain on the vine. 

The seasons in that country, it is true, are ca- 
pricious, and no reliance can be had, that the 
fruit, after the coming in of October, would be 
safe in the field for any length of time. We, 
however, consider that the determination of 
such matters is the exclusive right of the cultiva- 
tor, whose labour has been given to the produc- 
tion of his crop, and whose interest in its manage- 
ment and preservation is a stronger guarantee 
than rulers and laws can impose. 

But it should be remarked, that this restriction 
may be evaded in the Canton de Vaud, by the 
proprietor who chooses to do so, by enclosing 
his entire vineyard within a stone wall. But, 
though the Canton is alive with population, and 
materials are scattered in great abundance, over 
the surface of the whole country, labour is not 
so cheap there as is the case generally through 
continental Europe ; and the proprietor who en- 
closes his grounds by a wall of circumvallation, 

E 



50 



INTRODUCTION. 



is never perhaps fully indemnified for the pre- 
cautionary measure. 

The municipal regulation though not dejure, 
is de facto imperative, and produces all the in- 
covenience of a positive law. 

I am of opinion that in Pennsylvania, where 
the season is so vs^arm as to allow the gathering 
of the fruit during the entire period of a month, 
that one good press would be sufficient to per- 
form the work of a vineyard of fifty acres. Such 
too would be the case in France, if the proprie- 
tor were not required to gather his fruit within 
the time specified by the law; and the fruit being 
thus gathered must immediately be subjected to 
the operations of the press, or the whole would 
be lost. 

A dry soil and climate are both favourable to 
the prosperity of the vine. This fact is so well 
understood by the Swiss vigneron, that every 
advantage within his reach is availed to the attain- 
ment of these desiderata. I have known in the 
Canton de Vaud, in vine grounds occupying the 
side of a mountain, the soil of which was a mix- 
ture of stone and gravel, where, from the preci- 
pitous position, the descent was rapid, and the 
soil so loose, that it might fairly be supposed 
that the least moisture from springs or rain would 
not remain an hour. Deep trenches, or artificial 
drains, crossing in oblique angles at intersection of 
about fifty feet, the whole area of a hundred acres. 
The subterraneous conduits were about three feet 
square, the superior surface being probably four 
feet below that of the vineyard, and entire- 



INTRODUCTION. 51 

ly beneath the roots of the plant. Whether or 
not they have been adopted in draining our wet 
lands, I am unable to say ; but they are effective 
to that purpose ; and in a country where land 
bears so high a value as the vinegrounds of 
Switzerland, the soil preserved forms no incon- 
siderable feature in a calculation of the expense 
of sinking them. The trenches are filled with 
large broken stones, the angles of which prevent 
too close a contact, affording a passage for the 
water from above, and the moisture of the springs, 
if any, from the soil, percolate till they are dis- 
charged at the outlet into the public highway, or 
some neighbouring brook. On the surface of the 
soil they are not seen, as a deep covering of earth 
conceals them from superficial observation, form- 
ing thereby no interruption to the profitable cul- 
tivation of the ground. 

By these means the superabundant moisture is 
discharged, and the land, which in our country 
is lost from ditches cut for the draining of wet 
soils, is preserved to the Swiss proprietor. The 
humidity of the climate of Switzerland induces 
cultivation, which greatly increases the expense 
of the vigneron, and which may not be found 
necessary or even advantageous with us. 

Were I to cultivate the vine in Pennsylvania, 
with no more light than I at present possess on 
the subject, I should not, as in Switzerland, se- 
lect as absolutely necessary (though I admit 
that a decided preference should be given it) the 
inclination of a hill as the site of my vineyard. 
I should seek to unite an arid soil and a dry at- 
mosphere, and, with this view, when the choice 



52 INTRODUCTION. 

were at command, should certainly prefer a 
sandy soil, or a soil of stone and gravel. I 
should by all means avoid a close argillaceous 
loam, as the rains accumulating on a stiff clay 
bottom, are, of all sources of injury, most to be 
deprecated, as hostile to the prosperity of the 
vineyard. It is on account of the reflected heat 
of the southern declination, that the inclination 
of a hill is chosen by the Swiss vigneron, as he 
obtains thereby an increase of temperature of se- 
veral degrees, not afforded by the natural climate 
of the country, and gets rid at the same time of a 
superabundant moisture, from the rains which 
dispute with his efforts the artificial advantages 
he has thus obtained. 

In considering the state of the vine cultivation 
of that country, we should always bear in mind 
that the climate is so essentially different in many 
important points from that of Pennsylvania, as 
to induce a rational belief that the system adopt- 
ed there, though protected by the fostering hand 
of government, as well as the active, support and 
influence of private associations, confirmed as it 
is by long experience, may not be found the best 
for the American cultivator. Such, on a close 
observation of the comparative advantages of 
the two countries, is my decided opinion. 

The Swiss cultivator finds it necessary by 
every means available to his art, to counteract 
the injurious effects, to which a proximity to the 
Jura exposes the vine of that country. It is 
quite a common feature of the Canton of Vaud^ 
to have the mercury of Fahrenheit ranging be- 
tween seventy and eighty degrees at the meridian^ 



INTRODUCTION. 53 

and be chilled by a temperature of fifty at mid- 
night. Such a transition, and especially where, 
as in Switzerland, it is almost as regular as the 
succession of day and night, requires all the ad- 
vantages which art can bring to the relief of the 
cultivation, and accordingly the vigneron of the 
Cantons has found, that the most effectual way to 
equalize these variations, is to give his vines that 
heat absorbed by the ground during day, and 
transmitted after nightfall. It is with this view 
that the pruning is directed in Switzerland, 
where at the spring cutting, the vine is reduced 
to the height of three feet, which brings, of 
course, the fruit within a short distance of the 
soil. In fact it would be impossible in that cold 
country to ripen the grape in any other manner; 
whilst on the contrary, such a system, if pursued 
in Italy, would scorch the fruit and induce a 
premature decay. The like result would pro- 
bably attend a similar system in Pennsylvania, 
where the summer temperature is sufficiently 
elevated to allow the vine to be trailed as in 
Italy, and ripen the fruit at the distance of a 
dozen feet from the ground. 

It is to the interest of the liberal and public 
spirited cultivator, that we shall be indebted for 
much of our knowledge of American vine grow- 
ing. To that feeling which regards the ultimate 
object, rather than the immediate effects of the 
system, which shall induce those intelligent and 
useful experiments, that are the strong charac- 
teristics of Swiss cultivation, and which constant- 
ly elicit new lights and establish new facts, of 

E 2 



54 INTRODUCTION. 

which, even the practical vigneron can have no 
anticipation. 

Though delighting in a warm and invigorating 
sunshine, the vine suffers from an elevated tem- 
perature, and hence it may be found that with 
us the reflected heat of the southern declination 
may prove unfavourable to the cultivation. 
Another objection to such a position with us 
may possibly be, that the spring vegetation will 
be premature, and the blossoms endangered by 
the late frosts of the season. These are facts to 
be deduced only from experience. The scorch- 
ing heats of the torrid zone, and the chilling 
climates of the north, are both unfavourable to 
the prosperity of the vine. The best are un- 
questionably those of a temperate climate, and 
the soils in which we find the richest productions 
of the vine, are those of a light sand, and a soil 
of stone and gravel. In the latter, the absorp- 
tion of heat during the day, and transmission of 
it, when the rays of the sun are oblique, tend to 
maintain an equilibrium of temperature highly 
favourable to the ripening of the fruit, and a 
concentration of the sacharine principle, which 
imparts to the vine its most delicious flavour. 

The rains as well as the atmosphere insinuate 
most freely into such soils, and contribute, and 
contrive to expand and develop the principle of 
vegetation. The wines of a close and loamy 
soil are always inferior, and though the plant 
shows in such ground, a vigorous vegetation, the 
product of the vintage is always mediocre. The 
European planter, north of Milan, prefers the 
inclination of a hill, and the neighbourhood of a 



INTRODUCTION. 55 

river or lake. The country of the Rhine and 
Danube produce the most recherche of wines. 

The vineyards from which we have the Tokay, 
are in the vicinity of the Tesse. Those of the 
Hermitage, Cote, Rotie, with other fine wines, are 
on the banks of the Rhone. The best wines of 
Switzerland, those of La Vaux, and La Cote, are 
on the shores of the Lake of Geneva, and the red 
wines of Cortaillod, in the Canton of Neufchatel, 
are on the banks of the lake of that name. 
Whilst, therefore, the European planter depre- 
cates as an evil the heavy and continued rains, 
he invites as we perceive for his vineyard the 
gentle dews of the mountain, and evaporations of 
the lake. But little can be positively assumed 
as to the precise period at which the vine was 
first introduced into Switzerland. Tradition af- 
firms that the first vineyards of that country 
were planted by a monastery of Friars, between 
the towns of Lausanne and Vevey, on a steep 
hill on the borders of the lake of Geneva, in the 
district of La Vaux, where at this day the best 
wines of the Canton of Vaud are produced, and 
where the vine lands of Switzerland have attain- 
ed their maximum of value. 

I have examined the soil of these positions, 
which is porous and stony, and so precipitous is 
the descent, even to the margin of the lake, that 
to prevent the wash of the torrent, it has been 
found necessary to cut the mountain into terraces, 
a custom which, in such situations, is general in 
that country. These terraces rise above each 
other like steps, and when viewed from the 
deck of a steamer on the lake, form a pleasing 



56 INTRODUCTION. 

relief to the natural wildness of the perspective. 
With some slight variations from curvatures and 
sinuosities, the whole line of these hills presents 
a southern aspect, the feature constituting so im- 
portant a desideratum in the establishment of the 
Swiss vineyard. There are not wanting, how- 
ever, even in that capricious climate, instances 
where an eastern exposure produces a tolerably- 
good wine; and it appears a question of some 
difficulty, to which of these advantageous cir- 
cumstances the superiority of the vines of La 
Vaux is to be ascribed. It may be a combina- 
tion of all, though it is believed by many intelli- 
gent vine growers, that to each vineyard, nay, to 
each particular plant, there is a soil peculiarly 
favourable, which promotes beyond all others its 
prosperity and advancement. Some among them 
reject this theory, and profess to consider the 
earth as the nursing mother of the vine, from 
which, according to a distinguished Swiss culti- 
vator " it derives its flowers, its foliage, and its 
fruit," but that the quality of its production, 
"its vinous essence, its sacharine properties and 
flavour," are imparted by the rays of the sun, 
the etherial principle of the atmosphere, and the 
dews of nightfall. 

From the conflicting opinions of experienced 
cultivators, in a country where for centuries the 
vine has formed a prominent feature of agricul- 
ture, it may be fairly inferred how difficult it is 
to establish positive rules for the cultivation, or 
to form any definite conclusion on a subject, 
where the masters of the art are so much at va- 
riance. For my own part, contradictory as they 



INTRODUCTION. 57 

appear, I think them so in appearance only, and 
that the discrepancy of testimony is capable of a 
satisfactory solution. In my opinion, it is the 
vine which is itself capricious, misleading, like 
the ignis fatuus, the inquirer but just entered 
upon a consideration of the subject, and that the 
Swiss proprietor has given the results of his ex- 
perience, and which may have been decidedly 
opposite in the vineyard of his neighbour, pos- 
sessing a different exposure, though at the dis- 
tance of a hundred yards from each other. 

From all these considerations, the American 
cultivator may infer, that enough is already known 
to encourage and stimulate him in the cultivation, 
but that years will probably pass away before 
the capabilities of his vineyard shall be fully de- 
veloped. Some will succeed even beyond ex- 
aggerated hope; and where the product of others 
shall fall short, it may yet be equal to an ample 
remuneration for their expense and labour. 
Should even their wines be inferior, the reflec- 
tion naturally arises, what is the proportion in 
the consumption of ordinary and superior wines. 
The answer will be greatly in favour of the for- 
mer, and they will probably be swept off by an 
active demand, whilst the finer vintage will ripen 
in the vaults of the factor, and slowly, though 
surely be required, by increasing wealth, or in- 
creasing prodigality. To the cultivator of our 
country it therefore appears, that the site of the 
vineyard is a consideration which well deserves 
a judicious attention. We have reason to deem 
it less imperative than in the colder regions of 
the Swiss mountains^ but we should not disre- 



58 INTRODUCTION. 

gard such advantages when fairly at command ; 
and though in adopting the different systems of 
European cuUivation, no certain reliance can be 
had that results in our climate and soils will be 
the same; prudence will dictate the selection 
of such a position, in the establishment of 
the vineyard, as shall afford to the new plan- 
tation, a combination of the different advan- 
tages of which we have spoken. These are 
at last experiments, and should not deter those 
from the cultivation whose farms do not com- 
bine all these points. In the Canton of Vaud, 
the districts not possessing all' the advantages 
found at La Vaux, produce in their vine grounds, 
(the soil of many of which is as barren as steri- 
lity itself) their different wines, which inferior 
as they may be, are yet the staple of the country, 
and give to such waste lands a value exceeding 
that of their richest grass. 

The " Vin de la Cote," produced on the bor-^ 
ders of the lake, between Morges and Geneva, 
is the production of that part of the country, 
next in estimation to those of La Vaux, which, 
Ihough not so spirituous as those of the latter, 
appears to suffer less from foreign transportation, 
and is exported to Holland, England, and occa- 
sionally to France. 

We find the vineyards producing the best 
white wines of La Vaux, to be those of Cully, 
Reiz, Epress, and Le Dessalay. The red wines 
of the district maintaining the highest reputation 
to be those of Treytorens, and St. Saphorin. 
The wine district of the coast is more limited 
than that of La Vaux, the best coast wines being 



INTRODUCTION. 59 

those of Tarteguin, Mont, and Fechy. I found, 
on examining these vineyards, that the soil, like 
that of La Vaux, was a stoney gravel, and before 
seeing them, had been at some loss to under- 
stand, whence arose the great difference in the 
quality of the different wines, the situation of 
both, having been represented to me as similar, 
and the soils alike. On visiting the vine grounds 
of La Vaux, the cause of difference was at once 
apparent. The vineyards of the coast occupy a 
range of hills, stretching along the shores of the 
lake, in a slight variation from the straight line, 
whilst the shores of La Vaux are marked by 
bold headlands and deep indentations, forming 
the most picturesque and romantic glens. In 
these protected recesses, the planter has judi^ 
ciously established his vineyard, and seized and 
appropriated the immense advantage of a triple 
reflection of the rays of the summer sun. 

The wines of La Vaux are generally good, 
but it is almost impossible for the stranger to be- 
lieve that a difference so striking in quality 
could exist, as that between the wines of such 
a position, and those of the same neighbourhood, 
when the vineyard does not not possess the like 
advantage. 

The district of Paleyres, in the neighbourhood 
of Lausanne, produces a fair wine, which has 
the advantage of improving by time, (a fea- 
ture by no means characteristic of the Swiss 
wines) and is recommended by the physi- 
cians of the country, as salutary and invigo- 
rating to the feebleness offage. I remarked 
in this district no peculiarity in the treatment or 
cultivation. The vines occupy the inclination 



60 INTRODUCTION. 

of a hill, and the labour and pruning appeared 
the same as those of the Canton generally. A 
perfect neatness was the prominent feature of 
those vineyards, and order and arrangement 
were conspicuous among them in a high degree. 
The plants were free of moss, that noxious para- 
sitic, with which, under a negligent culture, the 
vineyard is infested and the grounds were clean, 
regularly staked, and free of weeds. The wines 
of Montreux are esteemed, and^^those of Yvorne, 
particularly the red, are considered among the 
fine productions of the Canton of Vaud. I found 
in the Canton of La Vallais, between Brieg and 
St. Maurice, the soil and cultivation not unlike 
those of La Vaux. The wines of La Vallais are 
esteemed. A fine Muscat is produced there, 
bearing, for a Swiss wine, a high reputation, and 
which I thought inferior to the same wine of 
France. The two principal wines of ths^t Can- 
ton, are the " Coquempin^^ and " La Marque,^^ 
the latter of which, a strong wine, is the produce 
of vineyards which occupy an exceedingly steep 
hill, part of which has an eastern exposure and 
part facing south. 

The wines of La Valtaline, and Chiavenne, 
are also esteemed, among which is a sweet wine, 
of a strong body for a wine of that country. 
These are the principal wines of Switzerland, 
except those of Neufchatel, of these I shall have 
occasion to speak hereafter. 

There are other districts producing inferior 
wines, which I did not consider as worth the 
trouble of visiting, and of which I can say no- 
thing; as I wish to confine my remarks to such 



INTRODUCTION. 61 

as came within the range of a personal observa- 
tion. Inferior, as they certainly are, to the wines 
of that country, they demonstrate, in a greater or 
less degree, the triumph of cultivation over the 
obstacles of nature, and prove how successfully 
a skilful agriculture may oppose a barren ^il, 
and unpropitious climate. 

There is a feature in the history of Swiss cul- 
tivation, for which I am obliged to Mr. Cordey, 
an intelligent proprietor of Valeyres, in whose 
well ordered vineyards I passed the vintage of 
1831. This feature appears peculiar to that 
country, and does not, so far as I have learned, 
characterize that of either in France or' Italy; 
holding out to the American cultivator a strong 
incentive to untiring perseverance, and calculat- 
ed, during the progress of an experimental culti- 
vation, to stimulate his exertions and sustain his 
hopes. 

Nature is progressive in her operations, not 
less in the vegetable than animal kingdom ; and 
her usual consistency has attended the experi- 
ments of the Swiss vine dresser. The vine, as 
is well known, is not indigenous to Switzerland, 
and consequently the vigneron of that country 
has not escaped the various disappointments in- 
cident to exotic cultivation. In the introduction 
therefore, into that country of different vines 
from abroad, it has been frequently found that 
the plants of foreign cuttings have refused (though 
arrived at the proper age, and possessing a vigo- 
rous maturity) to unfold a solitary flower. Cut- 
tings from such plants have been tried, which 
have blossomed, and the flowering been sacceed- 

F 



62 INTRODUCTION. 

ed by abortion. . From the plants of succeeding; 
cuttings, other cuttings have been cultivated, 
following up the system for several seasons, till 
in the end, a complete success has crowned the 
experiment; and it has been found, that the pro- 
cess of acclimating the stranger plant has not 
reached its full accomplishment, until it has pas- 
sed through four, and sometimes five generations 
of the vine. 

Instead, therefore, of expecting direct success 
from the foreign slips, the Swiss vigneron does 
not look for it. His first plantation is but the 
nursery to supply his future operations; and he 
goes on from season to season, cultivating his 
cuttings from the plants of the preceding year, 
without attempting to form his vineyard of the 
foreign fruit he designs to introduce into his 
grounds, until the fourth, and sometimes the 
fifth year from the exotic cultivation. In one 
corner of the grounds, some half dozen vines, 
from cuttings of the fourth or fifth year are 
placed, the position of each of which is distinctly 
marked, and which, like the fugleman of the 
rifle corps, whose evolutions regulate in the drill 
the movements of a new recruit, serve as the in- 
dicators of the cultivation. When these vines 
produce their first fruit, then is the signal that 
nature has completed her work of acclimation to 
the new locale. From the plants, therefore, of 
that year, the vigneron commences* the business 
of the new cultivation, and prepares to establish 
from the exotic vine his regular vineyard. 

Such is the process by which the cultivator of 
the Cantons naturalizes to his climate the foreign 



INTRODUCTION. 63 

vine. To see the barren source of a prolific 
vineyard shooting its luxuriant branches through 
the Trellis which shades and adorns the cottage 
of the Swiss vine dresser, reminds us of the curse 
on our race, which visits the sjns of the father on 
his unborn children, to the third and fourth ge- 
neration. 

The foreign vine inherits in Switzerland the 
like entail, and, by its sterility, mourns for an 
equal period' a country and a home. But here 
the malediction ends, and the unprofitable vine, 
which has never cheered with a solitary blossom 
the toils of cultivation, sees Ihe patient vigneron 
rewarded by a wide spreading posterity, whose 
purple treasures redeem the debt justly due to 
perseverance, and so " fill the garner with 
plenty, that the presses burst forth with new 
wine." This tardy process illy suits the mercu- 
rial temperature of many of our agricultural 
community, who prefer for the most part a har- 
vest varying with the capabilities of their differ- 
ent soils, to '* some thirty, some sixty, and some 
an hundred fold." But for such, unfortunately, 
nature will not reverse her laws, nor change the 
undeviating course prescribed to her by nature's 
God. If therefore, we be not content to wait 
with patience, the issue of her march, availing of 
results which has cost the European planter 
much labour and expense, and years of patient 
cultivation, we realize the story of the silly boy 
in the fable, who, in thrusting his hand into the 
jar of filberts, grasped more than he could carry, 
and lost the object of his avaricious desires. To 
most of us, the prospect of immediate gain is the 



64 INTRODUCTION. 

strong incentive to action. It is the lever of 
Archimedes which turns the world, the passion 
that most easily besets us, and occupies each 
avenue of the heart. The several members of 
the community may find in a fostering protection 
of the vine, the gratification of this pervading 
influence. To the farmer, it will supersede the 
crops that now, from season to season, accumu- 
late in the warehouses of the factor, and reduce 
to its minimum the harvest of his labours. The 
landholder will understand the effect on his in- 
terest, when he shall reflect that in the Canton 
of Vaud, where but for the vine, much of the 
ground appropriated to that culture would be 
a barren waste, commands in the sale a better 
price than the richest grass bottoms. The low- 
est rate at which we may estimate the value of a 
pose of land in that part of the Canton least fa- 
vourable to the cultivation, is perhaps fifty 
pounds sterling. In the district of La Vaux, the 
best vine lands readily command eighteen thou- 
sand francs of France per pose, about three 
thousand five hundred dollars our money, and, 
as may be readily supposed, from such a value, 
is generally in the hands of the capitalist, by 
whom it is seldom sold, and rarely to be found 
in the market, except in case of the death of a 
proprietor, where a sale of it may be necessary 
to a division among his heirs. I am confident 
that no other cultivation of Switzerland would 
give to tfiese lands a value of fifty dollars the 
pose; and we have in this fact alone an argu- 
ment paramount to the objections raised against 
an introduction of the vine amongst us, calling 



INTRODUCTION. 65 

on us as members of a community, in which 
agriculture affords an important resource, to adopt 
a cultivation, promising such important results. 
Many years ago the raising of the grape was at- 
tempted in Pennsylvania. A society bearing 
the name, if I remember correctly, of the '^ Vine 
Company of Pennsylvania," was incorporated 
by the legislature of the State, and after several 
years of zealous experiment, were defeated in 
their laudable attempts to introduce among us 
the foreign vine. Many intelligent members of 
the agricultural community were enlisted in the 
patriotic labour ; and the good wishes of the pub- 
lic warmly excited in favour of the infant asso- 
ciation, abandoned, I believe, after some years of 
abortive experiment. 

To examine the details of their proceedings, 
and ascertain, if possible, the remote and proxi- 
mate causes of their defeat ; how far the locale 
on which they established was favourable or ad- 
verse to the prosperity of the vineyard ; what 
vines were introduced ; their mode of pruning, 
&c. may afford to those who shall follow in their 
footsteps, new lights to direct their operations, 
and become the beacons, by which to avoid the 
shoals that wrecked the enterprise of their pa- 
triotic predecessors. To revive this society, and, 
under the auspices of public protection, attempt 
once again the experiment which has heretofore 
resisted our efforts, following up the system with 
all the advantages which an observant expe- 
rience has shed around the cultivator, will be an 
effective means to accomplish the desired object, 

r 2 



'66 INTRODUCTION. 

and open the way to a new staple of agricul- 
ture. 

The subject well deserves the attention of the 
State, and at a period when the liberality of the 
legislature expands towards every branch of do- 
mestic industry, we cannot but hope that the 
fostering hand of government will be extended 
to the protection of the vine. It is in our coun- 
try the age of internal improvement, and the 
patriot legislator will find, that the march of his 
country to a virtual independence of other na- 
tions, has no parallel, save in the almost forgot- 
ten fable which amused his infantile fancy whilst 
listening to the marvellous details of the hero, 
whose seven league wonders have been a fruitful 
theme of the nursery from generation to gene- 
ration. 

Adjoining the Canton of Vaud, is the Canton 
of Neufchatel, which, though claiming and re- 
cognised to be a member of the Helvetic confede- 
ration, is nevertheless, (strange anomaly in the 
science of government) a province of Prussia; 
whose monarch, as prince of Neufchatel, is su- 
preme ruler of this sovereign member of the 
Cantons. But Neufchatel is a vine growing 
country, and to a lover of the cultivation a visit 
to her vineyards is a deep gratification. 

Among the vine countries of Europe which I 
have seen, the Canton of Neufchatel is pre-emi- 
nent. The hills for several miles around the 
capital, present beyond comparison the most 
beautiful appearance of order and regularity. 

The symmetry of the vineyard is singularly im- 
pressive, and the perfection which the cultivation 



INTRODUCTION. 67 

of the vine has attained in this Canton, has given 
to the barren gravelly hills a value which will 
scarcely be credited by the American farmer. 

Under the liberal hand of public protection 
and individual associations, the cultivation has 
arrived at the acme of perfection ; and it is per- 
haps there that the strongest encouragement is 
manifested in the complete triumph of skill and 
perseverance, over the many obstacles which 
nature opposes in general to an acclimating of 
the foreign vine. The grape introduced was 
that of Burgundy, and long and arduous was the 
struggle, on the part of the vigneron of Neufcha- 
tel, before the full acclimating of this delicate 
plant. But now, it is at home, even in that ca- 
pricious climate, where on one side at no great 
distance the hoary headed Alps, with the eternal 
glaciers of Mont Blanc, St. Gothard, and Cenis, 
shed around their chilly and inhospitable in- 
fluence, and immediately adjoining, on the other 
the Jura attracts the dark clouds overhanging 
her vineyards. 

The grape has sujQTered however from the emi- 
gration ; and by some cf those indefinable causes 
affecting in a manner so singular the character of 
this versatile plant, has been injuriously changed 
in the removal. Perhaps this deterioration of 
quality may be ascribed to the loss of heat pre- 
vailing at Burgundy, or the increased humidity 
from rains, of the new locale; as the soil around 
Neufchatel is not unlike that from which it was 
taken . 

The proximity of the lake would appear to 
promise, in the theory, some advantages from the 



68 INTRODUCTION. 

evaporation of the summer sun, yet we find that 
the wine of that district is unquestionably infe- 
rior to the production of the same plant at Dijon. 
Yet what is the result? The wines are good, and for 
Switzerland, of extraordinary flavour, and I ask 
the American cultivator for a moment to reflect, 
what would be the annual product of an acre of 
land, when told that the best wines of Neufcha- 
tel frequently command in the country of their 
growth, three francs of France per bottle, nearly 
sixty cents, our money, and the best of it, when 
age has mellowed its quality, and imparted to it 
the flavour which only time can give, is not un- 
frequently sold at four francs the bottle. At the 
former price, therefore, we find the pose of land 
producing an annual crop of four thousand bot- 
tles, returning to the proprietor the amount of 
1200 francs of France, upwards of two thousand 
dollars, in a single vintage. Let me not be mis- 
understood. I do not pretend to assert that such 
prices can be obtained at the press, or even in 
gross. The conservation, and previous prepara- 
tion of the wine, and putting it into bottles for 
the market, must precede a sale at such rates, 
which is attended, of course, with some cost and 
labour. This forms another branch of the 
trade, from which a numerous portion of the 
community derive a support, by purchasing of 
the proprietor his crop of wine. Sometimes at- 
hazard, in the early part of the season, before the 
character of the vintage can be known, whilst 
the results, like the prizes of the lottery, is in the 
wheel. At others, as the wine flows from the 
press, when by a system of transvasing, and not 



INTRODUCTION. 69 

unfrequently adulteration, by a mixture of the 
wines of a favourable season with those of an in- 
ferior vintage, the wines are got up for the 
market, and sold in detail. But where the pro- 
prietor is provided with the necessary vessels, 
and proper vaults, for the conservation of his 
wines, he sometimes prefers to dispose of his 
crop, in detail, in the same manner ; in which 
case he is enabled, where he has the credit of 
good faith, to dispose of his wines at an advan- 
ced rate over those of the professed dealer, a 
greater confidence is accorded to the purity of 
his wines, and their freedom from the pernicious 
materiel used in the process of adulteration and 
colouring. 

It was in the latter part of July that I examin- 
ed the vine grounds of Neufchatel, and I can un- 
hesitatingly aver, that neither in France, Italy, 
nor any other part of Switzerland, did I find so 
perfectly neat and beautiful a cultivation. From 
a coup dfoeil of the vineyards of that Canton, 
may be perceived at the first blush, the pecuniary 
profit of their wine making ; which is indicated 
by the great expense at which high walls are 
erected to protect the vine ground from the nor- 
thern blast, and the manner in which the moun- 
tain is divided into terraces ; by which the full 
force of the reflected heat, is assured to the vine 
and its productions. Over the gateway, is 
usually an inscription, showing the date of the 
erection, from which it is perceived, that many 
of them are upwards of a century old. The 
cultivation here is similar to that of the Canton 
of Vaud, though much more neatly performed. 



70 INTRODUCTION. 

There is, however, a greater distance between 
the rows of the vineyard, in this, than in the ad- 
joining Canton, but the plants in the line appear 
as close to each other, doubtless, in order to ob- 
tain all that the land is capable of producing. 
One of my first reflections on visiting these vine- 
yards, was, whence is it that the vine grounds of 
!Neufchatel, producing a wine equal in quality to 
that of La Vaux, and commanding in the sale, as 
fair a price, can be purchased at a rate below that 
of the vine grounds of La Vaux. Before I saw 
the capital, I visited the vine grounds of the Can- 
ton, but the moment of entering the beautiful 
city of Neufchatel, we bid adieu to all the capti- 
vating appearances of Swiss simplicity. In vain 
the eye seeks amid the pomp and luxury of vice- 
royalty, the unpretending comforts we have left 
behind. 

The gaudy palace, with its gilded fretwork, 
proclaims that the leech is there which preys on 
the life blood of society, and wrings from the 
hard hand of industry its scanty pittance, to 
glitter like the phosphorescence of corruption in 
the gauderies of the crown. Yet it is but justice 
to say of the Prussian king, that his sway is 
mild and paternal, and that the people of Neuf- 
chatel appear contented and happy. The taxes 
of the Canton are lighter than those of their 
neighbours of Vaud, and if compared with some 
of our own local governments (Philadelphia, for 
example) are as nothing. Yet under much 
heavier burdens we are prosperous. Republican 
institutions impart to all within the sphere of 
their influence a moral, a pecuniary value un- 



INTRODUCTION. 71 

known to despotic rule. We confide in the per- 
manency of the system, where the people are 
sovereign, and feel that no oppression can live, 
which springs from a delegated power, whilst 
the inhabitant of Neufchatel has no security for 
his rights but the personal character of his king, 
whose breath, like that of other men, is in his 
nostrils, and who at any moment, may be called 
to his eternal reward, to be succeeded, it may 
be, in his gos^ernment, by all the misrule which 
stains the story of Nero, or Domitian, or Ca- 
ligula. 

