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observe to do it in one year in the new and another in the old of the moon, or else they say they will grow too much to wood.
They turn the ground of their vineyards twice a year; about the end of February or in March, and again in May; they do it either by ploughing betwixt the rows of vines, or, which they count better, by digging, in which they sometimes use little spades, but most commonly large houghs, the usual way of delving in this country; in which way they turn up the earth as deep and much faster than our men do with spades in England.
Pigeons' dung and hens' dung they make use of in their vineyards, as an improvement that will increase the quantity without injuring the goodness of their wine : but horse dung, or that of any beast, they say, spoils the goodness of their wine. This they have so strong an opinion of at Galliac, a place about thirty leagues from Montpelier, that, if a peasant there should use any but birds’ dung about his vines, his neighbours would burn his house ; because they would not have the wine of that place lose its reputation.
I have been told that a sheep's horn buried at the root of a vine will make it bear well even in barren ground. I have no great faith in it, but mention it, because it may so easily be tried.
But I suppose the husbandry in their vineyards differs much, both according to the fashion of several countries, and the difference of soil ; for I remember that, at Mr. Pontac's vineyard near Bourdeaux, the vines in some parts of the vineyard grew four or five feet high, and were tied to stakes; and in another part of the same vineyard they were directed along upon the ground, not above a foot from it, between little low stakes or laths, so that the old branches stand on each side the root like a pair of arms spread out, and lying open towards the south. The reason of this different way of culture I could not learn of the labourers for want of understanding Gascoin. In Languedoc they use no stakes at all to support their vines, but they trust them to the strength of their own growth, pruning them as I have abovementioned ; which makes them say in the more northerly parts of France, that in Languedoc they have wine without taking pains for it.
When the grapes are ready to turn, they go into the vineyards, and there taking four, five, or six of the neighbour shoots, twist them together at the top; and thus the shoots all through the vineyard, being as it were tied together, stand upright, whereby the grapes have more sun, and perhaps the sap too is hindered from running into the wood and leaves.
They have about Montpelier these following sorts of grapes :
1. Espiran. 2. Espiran verdau. 3. Tarret. 4. Barbaroux. 5. Grumeau negre. 6. Grumeau blanc. 7. Grumeau blanc muscat. 8. Laugeby. 9. L'ougré. 10. Raisin de St. Jean. 11. Marroquin. 12. Marroquin gris. 13. Marroquin bleu. 14. Clarette. 15. Clarette rouge. 16. Ovilla de negre. 17. Ovilla de blanc. 18. Covilla de Gal. 19. Ramounen. 20. Unio negro. 21. Unio blanquo.
These are the names of grapes they have about Montpelier, as they are called in the pattoy of that country.
1. The espiran, a round, black, very sweet and very wholesome grape : they eat them in great quantities when thorough ripe (which is about the middle of August, stylo novo) without any fear of surfeit; and they
are often prescribed by physicians to be eaten plentifully. I think them one of the best fruits in the world. These alone, of all the red grapes, make good wine by themselves; but they plant them not in so great quantities as the other sorts, because in hot and dry seasons they will dry up before they are ripe.
2. Espiran verdau, or the green espiran, called so from its colour; an admirable grape also to eat, though not altogether so delicate as the black espiran; but its excellency is, that it will keep long in the winter for eating; and I have eat very good of them at Christmas. Their way of keeping them is to gather them when ripe, and so hang them up, every bunch single, to the roof of a close room.
3. Tarret is a black, very large, but not very sweet grape, and therefore used only for wine; wherein it gives a very large quantity, but not much strength.
5. Grumeau negre, or the black grumeau, is an excellent large grape, very fleshy, and well enough tasted, of the fashion of a pear. I have seen one single grape of this sort which was in compass above 31 inches English measure, and in compass the long way 3*, and weighed of their weights Zss. Hj. gr. iij. and all the rest of the grapes of the same bunch proportionable ; but I have not observed them ordinarily planted in their vineyards.
10. Raisin de St. Jean is a sort of grape which they have only at the physic-garden at Montpelier : it came from India; it is a black grape, very good, ripe at Midsummer (and therefore called St. John's grape) two months before any of the other sorts.
11. Marroquin, a very black, large, fleshy, round grape, very good to eat, but seldom used in wine.
14. Clarette, white, longish, middle-sized, sweet, good to eat, and good for wine.
19. Ramounen, black, very sweet, middle-sized, good for wine, and eating.
22. Corinth; this we have in England; and I do not find they use it much there for wine.
25. Piquepoul, black and very sweet, good for wine and for eating
27. Piquardan, white, long, large, very sweet, with a very little of the muscat taste in it; makes very good wine alone or mingled.
29. Musquat blanc, or white muscat ; this is usually planted and pressed alone, and makes the wine we usually call Frontiniac, from