The wines of Neufchatel are white and red, 
the latter being generally preferred, having more 
body, and capable of preservation to a greater 
age. The white, however, possesses this ad- 
vantage : it better resists the rigours of the 
Swiss climate, and flourishes when a less degree 
of heat can be obtained, and where any attempt 
to cultivate the red grape must be futile. I have 
omitted in this brief view of the Swiss vines, 
some of the minor districts of the country, con- 
fining myself to such as came within the range 
of my personal observatio;i. Many of these ap- 
pear to me, to possess important points, available 
to the American agriculturalist. The vine is 
indigenous to the United States. To Switzer- 
land it is of foreign origin. Is it not strange that 
in Pennsylvania, the climate of which forms a 
summer temperature, eminently favourable to 
the habits of the plant, we should this day be 
tributary to foreign countries for an article 
which by habit has become a necessary of life, 
and continue to change the harvest of a hundred 



72 INTRODUCTION. 

acres of good land, and the labour required to 
produce it, for the produce of a single arpent of 
French vine ground. Yet such is the case ; and 
it is a reflection on the national character, that a 
lethargy so unaccountable should trammel the 
energy of our agricultural community, and lock 
up a bountiful source of relief to our suffering 
cultivation. Let us profit by the experience of 
the Swiss vine dresser, and I do not despair of 
seeing in ten years, the vineyards of the tJnited 
States rivalling in luxuriance, and surpassing in 
the quality of its productions, the vine of Swit- 
zerland. 



CULTIVATION 



OF THK 



VINE IN ITALY. 



G 



CULTIVATION, &c. 



" Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the 
leopard his spots,'^ is the energetic language of 
holy writ, from which we feel the full force of 
the law established for the government of ani- 
mal nature. Whether in the deepest recesses of 
his native forest, or the circumvented captive of 
man, the ferocious being referred to, is still the 
same. An intelligence more effective than phy- 
sical strength dooms him to a life of durance, 
which violates the strongest principle of his 
nature; and his indomitable spirit is trained to 
obedience by hunger and stripes. But a thirst 
of blood shows him controlled, not changed ; and 
bolts and bars are the strong assurance we feel of 
safety in his presence. Death, the great scene 
shifter, confirms, rather than changes his attri- 
butes, and carnage follows in his train, as the 
brindled housing adorns the war horse, and in- 
flames the spirit of his martial rider. 

Sufierance, saith Shylock, is the badge of our 
tribe ; and the patient son of Africa, long the sport 
of cupidity and violence, hath a prescriptive 
title to appropriate the axiom. 

Though the broad wave of ocean rolls betwixt 



76 CULTIVATION OF THE 

him and his native fields, and generations have 
faded since his forefathers were spirited from 
their homes, he still bears on his front the burn- 
ing memorial of the equator's sun. 

Not so with the vegetable world. The russet 
brown of the Swiss vine is changed in the neigh- 
bouring state for the yellow skin. The same 
plant shows there another foilage ; vegetation is 
more active ; and another hue, and different cul- 
tivation, are induced by a fertile soil and more 
genial climate. Italy is justly styled the garden 
of Europe. The rich exuberance of her olive 
yards and vine grounds indicate the strength of 
her soil and mildness of her climate, and the 
rank luxuriance of vegetable life, is in striking 
contrast with the wan cheek and enervate frame 
of the cultivator of the modern Eden. Nature 
has been prodigal of her bounty to this favoured 
land, and where such is the case, man is in gene- 
ral studious of ease. 

In passing from Switzerland, it is impossible 
to overlook the effect which a difference of cli- 
mate has exercised on the appearance of the two 
countries. The agriculture of Switzerland is a 
system of patient and persevering labour, and 
the soil yields ungraciously her stinted crops. 
The appearance of the Swiss peasant corresponds 
with the bold and rugged outlines of his country, 
and his robust and hardy bearing manifests a 
contempt of forbearance, and a familiarity with 
exposure. That this dijfference should be a fea- 
ture in the agriculture of the countries, is a natu- 
ral consequence, and accordingly we find that 
though the cultivation of the vine in Italy, from 



VINE IN ITALY. 77 

the great difference of the climate, varies essen- 
tially from that of Switzerland, it has not receiv- 
ed the same care, nor attained the same perfec- 
tion in the former, as in the latter country. 
Notwithstanding this, the wines of Italy are far 
superior to those of Switzerland; and it would be 
difficult to imagine, to what an exquisite perfec- 
tion they might attain under the judicious atten- 
tion of Swiss industry. But they are good 
enough as it is, and some of them are not sur- 
passed, if indeed they are equalled, by the pro- 
ductions of any other part of vine growing 
Europe. 

In quitting Switzerland for the south, two 
principal roads cross the Alps, that of Simplon, 
by Milan, and that of Mont Cenis, by Turin. 
Both these roads traverse a country luxuriant of 
vines ; and though I have twice passed each, the 
passing of the latter was early in spring, whilst 
both passages in going south were made during 
the vintage, thus affording a better opportunity 
of observing the character and cultivation of the 
vine in Italy. 

We find on the Cenis road, on approaching 
Chamberry, (the capital of Savoy) a country 
fertile of wines, presenting to the eye the most 
beautiful undulations of vine covered hills and 
vales. 

Though the vine constitutes in Savoy a pro- 
minent feature of the agriculture of the country, 
the vineyards around Chamberry afford no pe- 
culiarity in the history of the grape, the cultiva- 
tion of w^hich differs entirely from that of Swit- 
zerland, and here, for the first time since quitting 

G 2 



78 CULTIVATION OP THE 

that country, assumes the appearance, which a 
difference of climate and treatment have given 
to, the Italian vineyard. One of the most re- 
markable of the vine growing districts on this 
route, is at the village of St. Julien, the singular 
aspect of which can hardly fail to arrest the at- 
tention of the traveller at all curious in the 
study of the vine. The vineyards of St. Julien 
occupy the sides of the most barren rocks of 
that country ; and I was at a loss to discover the 
necessary soil for the support of the plants. 
The vines were not more than six inches in 
height; of short stunted growth, and crowded 
together in a confused mass, without order, the 
space intervening being scarcely sufficient to 
allow the weeding them. The weeding, if any, 
must of course be the work of the hand, though 
I could not perceive enough of soil to presup- 
pose the necessity of that operation. It is to the 
peculiarity of this stony locale^ the reflected heat 
of the sun, and the absence of humidity from 
springs in the vine grounds, that the delicate 
flavour of the wines of St Julien is to be ascribed. 
The extreme sterility of soil, which checks in the 
plant that tendency to florid vegetation which is 
so strongly characteristic of the vine, is regarded 
by the vigneron of that district, as conducing in 
no small degree to the reputation of his vintage. 
But' the delicacy of these wines is such, that 
they do not bear a foreign transportation, and 
when drunk abroad, they are of necessity so 
highly reinforced, that they bear an inferior and 
different character. Both red and white wines 
are produced at St Julien. I consider the latter 



VINE IN ITALY. 79 

to be the pleasanter wine, being free from the 
astringency common to the red wines of Italy.^ 
It is the cultivation of that part of the country 
traversed by the Simplon road, with which I am 
more familiar. The village of Domo d'Ossola, 
the first Italian hamlet at the foot of the Alps on 
entering the Milanese, is the threshold of that 
vine growing country, though, from a proximity 
to the mountain, the seasons of the district are 
irregular, and therefore the vine can hardly be 
expected to possess the superiority belonging so 
generally to the southern climate. The plain, 
at the commencement of which this village is 
situated, is fertile to an extraordinary degree, and 
in passing the road thence, on approaching the 
little town of Baveno,on the Lago Maggiore, the 
whole country may be termed a vineyard, as in 
all the cultivations, whether of corn or grass, 
the vine is introduced, forming a prominent 
feature of agriculture. 

From this point to Milan the vine abounds, 
and to wander at leisure through the country, in 
the height of the vintage, is to riot in pleasure, 
realizing all that the most ardent imagination can 
conceive of the festival of Pomona. 

I have seen at noon a number of donkeys re- 
leased at the vineyard from the labours of trans- 
portation, each witli his head half buried in the 
embouchure of a cask, surcharged with the de- 
licious fruit, devouring with avidity the newly 
gathered grapes, and a stream of sweets flowing 
from either side of his mouth. I cannot recur to 
the incident, without an active sympathy in the 



80 CULTIVATION OF THE 

delights of the laborious little operative of the 
Italian vineyard. 

The road between Milan and Bologna, traverses 
the plains of Lombardy, a country of luxuriant 
fertility, from which the husbandman receives 
four, and sometimes five crops in the year. The 
intervening space, as far as Lodi, is a perfect 
plain, in which extensive crops of rice are cul- 
tivated. Here also the vine flourishes with a 
luxuriance corresponding with the fertility of the 
soil. Their wines however are not of long du- 
ration, and their quality confirms the theory, 
that a close argillaceous bottom, though giving to 
the plant an exuberant foliage, is not the source 
from which we derive the finest wines. 

From this point, as far south as Naples, the 
cultivation is similar, differing from that of 
Switzerland, both as to pruning and exposure. 
The vines are planted in rows, about twenty 
feet apart, and the plants in the row at the dis- 
tance of six feet from each other. Instead of 
being, as in Switzerland, cut down to the height 
of four feet, they are suffered to shoot forth their 
branches to the extent to which nature limits 
them, and the fruit may be seen in ripening clus- 
ters, frequently twenty feet from the ground. 
The support is the mulberry tree, the branches 
of which are reduced to the length of five or six 
feet from the trunk at the point of diverging, the 
inner shoots being so cut as to form a frame re- 
sembling in shape the cone of a wine glass. The 
branches of the vine are trailed in graceful 
festoons from tree to tree, the tendrils insinuat- 
ing through the frame, form tops in such a man- 



VINE IN ITALlt. 81 

tier that the broad leaf of the mulberry effectually 
shelters the fruit from the scorching heats of the 
Italian sun. I consider this mode of supporting 
the vine, as decidedly objectionable. The roots 
of the living tree cannot fail greatly to check the 
growth of the plant, choking the fibrous radicles 
which, like so many feelers, the vine puts forth in 
every direction, in search of nutrition and ali- 
ment. Every vine dresser is aware of the im- 
portance of keeping his grounds free of w^eeds, 
and especially the vine itself, from the noxious 
parasitic with which, under a negligent culture, 
the vineyard is infested. This remark applies 
also to any extraneous cultivation among the 
vines; and it is in cupidity, not ignorance, that 
the Italian cultivator gives to his vines the sup- 
port of the living tree. Of the four cardinal 
sources, of the wealth, for example, of Tuscany, 
the silk worm is not the least ; and the leaf of 
the mulberry, as is well known, is the favourite 
food of that industrious little minister to the 
vanity of their fairer portion of the civil commu- 
nity. With the Italian community, the cultiva- 
tion, therefore, is of interest, as he derives from 
the labours of the silk worm a more than full 
indemnity for the injury inflicted on the vine- 
yard. Such motive cannot influence us in the 
cultivation, as our country afibrds sufficient space 
to allot to each a distinct establishment; whilst in 
Italy they have been crowded together, by the 
necessities of a dense population, and the conse- 
quent high price of land. 

It does not appear to me that it will be found 
necessary in our country, to leave so great a space 



S2 - CULTIVATION OP THE 

between the rows of the vineyard as in Italy, 
where the Italian husbandman cultivates his crops 
of grass and grain, greatly, as I think, to the pre- 
judice of the vineyard. The vines are planted 
in a line of cultivated ground, the breadth of 
which is about three feet, showing a careful dig- 
ging, which keeps it soft and mellow, and gene- 
rally free of weeds. On the same plain is the 
Duchy of Parma, exhibiting a similar cultivation 
and production, in which little peculiarity is 
found. 

In the Duchy of Modena, the state adjoining 
to Parma, where the soil and cultivation are the 
same, there is little variety as to the fruit culti- 
vated. 

Tlie Malvoisie, a delicate fruit, is found at 
Modena in great perfection ; and to those seeing 
it for the first time, presents a striking peculiarity. 
The bunch is large, weighing from one and a 
half to two pounds. 

The fruit is so small that it does not exceed 
the size of the elder berry, and without seed. 
On each bunch may be found some half dozen 
grapes, as large as the native black cherry of 
Pennsylvania, having the usual number of seeds, 
a peculiarity, as I observed, of the Malvoisie. 
The grapes possess a luscious sacharine flavour, 
affording a delicious wine, in great estimation 
among the Italian ladies, and bought with eager- 
ness by Courts and Kings. 

The situation of Parma and Modena, is at 
variance with the Swiss doctrine, that the incli- 
nation of a hill is essential to the prosperity of 
the vine. In fact, it is not so in a country 



VINE IN ITALY, 83 

where the natural heat of the climate is equal to 
a temperature of seventy degrees, during a 
considerable part of summer. The wines of 
these districts, though delicious when new, will 
hardly support the keeping of three years; and 
it will be recollected, that but little attention is 
given to the conservation of them, as the vintage, 
unlike that of Switzerland, which is exposed to 
injury from a capricious climate, is uniform, and 
abundant, affording each season, a product more 
than sufficient for the requirements of the coun- 
try, though consumed with a liberality, charac- 
teristic of excessive abundance. The cultivation 
of Italy affords the strongest encouragement in 
favour of an introduction of the vine amongst us. 
I have before adverted to the great labour be- 
stowed on the vine in Switzerland. Such is the 
forced state of vine growing in that country, 
that it appears as though a constant warfare, 
on the part of the Swiss vigneron, was waged 
against the capricious inconstancy of his cli- 
mate. But the cultivation of Italy is widely 
different. Ceres and Pomona have vied in scat- 
tering the treasures of autumn before a favoured 
people, and the full horn of plenty, is exhausted 
in diffusing the richest abundance through the 
classic land. The success of the vine, with but 
little labour, is almost miraculous, when compar- 
ed with the cultivation of their Trans Alpine 
neighbours ; and the superiority of the wines of 
Italy, over those of the narrow region between 
the Alps and the Jura, is a convincing proof 
how greatly the quality of the vintage is indebt- 
ed to a genial soil and propitious climate. 



84 CULTIVATION OF THE 

In the Italian mode of cultivation, which, from 
different motives, will probably be that adopted 
in Pennsylvania, we shall avoid much of the la- 
bour given to the vine, even in Italy, because, 
though in that country, the rows of the vineyard 
are at best twenty feet asunder, the instrument of 
dressing is, in almost all cases, the spade or the 
hoe. I do not remember once to have seen the 
plough amongst their vines, whereas with us, 
when labour is so important a feature in the cal- 
culation, it may be advantageously introduced, 
and in careful hands, safely used in the cultiva- 
tion. 

Many of the most delicate wines of that coun- 
try do not bear a foreign transportation ; and it 
is but natural to suppose, that their system of 
wine making has not received the same attention 
which, but for that circumstance, would other- 
wise be given to it. 

That from such a variety of circumstances, 
aflfecting, in a greater or less degree, the prospe- 
rity of the vine, will naturally spring a wide dif- 
ference in the treatment and cultivation, is mani- 
fest at the glance, and it is by the study of a 
character so curious, forming a subject of fruitful 
theory and endless experiment, that thejudicious 
cultivator will avail to seize the fugitive traits 
as they are elicited and give to it a permanency 
which shall arrest and control its cameleon hues* 
To the American cultivator, this forms a pri- 
mary object. He will soon be convinced that 
the previous history of his foreign vine has but 
little influence on the future cultivation, and 
furnishes no data on which to build his hopes of 



VINE IN ITALY. 85 

success. It is an actual regeneration, accompa- 
nied by its own peculiar character; and to these 
traits successively developed by the difference of 
soil, climate, and treatment, must he look, for- 
getting the circumstances by which it was affect- 
ed at its European home. 

If this should excite the incredulity of the 
agriculturalist, or raise in his mind the idea of a 
discrepancy in our testimony, we refer him to 
the vine growing district of Naples, where he 
may see a striking difference existing in the 
vine, from cuttings of the same plant, though 
standing within fifty yards of each other. The 
locale^ known by celebrity, is on the side of Ve- 
suvius, descending as far as the point to which 
by the famous eruption of the seventy-ninth year 
of the Christian era, the ashes were thrown, and 
which forms the line of demarkation, between the 
volcanic and natural soils. Here the vines are 
totally dissimilar, and to an unpractised observa- 
tion, would hardly be recognised. The first af- 
fording a wine, the fame of which has inflamed 
in every part of the globe the appetite of the 
gourmand, while that of the natural soil is an 
ordinary, if not inferior beverage. A like dif- 
ference is observed in the plant which shows 
another foliage, pushes its branches with a dimin- 
ished vigour, the stock assuming a different 
colour, and having, to a superficial observation, 
such distinctive points, as to induce the belief 
that it was a different member of the family. 

This, however, is a digression. In crossing 
the Appenines, on entering the dominions of 
Tuscany, vineyards from the base almost to the 

H 



86 CULTIVATION OP THE 

summit of the mountain, occupy the line of road^ 
affording vines almost as various as their nume- 
rous positions, and differing from each other ac- 
cording to their several exposures and culti- 
vation. 

As I passed the last time, I found at the sum- 
mit the vines loaded with ripe fruit, though a 
heavy fall of snow was at that moment covering 
the ground. 

The premature frosts to which a position so 
elevated is naturally exposed, are manifestly in- 
jurious to the vintage. The wines of such situa- 
tions are unequal, and no reliance can be had on 
their quality, though it sometimes happens in a 
favourable season that they are peculiarly fine, 
and in such seasons, from an uncertainty of the 
mountain climate, the wines bear a correspondent 
value. 

On descending the southern side of the Appe- 
nines, a more genial climate affords a belter cul- 
tivation, and here the olive shares with the vine 
the attention of the husbandman. In general 
they are found on the same ground, the olive 
being here,as the mulberry inLombardy,the sup- 
port of the vine. In some of these positions the 
soil is a red gravel, which, from its loose and 
open character, parts freely with the rains inci- 
dent to a mountain climate. 

Among the wines, both white and red,- of 
Tuscany, but few will bear a foreign transporta- 
tion without a reinforcement, which destroys the 
delicacy of their flavour, and neutralizes the fine 
properties of the wine. 

A favourite wine of that country is the " Alia- 



VINE IN ITALY. 87 

tica," which is a compound of rich and luscious 
flavour, rather cloying the appetite. It is in 
high favour with the Tuscan ladies, and should 
be considered as a cordial rather than a wine. 
The country around the capital is mountainous, 
and the soil a stony barren. The plain on which 
the city stands is extremely fertile. Yet such is 
the temperature of the summer climate that the 
pruning is the same in the vineyard of the hills, 
as in that of the valley of the Arno, the extend- 
ed level immediately circumjacent to Florence. 

The labour of the vineyard is principally by 
the hand, the daily wages given to a workman 
being from one and a half to two Tuscan pauls. 
The paul is worth about eleven cents, our 
money. 

It is almost incredible how little work a la- 
bourer of the vineyard of that country performs, 
when compared with the Swiss operative. But 
fortunately for the Italian proprietor, his vines 
require less labour; his wines are infinitely supe- 
rior, and of greater variety. Finer wines ripen in 
his genial climate, and it does not cost him more 
than half the price which a Swiss proprietor is oblig- 
ed to pay for the daily labour of the vineyard, 
though, as I have before said, the work of both 
countries is by the hand. It is, unquestionably, 
a safer cultivation, and exposes the roots of the 
plant to fewer chances of injury. 

The ox and horse devour with avidity the 
young foliage, and unless muzzled, inflict a se- 
rious mischief on the young and tender branches. 

From Florence, southwardly, the country on 
both sides, is studded with olive yards and vine 



88 CULTIVATION OP THE 

grounds. The wines are in general like those 
produced in the vicinity of the capital, and little 
variety appears until arriving at the village of 
Chiuse, the ancient Clusium and capital of Por- 
. senna, which, on account of its noxious atmos- 
phere, has a sparse population, and makes but 
little wine. 

At Radicofani, the frontier town, we leave 
Tuscany, and on entering the Roman territory, 
the first vineyards in estimation are at Bolsena, 
on the pretty little lake of that name, the ancient 
Lacus Vulsenus. 

Although the vineyards commence at Bolsena, 
the wine is known as the Orvieto, from a small 
town of that name in the neighbourhood. The 
vineyards produce an excellent light wine, of a 
pale transparent amber colour, and when drunk 
in its purity, is of a highly delicate flavour, but 
little inferior to the famed production of Vesu- 
vius, without possessing so much body. The 
wines of Orvieto, so extremely delicate, are sen- 
sitive to injury by the slightest deviation from 
the ordinary method of conservation. Trans- 
portation to a distant country, or even the adja- 
cent provinces, being out of the question, it is 
only known in perfection in the Roman State. 

The next wine on the road which deserves at- 
tention, is at Montefiascone, a fortified town, 
surrounded by highly cultivated vineyards, where 
a greater care appears to have been given to the 
vineyard than at any point of the road leaving 
Florence. The wines of Montefiascone are de- 
servedly considered among the finest of the 
wines of Italy. Tradition tells us of a German 



VINE IN ITALY. 89 

ecclesiastic, who was arrested on his journey by 
the seductive attractions of this place, and lost 
his life in an undue indulgence of the pleasures 
of the wine cup. These wines are both white 
and red, possessing more body than the Orvieto, 
though, to my taste, a less delicate flavour. 

They certainly maintain in the country a 
higher reputation than is conceded to the other 
wune. I understand that these wines have been 
imported into the United States, but from what 
I saw of them, am of opinion, that to bear the 
foreign transportation, they must be so highly 
reinforced as to destroy, in a great degree, their 
delicious flavour. There is in these wines a pe- 
culiar delicacy, the loss of which would be im- 
mediately detected by such as have drunk them 
in purity. 

On leaving the States of the Church, and en- 
tering at Fondi, the dominions of the two Sici- 
lies, new varieties are found springing from other 
soils, and different exposures. The wine most 
celebrated at Naples, if not throughout Europe, 
is the '' Lachrymse Christi^^ a name regarded 
by us as a profanation of all that is held sacred, 
and exposing the people of that country to the 
anathema of our Protestant community. How 
far we are borne out in such opinions, may be 
referred to that Christian charity " which think- 
eth no evil.'^ A more intimate acquaintance 
with their religious community changed the 
feelings of prejudice conceived against this peo- 
ple. If we admit that the principle of right con- 
sists in the purity of intention, the sweeping 
censure in which we sometimes hear them in- 

H 2 



90 CULTIVATION OP THE 

discriminately condemned, may argue but little 
acquaintance with their true character. I have 
met amongst the Catholic clergy of that country, 
those whose erudition and attainment make 
them conspicuous among the votaries of learning. 
Many of their order furnish an example of prac- 
tical charity, calculated to cool our sectarian 
pride, and leave but little room for an indulgence 
of that gratitude which thanks heaven that we 
are not as others. 

In visiting the vineyards producing the La- 
chrymae Christi, we are again forcibly reminded 
of the changeful influence of soil, exposure, and 
position, on the productions of the vine. In 
reasoning from analogy it would be supposed, 
that a hint favourable to this branch of agricul- 
ture might be availed by the intelligent cultiva- 
tor, to arrive at the same results, and that by the 
adaptation of a similar soil, a like exposure, with 
due attention to other attendant circumstances, 
he might produce a wine, resembling in some 
degree at least, that which he designed to per- 
petuate. It does not appear, however, that such is 
the case. The Lachrymae is produced in the ashes 
deposited by the famous eruption of Vesuvius, 
which in the seventy-ninth year of the Christian 
era, entombed the cities of Herculaneam and 
Pompeii, whose site was lost to the world for 
seventeen centuries, and around whose history, 
the mist of fable had gathered in dusky shadow, 
resembling the feeble light of antediluvian story. 
The soil by which Pompeii is covered is loose 
and porous, and so light as to be blown into 
heaps in the direction of every strong wind. 



VINE IN ITALY. 91 

To this circumstance was the discovery due, as 
in one of the Sirroccos, common to the Bay of 
Naples, the ashes were so blown away as to ex- 
pose to view the top of a chimney, leaving it a 
foot or two above the circumjacent ground. It 
does not belong to our subject to enter on a de- 
tail of the curious incidents unfolded in the un- 
covering of the forgotten city; the feverish ex- 
citement on the subject is inflamed rather than 
allayed by the disentombing of Pompeii, as the 
antiquary wanders amongst her majestic ruins, or 
pauses to admire the exquisite touches of the 
chisel, with which " by gone days,^' have in- 
flated ephemeral dignity, or patrician pride. 

To our present purpose, her chief importance 
arises from the circumstance that she lies beneath 
the ashes producing the Lachrymae Christi. 
The two wines, the white and the red, difier con- 
siderably in character, though each is esteemed 
among the cherished productions of the Italian 
vine. I consider the former as possessing the 
more delicate flavour, being free from the astrin- 
gency common to the red wines of Italy, and 
bearing a slight resemblance to a light old Ma- 
deira, though with less body. I found the red 
Lachrymae so slightly imbued with the astrin- 
gency spoken of, as scarcely to be detected on 
drinking the first glass. The best specimen of 
that wine available to the stranger visiting that 
country is probably at the Hermitage, a monas- 
try of Friars, inhabiting a position about midway 
as you ascend to the crater of Vesuvius, and in 
the centre of the extensive vinegrounds. It is 
there that it is to be drunk in the highest perfec- 



92 CULTIVATION OF THE 

tion, as one of the most judiciously cultivated 
vineyards is possessed by their order. 

The Hermitage is the hospitable rest, at which 
the curious traveller usually halts for an hour's 
repose, on his toilsome ascent to the crater. 

Whilst the lover of classic lore is drinking 
deeply at the springs of ancient knowledge that 
issue from the opening of the long lost city, 
the cultivator of the vine looks sadly on to see 
the yearly inroad of his favourite domain, and 
the destruction of the modern nectar. The Fo- 
rum of Nundinarium with its dependencies, cost 
the owner a vineyard of the Lachrymse. Ano- 
ther fell as the Temple of Isis appeared, and per- 
haps the incense of a sacrifice more costly never 
rose from her altar, in the zenith of her heathen 
glory. The resurrection of the ancient city is 
the grave of new wine. It is the passing of the 
Rubicon, which admits of no return. Knowledge 
triumphs over the grosser appetite, and the lover 
of good cheer sighs to see the foot of Minerva 
on the neck of the rosy god. It must not how- 
ever be supposed, that the victory is opposed 
without a strenuous conflict to avert the threat- 
ened calamity. Efforts are constantly made by 
the cultivators of that country, to perpetuate the 
wine by a removal to other positions of the 
ashes; but the wine is no longer the same, and 
confirms the history of that versatile plant, which 
admits of no reasoning, and baffles all analogy, 
leaving to the vinegrower no star to direct his 
course, but the knowledge of facts as they un- 
fold to his practical observation, and furnishing 



VINE IN ITALY. 93 

when thus disclosed but little information to his 
neighbour half a mile distant. 

" To judge the future by the past of man," is 
the fruit of experience in the study of human 
character. This capricious member of the ve- 
getable family sets at nought such reasoning; 
and the only explanation we can give of its 
habits, is in the reply of the blind man of the 
parable, "one thing I know, that whereas I was 
blind, now I see.^^ The moral of the sentiment 
applies in all cases to a new cultivation of the 
vine, and its application is direct and palpable to 
the introduction of it into the United States. It 
is in fact an alien amongst us, as the limited ex- 
tent to which it exists in our country, though 
sufficient to demonstrate the practicability of the 
cultivation, has not developed the rich resources, 
which judicious experiment may disclose to in- 
dustry and skill. 

I have before expressed th*^ opinion, that we 
shall know, a priori, the details, which in a few 
years hence may be familiar to the American 
vine grower; but availing of the practical know- 
ledge which long experience has shed around 
the operations of the most successful European 
cultivators, we may commence with but little 
fear of the result, the establishment of vine plan- 
tations in those sections of the country, where 
the summer affords a sufficient temperature, and 
learn for ourselves the elements of a system, 
which shall probably unite with our agriculture 
a staple, the cultivation of which may soon be as 
well understood as that of an ordinary crop of 
grain. In deciding on adopting the culture of 



94 CULTIVATION OP THE 

the vine, it becomes an interesting question at 
the outset of the experiment to consider, what 
are the particular species of the plant, on which 
may reasonably rest our strongest hopes of suc- 
cess? It is a question involved in doubt, and 
susceptible of as much speculation as there are 
different aspects of position and varieties of 
soil. 

We have at command three several points at 
which we may commence an experimental culti- 
vation, namely the foreign vine {vitis vinifera,) 
the domestic grape [vitis sylvestris) and the seed- 
ling plant. 

Preliminary to an introduction of the first, the 
foreign vine, 4vvo considerations deserve atten- 
tion, to wit: the experience of the few cultivators 
who opened, as pioneers, the untravelled path, 
and form at this day the vanguard of the cultiva- 
tion, and that deduciblefrom the parallel circum- 
stances of the same soil, a like exposure and 
climate, in the different vine countries of Europe. 
In the former, affording information so limited, 
we have yet the important fact that the vine can 
be successfully cultivated in the United States, 
and though I readily admit the slender reliance 
due to a source of information so doubtful as that 
of the latter, I consider itim.portant to an experi- 
mental course, and that a race of facts shall be 
the peculiar offspring of American soil and cul- 
tivation. In reflecting on the character of the 
foreign vine and its productions, it cannot have 
escaped our observation, that of the various wines 
imported into the United States, those produced 
near the ocean, whether at the Cape of Good 



VINE IN ITALY. 95 

Hope, the island of Madeira, the Canaries, 
the Azores, and islands of the Levant, as well 
as the shores of the Mediterranean, maintain 
in general a fair and often superior charac- 
ter. If a proximity to the oceanshall be found 
favourable to the cultivation, it will open to 
our industry a long line of sea coast, in a great 
degree barren of profitable agriculture, many 
of the inhabitants of which derive a consi- 
derable portion of their support from the natural 
privileges of the ocean. 

My observations of European vine growing 
confirm the opinion, that a strong hope may be 
reasonably entertained of a successful cultivation 
near the sea. A sandy soil, it is well known, is 
favourable to the habits of the plant, and equally 
so to the results of the vintage. Then there are 
parts of the coast where the rains of September 
are less frequent, and of shorter duration, and 
where the sandy character of the soil does not 
retain the moisture at the surface, or near the 
roots of the plant. 

My knowledge of the sea coast of our country 
is limited to the county of Cape May, in the 
State of New Jersey, and having passed there 
some of the early part of my life, I have a partial 
acquaintance with the agriculture of the country. 

In the remarks here made on the capability of 
that district to the cultivation of the vine, no 
motives of self-interest can be ascribed to me, as 
I do not possess an acre of land in New Jersey, 
which, directly or otherwise, can be benefitted 
by the introduction of the vine into that country. 
They are dictated by a belief strongly impress- 
ed on my mind, that there exist facts sufficiently 



96 CULTIVATION OF THE 

established to justify the attempt in that part of 
the State, with more than the mere hope of a 
fortunate result. The soil, a light sand, has as 
much fertility as is required by the wants and 
habits of the plant, and so open in its nature as 
to carry off the superabundant moisture, and 
allow at the same time the vine freely to push 
its roots, both superficially and in depth, in 
search of the nutritive aliment congenial to its 
prosperity and advancement. The climate du- 
ring the summer has a temperature equal to the 
production of the finest wines, and the general 
character of the month of September, as is well 
known, is remarkably dry, insomuch that the 
crops of the country are frequently much injur- 
ed, and sometimes entirely cut off by the exces- 
sive drought. Agriculture at Cape May has 
perhaps received less attention than in many 
other parts of the country. The extensive forests 
of the southern section of New Jersey, and the 
facilities afibrded by the various navigable waters, 
intersecting the country and so communicating 
with the Bay of Delaware, have opened to the 
inhabitants the profitable market of Philadelphia; 
and it has heretofore been found that in the 
rapid growth of their woods, and the increas- 
ing price from an increased consumption of 
fuel, that a better return has been made to the 
proprietor from the trade in timber, than from 
the cultivation of the land. 

The introduction of the anthracite as a fuel 
and the diminished price of that article from th, 
opening of new mines, in almost every part of 
Pennsylvania, within reach of the city, threa en 



VINE IN ITALY. 97 

to the inhabitants of Cape May, the entire extinc- 
tion of that profitable branch of industry. 

There are perhaps few parts of the country 
that would be less sensibly afiected by an inroad 
so sweeping of a staple production. No public 
highway from city to city, makes a thoroughfare 
of the country, a:nd it may be questioned if any 
part of the Union has, from generation to genera- 
tion, preserved, since the early settlement of the 
country, a more primitive character. Luxury, 
comparatively speaking, is but little known 
among them, and there are but few parts of the 
country, remote from a populous capital, enjoy- 
ing, in such profuse abundance, the solid com- 
forts of life. A pure, undefiled republicanism 
exists in their society ; and though there are still 
among them many landed proprietors, who yet 
possess the extensive grants of the original settlers, 
and whose descendants, like the Swiss, consider 
it a sacrilege to alienate the freehold of their 
progenitors, it appears as though the distance be- 
twixt man and man, which in Europe springs so 
frequently from a capricious blindness of fortune, 
prevails there to a less extent than in any coun- 
try I have seen. The mutual dependence of the 
land holder on his poorer fellow citizen, in a 
country where slavery has been long abolished, 
and of the labourer on his employer for direc- 
tion and friendly sympathy, have so knit together 
the several branches of their community, that 
this feeling is transmitted to succeeding genera- 
tions, and establishes between them an interest 
beneficial to both parties. The reduction at Phi- 
ladelphia of the value of their staple, and the di- 



98 CULTIVATION OP THE 

minished quantity of wood now annually sent 
from Cape May to our market, have affected the 
southern section of New Jersey, and interest 
each member of her community in the adoption 
of a substitute which may avert the evils of such 
a change. Her land has fallen in value, labour 
diminished in price, and the operative, not less 
than the proprietor, suffers a correspondent re- 
duction of revenue. The remedy however is at 
hand, and in the cultivation of the vine, the peo- 
ple of that country may find an indemnity for 
the loss of the market of Philadelphia, for the 
productions of their forests, nay more. From 
what I have seen in Europe of the profits of the 
vintage, it would not excite in me the least sur- 
prise, if in the successful cultivation of the vine, 
the inhabitants of that country shall find not 
merely an indemnity for the depreciation in the 
value of their timber, but an annual revenue 
from each acre of vineland which shall equal the 
capital, for which in their prosperous day they 
sold the fee simple of an acre of woodland. 

A strong argument in favour of the introduc- 
tion of the vine in that country is, that it has al- 
ready been tried there, and ripened its fruit. It 
is true it was to a limited extent, but I well re- 
collect that some twenty years ago, I sent to 
that country the cuttings of several varieties of 
the foreign grape, which ripened their fruit as 
well as in the protected atmosphere of Philadel- 
phia. Some of these were the black Hamburg, 
a most delicate fruit, and the complete success 
which attended the whole progress to maturity 
of this sensitive exotic, cannot fail to infuse into 



VINE IN ITALY. 99 

oar cultivation the most auspicious and flattering 
hopes. These remarks as to the capability of 
Cape May for the cultivation, may be applicable 
to other sections of our sea board, many of which, 
I doubt not, possess a soil and climate equally 
favourable to the requirements of the plant. 

The sandy character of the State of New Jer- 
sey, south of the capital, Trenton, fully justifies 
the belief, that the vine will one day consti- 
tute an important feature in the agriculture of 
the country. 

Along that part of the coast of New Jersey, 
of which we have spoken, there are several 
islands, destined, I fully believe, at some future 
day to be vine growing countries. Those most 
familiar to my recollection are, the " seven mile 
beach," and the " five mile beach." They are 
about two miles from the main land, and nearly 
in a state of nature. These islands produce a 
native grape, and may probably be cultivated 
with success as well there as in other parts of 
the country, and a great improvement may be 
expected in this native vine, the fruit of which 
will doubtless be favourably changed by careful 
cultivation and judicious pruning. Indigenous 
to the soil, nothing is to be feared, and much to 
be hoped from a system of cultivation, by which 
the savage propensities of the plant will be sub- 
dued, and the qualities of its productions ame- 
liorated. One of these islands is so covered by 
the native vine, that it appears as though nature 
intended it as the home of the grape. From 
this the inference appears irresistible, that the 



100 CULTIVATION OF THE 

experiment to civilize this vine, and bring it 
into cultivation, can hardly fail of success. 

I understand that a small grape (which, how- 
ever, I have not seen) is produced on one of 
these islands, possessing a rich sacharine flavour, 
remarkable for a savage fruit, and which, so far 
as I heard, has never been cultivated by an in- 
habitant of the main. I have twice sent thither 
for the cuttings of this vine, but in both cases 
the proper season was suffered to elapse before 
they were taken from the plant, and I found that 
' the moral inculcated by the instructive fable of 
the lark and her young, afforded me the strongest 
.reliance for the accomplishment of my wish. 
Through the whole of our vast country, it is pro- 
bable, may be found varieties of the native vine, 
worthy of introduction into our grounds. The 
little white grape from Schuylkill county, in our 
own State, known as the Orwigsburg, and the 
Scuppernon of Virginia, may both be cited as de- 
serving the notice of the cultivator. The former 
has been tried on a limited scale, and it must be 
admitted with but partial success. That success 
at the outset of the experiment was but partial, 
would be considered by the Swiss vine dresser 
as strongly favourable to the issue of the theory, 
as such partial success is the first development 
of the powers of the plant, the first advance to a 
new locale, and indicates the commencement of 
a contest which nature is generally compelled to 
wage, with an opposition to her love of conquest, 
and the extension of her vegetable kingdom. 
It is to be regretted that the cultivation of the 
Orwigsburg was abandoned, and the want of 



VINE IN ITALY. 101 

complete success from her first cuttings should 
have induced a belief that the experiment had 
failed. The Swiss vine dresser knows better, 
and the surprise with him in such a case would 
have been, that his plants had at all produced 
fruit. It is true that the grape of Schuylkill 
county had been taken, in the first instance, from 
the woods, (so says tradition) ; but it has been 
questioned by some, whose opinion is entitled to 
respect, whether this grape be not of foreign ori- 
gin, and by some freak of nature found its way 
to the forests of the western world. Be that as 
it may, the change of habit from a savage to a 
civilized home, is not, in the vine, the business of 
a day. 

Between animal and vegetable life there is a 
close analogy. In man, the transition from a 
savage to a civilized state is not efiected but by 
moral and physical changes, equally painful. 
The removal to a distant quarter even of the 
same country, frequently induces a distressing 
revulsion, and the process of acclimating is gene- 
rally effected by slow and gradual suffering. 
But the ordeal passed, the elastic energy of the 
constitution restores its powers, and nature 
asserts her legitimate sway. With the vine, the 
parallel is striking, and it has not escaped the 
vigilant cultivator, that a removal of the vine to 
a foreign country, is succeeded by a sickly repin- 
ing which checks the vigor of the plant. The 
shooting of the branches appears an effort of 
nature. The foliage assumes a less brilliant 
hue. The plant languishes, and the whole ve- 
getation indicates a struggle for life. A part of 

I 2 



102 CULTIVATION OP THE 

this evil sometimes arises from the w^ant of 
knowledge, or neglect in the transplanting. In 
a removal of the rooted plant, great care should 
be given to the nature of the soil from which 
it was taken, and, as far as in our power, an 
adaptation of similar soil and exposure in the 
new location. It is important also to observe 
before removal, the aspect of each particular 
vine, and to give it the same exposure. If we 
afford to the anatomical structure of the plant 
the attention it deserves, it will be found on ex- 
amination, that the southern side is more porous 
and spongy, and the sap vessels more dilated, 
than on the side facing the north. The southern 
surface is more delicate, less capable of endur- 
ance, and easily affected by the rigors of a severe 
winter. Hence if, in the replanting, the southern 
aspect be changed, the vine droops and lan- 
guishes for a season or two, until nature accom- 
modates to the change, or as in many cases, the 
plant, unable from constitutional debility, to 
support the ordeal, lingers in sickly vegetation 
to premature decay. 

Such is the general history of removing the 
rooted plant, and so decidedly in Switzerland 
has experience established the inexpediency of 
this mode of cultivation, in forming a new plan- 
tation, that I do not recollect once to have heard 
a skilful vine dresser who did not condemn the 
culture as injudicious. There is but one case in 
which it is at all justified among them, and then 
it is only tolerated. It is when the soil is so ad- 
verse to the vegetation of the cutting, that they 



VINE IN ITALY. 103 

:are compelled to resort to a planting of the root- 
ed vine. 

Such soils in general, though defeating, for a 
succession of seasons, the persevering efforts of 
the planter, have yielded to a cultivation of the 
rooted vine, and though it has resulted that the 
vineyards of such a source flourish, to all appear- 
ance, in healthful vigor, it is generally conceded 
that the product is less abundant, and the vine of 
shorter .duration, than from the former source. 
It is in fact the last resort of the mortified vigne- 
ron, defeated by the successful opposition with 
which a stubborn soil has disputed his industry. 

Amputations are the disgrace of surgery. The 
business of the profession is to save, not destroy 
the limb, and the hapless subject of the tourni- 
quet and scalpel, who drags through life the 
remnant of a mutilated frame, is a moving monu- 
ment of the imperfection of the healing art. It 
is equally so with the Swiss vine dresser, when 
defeated in the attempt to establish from the cut- 
ting his new plantation. There is a strong 
" esprit du corps," among the cultivators of the 
vine in the Cantons, and the whole fraternity 
feels that a shade is cast over the profession, 
when an acknowledged member of their society 
abandons the system of cultivating f^om the cut- 
ting, and commences an establishment of his 
vineyard from the rooted vine. 

To the rooted plant introduced among us from 
abroad, it may be difficult to afford an attention so 
minute, but the deepest may be obviated by a 
practised observation of the habits of the plant, 
as the former aspect, where the vine is not old 



104 CULTIVATION OF THE ' 

is indicated by the appearance of the bark, and 
strength, and number of the offsets, which are 
generally more vigorous on the southern side. 

If, in considering the aptitude of the different 
sections of our country, to the cultivation of the 
foreign vine, any tenable analogy could be de- 
duced, I should believe, that of the vines to be 
introd\iced among us from abroad, those of the 
Rhine and of France, north of Lyons, should be 
cultivated in Pennsylvania and the States north 
of the Hudson. The vines of southern France. 
Spain, and Italy, in the Carolinas and the States 
south of them. 

Such is the summer temperature of Pennsyl- 
vania, that there is strong reason to believe we 
should also succeed with those less hardy vines 
of the south of Europe, Madeira and the islands 
of the Levant. The vinesof Switzerlandstrongly 
inducea cultivation in our northern States, w^here, 
from the length and heats of summer, there may 
be anticipated great improvement in the produc- 
tions and vintage, as the vine is hardy and rug- 
ged, enduring from habit the vicissitudes of a 
capricious climate, and deriving but little benefit 
from a cheering summer's sun. 

It is true, that the occasional mid day heats of 
the country are of sufficient temperature whilst 
they last, for the habits of the vine, but these are 
generally of short duration, and continue during 
a brief period, whilst in their warmest weather 
the nights are uniformly cold, chilling the at- 
mosphere with an inhospitable influence, which 
neutralizes the advantages, which the vine would 
otherwise receive from a cheering warmth. 



VINE IN ITALY. 105 

Most of us are probably aware, that among 
our South American neighbours, the cultivation 
of the vine, until lately, received but little atten- 
tion. Spain, in her jealous regard for the inter- 
ests of her home dominions, reserved to herself 
the supply of her colonial subjects, and the vine, 
as I understand, was discouraged by the ruling 
powers. The fashion of the times, however, 
passeth away. South America has changed 
masters, and the change has introduced to the 
country a new cultivation. The vine has within 
a few years received the attention of the agricul- 
turalist, and the patronage of government, and 
begins already to constitute an important feature 
of their agriculture. It may not be foreign to 
our subject to consider the progress of vine grow- 
ing in that country. It was my fortune at Paris 
in 1833, to meet at that court, the representatives 
of Chili and Mexico, from both of whom I re- 
ceived the most favourable details of the culture 
of the two countries. It appears that in Chili, 
the vine produced a full crop in the seventh year, 
though the vineyard ripened its fruit to a small 
extent before that period. The wines of Chili, 
are the Sherry of Spain, and the Bordeaux and 
Burgundy of France. Those of Mexico, where 
the cultivation is even better than that of Chili, 
are the Sherry also, of Spain, and the Burgundy. 
The most sanguine anticipations are entertained 
in Mexico of tliis culture, and as the full capabi- 
lities of the soil are not developed, they are elicit- 
ing every season new facts, and suggesting im- 
portant theories, and confidently believe that but 
few years will elapse before they shall add a 



106 CULTIVATION OP THE 

new and profitable export to the commercial in- 
tercourse with their neighbours. In the culti- 
vation of all the stranger plants, it will hardly be 
fair for us to expect the same immediate success 
that has attended the cultivation of our southern 
neighbours, as they have a better climate for the 
object than we, or at least that may prove the 
case; though the fact is yet undetermined. If 
such should prove the result, it then becomes in- 
cumbent on us to take a useful lesson from the 
Swiss vigneron, and copy the example of pa- 
tience, in which, sure of the issue, he goes on 
from season to season, cultivating the shoots of 
the preceding year, until they have passed the 
proper period, which justifies the introduction of 
them into the vineyard. Both Mexico and 
Chili have commenced a cultivation from the 
seed. The effect is yet to be determined, though 
the highest hopes are entertained of the embryo 
cultivation. This is a culture that may open to 
us a fruitful source of experiment. By this 
means, almost every vine in the globe is in some 
degree at command, and at little cost. The dried 
fruits of Spain, the little sweet grape of Smyrna, 
are at our doors, and may be procured at almost 
every little village of the country, and as such 
fruits are in general dried by the heat of the sun, 
the seeds are not injured, or their powers of ve- 
getation destroyed. It has been objected against 
this cultivation, that the seeding requires a long-- 
time before it reaches maturity, and a continued 
vigilance as it slowly unfolds its powers to the 
eye of the anxious planter. But the apple does 
the same. I have cultivated to maturity the 



VINE IN ITALY. 107 

seedling grape, and my own experience confirms 
the theory, that a longer time in general does not 
intervene between the planting of the seed and 
the earliest production of the seedling vine, than 
succeeds the planting of the young orchard, and 
the period at which it gives to the farmer the 
first return for his patient care. It appears, 
therefore, but a fair hypothesis, that success may 
attend a cultivation from the seed, as the plant 
will have birth in the soil, will be nurtured un- 
der the influence of a native sky, and advance 
towards maturity at a progressive pace with the 
sure aptitude which nature gives to her children, 
of accommodating to the circumstances by which 
they are surrounded. It is objected to the seed- 
ling, that reliance cannot be had that it will 
produce the same fruit, as that of the plant from 
which it was taken. This cannot be controvert- 
ed ; but it has its favourable view of the counter- 
poise. It is perfectly familiar to us, that the 
fruit thus produced, may be so changed during 
the blossoming of the vine, by the mixture of 
farina, with that of a neighbouring plant, at the 
same time in flower, that the seedling of such 
grape may produce a different fruit. This is as- 
suredly true. But does it follow that such fruit 
shall be inferior? It may produce better fruit, 
affording a better wine, and at all rates, a new 
variety, an offspring from the fruitful source of 
nature, from which we constantly see the exten- 
sion of her vegetable dominions. To such acci- 
dental source, for example, do we owe the Seckel 
Pear, and it may be questioned, whether any 
member of the family can surpass in the delicacy 



108 CULTIVATION OP THE 

of its flavour the exquisite aroma of this freak 
of nature. It appears as though she gives us oc- 
casionally such an evidence of her exhaustless 
resources to cheer the pride of the horticultural- 
ist, and cast into the shade the most laboured 
efforts of his art. In Europe, where for centu- 
ries the vine has constituted a prominent feature 
of agriculture, the same necessity for experiment 
does not exist. The influence of each climate, 
the effects of different exposures, and the vintage, 
are in a measure anticipated, and general results 
foreseen. Occasionally, however, some amateur, 
some enthusiast in the cultivation of the vine, 
produces a new variety, which, if esteemed, is 
eagerly sought by the neighbouring vine dresser. 
The mass, however, of cultivators, who, from a 
want of pecuniary resource, to indulge in untried 
experiment, or an absence of that public spirit 
which promotes the sacrifice of present interest 
to their own, or the public good, prefer to tread 
the beaten path, and manage their vines as their 
fathers have done before them. 

But in every land are aspiring minds, ambi- 
tious of fame or of wealth, who leave the travel- 
led highway, and seek the gratification of their 
restless desires in the pursuit of their favourite 
theories. Our own country furnishes a striking 
illustration of this fact. While we were pursu- 
ing the systems familiar among us, navigating^ 
the waters by the aid of the capricious elements, 
one active spirit toiled among theories, rejecting 
this as a better suggestion to a comprehensive 
mind, labouring amidst models and machines, 
successively cast aside to give place to the amend- 



VINE IN ITALY. 109 

ments of a boundless ingenuity, till by the light 
of the midnight lamp, was born that offspring of 
philosophy and mechanics, which overturns in its 
course the wisdom of ages, sets at naught the 
elements which so long have^ controlled us, 
laughs at the tide, and derides the opposing 
winds. 

To a spirit like this, we shall probably owe 
much of our knowledge of the vine, as an Ame- 
rican cultivation. A half century of indepen- 
dence has probably changed the position of our 
country. Her aspect is not the same. Her in- 
stitutions keep pace v>^ith the advancement of 
knowledge. Mechanics are revolutionized; agri- 
culture changed. Where, fifty years ago, were 
our manufactures ? How long is it since, for 
the common purposes of domestic life, we have 
imported our cotton from a foreign land ? With 
both how stands now the account ? The triumph 
of mind over matter, the multiplied powers of 
labour-savings machinery, have extended the do- 
minions of England, and given her an empire 
on which her sun knows no decline, where the 
last evening ray falls on the plains of Abraham, 
as the- beam of morning is reflected by the sur- 
face of the Ganges. Have we no part in this? 
In the transportation of the raw material, the 
highway of nations is whitened by the canvass 
of our commerce, and the looms of Manchester 
acknowledge a dependence on the labours of our 
southern brethren. Every year lessens our de- 
pendence on the late mother country ; and in the 
new republics of the south, our cotton fabrics, 
which are but of yesterday, exercise a dangerous 

K 



110 CULTIVATION OF THE , 

rivalry to the products of British skill. Could 
we but look fifty years into futurity, it might be 
seen, that of the various wines afforded by our 
genial soils, the multiplied aspects available to 
us, many may take a distinguished rank among 
the cherished productions of the European vine. 
It may exercise a more salutary influence. In 
our land may be seen die substitution of native 
wines, in place of those ardent spirits of native 
and foreign growth, whose deleterious effects 
tend to poison the springs of individual happi- 
ness, and dry up the sources of public virtue. 

To the agriculturalist who has not given the 
subject a practical attention, a deep surprise will 
be excited, on learning the profitable results of 
the cultivation, and the great returns of a single 
acre of well managed vine lands. If we except 
the sugar cane of Louisiana, I doubt if any crop 
in our country, not the cotton or tobacco of the 
south, will so bountifully repay the labours of 
the planter as the cultivation of the vine. Should 
the attempt be considered, as mere experiment, 
be it so. The possible result fully justifies the 
exercise of legislative patronage. It offers to the 
former, as a strong inducement, the experience 
of most prosperous agricultural states of Europe, 
and chides us for pouring into the coffers of the 
stranger the wealth which should be more judi- 
ciously employed in developing our own internal 
resources. It reflects on our national sagacity 
for swelling the value of the European vine 
grounds at the expense of our landed proprietor, 
and robbing the American cultivator of a prolific 
source of profitable agriculture. To the latter 



VINE IN ITALY. Ill 

an aspect is presented which promises a more 
favourable result, than hundreds of speculations 
annually afloat, through the enterprize of our 
commercial citizens. 

It is not the planter alone to whom it is avail- 
able ; the successful merchant who retreats from 
the toilsome hazards of the commercial lottery, 
may secure in the cultivation an agreeable occu- 
pation of his leisure hours. The landholder will 
find that his acres will be greatly enhanced in 
value, and attain in the sale a price which no 
other cultivation would give them. 

These are among the probable advantages pre- 
sented to us in an individual view of the subject. 
How does it appear to the patriot and philanthro- 
pist? Intemperance is the vice of this land. 
Our hospitals testify it; for drunkenness is fruit- 
ful of disease. The records of our prisons prove 
it; for ^tis the leprosy whose offspring is crime; 
an attainted race, with no inheritance but the poor 
house, no refuge but the jail. If we can exclude 
from the social compact the host of poisons, 
which, in the form of whiskey and rum, and the 
interminable variety in which the intoxicating 
liquors assail the infirmity of our nature, the pe- 
cuniary gain will fade in the calculation before 
the moral influence. Hundreds of families, 
whose hard earnings are wasted in vicious excess, 
will raise their glad hosannas at the change, and 
unconscious innocence bear witness to the im- 
provement, which banishes poverty and discord* 
from the dwelling, and restores peace to the 
borders, and plenty to the habitation. Our 
workmen will be better husbands, fathers, mem«! 



112 CULTIVATION OF THE 

bers of the civil community. The sum of labour 
restored to the national wealth, is worth a states- 
man's study. I have passed three years in 
France, where I never saw a drunken French- 
man. Eighteen months in Italy, and in that 
time, not an Italian intoxicated. Nearly two 
years in Switzerland, of which I cannot say 
the same, but I can safely aver, that during that 
period, I did not see twenty drunken men ; and 
whenever my feelings were pained at beholding 
a prostration so sad over better principles, it was 
invariably on an occasion of extraordinary fes- 
tivity. 

The Swiss are by no means an intemperate 
people, nor is it, so far as I have seen, the cha- 
racter of any vine growing country. In the ar- 
guments, therefore, which may fairly be urged 
in favour of a cultivation of the vine, a strongly 
inciting motive addresses our personal interest, 
and invites us to adopt a system by which our 
revenues will be increased, and agriculture im- 
proved. There is yet a more important light in 
which it appeals to our public spirit, and our 
better principles as a Christian community — the 
moral improvement of society. That w^e are not 
indifferent to this important view of it, is imani- 
fest from the numerous philanthropic institutions, 
both public and private, with which our country 
abounds. Juvenile indiscretion, seduced from 
the paths of rectitude, by temptation or inexpe- 
rience, is plucked as a brand from the burning, 
and before it sinks into crime, restored to useful- 
ness and virtue, by the system of " refuge.-" The 
discipline of our houses of correction, shows that 



VINE IN ITALY. 113 

the reformation of the oflfender, the prevention 
rather than the punishment of crime, actuates the 
benevolent legislator. 

Age is robbed of its infirmity by asylums for 
the destitute widow, where the song of gratitude 
ascends to Him who has promised that " the 
righteous shall not be forsaken, noi: his seed left 
to beg their bread." 

The shafts of disease are averted by our hos- 
pitals; blindness and deafness are stripped of 
half their ills, and a race of unfortunates, doomed 
to a life of moral darkness, enjoy the charms of 
cultivation. 

The happiest commentary on a benevolent 
precept, is afforded by the orphan asylum ; and 
on the foundation where the truest benevolence 
laid the corner stone, charity has raised her 
chaste and beautiful temple, where helpless in- 
nocence is reared and protected, and, by a course 
of sound instruction, fitted for the duties of life. 

Societies for the promotion of that first of vir- 
tues, Temperance, are established throughout the 
land, but the principal sinew of their operations 
is unstruno;. 

The cultivation of the vine will do more 
towar4s the furtherance of their object, than a 
host of non-consuming resolutions. On all ef- 
forts, shall legislators look with indifference, and 
withhold from the moral improvement of the 
community the aid so liberally granted to rail- 
ways and canals, and sectional improvements.'^ * 
We hope otherwise, and that the fostering hand 
of government, in aid of the numerous associa- 

K 2 



i 

114 CULTIVATION, &C. 

tions for ameliorating the condition of man, will 
be extended to the cultivation of the vine. 

To the system that shall banish intemperance 
from our land, will be justly due a conspicuous 
rank among the improvements of the age. It is 
from this cultivation that we can confidently 
hope such a blessing, a blessing which shall in- 
fuse throughout the land a life giving energy, 
and imbue with the happiest influence the moral 
atmosphere that surrounds us, an influence (to 
borrow the language of a distinguished historian) 
" more salutary than that which the vestals of 
Numa derived from the sacred fount of Egeria, 
when they drew from it the mystic waters, with 
which they sprinkled their sanctuary.'' 



THE 



MANUAL 



OF 



THE SWISS VIGNERON 



AS ADOPTED AND RECOMMENDED BY THE 



AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES 



OP 



GENEVA AND BERNE. 



v/ 
BY 

Monsieur BRUN 'CHAPPUIS. 



<# 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



The same motives that induced the editor of 
the " Bulletin of Agriculture" to insert in his 
periodical journal the treatise of Mr. Brun 
Chapuis, of Vevay, on the cultivation of the 
vine, have induced the " Committee on agricul- 
culture of the Society of Arts," to republish the 
same, to be distributed among the members of 
the class, and those of the three societies for the 
cultivation of the vine in our Canton, (Geneva) 
with the view to circulate it, through their agency, 
among our vine dressers generally. 

It is not the expectation of the society, that 
each different process shall be adopted without 
due reflection. They are aware that it contains 
some points on which intelligent cultivators may 
differ in opinion. Such, for example, is the im- 
portant feature of pruning, the most experienced 
vignerons of the coast, and of our Canton, prefer- 
ring the " willow head*," a system which Mr. 
Brun utterly condemns. If, like him, every 
cultivator should devote a part of his time, how- 
ever small, to useful experiment, the question in, 
a few years would be decided by the results de- 
veloped. 

This little work contains, however, within a 

* The willow head, that is, the method pursued generally 
by the vinegrowers of Italy, allowing the branches to shoot to 
the extent of twenty feet, or more, and trailing them from tree 
to tree. — translator. 



] 18 ADVERTISEMENT. 

brief compass, such important and useful instruc- 
tions and details on the daily work and care neces- 
sary to a successful cultivation, and above all on 
the entire importance of preserving the vineyard 
constantly free of noxious weeds, that we shall 
consider it a great point in favour of the vine, 
should it become the manual, not only of the 
practical vine dresser, but of the intelligent pro- 
prietor of our Canton, who will find in the un- 
adorned directions it contains, the most efficient 
practical instructions on the pursuit in which he 
is engaged. 

Whence indeed should we hope for a better 
system of culture than from among the masters 
of the art in a small country, wiiich, with an ex- 
tent of but four or five leagues in length, and in 
some parts of it, even less than the breadth of 
half a league, we find that of all the countries of 
Europe, the vine has attained the highest degree 
of perfection, where a skilful cultivator has pro- 
duced on a given space the greatest quantity of 
fruit, and when a soil possessing from nature but 
little fertility, has acquired for the purposes of 
cultivation, the greatest possible value that could 
be given to it. 



NOTE BY THE SOCIETY. 

This little Treatise is taken literally from the 
excellent ^'Journal of Practical Agriculture" 
of the Canton of Vaud. It is from the pen of 
one of the most intelligent practical cultivators of 
Vaud, in which Canton, the vine, probably, is 
cultivated as successfully, and with as much care, 
as in any part of Switzerland. We will add, 
moreover, that the vineyard of Mr. Brun is 
among all others of the Canton pre-eminent for 
its beauty, its perfect cleanliness, and the great 
abundance of its product. 

This little work appears to us so complete, so 
practically efficient, and above all, possessing 
such a fund of useful instruction, at a moment 
when many of our proprietors are occupied with 
the preliminary arrangements of replanting their 
vinegrounds, that we think we cannot present to 
the public a more acceptable offering than this 
republication of a system of vine dressing, tend- 
ing so highly to the promotion of individual in- 
terest, as well as the advancement of general 
prosperity. 



INTRODUCTION 

OF 

Mr. BRUN CHAPPUIS, of Vevest. 

Influenced by an ardent desire to attain a per- 
fect knowledge of the cultivation of the vine, 
and believing no guide so sure as that of expe- 
rience, I have, for several .years, employed my 
time in a succession of experiments on the vine- 
yard. I have observed with regret the unfavo- 
rable method adopted by many practical vine 
growers of my neighbourhood, and the absence 
of system in the arrangement of distributing and 
executing the labours of the cultivation. As I 
know of no elementary treatise to aid me in the 
prosecution of my labours, it has long been my 
habit to record the points of interest developed 
in the suite of cultivation, a reference to which 
has frequently assisted me after the incidents 
themselves had faded from memory. I have 
been frequently solicited by friends, for whom I 
have the highest respect, to communicate to them 
the results of my experiments ; and yielding to 
their flattering invitation, I have determined to 
retouch the merhoranda, and give to the light of 
day the notes originally intended solely for the 
government and direction of my own vine 
grounds. Let it not be forgotten that these re- 
marks, the result of many years of patient and un- 
tiring investigation, are given by a proprietary 



122 INTRODUCTION. 

cultivator to his brethren of the same profession, 
who are best able to understand the feelings by 
which they are dictated, and who, in the practical 
details communicated, may find a sufficient com- 
pensation for the unpretending garb in which 
they are presented. Here they will find neither 
the language of science, nor the flowers of litera- 
ture. Such are unknown to the writer, who in 
communicating the result of long experience, has 
adopted the terms most familiar to the vine 
dresser, and which he hopes will not be unintel- 
ligible to the general reader. 



^ 



TREATISE 



ON THE 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 



ARTICLE I. 



Preparation of the soil for the Vineyard. 

The cultivator of an old vineyard, whose in- 
tention it is to eradicate his vines, with the de- 
sign of introducing on- the same site a new plan- 
tation, should, the preceding year, prune; with 
that view, leaving the branches double the ordi- 
nary length, that he may obtain thereby a larger 
crop, than it would be safe to allow the vines to 
produce under ordinary circumstances. He 
must, this season, manure heavily his intended 
vine grounds. Previously to taking up the old 
plants, he must open a trench of two or three feet 
in depth, according to the nature of the soil in 
which he intends to plant, and in the operation 
care must be taken to place the broken or pulve- 
rized surface, that in the digging has become 



124 TREATISE ON THE 

soft and mellow, and which in the preceding 
years has been well manured, at the bottom of the 
trench, the sterile earth from which must be 
placed on the surface. 

The manured rich soil thus deposited at the 
bottom of the trench, affords to the fibrous roots 
of the plant those nutritious juices, that enter so 
largely into the principles of vegetation, and 
greatly promote the growth of the young vine. 
They also contribute to a duration that cannot 
be expected without this salutary precaution. 

The meagre soil from the bottom of the trench 
thus placed on the surface, prevents the vine 
from pushing its roots too high, and does not 
allow the increase of the numerous parasitic 
plants which spring from too rich a surface, and * 
choke the young vine before it has acquired suf- 
ficient strength to make head against such a for- 
midable competition. This work should be per- 
formed during a dry time in autumn; or early in 
the spring, in order that the earth should have 
time to settle around the roots of the plant. In 
replacing the earth from the trench, care should 
be taken so to fill it, as to leave no vacuum, or 
space, which is prejudicial to the roots of the 
young plant, as the fibrous radicles, when thus 
interrupted, perish in the vacancy from want of 
soil. Attention should also be given that no 
person walk on the newly worked ground, as it 
is necessary to the growth of the young plant, 
that the ground on which it stands should be 
kept soft and mellow. A few days after the 
planting of the slips or cuttings, it will be advi^ 
sable to observe that there are no inequalities on 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 125 

the surface of the ground ; and if such should be 
found, the soil must be carefully levelled. The 
vines of an old plantation must on no account be 
eradicated during moist or rainy weather, parti- 
cularly where the soil is close, or argillaceous. 
The same inconvenience is not so much to be 
feared when the soil of the vineyard is a gravel 
or light sand. 



ARTICLE II. 

Choice of the cuttings, and precautions neces- 
sary, up to the time of planting. 

Some short time before the vintage', which in 
Switzerland is about the second week in October, 
we should visit the vineyards from which the cut- 
tings to be cultivated the succeeding season, are 
to be taken. 

The vineyard should not be too old, nor should 
the plants be too young. To be rnore definite, 
however, I observe, that I prefer to take my 
slips from vines that are between eight and six- 
teen years old, and from the vines of a soil 
neither too light nor too loose. 

We should select in the vineyard, those vines 
that have come from strong vigorous cuttings, 
and that we may not be mistaken in the plants, 
whose foliage, as well as branches, may indicate 
a healthy vigour, it will be advisable, while the 
leaf is yet on the vine, to mark the stocks from 



126 TREATISE ON THE 

which we design to take the cuttings, a prefer- 
ence to be given, in the selection, to those 
branches which have afforded the best fruit and 
blossoms. This may be easily known, when the 
vine is charged with its product. I think also 
the small yellow grape should be preferred,* as 
well for the quantity of its product as for the 
quality of its vine. The cuttings should be 
taken from the plant before the circulation of the 
sap. On the same, or at furthest, the succeeding 
day, on which they shall be cut, they should be 
neatly trimmed and tied up in small bundles, 
placed in a cellar, or other damp situation, and 
sprinkled with water twice a week. Four days 
previously to the planting, I recommend that 
they should be plunged into clear water, sub- 
merged at the depth of four inches ; and imme- 
diately before they are placed in the ground, the 
two ends should be cut obliquely with great care, 
so as to expose a smooth surface, an operation 
called by the Swiss vine dresser, " refreshing the 
cuttings." By this means the sound pith is ex- 
posed, the surface cut away having become black, 
an indication of decay. 

Some cultivators injudiciously suffer the cut- 
tings to remain too long a time in water, a habit 
extremely pernicious, and productive of much 
mischief. 

When the pith becomes saturated with moisture, 
the vegetation is too florid, which prematurely 
exhausts the plant, and causes the vine, should 

* The American cultivator will recollect, that this advice is 
given to the Swiss vine dresser. The grape here recommend- 
ed, being that which best endures the Swiss climate. — Tkans. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 127 

the season be dry, to perish. I have found that 
this inconvenience rarely succeeds the method 
here recommended. In taking the cuttings from 
a vine too young, we incur the danger of having 
defective plants, as the vines will be too porous. 
If from a vine too old, the reverse is to be ap- 
prehended, they will not be sufficiently so, the 
Wood will be too close and stubborn, vegetation 
proceeds sluggishly and with difficulty, and the 
plants do not generally prosper, however unre- 
mitting the care bestowed on them. 



ARTICLE III. 



Method of planting the cuttings. 

There are some vine dressers who plant their 
cuttings with a Fossoir,^ in a trench, covering 
them with earth to the depth of six inches with 
a Plantoir FicquetA 

Some vine dressers prefer the rooted plants, 
which they place at the depth of eighteen inches, 
whilst those who prefer the cuttings, plant at the 
depth of eight inches. There are those also who 
pack or tread the earth so tightly around the cut- 

* I have been compelled to adopt these technical terms, be- 
cause we have no such instrument in our agriculture as the 
Fossoir, which is, as the name denotes, the instrument used in 
planting in a trench. — trans. 

t Resembling our crow bar. — trans. 



128 TREATISE ON THE 

ting, that it cannot without difficulty be drawn 
out by the hand ; others fill the hole in which 
the slip is planted, with dust or finely pulverized 
earth. 

After different experiments of all these methods, 
I find that the cuttings planted in trenches usually 
succeed. But this manner is tedious, as well as la- 
borious, if, in the planting, the necessary order and 
regularity be preserved. Another inconvenience 
attending this method, is the difficulty of the lay- 
ing of the young plants, where this operation 
becomes from circumstances advisable. I admit 
the preference due to the method of planting 
with the plant oir, if attended with the necessary 
precautions. Planting the rooted vines is, in 
my opinion, the worst possible method, unless it 
be in a soil in which the cuttings ve2;etate with 
difficulty. It is true that the rooted plant takes 
more easily to the soil, than the cutting, but in 
my experience such plants are sooner exhausted, 
acquiring, even more slowly than the cuttings, 
their ultimate size and maturity. If the cutting 
be not planted the proper or sufficient depth, it 
is liable to injury from the operations of the 
spade or hoe, and also from the drought of a hot 
season. If, on the contrary, the planting be too 
deep, success may be doubtful, the sun having 
but little power to warm the roots of the plant, 
except in seasons remarkably hot and dry, and 
whereas, should the first summer prove at all 
moist or rainy, but little hope can be entertained 
of a successful vegetation. From my own ex- 
perience I should say, that in level ground, by 
the which I mean, in a vineyard, the site of 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 129 

which is a plain, cuttings should be planted at 
the depth of ten inches, and from twelve to four- 
teen inches, where the vineyard was to occupy 
the inclination of a hill. 

I have also observed that serious inconvenience 
arises from packing or treading the earth too 
closely around the foot of the plant, as the first 
roots are fibrous and delicate, easily injured by 
slight causes, and experience great difficulty in 
pushing their way through the hard ungenial 
soil, thus opposing their passage. 

Those who fill the hole around the cutting 
with dust, or pulverized earth, can hardly flatter 
themselves with success, as the rains after such 
planting usually pack the soil so close around 
the plant, as to crowd up the roots and prevent 
their extension on either side. The method ap- 
pearing to me to offer the most advantages is, 
immediately after placing the cutting a proper 
depth in the ground, to fill up the hole with 
carefully worked mellow earth, letting it fall 
lightly around the foot of the^ cutting, till the 
hole be half full, then pouring over it a little 
water, which will dissolve the fine earth, in such 
a manner, as to cause it to adhere closely to the 
cutting, and allow no vacant space near it, an in- 
convenience prejudicial to the plant, that some- 
times attends the other mode of planting. The 
loose soil allows the roots to push freely, and if 
the planting should be succeeded by a dry season, 
the cuttings suffer less by this than by any other 
manner. But should the planting be succeeded 
by continued rains, the cuttings are liable to suffer 
much, and perhaps to perish altogether. Monsieur 



130 TREATISE ON THE 

Andeoud lost in his fine plantation many fine 
cuttings from having thus watered them. The 
best method of planting appears to me to be 
with the instrument of this Canton, imagined and 
devised expressly for the purpose, 'and which 
may be seen in the possession of several expe- 
rienced proprietors, who take great pleasure in 
showing these instruments to strangers.* The 
hole made by the Vaudois instrument must be 
half filled around the cutting with fearth ; the use 
of this instrument is attended with many favour- 
able results, and has no disadvantages as a coun- 
terpoise. Attention must from time to time be 
given to the cutting, heaping in fresh earth, as 
that around the young plant shall settle, but this 
latter failing, for the reasons already given, must 
be of poor meagre soil. The top of the hole 
nearest the surface, to the depth perhajDS of six 
inches, should on no account be rich or fertile, 
as the young vine would be greatly injured 
thereby. The planting of the cuttings should 
not be in too dry a time, for fear of causing the 
earth to pack too closely around the plant, di- 
minishing the chances of success, and at all events 
opposing serious difficulty to the free passage of 
the delicate fibrous roots, as they push the first 
shoots. The regularity and design of the vine- 
yard is important. I should recommend that 

* Having never seen the instrument here mentioned, I can- 
not speak positively as to the form of it. From the description 
of it, I am somewhat inclined to think it is like the common 
auger of our house carpenters, which perforates the soil, dis- 
charging the loose earth disengaged in turning, making a 
hole nine or ten inches in diameter. — translator. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 131 

the ground be stacked, or divided into regular 
lines, crossing each other at intersections that 
should divide the field in the manner of the 
checquer board, the plots thus formed to be two 
and a half feet square. 

This will give a regularity to the appearance 
of thp vineyard, heightening greatly the beauty 
of the coup d^oiel, when the vines shall arrive 
at maturity. 

Neatness and symmetry are always valued by 
the cultivator of taste, but apart from the gratifi- 
cation of the fancy, a great practical advantage is 
obtained by such regularity, as the vines incur 
less hazard of injury in the operations of weeding 
and digging, and admit more readily the rays of 
the sun to reach every part of the vine grounds, 
thus preventing much of the fruit from premature 
decay, a misfortune to which the vineyard is ex- 
posed when the grapes are much shaded. 

The highly favourable influence of the sun on 
the quality of the wine, as well as the quality of 
the product, manifests the great importance of 
such regularity, and proves the decided supe- 
riority of the present system of cultivation over 
the confused and slovenly disorder in which our 
old plantations have been crowded together. 
This distance ' between the vines I consider as 
the most judicious, for should greater space be 
left, the full crop of which the ground is capable 
will not be obtained from the vineyard.* In a 

* Let it not be forgotten, that our author here speaks of 
Switzerland, "where every rood of ground supports a man," 
With us it is different, and a greater space may be safely and 
advantageously left. — translator. 



132 . TREATISE ON THE 

heavy rich soil, where the growth of the plant 
is rapid, and the branches become strong and ex- 
tended to a great length, I have found the most 
judicious distance between the plants to be three 
feet square. 

In order to insure the success of the plantation, 
and replace the cuttings which may fail of taking 
to the soil, it will be advisable to plant out a 
few supernumerary cuttings in a favourable corner 
of the vineyard, (and here let me remark the im- 
portance that these should be put out in a part 
of the same field) in order that in the succeeding 
season of planting, those cuttings which have 
failed in the vineyard should be replaced from 
the young nursery, selecting of course the most 
vigorous and healthy, to give to the plantation an 
uniform appearance as to age and production. 
There are some vignerons, who, instead of the 
nursery system, put out an intermediate line of 
cuttings, between those intended as the stock 
plantations, and where any of the stock plants 
fail, the place of the unsuccessful cutting is sup- 
plied by laying a branch from the supernumerary 
which has the advantage of the rooted vine, and 
a season consequently is gained in the establish- 
ment. ^ This method appears judicious, but care 
must be taken the second year to eradicate such 
intermediate plants, where the principle or stock 
plants have succeeded, and show a vigorous ve- 
getation. In those of the latter, which draw up 
in a sickly growth, this method is also to be re- 
commended, and the evil counteracted by re- 
placing the feeble plant, from the branch of a 
«trong adjatent supernumerary. The outset of 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 133 

the establishment requires care and attention; 
as it is all important to the success of the 
vineyard, that a strong healthy plantation should 
form the groundwork of the operations. It is 
the creed of many of our vine dressers, that the 
young plants should not be weeded, [faire la 
feuille) which is to divest them of their super- 
fluous leaves, and young branches, the first year. 
I am quite of a different opinion, and from ex- 
perience, do not hesitate to say, that, on the con- 
trary, the stripping should not be omitted where 
the young plants shoot freely, and show a vigo- 
rous vegetation. In this operation, my opinion 
is, that not more than two shoots, or bunches, 
should be left, instead of four or five, as is the 
practice among some ignorant cultivators, sur- 
charging thereby the plant with a vegetation, to 
the support of which its powers are inadequate, 
and exhausting the life blood of the young vine, 
by a premature tax on the functions of the young 
plant. In autumn we should divest the vines of 
the small shoots that have put forth between the 
main branches, which are to form the heading of 
the plants the succeeding year. Even after the 
leaf has fallen, this measure contributes to mature 
and harden the young wood, which is essential 
to success, because the young shoots would not 
be sufficiently advanced, and the new wood ma- 
tured and ripened before the severe frosts of 
winter, many of the branches that appear to 
possess a vigorous maturity, will perish, from 
inability to resist the rigors of the season.* 

* From my observation on the effect of pruning, I incline to 
the belief, that in Pennsylvania it WiW be judicious that this 

M 



134 TREATISE ON THE 

Each principal branch should be supported by 
a prop or stake, as from the wind, or even its 
own weight, it will be exposed to be broken off 
from the main stock. Early in the ensuing 
spring, before the flow of the sap, the vine should 
be pruned, as great injury to the plant will result 
from a loss of this precious fluid, where the work 
of pruning is postponed too late in the season.* 
The vinegrounds should be carefully prepared 
with the plough or spade, early in the season, 
before the buds begin to enlarge or swell, the vine 
securely attached by a ligature of straw or mat- 
ting to the support or stake, the matting, if to 
be procured, is not liable to contraction and ex- 
pansion from change of temperature, or the al- 
terations of dry and moist weather, from which 
an injury is sometimes inflicted on the tender 
branches as they expand, preventing the free 
circulation of the sap, and not unfrequently so 
pinching them as to cut through the young skin 
or bark of the plant.t As soon as the shoots 

work should be completely finished about the middle of Febru- 
ary, in order that the wounded part of the vine may have time 
to allow the sap vessels to close before the circulation shall be 
active. — trams. 

* In the vineyards of the Rhine, the vines are in the autumn 
entirely buried to the depth of eighteen inches, or thereabout, 
and the appearance of a vineyard is that of a ploughed field. — 

TRANSLATOR. 

t Wisps of straw are used for this purpose where the mat- 
ting cannot be obtained, though, should the season be rainy, 
decay will take place, and cause a fermentation that may act 
unfavourably on the young branches ; moreover, in our country, 
straw furnishes a harbour for insects, where the egg is deposit- 
ed, and the young brood hatched, which feed on the fluid, and 
thus rob the vine of its vital principle and most active support. — 

TRANSLATOR. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 135 

shall have attained the length of three or four 
inches, the first stripping should be made, select- 
ing from among them those which are to be left 
to form the branches; or, in the technical lan- 
guage of the vine dresser, the "oars" of the 
plant, leaving two, three, or at most four oars, 
according to the strength and vigor of the vine. 
The year succeeding the planting of the cuttings, 
and also the two seasons succeeding that, the 
ground should be frequently and carefully work- 
ed, keeping the soil around the young vines soft 
and mellow, and above all free of weeds. From 
time to time, attention should be given to the 
plants as they push their foilage, detaching the 
small shoots as they appear among the main' 
branches, {nettoyer les rabais) ; and this should 
not be done too early, for where the operation 
is performed thus injudiciously out of season, it 
has a prejudicial influence, accelerating the growth 
of the plant, and causing the wood to ripen too 
soon, from which circumstance it is often spongy, 
and does not attain the proper consistency or 
solidity. 

The best manner in which to perform this 
work, is to pinch off the supernumerary branches. 
The following spring the vines must be carefully 
pruned. Should the mercury of Reaumur be 
below zero, 32 degrees of Fahrenheit, I should 
defer the operation for a few days ; but a dry 
cold at the freezing point will not injure the 
plant where it has been cut. In the pruning this 
season (the third year from the planting of the 
cutting) three small branches may be left to each 
vine, which should be cut very short, leaving 



136 TREATISE ON THE 

only two buttons, or buds on each. The stronger 
branches, or oars, must be carefully raised, and 
after pruning, be securely attached to the stake or 
support. These latter may be so pruned as to 
leave five, six or seven buttons to each, according 
to the strength and vigor of the branch. The 
habit prevailing among some of the vignerons of 
this Canton, ( Vaud), of manuringj the vineyard 
the first and second year, is in my opinion pre- 
judicial to the plants, as the efi'ect of thus forcing 
at too early a period the vegetation of the vines 
is to accelerate an undue growth, causing it to 
push its roots too near the surface of the ground, 
besides engendering a host of parasitic plants |j 
that infest the vineyard at the expense of the * ' 
young plantation. 

Sufficient nourishment is afibrded to the roots 
of the young plants from the manured soil at the 
bottom of the trench, and should the superior 
surface of the soil be as strong as that below, the 
vegetation will be so rapid, that the vine incurs 
a danger from too much kindness, and is expos- 
ed to perish, as it were, from plethora. 

The vineyard should not be manured before 
the fourth or fifth year from the planting of the , 
cuttings, and the application of the manure must 
be regulated by the nature of the soil, and depth 
of the plants. A strong or loamy soil, for ex- 
ample, should not be manured so early as a soil 
of light sand or gravel, as, in the former, besides 
the great injury inflicted on the young vines from 
the parasitic plants that in such endless variety 
succeed the application of the manure, the vege- | 

tation of the young vines is so forced as to pro- 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 137 

duce prematurely a superabundant crop of fruit, 
seriously injurious to the vineyard, exhausting 
its vigor, and taxing its powers before it has ac- 
quired sufficient strength to bear such imposition. 
This greatly retards the growth of the vine, pre- 
venting the attainment of the force and vigor es- 
sential to a prosperous vineyard, diminishing, for 
several succeeding years, the quantity of the 
fruit, and so changing the quality of the grapes, 
as to render the wine greatly inferior to that 
which, under judicious culture, it would other- 
wise be. 

We frequently see the young vine that has 
been immaturely charged with fruit, languish 
and droop for two or three years, and sometimes 
perish the second season. The weeding of the 
young plantation should be performed the first 
year by a skilful vine dresser, and care should 
be taken in stripping the vines, to leave the pro- 
per shoots adapted to form the stock branches of 
the future plant. In the second or third year, 
the vines should be stripped or weeded in rows, 
from left to right, and vice versa, taking them in 
turns, one by one, that none be overlooked, after 
which the parasitic plants should be carefully 
extirpated, or rubbed off the vines with a stiff 
scrubbing brush; in doing which, without great 
attention, there is danger of chaffing or wounding 
the bark of the vine, by which serious mischief 
is inflicted on the plant. 

Early in the fourth season, the strong branches 
or oars, should be tied up, and firmly secured to 
the stakes, as the weight of the oars, when in 
foliage, will expose them to be broken off by 

M 2 



138 TREATISE ON THE 

high winds, unless properly secured against such 
accidents. Before the vine pushes into leaf, each 
stake should be examined as from decay or other 
causes, should the prop be weakened, and not 
sufficiently driven into the ground, it may be 
unable to sustain the weight when the plant shall 
be in full foliage. 

Should the wines be prostrated by the high 
winds, to which our summer is so peculiaHy 
liable, the product of that year will inevitably be 
destroyed, and the vine itself seriously injured. 
The height of the stock or vine from the main 
trunk, should not be less than six inches. Short 
pruning exposes the branch to injury in working 
in the vineyard, and the frost will inflict a greater 
damage, than where the branches are longer and 
more elevated. 

The grapes growing near the ground are ex- 
posed to premature decay, as well as to the at- 
tacks of insects, whilst, on the. contrary, those 
that are at too great an elevation, do not produce 
in such abundance, and give a wine of greatly in- 
ferior quality. The parasitic plants must not 
be pulled with force, or dragged off with the 
hand, but carefully separated by cutting the roots 
with a sharp instrument, or, as before mentioned, 
rubbed off with the scrubbing brush. In planting 
the cuttings, I have ever found the period to be 
most favourable as the vine begins to swell, and 
is about to burst into leaf, as the ground about 
that time is warm, and has sufficient moisture to 
favour the vegetation. Care should be taken to 
examine each bud on the cutting, after it has 
been planted a week or two; and should any one 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 139 

of the cuttings appear inert, and afford no indica- 
tion of pushing into leaf, all the buds or buttons 
should be rubbed off, except the first above the 
ground, around which bud loose earth should be 
gathered, so as to leave the button on an even 
line with surface of the soil, or as a seaman 
would explain it, " between wind and water." 
By this means many of the cuttings will be saved, 
which without such precaution would inevitably 
perish. 

There are many vine dressers, who against a 
wall* plant double the usual number of cuttings 
on a given space, in the hope of gaining a little 
more ground ; but such cultivators do not under- 
stand their true interests, as the plants so situa- 
ted rarely prosper, and give in general, a short 
meagre production. 

There is no good reason why more cuttings 
should be planted against a wall, than in the open 
ground, and where it is intended to trail the 
branches against the wall, either on espaliers, or 
in the ordinary mode of standard plants, the vine 
should on no account be nearer to it than eight 
inches in order to afford free scope on each side 
for the roots of the plant' to push forth and ex- 
pand, as well as to allow space to soften the 
ground around it. Those plants for which we 
design such protection, should be of a kind that 
ripen their fruit at a later period of the season 
than the fruit of the field cultivation, because if 

* In Switzerland, it is the custom, in positions where the vine- 
yard is exposed, to erect a wall along the northern line of the 
vine grounds, planting espalier vines against the southern 

front — TRANS. 



140 TREATISE ON THE 

the wall fruit be the same with that of the field, 
both will not ripen at the same time. A confu- 
sion, as well as an increase of expense in the 
operations of the vintage, will be the necessary 
consequence. Such fruit, moreover, being the 
only grapes ripe at the time, will be more ex- 
posed to the ravages of insects, and become the 
single point against which the attack of the 
whole tribe will be concentrated. If the vigne- 
ron should determine,, bon gre, mal gre, to cul- 
tivate against the wall, the same fruit as in the 
open field, the branches should be trailed longer 
and higher, the fruit consequently being more 
elevated, it may reasonably be hoped, wdll ripen 
and be at maturity about the same time as that of 
the open plantation*. 

* [The objection urged by some of the cultivators of tlie 
Canton of Vaud, against having the different fruits in the vici- 
nity of each other, is that during the blossom of the vine, there 
will be a mixture of the farina, and the fruit changed thereby. 
I found the opinion general against the plan of raising different 
kinds of grapes in the vicinity of each other, and those who are 
particular in the affairs of the vintage, dislike an admixture of 
fruit in the same pressing. The reason assigned is, that the 
fermentation is not the same in all the varieties of the grape, 
and that where such different fruits are thrown promiscuously 
into the mashing tub, the fermentation of one part will be en- 
tirely finished, whilst that of the other will be in active opera- 
tion. It is however not uncommon in the Canton, to throw 
into the general mass, the whole crop, but this is always to 
economise labour, and is not done in the best wine making dis- 
tricts.] — TRANSLATOR. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. * 141 



ARTICLE IV. 
Pruning the Vine. 



Should the weather permit, I recommend that 
this operation be commenced as early as the 
middle of February, commencing with such as 
appear' precose, and those also the wood of 
which appears to be feeble. In general, where it 
is practicable, the pruning should be early. When 
such is the case, the wounded surface of the 
branch has time to heal before the active circu- 
lation of the sap; a crust, or hardened surface 
being formed, which closes the orifice of the sap 
vessels, and prevents the loss of that precious 
fluid, a measure fraught with the most salutary 
results, contributing essentially to the health and 
vigor of the plant, and insuring its favorable and 
healthy duration. Attention in the pruning 
should be given to cut as far as possible from the 
button, in an oblique or slanting direction, in 
order to carry off the rains and dews from the 
wounded surface, which should always be on the 
side opposite to that of the bud. I cannot too 
strongly recommend to the vine dresser a careful 
observance of this precaution, as the cutting as 
remotely as possible from the bud is one of the 
surest methods of affording to the vine a health- 



142 TREATISE ON THE 

ful vigor, as without an attention to this import- 
ant point, the crust formed on the wounded sur- 
face, will be so near the button, as greatly to 
injure the vegetation of it, causing it to push 
with difficulty, and sometimes destroying alto- 
gether the principle of vegetation. 

If even the latter should not take place, the 
wood will not ripen well, and the fruit will be 
inferior and less abundant. Late pruning is at- 
tended with a heavy flow of sap, which greatly 
exhausts the vine, and frequently shortens the 
life of the plant. It has been remarked, that 
when a severe frost has immediately succeeded 
the first pushing of the bud, those vines that 
have been pruned late in the season, have been 
found to suffer least, being the least advanced in 
vegetation, then again, that sometimes the vines 
under a late pruning produce that season a larger 
crop of fruit than many others. But these cir- 
cumstances, which cannot be attributed to any 
but an accidental coincidence, should not influ- 
ence us to abandon the system of early pruning. 
Many intelligent proprietors of our Canton, par- 
ticularly those who have given to the cultivation 
of the vine an attention the most enlightened, 
having observed that the chances of frost are fre- 
quent and injurious to their vines, have adopted 
the opposite method of late pruning and digging, 
and notwithstanding that this measure is always 
attended by a heavy flow of sap, they contend 
that the loss thus sustained, is less prejudicial to 
their vines than the injury resulting from our 
iieavy late frosts. Such is not my opinion. 1 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 143 

fear less the ravages of the frosts of April or Majr, 
on my vines which have been pruned early in 
the season. 

In pruning, most vignerons leave four branches 
to each strong vine, carefully observing that 
such shall be the most vigorous branches, shoot- 
mg outwardly from the main trunk, that a clear 
smooth bark may be thereby obtained, leaving it 
as far as practicable, unwounded by the knife, 
because, should the trunk in the course of years 
be surrounded by the old branches, the buds 
would vegetate with difficulty and finally perish. 
I should recommend, however, that where the 
outer branch is small, and somewhat inferior, it 
should be chosen rather than the inner shoot, 
even though the latter possess the advantage of 
superior force. The habit of pruning from the 
young branch, so as to form shoots of this year 
from the branch of the last season, (a method so 
general among the vine dressers of Vaud) injures 
the quality and diminishes the quantity of the 
vintage, and shortens, at the same time, the dura- 
tion of the plant, which, pruned as it is on all 
sides, droops and languishes, obliging the vigne- 
ron to create a new heading from the false 
branches, so called, which shoot from the head 
of the main trunk, producing for the several suc- 
ceeding years, less abundantly than under the 
usual pruning, and tending seriously to a short- 
ening of the powers of life. Remark by the 

translator, [Lest the American cultivator 
should find a difficulty in comprehending a 
phraseology so ambiguous as that of the last pa- 



144 TREATISE ON THE 

ragraph, I shall endeavour to explain from my 
observations of the culture of the Canton of 
Vaud, what I believe to be the meaning of the 
author in the directions thus given. I have seen 
in that Canton many of the old vineyards so cut 
down in the spring pruning, as to be divested of 
every inch of the shoots or branches of the pre- 
ceding year, thus leaving nothing but the stump 
or old trunk, the top of which, from long annual 
pruning in this manner, is terminated with a 
round ball, from which, indurated as it appeared 
to me, all the young shoots forming the heading 
of that year, germinate. Althou^ in the old 
vineyards of Vaud, this method of pruning may 
be considered general, there are nevertheless 
many who have three or for buttons of vigorous 
branches af the preceding year, from which the 
fruit bearing heading of that season is formed ; 
and it is this latter system which does not divest 
the trunk, or old vine, of every particle of the 
shoots of the preceding year, that I understand 
the author to discourage.] 

In pruning always from the young shoot, you 
tighten the horns of the trunk, thus forming a 
round, or globular head, which is attended with 
this inconvenience, that in a season of great 
abundance, the bunches of grapes are often 
brought into contact, not leaving between them, 
the space necessary to allow the rays of the sun 
to penetrate, the interior of the plant is also so 
shaded that the fruit is shut up, and consequently 
deprived of that degree of heat necessary to ma- 
ture and ripen it. 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 145 

The quality of the wine is injured, the vine 
giving a smaller quantity of fruit, not merely 
because the grapes do not ripen fully, but be- 
cause they do not attain the natural size. Here, 
however, let me observe that all the different va- 
rieties of the vine do not require the same method 
of pruning. The more delicate kinds, for ex- 
ample, should not be the first pruned, nor should 
they be allowed to bear too abundant a crop. 
Those of an ordinary kind, such as the small and 
large " Rougeasse,''^ should be the last to be 
pruned, and on these, instead of leaving four 
branches, five or six to each trunk may be safely 
left, the branches thus pruned being raised, and 
as soon as the work of the vineyard shall permit, 
securely attached to the supporting stake, which 
must be done before the swelling of the button, 
or bud ; the ligature to be preferred for the 
purpose is the bass matting, or should not these 
be attainable, the slender twigs of the ozier, or 
yellow willow, usually found here in abundance. 



ARTICLE V. 



Transport of the earth or soil. 

There are some vine dressers, even in the 
district of La Vaux, (where, without any doubt, 
the vines of our Canton have attained their great- 

N 



146 TREATISE ON THE 

est perfection) who remove the excess of earth 
accumulated at the foot of the plant by the wash 
of the mountains, but once in every two or three 
years. I consider this method as extremely in- 
judicious, because, the earth thus accumulated 
around the foot of the plant, particularly in the 
vineyard occupying the inclination of a hill, 
buries the young branches, leaving, on the con- 
trary, the roots of others uncovered and dan- 
gerously exposed. 

This is peculiarly the case where the inclinat- 
tion is precipitous, and not unfrequently where 
it is even gentle, as the heavy rains of summer 
greatly expose to such inconvenience the gravel- 
ly soil of the vineyard. 

When the branches are thus partially covered, 
the vine cannot ripen its fruit; my opinion, 
therefore, is, that such accumulation should be 
removed from the foot of the plant every spring, 
the work to be performed in a dry time, before 
the vine begins to push into leaf. The trellise 
vines, ranged against the wall, the roots of 
which have by the washing of the rains of winter, 
become uncovered and exposed, should be pro- 
tected by a fresh covering of soil, around the 
foot of each plant ; the soil around which, should, 
before the application of the new covering, be 
carefully broken up and worked, till the whole 
be left soft and mellow; and should it be neces- 
sary to manure them, the manure should be 
worked at the digging, and not applied superfi- 
cially, as the inconvenience before mentioned 
will ensue, that the vine will push its roots near 
the surface, to the great injury of the plant. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 



147 



Moreover, such top dressing will be soon ex- 
hausted by the action of the sun, besides which 
it would become the harbour of myriads of in- 
sects, ready to attack and feed on the life blood 
of the vine, and exhaust and wither its force and 
energy. 



ARTICLE VI. 



The operation of laying the branches, in order 
to form a new plant from the rooted vine. 

This work should be performed in the spring 
during a dry time, when the ground has become 
warmed by the rays of the sun. It is advisable 
not to defer it too late, as the vine usually begins 
to swell, and push its Ijuds early in April where 
the season proves favorable, and as in performing 
this operation, it frequently happens where the 
branch is to be laid, issues from the plant near 
the surface of the ground, it is necessary to cut 
some of the small roots, which is injurious to the 
vine from the loss of sap that must ensue. If, 
moreover, the buds should have begun to swell, 
the danger of injury is increased, or it may be, 
of utter ruin to them. The first step of perform- 
ing this operation, is to open a trench the full 
length of the branch, sinking the trench at least 
half a foot below the level, at which it is intend- 



148 TREATISE ON THE 

' ed to Jay the branch, which half a foot of extra 
depth should be filled by the mellow rich soil, 
taken from the upper or superior surface of the 
trench, and which should be immediately around 
the branch laid. This greatly facilitates the de- 
yelopement of the fibrous roots that shoot freely 
in ground thus prepared for their vegetation. 
(Xn the other hand, should this precaution be 
overlooked or neglected, it is greatly to be feared 
that in a rainy season, and particularly in the 
vineyard of the plain, the water which falls into 
the trench being retained by a close or compact 
soil, cannot pass off, but stagnates around th^' 
young roots of the plants, and are greatly detri- 
mental to their advance and prosperity. The lan- 
guishing which always succeeds such inconve- 
nience, may be generally avoided by sinking the 
trench to the proper depth, and replacing the 
earth taken from it, by the loose and porous soiL 
In replacing the earth, the trench must be only 
half filled, the earth which remains being placed 
along the margin of the ditch, in order that from 
time to time during the season, it may be thrown 
into the trench, so that by the autumn it may be 
completely filled, and on a level with the circum- 
jacent ground. It will be recollected, that this 
additional soil must be the meagre earth from the 
bottom of the trench, and is always to be placed 
above, the branch laid. In the spring follow- 
ing, it will be found that the surface of the trench 
has sunk below the level of the ground adjacent, 
which defect must be replaced by other earth, 
and the whole levelled. The first work of the 
spring must now be attended to. The roots 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 149 

which the branch has put forth the preceding 
season must be carefully guarded from injury by 
the operations of the spadc; or other instruments, 
with which th6 labour of the vineyr.rd is effected, 
and every facility afforded to the plant, by keep- 
ing the soil around it free and mellow to push 
additional roots. 

The branch that is intended to form the head- 
ing of the ])lant, should be curved so as to form 
an arch, such circular form being best adapted to 
afford to the sap a free circulation. 

Not more than two points or branches, issu- 
ing from the ground, should be allowed to the 
new plant. The earth around the laid branch 
should, from time to time, as it may require it, 
be carefully dug and kept in a mellow state, in a 
circumference of ten or twelve inches at least. 
Should the branch you may wish to lay, be too 
short to reach the spot where the unsuccessful 
cutting had been planted, so as to range in a line 
with the other vines, and preserve the uniform 
appearance of the row, such short branch may 
nevertheless be used as far as it will extend. 

The first season it will probably produce a vi- 
gorous branch, which in its turn may again be 
laid, so as to reach the desired point the follow- 
ing season. As the branches thus laid, pro- 
duce fruit in great quantity, even the first season, 
it will for that reason be prudent to leave but 
two buds to form the heading, as with more than 
that number the plant will be exposed to the 
danger of exhaustion from overbearing, and the 
chief object of the operation, which is to supply 

N 2 



150 TREATISE ON THE 

the place of an unsuccessful cutting, will of course 
be defeated. 

Attention in the pruning should also be given 
to keep down the vigorous shoots of the new 
plant, so that it shall range uniformly with the 
adjacent vines. 

Early in the succeeding spring, the buds of 
the young vine should be rubbed off with the 
thumb and finger, leaving but two or three to 
form that year's heading, and these must be the 
highest, or those next to the top of the branch. 

When the operation of laying is deferred until 
too late in the season, the branch has not time to 
take to the ground before vegetation, and attract 
the salts of the soil, so important to the nourish- 
ment of the former stock plant. I close this ar- 
ticle by repeating the importance of great care 
in laying the branch. Let it not be buried under 
too deep a covering of earth, particularly where 
the ground is level or damp. 



ARTICLE VII. 



Of the first Labour. 



About the latter end of March, the first labour 
is usually given to the vineyard. Sometimes, 
from the lateness of the season, it is deferred till 
the commencement of the month of April. It 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. ISl 

will be easily perceived, that no definite day nor 
even week can possibly be fixed for this opera- 
tion, but the skilful vine dresser is never at a 
loss on this point. My opinion is, that the 
moment most favourable to the performance of 
this work, is that at which the vine begins to 
burst its buds, and push into foliage ; and here I 
presume it will be superfluous to remark, that 
though I consider this as the most judicious 
movement for the performance^ of the first labour, 
it calls for great care on the part of the vine 
dresser, as without strict attention in moving 
through the grounds, the young and tender buds, 
at this moment heavily charged with an active 
circulation, and excessively 'fragile, will be ex- 
posed to great injury, and perhaps broken off 
and destroyed. In the vineyard of a close and 
loamy soil, this is the moment at which the first 
labour is attended with the greatest advantage, 
as in such a soil the vines worked at an earlier 
period, rarely prosper as well as when the work 
is postponed to that which is here recommended, 
and for this reason, that the cold rains of the lat- 
ter part of March pack and harden the soil of 
the vineyard. A distinction in this respect 
should always be made between the vineyard of 
such a soil and the sandy or gravelly bottom, or 
where the vines are on the inclination of a hill, 
not only on account of the convenience of giving 
to such the early labour, at a period when the 
spring business is less imperative, bscause a po- 
sitive advantage attends, in such situations, an 
early labour, by afibrding to the ground time to 
settle around the roots of the vines, and preser- 



152 TREATISE ON THE 

ving the degree of humidity necessary to resist 
the great heat of such situations, a humidity 
which, in the early part of the season, promotes 
the vegetation of the vine grounds, and of which, 
from the evaporation of a reflected heat, and the 
facility with which from an open soil, and the 
descent of the position, the rains and dews are 
easily carried off. The depth of the digging 
must be regulated by that of the soil, varying 
from six to ten inches. In performing the work, 
I usually give two strokes of the instrument to 
each vine. By the first blow the earth is turned 
up, the second raises that which remains at the 
bottom of the furrow, leaving it of an uniform 
depth. The method of performing this opera- 
tion by a single stroke of the hoe, which is the 
habit of some of the vine dressers of our Cantons, 
is, in my opinion, injudicious. There are those 
who neglect this work altogether, which is yet 
more pernicious in its effects on the vineyard, as 
under such shameful negligence the vines soon 
become choked up with noxious weeds, and the 
difficulty increased of keeping the vine grounds 
sufficiently clean. 

In turning under the surface of the soil to the 
proper depth, most of the seed of such destruc- 
tive weeds will be so buried as to be incapable of 
reproducing. If at the moment of the first la- 
bour, the surface of the ground be dry, the result 
of the work will be more advantageous. Care 
should be taken, in effecting' this work, not to 
perform it by heavy blows, particularly in the 
vineyard of the hills, as it is prudent to avoid, as 
far as possible, causing the loosened earth to roll 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 153 

towards the bottom. We should also be govern- 
ed by the state of the weather, as this labour 
should not be performed in a moist or wet time, 
nor even when there may be cause to apprehend 
the approach of rain. Instead of advantage un- 
der such circumstances, the result will rather be 
unfavorable. The vineyard which has received 
the first labour in a careless manner, should be 
deep by the drought immediately after the fin- 
ishing of the work, as v/ithout this necessary 
precaution, the vines assume a yellow tinge, and 
the production of that season will be diminished 
in quantity, and of a quality greatly inferior to 
that of the adjacent vine grounds, in which this 
important work has been skilfully performed. 
Those whose habit it is to work the vineyard too 
late in the season, commit a great error in the 
cultivation. A vineyard suffered to remain too 
late, in the condition in which the vine is usually 
found before the performance of this work, ex- 
periences an injurious loss of time, in comparison 
with those in which the work is performed in 
proper season. It is deprived of all the salutary 
influence of the spring sun, and the beneficial ef- 
fects of early rains; besides which a serious mis- 
chief arises from the rapid accumulation of 
noxious weeds, that all this time will be making 
head, and acquiring such a force, as will prove 
during the whole season, destructive to the pros- 
perity of the vineyard. No subsequent labour 
that can be given to it will repair the consequen- 
ces of such ill-judged neglect. Moreover, where 
this work is postponed to a late period of the 
season, it is never so well performed. The feay 



154 TREATISE ON THE 

of injury to the blossom of the young fruit, will 
always deter the vigneron in thp performance of 
his duty, and, as a consequence, the work will at 
best be but half done, and detected at the first 
glance by a skilful eye, as the result of a sloven- 
ly cultivation. Even when no professional pride 
on the part of the cultivator urges him to pre- 
serve the character of his vine grounds, still this 
labour, if postponed, must be executed under 
great disadvantages, as with air the precaution 
that can be taken, it will be impossible in the 
performance to avoid inflicting, to greater or less 
degree, the most serious mischief to the young 
and tender branches, which at this moment are 
so fragile, that they will inevitably be broken, to 
the great suffering of the plant. 

The loss of the broken branches, though in 
itself sufficient to excite the most lively alarm, 
is but a secondary consideration. An active 
hemorrhage issues from the wounded surface, 
which offers to myriads of insects an unprotected 
point where the attacks are simultaneous, and 
which soon exhaust the vital principle of vegeta- 
tion. The superficial roots which have not the 
proper depth, must now be cut, and not broken 
off, a s a neat clean cut more speedily heals, and 
exposes the vine to a less loss of sap, than where 
from the torn and lacerated root, a greater surface 
will probably be exposed. In some of the com- 
munes of this Canton, it is the practice to plant 
stakes at the time of giving the first labour. In 
doing this, the workman should be careful to ob- 
serve that the point of the stake be not decayed, 
0T if so, to break off the unsound wood, and point 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 155 

the prop afresh. The supporting stake should 
be planted on one side of the vine, inclining the 
top in an oblique direction, so as to bring it be- 
tween the horns of the plant, the inclination, of 
course, keeping the point of the stake at the 
greatest allowable distance from the foot of the 
vine. The stake when set in the ground should 
be firm and solid, and so strong as to be capable 
of resisting the winds, to which it will in the 
course of the season be necessarily exposed. 
When charged with its full foliage, the vine will 
be heavy, and it will be prudent to subject each 
stake of the vineyard to the proper test. To as- 
certain this important point, let the stake be 
drawn by the top, from side to side, and if, 
from the elasticity, it return to its upright po- 
sition, it may be safely trusted with the sup- 
port of the plant. In the vineyard of the 
plain, the stake should be planted perpendicular 
to the ground, and in that which occupies the 
side of a hill, it should range with the inclination 
of the ground, and lean towards th€ summit of 
the hill. 



156 TREATISE ON THE 



ARTICLE VIII. 



On the subject of this work a few words shall 
suffice. During several years I have performed 
this work in my vineyard, which I obsefve with 
pleasure has been adopted by several of my 
neighbours, in consequence of the advantages re- 
sulting from it. 

Notwithstanding the great experience, which 
from the extent of the cultivation among us, the 
vignerons of this Canton unquestionably have, 
this work, it appears, is much neglected. The 
method of replanting the vine is generally pre- 
ferred as the better cultivation, to that of laying 
the branch of an established plant. The cultiva- 
tor whose vineyard is old, prefers a renewal of 
this plantation from the cutting, as this method, 
among other advantages, offers a better choice 
both as to the fruit, and the strong healthy slip, 
circumstances contributing largely to the estab- 
lishment of the profitable vineyard. The " de- 
chaussure'^ should be performed early in the 
spring, and should be done with the Fossoir* 
It consists in opening the trenches of the preced- 
ing year, in which the branch was ;laid, parti- 
cularly those of the last year, to exarpine if the 
branches laid have pushed their roots too near 

* This instrument resembles in shape the ordinary hoe of 
our country ; but instead of the broad blade, it is two pronged, 
like the fork of the barn yard. The prongs are four inches 
apart. — trans. 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 157 

the surface of the ground. If such should be 
found to be the case, the superficial roots are in- 
jurious to the plant and must be carefully cut. 
This operation, when performed early in the 
season, is attended with this advantage, that there 
is not the same wasteful flow of sap from the dis- 
membered roots, as must be the case where the 
work is postponed till late in the spring. In the 
performance of this operation, the superfluous 
buttons should be carefully rubbed off, and at the 
same time the branch should be so placed as to 
• range in uniformity, as to the height and line 
with the circumjacent vines. 



ARTICLE IX. 



Stripping the vines of the superflux vegeta- 
tion — raising and tying the branches. 

The first work of stripping or weeding the 
vines, consists in detaching the useless shoots, or 
extra branches. This should not be done till all 
the grapes or fruit be fairly developed and plain- 
ly perceived, at which time the extra foliage will 
have put forth and formed, the shoots being 
half a foot in length. The method of stripping 
Or weeding the vines at an early period of the 
season, is greatly to be preferred to the loose 
habit of the greater part of the^ vine dressers of 



158 TREATISE ON THE 

this Canton, which is to defer the operation to so 
late, that the branches are generally eighteen 
inches in length, and have acquired such a 
length at the expense of the vineyard and the 
vintage. 

It is, however, but fair to observe, that where 
this work is done at too early a period of the 
season, a danger is incurred of detaching the 
shoots best calculated for the fruit bearing 
branches of the succeeding year, and to form also 
the effective stock heading of the next season, it 
being extremely difficult to discriminate thus 
early, the character of the spring vegetation not 
being fairly developed. This inconvenience 
which is certainly to be avoided, is however 
trifling in comparison to the advantage derived 
from a performance of the work at a proper pe- 
riod, by the immense importance of the preser- 
vation of the circulating fluid, as the sap is the 
primary source of the prosperity of the vine and 
its productions. 

Let the acute observer make the experiment 
for himself, and judge from the results. He will 
see the severe exhaustion of the plants, the strip- 
ping of which has been injudiciously performed 
out of time, and he cannot fail to be struck with 
the diflference between the languishing appear- 
ance of such, as contrasted with the exuberant 
branches and healthful condition of those which 
have received this work in the early part of the 
season. I repeat, that the work performed in the 
spring possesses inappreciable advantages, as at a 
later period the wound left by the detached 
branches will be larger, the sap vessels more di- 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 159 

lated, and the most active circulation will carry 
oflf the strength of the vine through the sluices, 
opened apparently for the destruction of the plant. 
In performing this operation, two branches or 
shoots to each horn (by which term the old 
branch of the preceding year is denoted) should 
be left at least on those vines having that year 
produced no fruit. 

This must not, however, be understood as ap- 
plying to those vines in full force and vigor. 
On such as are older, but which have not as yet 
that season formed their fruit, four or six shoots 
may be safely left ; but this must only be done at 
the time when they are raised and tied up with 
straw, or matting, to secure them to the stakes; 
because, should this operation be performed be- 
fore the season of securing the shoots to the 
stake, the vine will be exposed unnecessarily to 
the high winds of the spring, to late frosts, hail, 
or other unforeseen occurrences, from which a 
serious injury may ensue. Those who adopt 
this method, should take great care in the choice 
of the branches left to form the future heading, 
the general practice with us being to leave those 
shooting from the outer or exterior surface of the 
stock, as affording a better exposition of the 
next years' fruit bearing branches to the action 
of the sun. 

Where the heading is formed from the inner 
branches, they are so crowded together, that by 
a dense foliage the fruit is so shaded, as to loose 
much of the advantage of the sun, which, from a 
more judicious exposure, might be given to them. 
As soon as the young branch shall have acquired 



160 TREATISE ON THE 

the proper length, it should be attached to the 
stake. This is generally done when the vine is 
in blossom. In deferring this work too late, a 
sensible loss or diminution will be a sure result 
at the gathering, because the grapes which have 
become a little injured or decayed, being exposed 
too suddenly to the heat of the sun, weep and 
discharge their fluid. The grapes thus partially 
injured should be left perfectly tranquil, or they 
will not recover their healthy soundness. Those 
who tie up before the blossom is formed, where 
the branch is sufficiently long, are not greatly in 
error, if the fruit of the season be not too abun- 
dant, or the weather rainy or very damp. In a 
season when the fruit is very abundant, the oars, 
which are usually numerous, being attached to 
the supporting stakes, tend to keep the grapes 
too much shaded; in which case the blossom 
forms and falls with difficulty, causing the loss of 
a considerable part of the fruit, and exposing 
that which remains to the ravages of the worm, 
which attacks more readily the grapes growing 
in the shade, than those that are exposed to the 
rays of the sun, particularly in a cool and rainy 
season. We should not, therefore, prematurely 
hasten the work of tying up, but wait until the 
vine is in blossom. The buds thus near the soil, 
and well exposed to the rays of the sun, expand 
the blossom more easily, and part with it with 
greater facility, which does not occur where the 
vine is attached to the stake, before the season of 
blossoming. 

Whatever has the tendency to retard the fall- 
ing of the blossom, should be carefully avoided^ 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 161 

because, where the plant retains for a long time 
its blossom, it is a sure indication that it is not in 
a thriving condition. The better plan is to ob- 
serve a just medium in performing this work, 
which I consider to be about the time the blos- 
som begins fairly and fully to cpen ; but it will 
be easily perceived that this is a moment re- 
quiring an unusftal degree of care and attention, 
as much mischief may be done on the young and 
tender shoots, by incautiously moving amongst 
the vines when in flower. This labour should 
on no account be performed whilst the vines are 
wet from rain or dew; this must be carefully ob- 
served, as by neglecting such a salutary precau- 
tion, the chance of loosing a part of the seasons' 
product will be incurred. 

Such is more especially the case with the de- 
licate fruits, the small yellow grape,' for ex- 
ample. 

There are some vine dressers who strip ot* 
weed their vines in a most cruel manner. It is 
much better that the plants should be suffered to 
retain all their foliage, than to act thus injudi- 
ciously, or perform the work without being aware 
of the consequences to follow the skill, or want 
of it, under which this important labour shall be 
executed. To the experienced vine dresser, it is 
perfectly well known, that the best nourishment 
of the vine is drawn through the medium of the 
foliage;* yet even among us, where the cultiva- 
tion is so well understood, there are nevertheless 

* The Swiss cultivator considers the foliage as the lungs of 
the plant, by which it inhales the atmosphere, absorbing the 
dews thereby. — trans. 

o 2 



162 TREATISE ON THE 

found some vignerons so deficient in the know- 
ledge of their profession, as to strip the vines of 
these necessary agents of their existence, and 
thereby issue, as it were, against them the irre- 
vocable sentence of death. It is by the practical 
experience of those who have trod before us this 
devious way, assisted and improved by our own 
patient investigation, that will enable us to dis- 
criminate under different circumstances, as ulti- 
mately to arrive at the system that shall be found 
adapted to the soil, exposure, and position of each 
particular vineyard. In the plantation, for ex- 
ample of a deep and heavy loam, where the vine 
pushes a vigorous wood, the foliage being con- 
sequently dense and abundant, the closeness of 
the leaves keeps the fruit too much in the shade. 
From the dampness incident to such a situation, 
the grapes are liable to mildew and blight; and, 
should the season be rainy, to perish altogether. 
Where such should be the case, and there is 
reason to fear that they may be cut off before ar- 
riving at a healthy maturity, it will be advisable 
to strip the vines of a part of their foliage in the 
immediate vicinity of the grapes; but in doing 
this we must be careful to take only those leaves 
of the interior, and not of the outer surface of 
the heading of the plant. There are always 
small leaves shooting from the bottom of the vine, 
and such must be carefully pinched off, not torn, 
by which careless method the back of the stock 
plant would be injured, leaving the branch so as 
to be adapted to form the parent fruit-bearing 
vine of the next or succeeding season. 

There are some vine dressers who, in the ope- 



CITLTIVATION OF THE VINE. 163 

ration of tying, divide the work into two or^hree 
stages, beginning at the bottom, by attaching first 
the smallest shoots, then those next in size, and 
finally, the large branches or heavy oars. This me- 
thod is prejudicial to the growth of the plant, and 
otherwise diminishes the prosperity of the harvest. 
My objections to this mode of procedure are, 
first, the lowest branches are kept constantly in 
the shade, and draw out a feeble vegetation ; on 
such the fruit is generally immature, and but 
seldom ripens and never perfectly. The second 
range is, in a great de2;ree, deprived of the rays 
of the sun from above, as well as the reflected 
heat of the ground from beneath, forming an in- 
terior foliage which cannot prosper, and which 
should alwjjys be avoided. Superadded to the 
reasons before cited, a confusion in the stripping 
of the plants will ensue, by which the labour of 
the operation will be increased, exposing at the 
same time the fine foliage of the upper oars to 
the dangers of an indiscriminating weeding, as it 
is hardly to be expected that in this important 
work a sufficient degree of care will be observed 
by the ordinary workmen of the vineyard, to 
avoid such mischief to the principal fruit bearing 
branches. That the work may be well perform- 
ed, the vigneron should proceed with system, 
beginning in regular line with the headmost 
plant, attaching and tying the branches below to 
those above, then securing the larger branches to 
the stake by which the vine is supported.* By 

* The method in general use al the time our author wrote, 
of having but one stake to each vine, is, where it can be afford- 
ed, to be abandoned, and two stakes given to each plant.- trans. 



164 TREATISE ON THE 

this means, the stake will not have more than the 
proper number of branches attached to it, and 
these should not exceed four. 

Sometimes the wood is too heavy and the 
branch too long, in which case it should be 
pinched off in the slender part, near the end, so 
as to range with the general height of the vine. 
This plan possesses the advantage of bringing all 
the fruit on the outer side of the plant, giving a 
more favourable exposure to the action of the 
sun. There is not the same confusion or danger 
of injury in the weeding, nor is it so liable to be 
attacked by the numerous insects. 

Under this system of cultivation, the appear- 
ance assumed of the heading, is that of the cone, 
the interior being a void. In the tying up, care 
should be observed, that the leaves be entirely 
free, and not tied with the branch; and still 
more important is it, that the fruit should be 
free, as I have seen the fair bunches ruined by 
carelessly mixing them in with the branches 
when attached to the stake. The oars thus se- 
cured should be firmly and solidly fixed to the 
support, and above all, should not bejoo near the 
ground. 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 165 



ARTICLE X. 



The second Labour. 

Although this work, in the opinion of some, 
may appear of little importance, it has its advan- 
tages, and deserves, in the execution, attention 
and care. There are some vine dressers who 
perform the operation immediately before they 
tie up, or attach to the stake ; others at a later 
period in the season, as, for example, at the 
moment when the grapes begin to set, or fairly 
to form. As the work is soon executed, it is im- 
portant that the most favourable time for it 
should be chosen. I consider the proper time to 
be, just as the blossom has dropped, and before 
the grape is actually developed. When this 
work is done too early in the season, the fruit is 
exposed to injury from hail, and does not gene- 
rally prosper as well as where the labour has 
been seasonably given. Where, on the contrary, 
it is postponed injudiciously, much injury to the 
flowers may be apprehended, and consequently a 
diminution of the fruit will follow, by working 
among the vines during the blossom. 

In all cases, however, the labour should be 
performed in a dry time, in order the more ef- 
fectually to destroy the weeds. In a light sandy 
soil, or a soil of gravel, which are both subject of 
drought, the case is somewhat different, as in 
either or both, this work should be performed. 



166 TREATISE ON THE 

and it yv^ere better that in such, the ground 
should be damp, or even a little wet. 

In a light soil, the work should not be too 
deep; should the weather be favourable, no great 
risk is incurred where the workmen are careful 
in performing this labour, whilst the vine is in 
flower; but great attention should be given not 
to agitate the blossoms, particularly should the 
season be backward.* 

Those vines, which in the digging have receiv- 
ed an indifferent labour, ' should be carefully 
weeded and broken up at an early period, by 
deep diggi'ng, and particularly in a dry time. 
The proper depth is from four to six inches. 
There are, however, some vine dre§sers, who 
will not allow their grounds to be broken up in 
a dry time, nor yet whilst the plant is in blossom. 
They profess to think that the dust arising from 
the digging' when the soil is dry, settles on the 
blossom, and causes the fruit to discharge its 
fluid. I once entertained this opinion; but after 
a careful and attentive observation of the circum- 
stances, am decidedly o£ the conviction that it is 
erroneous. 

In the vineyards adjoining the high road^ 
which in dry seasons are generally covered with 
dust, this inconvenience exists to a great degree, 
and on seeing them so covered that the colour of 
the plant, and its product, can hardly be distin- 
guished, it would be a fair supposition that the 

* The American cultivator may understand this in his own 
manner. With due deference to our author, there appears to me 
a little contradiction on this subject. I incline to his former 
ppinion. — trans. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 167 

fruit would not attain a favourable maturity. 
This is not the case ; for we find that in such 
situations, the grapes at the season of vintage are 
equally large ; and finely flavoured as those of 
the vineyard not exposed to the like inconve- 
nience. 



ARTICLE XL 



Pinching off the superfluous small buds. 

This work should be performed immediately 
after the blossom has fallen. In consists in de- 
taching all the small shoots that have sprung be- 
tween the leaves, which may have been foi'got- 
ten or overlooked in a previous labour. The 
oars, or branches, should now be shortened to 
the height of the stakes, with this understanding, 
that they should not be less than four feet in 
length. 

If the prop be a little short, the branch must 
be broken to a height somewhat exceeding it, 
though it is alwavs desirable to avoid such an 
inconvenience. 

Should the wood of the main stock or trunk 
be too short to reach the top of the stake, it must 
be secured to it without pinching, as it is im- 
portant that the vines be regularly pruned and 
trained, not merely on account of the preserva- 



168 TREATISE ON THE 

tion of the plants, but for the appearance of a 
neat and careful vine dressing. The toilette of 
a belle for a midnight ball is not more studious- 
ly arranged, than the vineyards of the Swiss 
cultivator, who considers not merely the pro- 
duct of the vintage, but the neat and orderly ap- 
pearance of his plantation, and the favorable im- 
pression of such regularity, on his fellow labour- 
ers of the same profession. There exists among 
them, in a high degree^ the esprit du corps, and 
the whole fraternity feel scandalized, if in the 
visit of a French vigneron, a slothful or unskil- 
ful cultivator should be found among them. 

In deferring this work too late, an injury is to 
be apprehended on the crop of the succeeding 
year, and the quality of the wine changed for 
the worse. The stock will be weakened by the 
length of the oars and number of the off-sets, the 
branches not attaining sufficient strength and 
solidity to the requirements of the succeeding 
season, and which are the sure guarantees of a 
successful vintage. 

The vine shoots more vigorously in a wet 
than in a dry season. In the former, therefore, 
it will be necessary to strip, or pinch, the plants 
twice or three times during the summer. 

The vineyard is sometimes exposed to long, 
continued drought, suffering greatly from an ab- 
sence of the necessary rains, the foliage during 
such times becoming parched and assuming a 
yellow tinge. 

Under these circumstances, I have sometimes 
consulted experienced vine dressers as to the 
remedy of the evil, and they have counselled 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 169 

me to keep my vines closely pinched so as to 
shorten the branches, the theory of which is, to 
induce an active circulation of the sap, by which 
the plant is enabled to resist the malady. 

Experience, however, has convinced me to 
the contrary, having found in my own cultiva- 
tion, that the more the vineyard abounds in long 
oars and healthy branches, the less will be the 
suffering from the scorching drought referred to. 
In order to avoid in a dry time the burning of 
the foliage, care should be observed in the strip- 
ping, not to detach from the plant the small 
shoots, or offsets, immediately adjoining the fruit, 
as such offsets are the first to perish under the 
influence of such injurious drought. Instead of 
thus detaching such offsets, a couple of inches 
may be pinched off from the extreme ends of the 
shoots, which causes a new and fresh foliage to 
push forth, and keeps up the requisite vegetation 
which tends to the prosperity of the fruit, causing 
it to form and develope fairly, and promoting its 
growth and advancement towards a healthy ma- 
turity. 

I have had occasion to remark the difference 
in a vineyard where, for the sake of the experi- 
ment, part of the vines had not received this 
salutary precaution, and on which the fruit had 
experienced a visible suffering from the omis- 
sion. 

Where the vineyard is exposed to this drought, 
the foliage becomes much parched by the heat 
of the summer sun,^ changes its colour, and as- 
sumes a yellow hue. In such a time the vine- 
yard should be carefully worked, the soil turned 

P 



170 TREATISE ON THE 

up, carefully avoiding all interference with the 
young roots. 

This will greatly mitigate the injurious effect 
of the drought on the vines, as it prepares the 
ground for the absorption of the dews, which, 
during a part of the season, are heavy. In ge- 
neral, the vines require twice in the season to be 
pinched and tied up, which is highly favourable 
to the success of the cultivation. In the second 
pinching, the oars, which, from being too short, 
or perhaps from not having pushed into branch, 
had escaped the first operation, should be careful- 
ly taken off. There are some vine dressers, 
who, in tying up, pinch the plants, or detach en- 
tirely the small offsets that appear between the 
main branches, others disapprove and reject this 
plan ; the first maintaining the opinion, that 
system tends to concentrate the sap in the main 
body of the plant, and causes a reflux so abun- 
dant as greatly to prejudice the growth and pros- 
perity of the fruit, whilst the latter profess a be- 
lief directly the reverse, contending that the 
grapes will be more apt to improve by the adop- 
tion of the measure. 

On this important subject, I have made a num- 
ber of experiments, from the result of which I 
am of opinion, that no disadvantage arises from 
the pinching and tying up of the vines in regu- 
lar measure, where the shoots, as is often the 
case, are not long enough to reach the top of the 
stake, and that this plan possesses certainly the 
advantage of giving to the vineyard an appear- 
ance of neatness and symmetry, always valued 
by the tasteful cultivator, and which, where it 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 171 

•can be attained without prejudice to the main ob- 
ject of the cultivation, he is generally disposed 
to seek, though at the cost of a little additional 
labour. As to the shorter branches, we must 
await their growth, and attack them when they 
shall have attained a sufficient length to admit 
the operation, in the postponement of which, no 
serious inconvenience is likely to ensue. Where 
this work is performed too early in the season, 
the vine dresser will probably find that the oars 
will be liable to be broken in the tying up, be- 
fore or during the unfolding of the blossom : and 
yet I appeal with confidence to my fellow culti- 
vators, and ask of them, if they have not seen in 
their own experience, their fruit remarkably fine 
and well set, notwithstanding such unpromising 
circumstances ? 



ARTICLE XII. 



Of Manures. 

Evert vine dresser is aware, that without oc- 
casionally reinforcing his grounds by a little ar- 
tificial aid, an inferior and diminished harvest 
will be the result. As therefore it appears an 
essential part of the system of skilful cultivation, 
it is important to consider the particular manures 
4)est suited to particular soils and positions, and 



172 " TREATISE ON THE 

the manner of applying them, not merely with 
the greatest advantage, but so as to avoid a 
serious mischief, which indiscreet or unskilful 
manuring frequently inflicts on the vineyard. 
In this consideration, one of the important points 
is, the period of the season at which the manure 
is applied. It is the habit of the vignerons of 
Switzerland to manure their vine grounds at 
three different periods, namely, at the first work 
of the spring, and immediately after the vintage^ 
in the autumn, or during the second labour. All 
are favourable, (though not alike so), provided 
the ground be not too moist or wet, and the 
weather reasonably dry. The autumn may be 
considered, of the three periods, as that least fa- 
vourable to success ; but it has thfs advantage, 
that it is the season when the duties of agricul- 
ture are less imperative, and the vigneron not 
hurried or driven by the necessary work of his 
grounds. The manure which decomposes best 
when wet, should be turned under and com- 
pletely covered ; and here let me observe that it 
should by all means be well rotted. In turning 
it under, care must be taken not to pack it in, or 
tread it with the feet. Some of your vine dress- 
ers have the habit of transporting the manure, 
when a leisure moment allows, into the vine- 
yard, and suffer it to remain in heap^s a conside- 
rable time before it is to be used. This practice 
is altogether to be condemned. As to the ma- 
nure itself, it is injudicious, as a singular altera- 
tion in the quality of it is the consequence of an 
exposure from day to day, and especially if suc- 
ceeded by a dry time. Evaporation from the 



CULTIVATION OF THE VINE. 173 

action of a warm sun rapidly carries oflf the 
strength of the manure. 

There are yet some among us who act more 
absurdly, and in order to have their manure at 
hand when the early spring work is most press- 
ing, transport it even in the autumn into* the 
vmeyard, there to remain during the whole 
winter. 

The moral inculcated by the proverb, how- 
ever applicable in most instances (of " taking 
time by the forelock") is singularly pernicious 
in Its effects on this part of the vine dressing, as, 
independently of the deterioration of quality 
which the manure must experience from the 
snows and rains of winter and spring, an inju- 
rious influence is exercised on the vegetation of 
the vines, for at least two succeeding seasons, 
the vintages of^ which being ample testimony of 
such indiscretion. The proprietor will have 
cause to be satisfied, if he shall find the mischief 
cured by the lapse of two succeeding years. 

I feel that I cannot in conscience tread lightly 
on this pernicious custom. All manures are not 
equally favourable. Different soils require dif- 
ferent engrais. Some are productive of positive 
injury, rather than benefit. For example, the 
manure of horses, sheep, or goats, where not per- 
fectly decomposed, or M\y and completely rot- 
ted, if applied in a dry season, especially to the 
vines of a gravelly or sandy soil, exposes them 
to an artificial drought, causing the vegetation to 
be literally burnt, and inflicting a sensible loss on 
the vintage, which is generally greater when the 
season is dry. In such soils, the manure should 

p 2 



174 TREATISE ON THE 

be from the cow, and should not be too much 
rotted, as the fermentation is less active than 
that of the others named, and consequently not 
attended with the like heating effects. 

The moment of fermentation, or immediately 
after it, is that most favourable for the vineyard 
of a sandy soil. I consider that of sheep and cows 
as favourable to strong lands, to such as incline 
to moisture, and to the vineyard also of the 
plain. The same quantity of manure is not re- 
quired by all the vineyards. Close, loamy lands 
are sufficiently manured, if done once in four 
years; and in a light sand or gravel, once in three 
years will be enough. 

It may not be amiss here to remark, that 
over-manuring injures the quality of the wine. 
By such a system, the fruit is liable to a prema- 
ture decay. The branches become fragile, and 
are easily broken. The wine, when in the 
vault', changes easily, and cannot be preserved so 
well or so long. 

If, in the place of manuring every three or 
four years, the vine dresser would be at the 
trouble of putting on his grounds each year, the 
third or fourth part of the quantity periodically 
applied, the result would be more advantageous, 
the vines better preserved, the effect more favo- 
rable, and the force and verdure of the vineyard 
more uniformly healthful. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 175 



ARTICLE XIII. 



Weeds to be destroyed. 

The mischievous effects of weeds on the 
growth and prosperity of the vineyard, is well 
understood by the Swiss vine dresser, who, if he 
has the least care over his vine grounds, or the 
slightest regard for his professional reputation as 
a skilful cultivator, has taken care that his planta- 
tion shall present a neat, clean cultivation, from 
which the noxious weeds that infest the vines are 
eradicated before they inflict a serious injury on 
the plant and its product. In the vineyard in 
which weeds are allowed to accumulate, the 
quality of the vine suffers an injurious change; 
the product is sensibly lessened, and sometimes 
nearly cut off, and the plant rapidly hastens to 
premature decay. These effects are caused by 
the dampness engendered, as the rays of the sun 
are shut out, and thus the ground is not sufficient- 
ly heated to afford to the plant a degree of 
warmth, necessary to enable it to appropriate the 
salts, which enter so largely into the principle 
of vegetation. 

The strength of the manure destined to the 
nourishment of the vineyard, is absorbed and 
taken up by the weeds; the vine will be covered 
by destructive parasitic plants, which bring on 
a premature age, and all the labour and care of 



176 TREATISE ON THE 

the vine dresser, where cleanliness is wanting 
are rendered abortive. ' 

It is manifestly important, therefore, to keep 
the vine grounds free of weeds, and especially is 
the necessity increased in a season when manure 
is dear. The most effective mode of destroying 
these weeds, is to eradicate them immediately 
after the vintage. The instrument best adapted 
for this purpose, is the rattisoir,^' by this means 
the vine grounds will be rid of the weeds be- 
fore the seeds ripen, and will also be clean dur- 
ing the succeeding winter, to the period of the 
first spring labour. This is the moment when 
the vine dresser finds that he is repaid for the 
labour he has bestowed, by the facility with 
which the spring work is accelerated. 

The rattissoir is the best instrument by which 
the weeds of the vine grounds can be eradicated, 
and the operation is effected with a greater de- 
gree of safety than it can be done even by the 
hand. Those who are expert in the use of this 
instrument, may give to the vineyard a third 
labour; and this is attended with great advantage, 
inasmuch as it is performed at a time usually con- 
sidered hazardous to work in the vine grounds. 
This is not long before the vintage, when the 
weeds have, from the absence of any labour 
for some considerable time, shot up, and ac- 
quired a menacing attitude. 

In skilful hands, with the 7'attissoir, the 

* The rattissoir is something like the shuffling hoe of our 
gardens, about six inches in breadth. — trans. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 177 

vines may even now be worked, and a suitable 
advantage will accrue by cutting down the weeds, 
which, among other sources of mischief, afford a 
harbour to the numerous insects that are collect- 
ed to descend in mass on the ripening fruit, the 
moment the skin of the grape becomes so tender, 
as to enable them to perforate it with ease. 
Without the rattissoir this work could not be 
performed at this moment, as it would be dan- 
gerous to attempt it by the hand alone. There 
is a period at which this important labour ought 
not to be attempted, as the fruit would be greatly 
endangered thereby, that is, in the time which 
intervenes the first labour and the tying up of 
the branches, as at that moment the oars are long, 
heavy, and generally so fragile, as to render the 
use of any instrument attended with danger. 
This work, therefore, should only be done im- 
mediately after the tying up is finished. 



ARTICLE XIV. 



Gardening among the vines. 

In the early part of my establishment, at the 
outset of my career as a cultivator, my know- 
ledge, as may be easily supposed, limited, I fell 
into the habit of many of my neighbours, and 
introduced into my own vine ground a cultiva^ 



178 



TREATISE ON THE 



tion of grain, reaping annually from five to seven 
sacks,* as well as esculent vegetables for the table. 
For several years I have abandoned this ill-judged 
system, which may show how strongly I am 
convinced of the pernicious effects of any other 
cultivation among the vines. 



ARTICLE XV. 



Of the planting of vines in grounds where 
they have never before been. 

The cultivator who intends to establish his 
vineyard in new ground, should carefully select 
his cuttings from strong, good plants, the small 
white grape being the species best calculated for 
such a culture. t 

As the cuttings will succeed almost miracu- 
lously in such grounds, giving much strong 
wood, that little grape is to be preferred, be- 
cause it pushes but feebly its wood, but gives a 
heavy crop of fruit. 

Should your site be a prairie or plain, or grass 
ground, great care must be taken to shell off 
all the sod or grass from the surface of the field. 
It must on no account be turned under, as 

* About two and a half bushels — trans. / 

t So far as concerns the Canton de Vaud. — trans. 



CULTIVATION OP THE VINE. 1 7& 

where it is placed at the bottom of the trench, 
there is a liability of the grass vegetating, and 
finding its way to the surface. Moreover, there 
is danger that the fruit may be injured, as it will 
not ripen as early or as well, and that the quality 
of the wine may be injuriously changed. In 
general, where the wine is planted in a new soil, 
it does not produce so early as when it occupies 
the site of an old vineyard. The plant of the 
new ground pushes a vigorous vegetation, strong 
wood, and but little fruit. There is, however, a 
method to counteract this inconvenience. Ma- 
nure in the actual state of fermentation must be 
applied. The pruning should be late in the 
season, leaving one or two shoots more to each 
plant, than under the ordinary system, according 
to the force and vigor of the plant. By this 
means, the vine will exhibit less wood and more 
fruit. When under such treatment the plant be- 
gins to show indications of debility, you must 
prune according to the directions given under 
that head. It is very much to be desired, that 
all our vine dressers should cleanse their old 
plants of moss. There are some skilful vignerons 
of our Canton who pursue this laudable practice, 
and it is but to visit the vine grounds of such, to 
be convinced of the highly beneficial results of 
the custom. This parasitic plant attracts and 
preserves a humidity greatly injurious to the pros- 
perity of the vineyard, and, in many cases, causes 
the death of the plant. The numerous insects 
that harbour in such a convenient retreat, there 
deposit the egg, and bring out the young brood, 
that not only destroy the fruit, but live on the 



180 TREATISE, &C. 

vitals of the plant itself, exhaust its most pre- 
cious juices, fill the bark with wounds and 
crevices, which the sap discharges in ruinous 
abundance, and induce in the end a compli- 
cation of diseases, which rob the vine of all its 
energy, and bring on and hasten a premature 
decay. 



CHAPTER I. 

OP 

MR. REYMONDIN'S WORK 

ENTITLED 

"L'ART DE VIGNERON.^' 



On Pruning the vine. 

Before entering on the details of the opera- 
tion, so necessary to the success of the vine cul- 
tivation, I offer a few brief remarks on the utility 
and advantages resulting from a judicious adminis- 
tration of the vineyard, and the important influ- 
ence on the results of the vintage from pruning 
with skill and at the favourable seasons. First, a 
primary object of this operation is, that the vine 
should not push too much and too heavy wood. 
Second, that the vineyard should not, in any one 
season, be suffered to produce too great a crop of 
fruit, by which in a few years the vine would be 
exhausted. Third, to assist nature in ripening 
the fruit, by causing the plant to produce its crop 
near to the ground,* from which an additional 

* Though this is good counsel to the Swiss cultivator, it 
should not, I think, influence the vine dresser of Pennsylvania, 

Q 



182 l'art de vigneron. 

heat may be obtained. Fourth, to force the vine 
to push forth new shoots, from which the heading 
of the succeeding season is to be supplied, and 
to preserve the plant by these means in youthful 
vigor, prevent a declension of its powers, and 
bring on premature old age. The necessity of 
performing this work neatly and judiciously, 
must be at once apparent. Let us, therefore, 
consider the best manner of executing it, and 
other circumstances which indicate the period 
most favourable to a successful pruning. 

The period generally considered as that pro- 
mising success to this operation, in our country, 
is usually about the last week in February, or 
early in March, varying with the state of the 
season; but here let me observe, that this must 
not be understood so strictly, as different posi- 
tions and different vines require that the opera- 
tion should be performed at different periods of 
the season. 

For example, where the soil of the vineyard is 
close and loamy and the situation a plain, such 
vines should be left to the last, and not receive 
their spring pruning so early as those of a sandy 
or gravelly soil. 

Those vine dressers occupying the warmest 
positions of the Canton, whose vines are feeble, 
and where the most rigid economy is the pre- 
servation of the sap, the precious source of life 
to the plant, is required, should commence the 
spring pruning at an earlier period if possible, so 

where the temperature of summer is equal to that of Italy. — 

TRAJfS. 



l'art de vigneron. 183 

early as even the latter part of January. In this 
case, however, great care must be taken not to 
cut the branch near the bud, because the frosts 
which generally succeed at that period, will have 
a tendency to injure, and destroy the embryo, or 
branch entirely. Those who, from want of 
knowledge, do not avail of the proper moment to 
perform the work ; that is, who prune early the 
vines that, from peculiai: circumstances, call for 
the operation rather late in the season, commit a 
great error; so also do they when the case is re- 
versed. The first, particularly if the branch be 
cut too near the bud, inflict an injury, because 
should the pruning be succeeded by frosty wea- 
ther, such buttons seldom vegetate, consequently, 
there succeeds not only the loss of the fruit for 
that season, but probably the branch best calcu- 
lated for the fruit bearing wood of the succeed- 
ing season. The latter, who prune when an 
active circulation is in motion through the plant, 
cause a severe hemorrhage, which is not only 
ruinous to the plant, exhausting its powers and 
vigor, but the flow of the sap, which for several 
days trickles drop by drop from the wounded 
surface, courses along the bark, and stagnates 
around the base or foot of the bud, by which it 
becomes enfeebled and unfit for vegetation. There 
are nevertheless occasional instances, where such 
a late pruning has been attended with beneficial ef- 
fects, that is, where unfortunately, at an advanced 
period of the season, when the vine has already 
pushed into leaf, a severe freezing, succeeds. In 
such cases the vine that has had late pruning, 
is consequently backward, and of course escapes 



184 l'art de vigneron. 

the rigors of the unseasonable frosts. I will cite 
Sin example in point. 

A citizen of Lausanne, a cultivator of the vine 
in the vicinity of that city, fearing the approach 
of late frosts, experimented on his vineyards, by 
leaving a small part, or corner of it, untouched 
at the general pruning. He was ridiculed by 
the vine dressers of his vicinity as a visionary, but 
what was the result ? A severe, unexpected frost 
succeeded, during which all the vines that had re- 
ceived their spring pruning, at the proper season, 
lost in toto their crop of fruit, whilst, on the con- 
trary, those which had been left, and had not 
pushed into leaf, were unscathed, and produced 
that year a crop as large as the aggregate pro- 
duct of ten ordinary seasons. 

Notwithstanding this, I should not advise any 
vigneron to follow this example, but where cir- 
cumstances admit, to prune in the manner before 
recommended, and which is the general practice 
of this Canton ; because should he even by some 
such as I have cited, and which is to be consider- 
ed as an extraordinary case, gain by so doing, he 
will probably lose in another year, and find, in a 
series of seasons, a heavy balance against him. 

Let us, therefore, consider the proper season 
and method of pruning the vine. There are 
among us vinedressers having the reputation of 
long experience, who prune their vines almost 
without slope. This is a pernicious practice, be- 
cause the sap which issues from the wound, not 
finding on the cut surface sufficient descent, does 
not flow from it easily, but trickles drop by drop 
as it accumulates, causing frequently the perish- 



l'art de vigneron. 1S5 

ing of many of the best or cardinal buds. 
Moreover, the wounded end of the branch, heals 
with more difficulty than when the cut is oblique, 
on the side opposite the bud, neither too near, 
nor too far off, and though the latter is hy no 
means so prejudicial in its consequences as when 
the cut is too near the button, yet it causes an 
unnecessary labour to the vigneron, who will be 
obliged to cut off, in the ensuing season the points 
of the branch thus left too long. 

When cut too near the bud, there will not re- 
main of the old wood enough to nourish and 
support it, and the branch from such will be 
weak, and produce but little fruit. That part of 
the vine below the best branches, and which, in 
general, are not cut very near to the main trunk, 
is called the figure^ [taille) and from this, on 
each of which two buttons are to be left, we have 
the crop of fruit. It is important to observe a 
medium in this work, that is, about two or three 
inches of wood from the bud, and particularly 
where the pruning is early in the season. As to 
the number of branches as well as their several 
lengths, we must be governed by the particular 
species of the vine, as well as the strength of 
each plant. The vines of great strength having 
several horns, may be safely trusted with the 
support of four or five buttons, particularly 
should the vine be of that species called the 
Grosse Rougeasse, and growing a fertile soil. 
This vine is a plant producing strong, vigorous 
branches, with heavy wood, of a colour deeply 
tinged with red, and the buds at considerable 
distance from each other, producing but little fruit 

Q 2 



186 l'art de vigneron. 

and in which a reliance may be had that it 
will attain a fair maturity, unless destroyed by 
violent heat, or some such unforeseen calamity, 
from which it not unfrequently perishes, and 
which unfortunately in this country (Switzer- 
land) is doomed to experience. 

In pruning this vine, I have tried the experi- 
ment of leaving two or three buds, more than 
the number prescribed by the usual rules of vine 
dressing. The consequence was, that I had that 
season more bunches of grapes, but they were 
smaller, and of course less liable to wilt or 
perish. 

The petite rougeasse produces more fruit than 
the other. It is of the two that which is more 
sure, and loves a warm exposure. When the vine 
pushes strong and heavy wood, and produces 
little fruit, two or three additional branches to 
each trunk should be left in the pruning, accord- 
ing to the strength of the plant. But in this 
case such branches must in no wise be allowed 
more than one button, and the " borgue.^'^ It 
should be here remarked, that where the vines are 
pruned too high, the quality of the wines is in- 
ferior ; as, for example, it is the intention of a pro- 
prietor to eradicate a vine plantation, it is the 
usual practice to prune the preceding season 
witli that view, leaving the branches long, in or- 
der to obtain a heavy crop of fruit. * But what is 

* The bourge is the button the first of the new branch, 
nearest the old wood, and which does not produce fruit in the 
same quantity, nor of the like quality as tJie other buds. — 

TRANSLATOR. 



L^ART DE VIGNERON. 187 

thus gained in the quantity is lost in the quality of 
the vintage, as the vines of such a pruning are al- 
ways inferior. But to return to the subject of ex- 
tra pruning. If, at the expiration of a few years, the 
vigneron perceives that his plants exhibit symp- 
toms of deterioration, the system must be discon- 
tinued, and he should return to the ordinary plan 
of pruning. I have, in my own vineyard, proved 
the utility of the counsel here given. In one cor- 
ner of a small plantation, I had sometime ago es- 
tablished a small vinery of the grosse rougeasse, 
and having remarked that these vines pushed much 
wood, and produced but little fruit, I directed 
my vigneron to leave on these plants, at the 
spring pruning, two or three buds on each branch 
more than usual. My directions, however, were 
forgotten, and the vines pruned in the ordinary 
manner. I took the work myself this year, and 
pruned as I had directed, leaving instead of the 
usual number, five, six, and sometimes seven 
buttons on each branch, according to the vigor of 
the ofiset. 

My theory was justified by the result. The 
crop of fruit was abundant, and of good quality, 
and no part of my vineyard exhibited a more 
satisfactory appearance. I have consulted the 
most skilful cultivators of our Canton, and find 

* We must not be misled by this remark. The object of 
Swiss cultivation is, by ripening the fruit within three feet of 
the ground, to obtain an elevation of temperature from the re» 
fleeted heat. 

I am firmly of opinion, that in our climate such a reflection 
may be unnecessary, if not disadvantageous.— translator. 



188 l'art de vigneron. 

branches of the gross rougeasse, with the sup- 
port of such an extra vegetation. I have seen 
also in different parts of the country, such vines 
planted against a trellise frame, in order to form 
an arch in the garden walks which have produc- 
ed annually their heavy crops of fruit. I should 
not recommend the same mode of pruning 
known among us, as the petite blanchette, and 
the petite rougeasse, as both these vines produce 
in general a plentiful crop. 

The petite blanchette produces most, when at 
the period at which the fruit sets, or forms im- 
mediately on the falling of the blossom, the wea- 
ther is clear and warm ; and it is better adapted 
to rich, close soils, than most of the other spe- 
cies of the vine, because in these soils this grape 
does not suffer in the same degree from the hu- 
midity incident to such positions, and from which 
the other vines will generally be in danger of 
great suffering, or perhaps of being cut off and 
entirely destroyed. In the pruning of these lat- 
ter vines, I should recommend, that to the strong 
branches, four buttons should be left ; to those of 
a less vigorous appearance, but three; but above 
all, attention must be given that the vigneron 
prune these vines low, observing carefully the 
rules heretofore prescribed, that is, to leave but 
one button and the borgue, or dead eye to each 
braach. 

Another inconvenience attendant on long pru- 
ning is, that the figure [taille) soon becomes too 
high, and that such branches do not in general at- 
tain the same strength, nor produce so abundant- 
ly, as the branch near the ground, especially 



l'art de vigneron. 189 

where the succeeding winter prove rigorous, and 
the freezing severe. It frequently happens dur- 
ing the hard frosts of such a season, that both 
branches and stock of the plant perish entirely. 
Where unfortunately such is the case, I strongly 
recommend that the plant should not in the 
spring succeeding be eradicated, as is often in- 
judiciously done among us. Where such perish- 
ing occurs, the root is generally unhurt, and will 
push new branches the following summer, though 
such will that season produce no fruit. It hap- 
pens also sometimes, that the freezing is so 
severe, and the injury to the stock so vital, that 
vegetation above ground is hopeless. Still the 
root may be unscathed. In this case a vacancy or 
hollow should be made around the foot of the 
plant, from the roots of which a new vegetation 
will spring. The following year, such branches 
should be pruned, as those of the plants or cut- 
ting of one years growth, leaving two or three 
such branches, from which the year following, 
the branches will be fully established. In case 
it be found that on arriving at proper maturity, 
the branches be more than are required for a full 
heading of the new plant, the extra shoots may 
be laid to supply a vacancy, should any such 
exist, or where not required for that purpose, the 
strongest should be left, and the others detached, 
in the season of pruning the superflux vegetation 
of the vineyard. When I advise that the lower 
branch should be raised and carefully pruned, it 
must, however, be understood, that such branch 
should not be too near the ground, because where 
such is the case, inconveniences ensue, which 



190 l'art de vigneron. 

should be equally avoided, and as studiously 
guarded against, as those which arise from leav- 
ing the branch too high, and at an unfavourable 
distance from the ground. 

The rule to be observed in this case, where 
circumstances admit, is to leave a distance of five 
or six inches of trunk between the surface of the 
ground, and the horns, or branches of the new 
heading. This applies to the blanchette, and 
petite rougeasse. 

In the case of the grosse rougeasse, the bran- 
ches should be trailed a little higher, because in 
the plant, the fruit ripening as near the ground 
as that of the other two, is more subject to blight 
and mildew, and perishes easily from such causes. 
It may not be amiss to add a few observations 
here, on the manner of pruning the provins, or 
laid branches of one year, the plants of the 
branch thus laid, taking the second year, among 
vignerons, the name of the padres, or rooted 
vines. 

The provins of the first year should not be 
pruned too long, the strength of the bud at the 
upper extremity of such lon^ branch, being found 
insufficient to form a good growth or heading, 
the following year, '^wo.h provins should not be 
allowed more than three buds above the ground; 
that is, calculating the distance from the level of 
the soil, where the vineyard is on a plain, be- 
cause, more than this will cause an extravagant 
waste of the powers of the plant. From this 
general rule, however, may be excepted such 
branches as have their buds close to each other. 
In such case, it may be better to leave all the 



l'art de vigneron. 191 

buds within the length of twelve inches of the 
branch, but where this occurs, the vigneron 
should carefully rub off all the other eyes below 
such as are within that length, exceeding three 
in number, which three will, of course, in the 
selection, be those having a round, full appear- 
ance, indicating that they are the strong vegeta- 
tion of the plant. This precaution is the more 
necessary, as without it a risk will be incurred 
of exhausting the vine at least for the two or 
three succeeding years. 

Where the provins of the two years shall be 
found to possess sufficient strength, they should 
now be pruned, as to form the heading of the 
future plant. With this view, the vigneron 
should leave two branches, that at the foot of the 
plant nearest the surface of the ground being the 
longest, particularly where the plant is vigorous 
and stout. It is contended by some of the cul- 
tivators of our Canton, that such lower branch is 
exposed to many sources of injury. Before we 
proceed farther, let us add an observation on the 
nature of the inconveniences to which it is said 
such branch is incident. First, that it is con- 
stantly exposed to mechanical injury from care- 
lessness and inattention in working among the 
vines. Secondly, whenever a late frost occurs 
in the spring, it is exposed to a greater injury 
than the upper branch, in consequence of its 
proximity to the ground, and an increased humi- 
dity from that cause. Third, a greater mischief 
is inflicted on it by hail. Fourth, tl^at the fruit 
is subject to disease, and easily perishes. 

All these objections should be taken inaquali- 



192 l'art de vigneron. 

fied sense, and a medium observed in the man- 
agement of such young plants. 

A moment's further consideration of the sub- 
ject. Whenever it shall occur that the plants of 
two years be found without the. usual force cf 
that age, they should be pruned exactly like the 
plant of a single year's growth, and but one 
branch left to the vine. But should the vigne- 
ron determine on leaving two branches, he must, 
in the indulgence of sueh wayward fancy, prune 
extremely short, because in thus pruning, the 
vine pushes additional roots, and is thereby 
enabled to support the additional vegetation of 
the extra branch. The vine, moreover, is invi- 
gorated and strengthened, and will acquire a 
deeper establishment in the soil, and be better 
qualified for an active and beneficial vegetation 
the succeeding season. To the young provins 
of three years, it is usual to leave three shoots in 
the pruning, but where such plant be at all feeble, 
it is judicious to allow but two, and in some 
cases but one; and in all such instances the prun- 
ing should be short, as in the provins of one 
year it may not be amiss to mention here the 
experience of some of our skilful vine dressers on 
the spring pruning. In the performance of this 
work, it is frequently found, that between two 
old branches, (by which it is to be understood 
those of the year immediately preceding the 
growth of the last season) a fine young branch is 
found. This occurs generally in the young vine 
of three or four years growth. Such branch 
possesses a fine vigorous appearance, and to an 



l'art de vigneron. 193 

unpractised eye might appear the best shoot of 
the stock. ^ 

It is not, however, the case, as it possesses 
generally but little flower, vegetates sluggishly, 
and should by all means be detached, and not 
allowed to remain. 

Whenever, in passing through his ground, the 
vigneron perceives on his plants the accumula- 
tion of moss, it should be immediately removed, 
where the situation of the vines be such as to jus- 
tify the mark, without manifest injury to the 
fruit or young branches. 



Remarks by the Translator, 

In concluding the subject of vine dressing, as 
applicable to the cultivation of Pennsylvania, I 
shall briefly observe, that as the culture is new 
among us, that part of the counsel of the Swiss 
writers particularly claiming our attention, ap- 
pears to be a preparatioi^ of the soil by previous 
judicious tillage for the reception of the cuttings. 
This is of primary importance, as otherwise it 
would be vain to hope a favourable issue to the 
experiment. Where the soil of the intended 
vineyard has been in grass, it is the practice in 
Switzerland to break up the sod in autumn, and 
expose the upturned furrow to the action of the 
frost during winter, by which the roots and sod 
will perish and be decomposed. Early in the 



194 REMARKS 

ensuing spring a crop of potatoes is planted, 
the digging and working of which during sum- 
mer, again promote the object of preparation. 
After the crop has been gathered, it is the prac- 
tice of some of the best cultivators to sow a crop 
of esparcette, (a grass much cultivated in the 
Canton de Vaud) or clover, which is turned 
under when in blossom, by deep ploughing, and 
suffered to decompose ; a practice, which probably 
may not be required in Pennsylvania, is when 
the clover has decomposed, and become incorpo- 
rated with the soil, to mine the grounds of the in- 
tended vineyard; and the small loose stones, 
with which the earth is there filled, are collected 
and put aside till the moment of preparing the 
soil for the reception of the cuttings, at which 
time the small stones are left at the bottom of 
the trench, and serve as a drain to carry off the 
moisture of the ground, and thereby ensure a pro- 
per dryness, so favourable to the roots of the 
young plant. 

The agriculturalist will at once perceive the 
object sought by this process, and realize the 
indispensable necessity of a careful preparation 
of the soil for the reception of the cuttings, by 
a complete and entire decomposition of the sod 
by which the site of the intended vineyard has 
been occupied. 

So important is it considered by the Swiss 
vine dresser, to get rid of all humidity in his 
grounds, that it is not uncommon to see the vine- 
yard, which from springs or local causes, is at 
all exposed to such a disadvantage, covered with 
rubbish from the demolition of old buildings, and 



BY THE TRANSLATOR. 195 

which I could never learn possessed any quality 
but that of keeping the vineyard dry, by an ab- 
sorption of the water. The preparation of the 
soil, however, is the business of the practical 
farmer, who is able to decide whether any mode 
more favourable to the attainment of the object 
is within the scope of our agriculture. It must, 
however, at all rates be accomplished as the sine 
qua non of the cultivation ; and the vigneron 
who neglects this precaution, is afloat without 
chart or compass, with but little hope of remu- 
neration for incessant toil. 

The labour of the vineyard thus administered 
will be threefold, and the expense increased in a 
like proportion. 

Discouragement is the necessary consequence ; 
and a cultivation which, if judiciously directed, 
might fill our garners with plenty, is regarded as 
without the rangre of our capabilities, and aban- 
doned in disgust. 

A result like this, however, cannot be antici- 
pated ; it would be inconsistent with our national 
character; and it only requires that the agricultural 
community of our country should realize the 
benefits at their command, to grace the rites of 
Pomona Avith the ruddy treasures of autumn ; 
and see in the press of every barn yard a 
modern temple to the presiding deity of the 
vintage. 






ON TOE 



FABRICATION OF WINES, 



AND THK 



MANAGEMENT OF THE MUST, 



Remarks by the Translator. 

If, during the years of experiment in which 
he has been engaged, the cultivator has discover- 
ed that a skilful and judicious administration of 
the vineyard require^ a patient and untiring de- 
votion to the object he has accomplished, he has 
now to experience that the work is but partially 
performed; that new duties call into exercise his 
best moral and physical efforts, and that an atten- 
tion unremitting and minute, an intelligence 
skilful and profound, are the important prerequi- 
sites to assure a successful and profitable result, 
and secure the anticipated harvest, for which 
years of toil and patience have been unsparingly 
given. Let us suppose, however, that the dif- 
ferent members of the vineyard, faithful to 'the 
important trusts confided in them, have perform- 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 197 

ed their respective duties; and that the business 
of the cultivation is fairly accomplished, that 
" Paul hath planted, and Appollos watered," and 
a beneficient providence smiled on the work, 
and ^' crowned the year with his goodness," by 
spreading before the cultivator in rich exube- 
rance, the purple treasures of the vintage. 

'The profession of the vintner and vigneron 
are distinct and separate, and have as little con- 
nexion with each other, as the farmer who crops 
the golden fleece, and the artist who prepares it 
for the wants of the consumer. But it is pro- 
bable, that with us the case will be otherwise, 
and the vine dresser who shall bring his cultiva- 
tion to a successful issue, will have accomplished 
but half his work, and be called, in completing 
it, to study the efficient process of the manufac- 
ture and conservation of his wines. 

Governments, in the old world, have made 
this branch of wine making the subject of legis- 
lative enactment. Princes have extended over 
it the shield of an especial protection. Philoso- 
phy regards it as an abstruse and important 
question, and the arcana of chemical science are 
enlisted in the service of the successful vintage. 

I have passed three different seasons at the 
wine press in France, Italy, and Switzerland, 
and in all have been deeply impressed with the 
indispensable importance of a skilful and atten- 
tive wine making. 

The fermentation alone, if properly directed, 
is in itself no holiday amusement. The different 
varieties of the grape will demand, in our various 
climates, an attentive observation on the force 

R 2 



198 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

and duration of the movement and action during 
this important process. For this reason it will 
be injudicious to mix in the mashing tub the 
different kinds of fruit, a practice not uncommon 
among slovenly and careless vintners even in 
France, though loudly condemned by the intel- 
ligent wine makers of that country, as destruc- 
tive of the best results of the vintage. 

It will require but little experience in this 
important feature of wine making, to arrive at 
the fact, that the fermentation of one kind of 
fruit may be in active operation, whilst that of 
another shall have completely finished, and the 
movement subsided, to a superficial observation; 
it will therefore be apparent that the wines of a 
mixed pressing will be harsh and sour, and diffi- 
cult of long conservation. An admixture of dif- 
ferent wines is common in France, and may be 
done to accomplish a special purpose, but never 
till fermentation has effected its work com- 
pletely, whereas any mixture of the fruit at press- 
ing is pertinaciously avoided by the skilful 
vintner. 

So extremely careful, at La Vaux, is the Swiss 
cultivator, that by unanimous accord, they avoid 
a cultivation of different grapes in the same 
neighbourhood, and they are equally careful not 
to use the same mashing tub, or even the same 
press for different varieties of the grape. It is 
contended there, that the must is so sensitive 
that the delicacy and flavour of the wines are 
seriously affected, where the fermentation is con- 
ducted in tubs recently saturated from the mash 
of a different fruit. 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 199 

An injurious practice prevails among some of 
the careless vintners of the Canton, of keeping 
their winter vegetables in the wine vault. Noth- 
ing can be more injudicious than such ill placed 
prudence; as of all the extraneous causes affect- 
ing the flavour and purity of wines, nothing, 
perhaps, exercises on them a more unfavour- 
able influence than the proximity of vegetable 
exhalation. It is recommenxded also to place 
the wine vault entirely out of the influence of 
the dairy. Cheese making, in particular, is 
unfavourable to wines. 'The neighbourhood of 
the barn yard is avoided ; in fine whatever has a 
tendency to animal or vegetable exhalation, af- 
fects by its odour the purity of the wine making, 
and is considered in the Cantons as a prolific 
source of mischief to the staple of the country. 
In considering, therefore, the mystery of the 
wine making as equally important with the 
skill of the cultivation, it will not, I presume, be 
clothing the subject with a consequence beyond 
its merits; and I proceed, therefore, with the 
translation of Mr. Bulos, which is annexed, and 
which is entitled, 



THE 



ART OF WINE MAKING. 



BY MONSIEUR BULOS. 



The precise moment advantageous to this im- 
portant feature of the system of wine making, 
varies according to the object it is proposed to 
accomplish. In most northern countries, where 
the temperature but rarely allows the grape to 
attain a perfect maturity, the vigneron is com- 
pelled to gather his fruit in an immature state. 
Notwithstanding the unripe condition in which 
the grape at such a moment is found, the gather- 
ing becomes indispensable, as the rains incident 
to the advancing seasons, the humidity of the 
atmosphere, the cold nights of autumn, with the 
probable danger of early frosts, seriously injure, 
and sometimes expose to entire destruction, the 
whole crop of the vineyard. 

In southern countries, where the climate is in 
general more favourable to a cultivation of the 
vine, the vintage is hastened or retarded, accord- 
ing to the quality which the cultivator pro- 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 201 

poses to impart to his wines. In the estimation 
of some of our proprietors, the merit of this 
quality consists in the delicacy of the flavour, 
which is inconsistent with aperfect maturity of the 
fruit, whilst among others the desideratum is, 
to give the wine an alcoholic spirit and delicate 
flavour, which require a full development of the 
saccharine principle. It is with this view, that 
in Spain they allow the grapes to dry on the 
vine before gathering them ; that in Rivesaltes 
and the isles of Candia, and Cyprus, they are 
suffered to dry. 

.The Vin d^Arhois, and those of Chateau de 
Chalvos, are not gathered till the month of De- 
cember. The Vin de Faille of Tourraine, is 
from the grape gathered during the dry time, 
and under the burning rays of the mid-day sun. 
The fruit is then spread over frames of narrow 
lattice work, in such a manner that the bunches 
are never in contact, and thus exposed to the 
rays of the scorching sun. At sunset the grapes 
which have become decayed, are carefully de- 
tached, after which they are placed in a dry 
apartment during night. On the succeeding 
day they are exposed in like manner to the ac- 
tion of the sun. 

When by such exposure they become com- 
pletely wilted, they are thrown into the press, 
and the wine extracted, and placed in the proper 
vessels for fermentation. 

In southern countries, the general period of the 
vintage is when the grape has attained a full ma- 
turity. When the fruit has arrived at this state, 
it presents the following indications. The stem 



202 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

of the bunch shows a russet brown, the bunch 
hangs and does not maintain an upright position, 
as when immature. The grape is soft and trans- 
parent; the skin loose and thin. The bunches 
of grapes are easily detached ; flavour sweet and 
viscous. The seed firm, brown, but not gluti- 
nous. When such are the indications, the fruit 
is in the proper state forgathering, but care must 
be taken that the work is judiciously executed, 
and under a combination, if possible, of advan- 
tageous circumstances. It must by no means 
be indiscriminately performed, or without a 
due regard to the following attendant circum- 
stances. 

The vigneron should select a dry day for the 
work, and by all means retard the gathering 
until the sun shall have dissipated the mist, inci- 
dent to the mornings of our autumnal season, and 
completely dried the fruit of the dews of the 
nightfall. The atmosphere should also be warm 
and dry. The workmen to whom this business 
is confided, should be directed by an overseer, 
intelligent, firm, and rather severe in exacting 
of the labourer an honest fulfilment of duty, 
to require that the stems should be cut short, 
and to put on one side the branches which 
are ripest and Roundest, and detach from them 
such grapes as have begun to decay, or are much 
dried. 

The former cannot fail to impart to the wine 
a disagreeable flavour, and the latter are seriously 
injurious to the operations of the must. Great 
care will be necessary that the labourers be not 
4illowed to eat in the vineyard, as a serious in- 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 203 

I 

jury to the fermentation would arise, from the 
admixture of any foreign ingredients, such as 
crusts of bread, cheese parings, or other extra- 
neous matter in the mashing tub. 

In detaching the bunches from the vine, they 
Should be carefully cut with the instrument, 
called the vintage scissors, and not pulled or 
forcibly dragged from the stock, as such negli- 
gence has a tendency to bruise the fruit, the 
skin of which when broken aflfords an outlet 
through which a valuable portion of the saccha- 
rine fluid is lost. For this reason, the gatherers 
should carefully place the fruit in the baskets in 
such a manner as to avoid all bruising or mash- 
ing. All such bruising should be carefully 
guarded against till the proper period arrive for 
the performance of the operation, which is the 
moment the fruit is thrown into the mashing 
tub. In some wine countries, it is the practice 
to perform the business of the vintage at several 
different pressings, with intervals between each 
operation. The gatherings, consequently, are 
of that part of the fruit, which, on attentive ob- 
servation, are found to exhibit the indications 
of a perfect maturity. The bunches of such are 
uniform, the fruit transparent, the seeds black, 
or dark coloured, and the stem beginning to 
dry. The wine produced from the pressing of 
fruit, thus judiciously selected, is finer and more 
delicate than under the ordinary process. In 
many countries, where an extreme abundance of 
the vintage does not allow an attention so minute, 
it is the practice to cut and press altogether the 
fruit of the season, without assorting or separat- 
ing it. 



204 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 



Of the Crushing, or operation of the Mashing 

Tub, 

The fruit of the vine contains within itself 
all the elements and principles of fermentation — 
but these, isolated as they are in the single grape, 
require to be brought in contact to the object of ' 
a mutual decomposition, and the conversion of 
the natural juices, which are soft and saccharine, 
into a liquor, vinous and spirituous. The crushing 
accomplishes this object. It breaks up the same 
cellular cavities in which the leaven lies dormant, 
and which contain the saccharine principle. 
They are thus mixed and associated together, 
agitating each other in active movement, and giv- 
ing birth to the various phenomena, which to- 
gether constitute the process of fermentation. 
But is it, or is it not, judicious to detach the grapes 
from the stems ? 

This question, once so warmly contested by 
cultivators, has ceased longer to agitate the agri- 
cultural community. It is not at this day the 
subject of theory or speculation. It is now per- 
fectly understood, that the stem of the grape con- 
tains neither the aroma, nor the saccharine sub- 
stance, and imparts to the wine neither body nor 
flavour. But the acidifying principle it contains, 
relieves the flatness and insipidity which charac- 
terize the vines of northern countries, where the 
vintage is frequently accomplished during a cold 
and humid season. In the districts, for example, 
of Orleans, they have been compelled to aban- > 
don the system of detaching, as it has there been 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 205 

found, that under such course the wine has 
become too rich, and more difficult of con- 
servation. It has, moreover, been observed, 
that where the must has not received this pre- 
parative process, the fermentation is more active 
and regular. The stem may be regarded there- 
fore as an useful auxiliary in the fermentation, 
particularly when there may be reason appre- 
^.hended that the decomposition will be rapid and 
incomplete, promoting the fermentation, and 
giving a duration to the wine which otherwise 
it would not possess, but imparting at the same 
time a harshness which injuriously affects fthe 
character of the vintage. The practice is adopt- 
ed by some and condemned by others. What- 
ever method shall be pursued by the vintner, it 
is imperative that the fruit be completely and 
effectually crushed in the mashing tub, without 
which the fermentation will be partial and sluggish 
in its operation. The duration of this important 
process will be injuriously prolonged, and the 
wines affected unfavourably. The necessity of 
a skilful fermentation is unversally admitted, but 
the opinions vary among vintners as to the most 
judicious mode of conducting it. ' In Champaigne 
the fruit is thrown into a case or box, of the di- 
mensions of four feet square, which is open at 
the top, and in which the grapes are thrown as 
they are brought from the vineyard. This case 
has at the four sides longitudinal interstices, be- 
tween each board or stave. These openings are 
of such width as to allow the liquor freely to pass 
off, as it is forced by the pressure of the screw, 
but yet sufficiently close to retain the mash 

S 



• 



206 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. "* - 

within. The expressed juice passed into the 
platform on which the tub is placed, and flows 
by the various channels of the platform into 
the tub placed below for its reception. Into 
the mashing box a workman, shod with heavy 
wooden shoes, enters, and treads down the grapes 
in such a manner as to prepare them for press- 
ing. * 

The saccharine fluid passes off through the in- 
terstices, and when the crushed fruit forms a 
mass in the cage, a door at the side is opened, 
and the remainder is broken up and pushed into 
the tub, among the expressed juice, or retained 
in the cage according as the vintner intends that 
the fermentation of the must shall be conducted, 
with or without the residuum being mixed 
with it. The same process is continued from 
time to time, till the necessary tub is completely 
filled. 

This method is pernicious, and destructive of 
the best results of the vintage. It prolongs in- 
juriously the operation, and it is greatly prefe- 
rable to collect the materials for an entire pres- 
sing, and perform the crushing at one and the 
same time. The fermentation will, consequently, 
be simultaneous and uniform. 

It is also advantageous to submit the fruit to 
an uniform and equal pressing, as it is evident, 
that where the vessel contains a portion of the 
grapes but partially broken up, and unequally 

* This uncleanly practice has long since been abandoned in 
Switzerland. The mash is broken up there, with heavy wooden 
hand spikes. — tr.vns. 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 207 

pressed, or where to fill the subsiding space, it 
becomes necessary to make successive additions 
of the must, the decomposition will be partial, 
and necessarily incomplete. Supposing, for 
example, the whole mass thus enclosed, and sub- 
jected to the difierent crushings as each is thrown 
in the tub, to require eight days to accomplish 
the various phenomena of the fermentation 
through which it must pass, is it not apparent, 
that in some, such as the last thrown in, the 
term will be shortened, and the work of such be 
incomplete, when the operation of the first will 
have been completely finished. The result of 
such mismanagement will be a wine predisposed 
to acidity, a wine, the fermenfation of which has 
been partial and incomplete ; and again, a third 
ingredient, yet retaining the form and character 
of must. 

Such an unskilful admixture will infallibly 
produce a wine of greatly inferior quality, and 
susceptible of change from the slightest transient 
causes. 



Of the Fermentation, 

The receiving tub which is judiciously placed, 
and under circumstances favourable to the object, 
exhibits symptoms of improvement almost as 
soon as it becomes filled. But these phenome- 
na are afiected by various causes^ which hasten, 



208 THE ART or WINE MAKING. 

retard^ or modify the action of the fermenta- 
tion. 

The temperature — the action of the air — the 
proportion of the different principles of varying 
in different fruit, and under different circumstan- 
ces, even of the same grapes, which enter so es- 
sentially into the character of the must, exercise 
an important influence on the operations of the 
wine press, and give a result favourable or 
otherwise to the character of the vintage. 

The temperature comprised between the 
twelfth and fifteenth degree of centigrade,* is 
that most favourable to the Spirituous fermenta- 
tion. Below this temperature it lags heavily, 
and languishes in its action and movement. It 
becomes too rapid and tumultuary if above it. 

A singular fact has been remarked, which 
proves how important it is that the air should be 
warmed and dried by the rays of the sun before 
the gathering of the grapes, that the fermen- 
tation is always sluggish and difficult when the 
day is cold or the atmosphere damp, at the im- 
portant moment of the vintage. 

It has been observed in Champaigne, that when 
the grapes have been gathered in the morning, the 
fermentation is inert and more unfavourable than 
that of the same fruit gathered after mid-day, when 
the atmosphere has been warmed by the rays of 
the sun. In different experiments of Chaptal, 
this result is confirmed, and proves that where 
the must is too cold, and shrinks below the 
degree of temperature necessary to assist the 

* From 52 to 57 degrees of Fahrenheit. 



' THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 209 

process of decomposition, it is difficult to remedy 
the evil, and obtain a full and complete decom- 
position by artificial means. 

When from necessity, in a northern climate, 
the gathering is effected during the cold and 
damp weather, it will be advantageous to dispose 
and arrange the grapes in a dry loft, or other 
convenient situation, exposed to the temperature 
of from 12 to 15 degrees centigrade, (^52^ to 57° 
Fahrenheit) and on no account commence the 
crushing till the fruit shall have attained that 
heat. Where, from circumstances, this cannot be 
accomplished, the remedy is to throw aside the 
mashing tub after the grapes have been completely 
crushed, and a sufficient portion of warm must, 
to communicate to the whole mass the required 
temperature. Where again this be impractica- 
ble, recourse is had to a cylinder of a peculiar 
form, used in such a contingency in Burgundy, 
to produce this result. Although the air does 
not produce on the fermentation an effect so im- 
mediate and direct, it is nevertheless equally 
necessary to the result, and exercises an impor- 
tant, though perhaps less sensible influence on 
the whole operation. The must confined in a 
close vessel is transformed to a wine, possessing 
generally a generous character, and more agree- 
a|3le flavour than that obtained by the ordinary 
course of fermentation. The carbonic acid de- 
veloped makes a strenuous and constant effort to 
escape; but the vessel, hermetically sealed, al- 
lowing no outlet by which the gas can pass off, 
it ranges actively through ^the whole mass, agi- 
tating it with violence, and breaking up the par- 

s2 



210 'the art op wine making. 

tides which have been but partially crushed, or, 
where meeting a resistance too powerful to be 
overcome, it exercises on the surface of the liquid 
an expansive energy, arresting every species of 
decomposition. To guard, therefore, against an 
incomplete fermentation, as well as the danger- 
ous explosions incident to such neglect, it be- 
comes absolutely imperative to facilitate the dis- 
engagement and escape of the gas, and expose 
the whole mass, to a free communication with the 
atmosphere. 

It must not, however, be concealed that this 
necessity has its accompanying cost, as the elas- 
tic fluid which is thus continually thrown off by 
the action of fermentation, impoverishes the 
mass, and despoils the wine of no inconsiderable 
portion of those principles which determine the 
character of the vintage, and constitute its alcoho- 
lic force and agreeable flavour. 

It has been a deep study among intelligent 
members of the profession, to devise some effi- 
cient means to neutralize this evil, and lessen the 
waste, which for a long time was considered as 
a contingency inseparable from the system of fer- 
mentation. - ' 

The senator Dandolo advises the use of a 
movable covering, which he devised for that 
purpose, and which is a canvass awning suspend- 
ed over the opening of the vessel by a cord fixed 
to the centre. The application of tliis above the 
vessel contributes to preserve an equable tem- 
perature through the mash, and checks in a de- 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 211 

gree, the acidity of the bonnet* (chapeau), and 
render the evaporation ahnost null. By means 
of this apparatus, the odour which is usually so 
strong in the wine house, containing a number of 
bottles in a state of fermentation, is sometimes 
scarcely perceptible. The gas thrown oflf de- 
posits on the lower surface of the awning the 
fragrant principle with which it is surcharged, 
escaping at the sides, completely deprived of all 
the aromatic essence which it contained. The 
must is composed of the diflferent principles of 
sugar, tartar, leaven, and water, which together 
constitute the formation of the mass, and on 
which the action is mutual, and less or more 
energetic or durable, according as the proportion 
of either may predominate. It is the first which 
alone contains the principle of fermentation, and 
to the changes effected through the agency of it, 
it is mainly to be ascribed the production of al- 
cohol. We should not, however, confound this 
principle with that of the sweetness, which is the 
characteristic of most of the fruits of our coun- 
try; though both affect the palate in a similar 
manner, they are far from being of the same na- 
ture, but decompose when brought in contact, 
without a production of the alcohol, which is pe- 
culiar to the fruit of the vine. When the sugar 
is present in excess, the wine to which the fer- 
mentation gives birth, is sweet and cloying. On 
the contrary, it is sharp and acid, where the sac- 



* This is the technical term to denote the scum^ or thick 
coating by which the mash is covered, during the fermenta- 
tion. — TRANS. 



212 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

charine principle predominates; because, as soon 
as the substance opposing it is overcome, it ex- 
ercises an active influence on the other elements 
of the must. It is easy, however, in this case 
to correct the unfavourable effects of such a com- 
position. In the first, it will be sufficient to add 
to the must a small portion of leaven, to facili- 
tate a conversion of the sugar into alcohol, and 
obtain a spirituous wine of good body. In the 
second case, the addition of brown sugar, or puri- 
fied honey, in a judicious quantity, or, where 
such may not be at command, other similar in- 
gredient may be substituted. These will coun- 
teract the effects of leaven, and contribute to a 
development of the latent alcohol. 

It is by this means that a generous wine is 
obtained, of a sweetness rather cloying, which 
is sometimes the object of the vintner, from im- 
mature grapes of a cold northern climate. 

Where the season has proved rainy or humid, 
or where the vines occupy a low or loamy soil, 
the must contains, in general, a superabundance 
of water. Where the aqueous proportion pre- 
dominates, the fermentation is sluggish and in- 
complete. 

The wine is feeble, thin, and dilated, [delaye) 
and the excess of leaven, which always charac- 
terizes the wines of a rainy season. 

There are various methods adopted to coun- 
teract these injurious effects, all having for their 
object to weaken or neutralize the aqueous com- 
ponent of the mass. By some vintners it is re- 
duced by evaporation. Others absorb it by the 
means of plaister. But the better mode is, to 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 213 

follow nature in her operations, and supply the 
imperfection of her work in her own way, 
and correct the mal-composition of the must, by 
adding such a proportion of sugar as would 
have been developed if the season had proved 
favourable. 

Chaptal defines this portion to be from fifteen 
to twenty pounds of brown sugar or molasses to 
the hogshead of wine. This addition possesses 
the double advantage of rendering the wine more 
spirituous, and neutralizes the acidity to which, 
under such circumstances, there is a constant 
tendency. Where the temperature has been 
uniform and cheering, and of sufficient elevation 
for a propitious vegetation, allowing the fruit to 
arrive at complete and perfect maturity, the 
leaven will not be found to present in a fair pro- 
portion, and sufficient to convert into alcohol,, 
the whole saccharine substance. It becomes, 
therefore, necessary to add to the fermenting 
a mass portion of leaven, and a small addition of 
tartar. These ingredients, according to the ex- 
periments of the chemist, of whom I shall speak 
hereafter, contribute to render complete a de- 
composition of the sugar. 

When these different obstacles of composition 
and temperature cease to oppose the action of 
fermentation, the mash commences to boil, and 
the work of purification is in action. The li- 
quors are agitated and heated; the stems, seeds, 
skin and pulp, float alternately through the mass, 
and uniting at length through the surface, are 
finally deposited in tranquillity on each other, 
forming a dense, deep covering, familiar among 



214 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

the profession, as the " bonnet of the vintage," 
disengaging during the action, in great abundance, 
the carbonic acid. The temperature is raised, 
and the sweet flavour dissipated. The liquor 
becomes gradually more vinous, assuming a 
deeper colour and transparency, as the particles 
on suspension are precipitated, and take their ul- 
timate position as lees, at the bottom of the ves- 
sel. The boiling, which so agitated the mass, 
becomes gradually tranquil, assuming its former 
volume, the operation is accomplished. 

Let us in a few words define the circumstances 
by which this is effected. They are condensed 
within four simple causes, to wit: The production 
of the heat; The disengaging of the carbonic acid 
gas; The fermentation of alcohol; and The pro- 
per colouring of the liquid mass. 



The production of Heat. 

The action of fermentation constantly disen- 
gages the latent heat, and causes a great eleva- 
tion of temperature; but there are some cases in 
which there is not an equilibrium through the 
whole mass. The centre of the mash, on plung- 
ing deep your thermometer, will often be found 
much heated, whilst the sides and surface remain 
cold. It will there become indispensable that 
the evil should be rectified, and the operation of 
the various phenomena be rendered equal, in 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 215 

order to a proper admixture of the different prin- 
ciples in suspension, until an uniform heat be 
established. A practice in Champaigne is, to 
suspend by an elastic shaft, or by a simple beam, 
balanced over the fermenting vessel, a long pole, 
or sapling, terminated by a block of two feet 
square. This is plunged successively, and at in- 
tervals, into the vessel which contains the mass, 
causing an agitation through the whole by such 
movement, till the object be now accomplished. 
Some vintners prefer their workmen to enter 
the tub, shod with wooden shoes, to break up 
the mash by actively moving among it, and thus 
promoting the fermentation, by disengaging the 
gas, which cannot escape from the confinement 
in which it is thus suspended. Dom Gentil, 
quoted by Mr. Chaptal, has made on this sub- 
ject several interesting experiments; and his 
theory is, that that the method here prescribed 
has a tendency to render the fermentation more 
prompt, imparting to the wine a delicate flavour, 
a deeper hue, and a generous character, which 
otherwise it would not attain. On the contrary, 
it is contended by Mr. Dandolo, that the repeti- 
tion of the crushing is injurious. From a series 
of facts elicited by careful experiment, he is con- 
vinced that an unfavourable influence is exercised 
on the results of the wine making, by replunging 
into the centre of the mash the various articles 
accumulated on the surface, which have under- 
gone an entire change, by the action to which 
they have been submitted, and that the bonnet 
thus again submerged, composed as it is of 
various articles, possesses new principles, which, 



216 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

though highly fitted for the important duty of 
covering the liquid, and protecting it in a state 
of comparative rest from the action of the air, 
imparts to the wine a disagreeable flavour, and 
sometimes an unfavourable odour. It appears to 
me on due consideration of the systems of these 
two masters, that where the fermenting house is 
kept, during the action, at the proper tempera- 
ture, this operation is superfluous. The different 
particles composing the mass will be sufficiently 
heated to induce the mutual action necessary to 
an effective decomposition of the several sub- 
stances forming the vinous principle, and that 
the object sought will be attained without this 
troublesome process. 

We proceed, therefore, to the consideration of 
the second cause named. 



Carbonic Acid. 

This gas, disengaged in great abundance dur- 
ing the action of fermentation, deserves^- an es- 
pecial consideration, not only on account of the 
great portion of alcohol, of which it despoils 
the liquor in the decomposition, of the sugar, 
but because of the dangerous consequences to the 
life even of those who imprudently inhale it. 
The first of these objections may be diminished 
by means of planks and coverings, by which 
the mashing tub must be closed, and by a use of 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 217 

the canvass awning, before cited, of Mr. Dandoio. 
The deleterious effects of the latter may be easily 
neutralized, by placing lime water in different 
quarters, or by scattering the lime itself, which 
should be pulverized, through the vault or 
chamber, in which the mash is transformed to 
the vinous liquor. It is, moreover, easy to 
determine where the danger exists from the im- 
pregnated atmosphere of the fermenting house, 
by taking always on entering it a lighted candle. 
So long as the flame is clear and free, no unfa- 
vourable consequence may be apprehended; but 
the moment it is perceived that the flame lan- 
guishes, or threatens to become extinct, it is an 
indication that danger is at hand, and immediate 
retreat is a measure of prudence. It is to the 
presence of this gas, that the wines of Cham- 
paigne owe their effervescing quality. 

The third important consideration may be re- 
garded as the, formation of the alcohol. 



Formation of the Alcohol, 

The fermenting particles, and the sugar con- 
tained in the must, possess in themselves the 
elements of a mutual decomposition. A con- 
cretion takes place as to the one, which is preci- 
pitated, whilst the other cedes a portion of its 
component principles, by which it gives birth to 
the alcohol. This liquor, which alone forms and 

T 



218 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

constitute the wines, giving to them their mos^ 
important force and body, is in general more 
abundant, in proportion as the saccharine sub- 
stances themselves most abound. The product 
of the fermentation may be considered more or 
less generous, by introducing into the wine ves- 
sel a greater or less quantity of sugar. It is 
hardly necessary to add, that this addition must 
be judiciously made, and at the proper period. 
We have before said on this subject sufficient 
to establish the fact, that the wines considered as 
the most perfect, are those resulting from a must, 
the proportions of which, in their nature, do not 
allow too long a retention on either the leaven 
or sugar. It should however be here observed, 
that the excess of the one, is not attended with 
the same inconveniences as a superabundance of 
the other. In effect, where the saccharine sub- 
stance predominates, the wine is sweet, dilated 
and feebly, and with little danger that it will 
change ; whilst, on the contrary, where the leaven 
has not evaporated and passed ojQf, it continues to 
agitate the mass, and so to act on the different 
principles of the whole, as to expose it to an 
acidity by which it will be injuriously changed. 
The good effects resulting from the addition of 
sugar, have long been disputed by Macquer, 
who, from numerous experiments, appears to 
doubt their favourable efficacy. " In the month 
of October, 1776," says this chemist, "I procur- 
ed from a garden of Paris, a sufficient quantity 
of white grapes to make fifteen or twenty quarts 
of wine. They were refuse grapes. I chose the 
fruit in a state of immaturity so unfavourable. 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 219 

that it was scarcely to be anticipated that they 
would produce a wine fit for drinking. The 
half of them were so unripe, that neither the 
grapes nor the stems could be tasted without an 
astringent acidity which was but barely support- 
able. Without any other precaution than that 
of separating the fruit which had perished, from 
that which, though immature, was perfectly sound, 
I caused it to be broken up by the crushing 
wheels, and expressed the juice by hand. 

The must of this experiment was thick, of a 
green hue, of a flavour called by the vintner, * a 
sour sweet,' [aigre douce) in which the acid was 
so predominant, that no one could taste it with- 
out a countenance distorted by grimace. 

I dissolved in the must a sufficient portion of 
sugar, to impart to it the flavour of a tolerably 
sweet wine ; and without heating or clarifying 
it, I placed it in a cask, in a summer house at the 
bottom of my garden, where it was left to work 
its own way in the purification. The fermenta- 
tion was fairly established, in full operation the 
third day, and continued in active movement for 
eight daj^s, in a degree which, though quite sen- 
sible to observation, was nevertheless very mode- 
rate. After that time it ceased of itself to ex- 
hibit any appearance of movement or action. 
The wine which resulted from the experiment, 
being newly made, and still thick, was yet of a 
vinous force and agreeable odour, and lively and 
piquant e. 

The flavour was a little harsh, inasmuch as that 
of the sugar had as completely disappeared as 
though it had never been added to the mass. In 



220 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

this situation, it was allowed to remain during 
the winter, in a cask. On examination in the 
month of March, I found that without any at- 
tempt to clarify it, either by isinglass, or by 
transvasing it, the wine had become clear and 
transparent; the flavour still lively and piquante, 
was much improved, and more pleasant than im- 
mediately after the active fermentation. 

There was a flavour which was more sweet and 
soft, and possessing no character which would at 
all indicate a mixture of sugar. In this condi- 
tion I put it into bottles, where it remained in 
repose till the month of October, 1777, when on 
examination it was found to be clear, brilliant, 
and of agreeable flavour, resembling a wine from 
the white grape of good selection, and might be 
supposed the production of a good vineyard, in 
a favourable season. Several connoisseurs, to 
whose judgment I submitted this wine, decided 
it to be that of a fair production, and could 
scarcely be convinced that it was from unripe 
fruit, the acidity and astringency of which had 
been corrected by sugar. 

The success of this experiment surpassing my 
most sanguine expectations, led me into a new 
trial of the same character, the result of which 
was still more decisive of my theory, as the fruit 
employed was yet more unripe, and the grapes 
of a quality inferior to that of the former cited. 

On the 6th November, 1777, I collected from 
an arbour, in a garden near Paris, a quantity of 
large grapes, which, from their shaded position 
beneath a semi-circular trellice, had received 
but little advantage from the sun's rays. This 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 221 

ifruit seldom arrives at maturity in our climate, 
and is familiarly known under the appellation of 
the verjuice, (verjus) no other use being made of 
it than to express the juice, before the fruit has 
changed colour, to be used as vinegar for culi- 
nary purposes. The fruit which I selected for 
my second experiment had scarcely given the 
least indication of a change of colour, and from a 
belief that the season was so far advanced as to 
afford no hope that it would ripen, had it been 
left ungathered on the vine. It was yet so hard 
that I placed a portion of the fruit in a vessel 
on the fire, in order so to soften it as to extract 
from it a greater quantity of juice, of which it 
yielded eight or nine pints, the character of 
which was that of extreme acidity, in which, 
however, in tasting, was detected an indication 
of the presence of a slight portion of sugar. I 
dissolved in this juice as much of brown sugar 
as gave it the necessary sweetness. It appeared 
requisite to add a larger portion than that applied 
to the juice of the former experiment, because 
.the acidity of the latter must was greater and 
more strongly marked. After the dissolving of 
the sugar, the flavour of the liquor, though suffi- 
ciently indicating the efiect of the sugar, afforded 
but little hope as to the result, because the sweet 
and the bitter were so strongly characteristic of 
the mixture, that the flavour was harsh and un- 
pleasant. 

I placed this must in an earthern vessel, which 
was not entirely filled, covered by a clean linen 
napkin, and as the season had advanced, and the 
weather was chill and raw, it was placed in a 

T 2 



222 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

chamber, the temperature of which was regulated 
by a stove to the favourable point, and an equili- 
brium maintained day and night of 12 to 15 de- 
grees of Reamur, (from 62° to 64° of Fahrenheit). 
I examined the must four days after, and found 
that the fermentation was not yet sensible. The 
liquor appeared to me equally sweet (sucree) and 
equally sour,* but in a short time after, an union 
of these two qualities commenced, and when the 
combination had become complete, the result 
was a wine of an agreeable flavour. On the 
14th November the fermentation was at its 
height, and the mass in active movement. A 
lighted candle introduced into the vessel was 
immediately extinguished. On the 30th the 
sensible fermentation had subsided. A candle 
introduced burned freely and with a clear flame. 
The wine was not thick or muddled, but of a 



* A condition perfectly intelligible to the vintner, who un- 
derstands from this technical description, though an apparent 
contradiction, the state of the must existing in a separate form, 
before the chemical union. 

Remarks brj the Translator. — Let not the American cultiva- 
tor be misled by this deceptive tale of our author. His trea- 
tise, although an excellent breviary of practical wine making, 
should be read without reference to the visionary experiment 
here cited, which must be regarded as theoretical, and calcu- 
lated to mislead the inexperienced as to the necessity of an im- 
portant feature of vine growing, that of ripening perfectly the 
fruit of the vine, before it be submitted to the operations of the 
wine press. 

I have frequently seen in Switzerland, the pressing of un- 
ripe fruit, such as here described, and the wine was always in- 
ferior, and scarcely worth the sugar necessary to the prepara- 
tion. 

Do not let us be deceived on this point. Ripe fruit can 
alone produce good wines. 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 223 

light or white cast. The savour was but slightly 
marked by the taste of sugar, but was lively and 
piquante^ of a generous warm character, but 
slightly gaseous, and a little sharp. In this con- 
dition I sealed up the mouth of the vessel, plac- 
ing it in a cool cellar, that the wine might ripen 
by an insensible fermentation, during the suc- 
ceeding winter. On the 17th of March, I found 
on examination, that the wine was perfectly 
clear and transparent. The residue of the sa- 
vour of sugar had dispersed, and none of the 
acid character remained. The wine was that of 
a strong full grape, possessing a taste agreeable 
and pleasant, but without a decided flavour or 
perfume, as the immature grape, known among 
the profession as the verjuice, possesses no odour- 
ous principle, nor rectifying force. In fine, this 
wine, which though quite new, will improve 
greatly by the insensible fermentation, and pro- 
mises to become from age a soft and agreeable 
liquor. 



Drawing the wine from the fermenting tub, — 
Decuvage. 

Inasmuch as the spirituous fermentation quick- 
ly degenerates, and settles into the vinous fer- 
mentation, it becomes important to give to the 
process at this moment a careful and attentive 
observation. 



224 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

Some vintners profess to decide from a variety 
of signs and circumstances, the precise moment 
at which the action of the one has ceased, and 
that of the other is fairly in operation. These 
phenomena vary (it must be apparent to the 
slightest observation) both in force and duration, 
with the variations of climate and changes of 
season, as well as from the nature and quantity 
of the must and the mass. 

It is, therefore, easy to conceive, on a little re- 
flection, that it becomes impossible to fix the pre- 
cise moment most favourable to this important 
part of the wine making, and that all these sys- 
tems which profess for their principal object the 
establishing of a fixed period for the " decu- 
vage,^ must in their nature be vague and unte- 
nable. 

The only sure guide in this case, is carefully 
to observe the course and ^progress of the decom- 
position of the principle of sugar. 

The object to be accomplished by the fermen- 
tation, being the transformation of the liquor into 
alcohol, it is desirable that the action should be 
energetic, and continued, rather than abundant 
Accordingly, the grapes of the southern vineyard 
should be suffered to remain longer in the mash, 
than those of a northern climate. 

In considering this operation, another import- 
ant feature must be constantly in view, that is, 
that there is a constant disengagement of heat, 
and of carbonic acid. By the one, the perfume 
which constitutes the chief merit of many fine 
wines, is volatilized and dissipated ; and the other 
flies 05* and escapes, charged with a large portion 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 225 

of alcohol, despoiling the liquor of a principle 
which contributes largely to its piquancy and 
agreeable flavour. The wine, therefore, which 
are in their nature light and feeble, though pos- 
sessing an agreeable perfume, and those white 
wines, whose principal quality is a tendency to 
effervescence, should receive but a slight fermen- 
tation. 

The wines of Burgundy, of the first pressing, 
{vins de primeur) such as those of Volney, of 
Pomard, are allowed to remain only twenty or 
thirty hours in the fermenting tub. Gentil, who 
has made many interesting experiments to decide 
this question, is of opinion, that they should be 
withdrawn from the tub as soon as the taste of 
sugar has disappeared. Chaptal, however, in 
treating this question, observes tliat the disap- 
pearance of it, is not absolute; as, by experiment, 
he has proved that aS the vinous flavour is de- 
veloped, the taste of sugar is no longer sensible, 
but that the spirit of the wine, which is constant- 
ly formed, so masks and conceals the small rem- 
nant of the sugar, that though actually present 
in a slight degree, it becomes insensible. '^ It is 
the precise moment'' (says Chaptal) "at which 
the sweet savour disappears, which is that most 
favourable to the decuvage.^^ 

^' I have in my observations on this subject, 
seen that among practical vintners, the most dis- 
tinguished for the success of their wines, this is 
regarded as the moment most favourable to the 
accomplishment of the decuvage. A precaution 
not less important than that of which we have 
just spoken, is the preparation of the vessels, in 



226 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

which it is intended to put the wine. They 
should be made of oak staves, perfectly sound, 
and seasoned ; and no stave of the wood near the 
bark or roots of the tree should be used, as both 
are liable to become the harbour of myriads of 
ants. By the odour which they communicate, 
these insects are not unfrequently the remote 
cause of the taste of the cask, sometimes impart- 
ed to the wine. The new casks should be suc- 
cessively washed with lime water, salt water^ and 
finally with pure hot water. The old casks, be- 
fore used to contain wine, should be thoroughly 
cleansed of the tartar, which in general accumu- 
lates in concretion at the sides and bottom of the 
vessel, and subsequently carefully washed with 
hot water. 

After this, some few of the casks should be 
filled, either with wine, or hot must, which 
should be agitated and shaken about, and then 
emptied from one to the other till all the wine 
vessels shall have undergone a thorough ablution, 
and the wood deprived of any acidity it may 
have contracted, by becoming saturated with the 
several liquors thus introduced. Sometimes an 
infusion of flower of peaches is used, which has 
in general a good effect, and leaves an agreeable 
flavour. 

When a cask has contracted a disagreeable 
odour, such as that from mould, bugs, or other 
insects infesting an empty wine vessel, it will 
be prudent to omit all tliese cleansing precau- 
tions, lest by the use of them, the odour should 
be merely masked for a time, and re-appears after 
the effect of the ablution shall have passed ofi". 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 227 

In drawing off the wine it should not be allow- 
ed to flow into an open mouthed cask, in order 
to be afterwards placed into other vessels. In 
so doing, the wine is discharged without violence, 
foams and boils, by which it is deprived of a 
portion of its aroma and body. It is the better 
method to draw it off by the syphon, or other 
tubular instrument, fitted to the small orifice of the 
fermenting vessel. As the wine gradually flows 
by this process, the bonnet settles, and finally is 
quietly deposited on the lees at the bottom of 
the cask. 

Both these still retain a considerable portion 
of wine. But the bonnet having remained so 
long in contact with the atmosphere, will have 
contracted an acidity more or less powerful, ac- 
cording as the operation is more or less prolong- 
ed. They must, however, be pressed separately. 
When the fermentation has been prompt, they 
should be pressed together, and the juice thus ob- 
tained, may be mixed with that of the decuvage. 
The marc (grounds) should then be cut up with 
sharp spades, perfectly clean, and again pressed, 
and the wine of such second or third pressing, 
more highly coloured, and put into a separate 
cask, is sometimes employed to give to the for- 
mer a colour, body, and slight astringency. The 
marc is subsequently used for a variety of pur- 
poses; such as the distillation of an inferior 
brandy; the manufacture of vinegar, verdigris, 
the food of domestic animals, and the distillation 
of an ordinary beverage for labourers and domes- 
tics, and known under the appellation oipiquante 



228 THE^ART' OF WINE MAKING. 

or huvande. This liquor is usually prepared in 
the following manner: 

The mass, which when drawn from the press 
is compact and solid, is first broken up ; then 
water is thrown on the crumbled mass, in such 
a quantity as is proportioned to the pressure 
to which the marc has been submitted. In 
this state, it is left for twenty-four to forty 
hours, according as the temperature of the at- 
mosphere is elevated. The liquor obtained from 
this process may be kept several months, and 
where an addition of five per cent, of good must 
be added, a tolerably well flavoured light wine 
may be extracted, of some hody, piquant e, and 
capable of conservation. 



Of the care and precaution necessary before 
putting the wine into casks. 

Wines in general are far from being complete 
at the moment of consigning them to the cask. 
They still contain a portion of sugar, which is 
continually undergoing a decomposition. The 
fermentation, now more mild and tranquil, dis- 
engages, nevertheless, in abundance, the carbonic 
acid gas, which continues to keep in movement 
the whole liquid mass, raising and uniting at the 
surface all the extraneous matter contained in 
the cask, and forcing it out at the bung, which 
for that purpose should be left open. The loss 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 229 

occasioned by this indispensable purification must 
be replaced with care, and the cask kept con- 
stantly filled. 

Immediately above the opening is placed a 
large vine leaf, covered with sand, which is to 
be withdrawn whenever the cask is replenished. 
In some countries, wine is daily added to fill the 
cask during the whole of the first month, every 
fourth day during the second, and every eighth 
day after that period. In other places (as, for 
example, the neighbourhood of Bordeaux) they 
commence the operation of which we have 
spoken, at eight or ten days after the wines have 
been placed in the cask. One month afterwards 
they close up the bung hole of the cask. When 
the insensible fermentation has completely ceased, 
the whole is accomplished, and the process finish- 
ed. By imperceptible degrees, the wine becomes 
clear and transparent. All foreign matter con- 
tained in 'the cask, and held in suspension, is pre- 
cipitated, or deposited on the sides of the vessel. 
A mixture of tartar, of colouring matter, and of 
the substance vegeto-animal in part decomposed, 
forms a thick coating, which takes in this state 
the name of lees. The slightest causes will now 
affect the wine, a jar, by which the cask is moved, 
an elevation of temperature, thunder, or other 
meteorological causes, will undoubtedly set in 
motion the liquid mass, revive the fermentation, 
and change the transparency of the wine, into a 
thick, turbid condition. To obviate an inconve- 
nience so serious, the vine is transvased at 
different periods, and the foreign matter which 

U 



230 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

may cause such mischief, withdrawn from the 

cask. ' 

The wines of the hermitage are thus with- 
drawn in the months of March and September ; 
those of Champaigne, in October, February and 
March. 

This operation, which is never performed but 
during dry, cold weather, should be done by 
means of a pump, employed in the wine houses 
of many proprietors. 

This instrument is a leathern tube, termmated 
by wooden pipes; one end of which is fitted to 
the spicket of the cask to be discharged, the 
other to the bung of that into which the wine is 
to be transvased. The flowing of the liquid will 
cease when half the mass has been withdrawn 
from the vessel, but the discharge must be con- 
tinued by means of the bellows. Through the 
agency of this instrument, the pressure of the air 
is brought to act on the wine as the head is les- 
sened, and the liquid thus forced to pass through 
the tube into the other cask. The transvasing 
must not, however, be indiscriminate, or per- 
formed at all seasons, without due attention to 
circumstances familiar to the vintner. 

"It is well understood,'' says Mr. Parmentier^ 
" that the wines work in the cask, and rise, per- 
haps, two inches, both in spring and autumn ; 
and it is a few days before these periods that the 
operation of tranWasing should be performed. 
The frequency of this necessary work varies ac- 
cording to the difi'erent qualities of the wines. 
Excess in these cases is as dangerous as a neg- 
lect of the operation.'' 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 231 

At Bordeaux, and in many other districts of 
France, the transvasing is never performed but 
with a north, or northwesterly wind. It is be- 
lieved that the air deprives the wines of a portion 
of their delicate flavour, and particularly when the 
wind is at the south or southeast. 

The winds at east or west, are, at Bordeaux, 
believed to exercise a less unfavourable influence 
on the quality of the wines. There are many 
who ascribe to the moon an important influence, 
and are particularly careful not to agitate or 
work among their wines during; the first and 
last quarters of the luminary. But transvasmg 
alone will not be sufficient to extract from the 
wines all those substances which tend to acidity. 
We are obliged frequently to employ other 
means to remedy the evil, such as clarifying by 
fish glue, burning sulphur papers in the cask, all 
of which tend to precipitate the hostile foreign 
substances held in suspension, and thus lessen 
their deleterious influence. Fish glue is gene- 
rally the means used to clarify the wines. The 
mode of using the ingredient, is to cut it into 
particles, and dissolve them in a small portion of 
the same wine on which it is intended they shall 
act. When thus immersed, they swell, soften, 
and dissolve, fprming a glutinous mass, which is 
poured into the cask to be clarified, which must 
be again rolled from side to side, and so shaken 
that the whole may be completely mixed. There 
are many vintners who whip up their wines 
with small birch rods, till they are covered with 
a thick froth or foam, which they collect careful- 
ly and take out of the cask, The dissolved in- 



232 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

gredient or clarifying matter, seizes as it were on 
the impurities contained in the liquor, and preci- 
pitates them as it descends to the bottom of the 
cask. 

In some cold climates, the vintners substitute, 
during summer, the white of eggs in the place of 
fish glue. Five or six are sufficient for half a 
pipe of wine. They are beaten up in a small 
tumbler of wine, and when in a proper state 
thrown into the cask, the contents of which are 
agitated with rods, till the whole mass be pro- 
perly mixed. But it requires great precaution 
in the performance of this operation, because it 
sometimes happens that in using an egg, which 
though not yet changed, has lost its freshness, 
'the fine perfume of the wine is affected, if not se- 
riously injured. Wines in France are some- 
times clarified in another manner, by which any 
unpleasant odour contracted may be driven away. 

The means employed are, to take the chips or 
shavings of the beach wood, which must be pre- 
viously stripped of its bark, and boil them in 
water, after which they must be perfectly dried,, 
either in a furnace, or by the rays of the sun, 
and then thrown into the cask. This excites in 
the wine a new though slight fermentation, by 
which it becomes completely clear in the course 
of twenty-four hours. Notwithstanding that the 
fish glue or white of eggs, acts with force on the 
liquids, into which it has been introduced, it has 
been found impossible to take up by these means 
all the extraneous matter contained in the cask, 
but that small particles of leaven, in despite of 
the most unwearied attention, constantly escape^ 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 233 

the action of which in floating through the mass 
is to induce a constant tendency to acidity, by 
which the wines are deprived of their delicacy 
and flavour. 

It is to prevent this acid degeneration, that the 
burning of sulphurated paper is used, the liquor 
is impregnated with the vapour of sulphur. The 
composition of sulphur matches, used in this pro- 
cess, is different in the different wine countries. 

Some vintners of France melt down the sul- 
phur, and plunge into the liquid brimstone broad 
tape of cotton thread, or silk, till it be completely 
coated with the sulphur, others mix with the sul- 
phur, before submitting it to the action of the 
fire, various aromatic substances. In our own 
country also, there exists among skilful vintners, 
a difference in the manner of using the matches 
thus prepared. In some of the districts, the 
match is suspended by an iron wire, and when 
ignited, introduced by the bung hole into the 
cask. When the combustion is complete, and 
the cask charged with the sulphureous vapour 
thus disengaged, the vessel is filled, and the bung 
hole tightly closed. There are some again who 
put two or three buckets of wine into the cask, 
then set fire to the match, close up the bung 
hole, and agitate and roll the cask to and fro, 
with violence. This is again done when the 
match is consumed, and repeated until the vessel 
becomes completely charged with vapour. The 
operation, in the first instance, causes the wine 
to be thick and troubled; but finally it becomes 
clear, and completely re-established. 

u 2 



234 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 



The Maladies of Wines. 

The wines prepared according to the method 
here described, and which have been deposited 
in a cave or cellar, having a northern exposure 
sufficiently deep, somewhat lighted, and sheltered 
from the variations of temperature, and mechani- 
cal causes, which shake or disturb them, or stir 
up the lees, retaining them in suspension in the 
middle of the liquid, by which the tendency is 
determined, are capable of different degrees of 
conservation, and may be preserved a longer or 
shorter time, according to their several varying 
circumstances. In general, the wines of a highly 
delicate flavour, are but seldom susceptible of a 
long preservation. The maladies most frequent- 
ly occurring, the most seriously affecting their 
quality and character, and to which they are pe- 
culiarly exposed, are those known amongst the 
profession as the fat, (graisse) and the acidity. 
By the former disease, the natural fluidity of the 
wine is changed, which is succeeded by a turbid 
condition, in which the liquor becomes stringy, 
thick, and ropy, like unsound oil. This malady 
more particularly attacks white wines, and such 
as foam and effervesce, and in general those 
which have been imperfectly clarified, or possess 
but little body. It appears probable, that where 
such wines are put into bottle before they have 
undergone all the different periods of fermenta- 
tion, they are exempt from this malady. It is 
stated by Mr. Parmentier, that he has seen in 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 235 

Champaigne, the half of a cask, drawn in the 
month of March succeeding the vintage, pass to 
the state of " graisse,'' whilst the other half of 
the same cask, which had been put in bottle in 
September,* remained constantly in the prema- 
ture state. The most simple method to remedy 
this inconvenience (adds this writer) is to trans- 
vase the wines thus affected, on the lees of a 
cask recently emptied of its contents, to roll it 
afterwards into the wine vault, and when suffi- 
ciently cleared, to draw it off into another vessel 
1 ime alone is necessary to re-establish such wines 
It IS uncommon for them to remain in such con- 
dition more than one year. As soon as it is per- 
ceived that m pourino; it into a wine dass, it 
presents an eye or bubble which attaches to the 
side of the glass, nothing more is necessary than 
to leave the wines to themselves. In this state 
of quietude they resume, little by little, a clear 
transparency, showing no trace of the alteration 
which they have undergone. It is much less 
easy to find a remedy for the acidity. This ma- 
lady, which like the other is incident to the 
wines of a less spirituous character, is generally 
the result of a feeble constitution, or of neglio-ence 
in the exercise of that care which their peculiar 
condition requires. 

In fine, wherever the leaven predominates, it 
decomposes the saccharine matter, acting on the 

tion ?f"[h^''^^°'i ''^y^\"^ ^^^« to conjecture, whether that por- 
tion of the cask, which remained unhurt by the maladv had 

^:T^f. '' f ""^T' f''''' ^" Champaigne is at Satfe? 

vfnta/efnHT K^nr' '"^''^''' ' ^''"' ^^"^ ^^'^''^ between the 
vintage and the botthng. — trans. 



236 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

other principles of the liquid, and producing an 
acidity, which is only to be arrested by means 
of fish glue, the action of sulphur, or by decant- 
ing. As the wines never assume the acidity 
mentioned till the alcoholic fermentation has 
completely subsided, it is easy to postpone the 
period of danger, by putting them into bottle be- 
fore the substance '^ sucree'^ has entirely evapo- 
rated. The fermentation then proceeds, or is 
prolonged without being menaced by the danger 
of acidity. It is from such considerations that 
the vintner frequently adds to his wines in cask 
a portion of sugar. When the cask is construct- 
ed of wood exposed to the varieties of tempera- 
ture, or which imparts to the wine an unfavour- 
able astringency, or is sufficiently porous in 
texture to allow an escape of the alcohol, or 
elastic fluids; where the vaults are not of the pro- 
per depth, so that there exists a temperature 
above ten or twelve degrees, centigrade (fifty- 
two to fifty-six degrees Farenheit) so that the 
lees remain floating through the liquid, the wine 
always has a tendency to acidify. This should 
excite no surprise, for the circumstances are pre- 
cisely those required for the process of acetation. 
There are particular periods of the year always 
critical to newly made wines, at which such 
maladies acquire a Herculean power, and by their 
pernicious effects are immediately detected by 
the experienced vintner, and can scarcely escape 
an ordinary observation. Such, for example, 
are first, the return of heat; the movement, also 
at which in the vine the circulation of the sap 
commences, the period of flowing; that at which 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 



237 



the blossom drops, and again when the grape 
commences to change to purple. These different 
periods bring with them their several unfavour- 
able accompaniments, in which we may often 
remark a perceptible degeneration in wines of a 
light and feeble character, or which have receiv- 
ed but little attention in their management and 
conservation. A sudden change of temperature 
during warm weather, is often sufficient to aci- 
dify those wines, which, from their unfavourable 
situation in vaults injudiciously constructed, are 
exposed to such an evil. " In countries,'^ says 
Chaptal, '^ where wines possess an extraordinary 
value, and where, as a consequence, avarice 
frequently induces an admixture of the wines 
of an inferior vintage, with those of a more 
favourable season, it has been remarked that the 
first appearance of the acid degeneration is de- 
tected on the surface of the liquid contained in 
the cask, whence it descends from time to time, 
as the change goes on, till it has affected the 
whole mass.'' As soon as this is perceived, it is 
the practice of our most experienced vintners 
immediately to draw off the wine from the lower 
part of the cask, so as to separate the sound wine 
below from that which is thus affected above. 
In doing this, it is hardly necessary to add, that 
a great degree of care will be required not to 
agitate the wine, so as to mix the wine of the su- 
perior surface with the sound wine below. By 
this simple, yet effective means, it is apparent, 
that the moment the change is threatened, it 
is easy to rescue a large portion of the contents 
of the cask from the effects of the malady. It 



238 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

is probable that this malady first attacks the wine 
in the neighbourhood of the bung hole, because 
of its free communication with the air; and af- 
fects in time the whole inferior mass. 

As we have perceived, it is by no means diffi- 
cult to prevent this evil, and protect the vintage 
from the destructive consequences which ensue, 
by neutralizing the excess of leaven by honey, 
or the addition of must, and by interrupting the 
free communication between the atmospheric 
air and the liquor contained in the cask. But 
where the acetation is once determined, no re- 
medy for' the evil exists. The malady is incu- 
rable. All which then can be done is to arrest 
the acidity in its course, and prevent it increas- 
ing till the wine becomes entirely sour. This 
may be effected by neutralizing, through the 
agency of saccharine substances, the action of the 
vegeto-animal principle, which is still in suspen- 
sion, and by such means, masking the unpleasant 
flavour already contracted, by the paramount ef- 
fects of sugar or other ingredients. 

Several writers on wine making recommend 
the use of chalk, of ashes, of alkalies, and of lime, 
which absorb or take up the ascetic quality till 
they become saturated by it. This method is re- 
jected, however, by Mr. Parmentier,who contends 
that these different substances form the soluble 
combinations of which the immediate effect is to 
dispose the wine to a complete decomposition. 
There are other alterations to which wines in 
general are disposed, which, though less inju- 
rious in their results, deserve to be carefully ex- 
amined. Such, for example, may be considered 



THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 239 

the taste of the cask, that of mould or must, with 
others of the like character. 

It is not always practicable to correct the for- 
mer, but it may be greatly lessened by means 
which render the wine a tolerable beverage. 
The best method is, to draw it from the cask, as 
clear as can be effected, by avoiding carefully 
all movement from which the vessel may be 
agitated. It is the practice of some vintners, to 
mix such wines with others that are sound and 
of strong body. When such mixture becomes 
complete, it is allowed a few days to repose, then 
carefully transvased, and put into a cask recently 
emptied of its contents; or it is frequently de- 
posited on sound lees, and the cask containing it 
rolled backward and forward in the vault. It is 
prudent to abstain by all means from the use of 
lime water or carbonic acid. 

" It is contended by some skilful vintners,'' 
says Mr. P. " that in transvasing the wines into a 
cask in good condition, well prepared by a fumi- 
gation of sulphur, and to which has been added 
a few ounces of peach kernels, it is possible to 
correct the unpleasant flavour arising from mould. 
It is the opinion of others, that to take the fruit 
called medlars, fully ripe, cutting them into quar- 
ters, running through them a strong twine to 
keep them together, and throwing them into the 
wine, where they should remain a month, at the 
expiration of which time they should be with- 
drawn, will produce a favourable effect in res- 
toring an unsound wine. It is believed that this 
fruit possesses the quality of absorbing the un- 
pleasant taste imparted by the accumulation of 



240 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

mould in the cask, and by thus appropriating it, 
relieving the wine of the injurious flavour so con- 
tracted. Some recommend an infusion for two 
or three days of cheese, or a crust of toasted 
bread. There can be no doubt that if the mould 
arise from sulphurate hydrogen, such farinaceous 
bodies, reduced to a state of carbon, may be effi- 
cacious; but it is with such wines the same, as 
with those that have become aflected by the taste 
of the cork. 

No certain means exist, which are known to 
the profession, by which the tevil can be correct- 
ed. They are to be prevented ■ by a perfect 
cleansing of the wine vessel, and by a judicious 
choice and preparation of the corks. 



Bottling the Wine. 

As soon as the wines have been a sufficient 
time in the casks to allow a full and complete 
clarifying, and th^ isinglass or other material 
used for the purpose, has taken up and appro- 
priated all the foreign substances with which they 
are charged, and which exercise an influence so 
unfavourable to the results of the vintage, they 
should be carefully and judiciously put in bottle, 
there to undergo the insensible fermentation 
from which they receive the last degree of ripen- 
ing, and which may be regarded as the final im- 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 241 

provement available to the skill of the experienc- 
ed vintner. 

In order that the transparency of the wines 
should suffer no injurious change during this 
operation, it is advisable to adopt the practice of 
the French vintner, to introduce into the cask, 
about two inches from the bottom, a wide mouth- 
ed spicket, the interior circumference of which 
should be covered with a thick gauze, extending 
across the diameter so as to intercept the fish 
glue, and residuum, and prevent thereby the pas- 
sage of such substances, into the vessel intended 
to receive the pure wines, about to be put in 
bottle. 

That your wines should possess a generous 
and agreeable flavour, it is imperative that they 
be fully matured and ripe, and to this object the 
insensible fermentation is an indispensable pre- 
requisite. If it be a conceded point, that they do 
not acquire this character except they ripen in 
large mass, it is also admitted that having ac- 
quired this advantage, it is equally important to 
the final result, that when put into bottle they 
should be well corked, hermetically closed from 
the action of the air; as without that precaution 
they never can attain that deep, strong body, 
that fixed hue, and soft, velvet like {veloute) de- 
licacy, which form the essential character of a 
fine old wine. 

When thus effectively corked and sealed, the 
bottles allow no passage to the internal transpira- 
tion, or external humidity; whereas the best con- 
structed wooden vessels are not impervious, al- 
lowing the filtering and transpiration to pass by 

X 



242 THE ART OF WINE MAKING. 

the pores. In the first case, the fermentation 
continues with an active movement, whereas in 
the second, it is sluggish and insensible. There 
is, however, a danger of putting the wine in bot- 
tles too soon. Such ill timed haste is to be 
avoided, for, far from improving its quality, they 
suffer an injurious deterioration by the indis- 
cretion. 

The bottles intended for this service require 
a careful selection. They should be clear, per- 
fectly united, free from flaw or blemish, and by 
all means without that excess of potash, some- 
times found in our glass manufactured vessels. 
Without this latter precaution, the wines will 
soon part with their flavour, their odour, and 
deep purple tinge, and their chief excellence may 
thus be lost. The bottles should first be rinsed 
with pure water, and then cleansed with sand, 
or gravel. When they are intended to receive 
a fine dessert wine, it will be judicious to saturate 
the extremity of the cork, by plunging it into 
brandy, before closing the bottle. The cork 
frequently contains a considerable quantity of 
the astringent principle, and as this astringent 
principle, when brought into action by a con- 
tact with the wine, and changed moreover with 
the vault, determines the mould with extreme 
facility, it will be necessary to adopt the pre- 
caution of steeping the corks, (first shaving 
off the point, below which it is to enter the bot- 
tle, a small portion in order to expose a new sur- 
face,) into hot water, and when fully saturated, 
to dry them either by fire or the rays of the sun, 
(the latter being preferable when time will per- 
mit) before using them. Where the cask is 



THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 243 

spongy or porous, allowing the liquor to pene^ 
trate or escape by the pores, or where it has been 
perforated by the cork screw or other instrument; 
in fine, where any imperfection exists, it should 
be rejected. A negligence in this case will al- 
most insure an unfavourable change in the wine. 
When the bottle is filled within an inch of the 
mouth, it should be carefully closed and turned, 
so as to judge whether the wine will leak out 
and escape when left on the shelf It should 
then be placed on the side, in the vault, or other 
position destined for its reception, on a frame or 
lattice, in ranges or piles, of ten or twelve deep, 
which should be so strong as not to bend beneath 
the weight of the superincumbent mass. To 
protect the wines from the injurious effects to 
which they are exposed from light, it is the prac- 
tice of many vintners to cover the bottles when 
thus arranged, with sand, the character of which, 
where the choice is at command, should be sili- 
cious rather than calcareous; and a preference 
should be given to a vault which is damp, and 
rather warm. The first of these means is that 
usually adopted, because it is more expeditious, 
and occasions less breakage. In drawing the 
wine from the cask, it will be prudent to suspend 
the work on approaching the bottom, when but. 
little remains in the vessel. The cask should 
then be carefully raised (if tilted) and remain at 
rest till the following day, on which the last of 
the contents should be drawn off, bottled and 
placed in a different quarter of the vault, to be 
used the first, or consumed for ordinary, or culi- 
nary purposes. 



244 THE ART OP WINE MAKING. 

In order to interrupt all communication be- 
tween the wine and the atmosphere, and protect 
the cork from the humidity of the vault, the ra- 
vages of worms and effects of dust, which may 
accumulate around it, and impart an unfavour- 
able influence to the contents of the bottle, it will 
be prudent to seal the cork with a composition, 
of which the following is that adopted by many 
of our vintners skilled in the conservation of 
wines. White pitch, rosin and turpentine in 
equal portions, united with double the portion of 
each of these ingredients of yellow bees wax. 
This mixture should be melted over a slow fire, 
into which the top or neck of the bottle should 
be plunged, securing first the cork with twine 
or iron wire. 

It is particularly in the case of wines which 
ejQfervesce, or fly, that this latter precaution is 
considered most necessary. 



THE END. 






O 1 v^ ^ 1^'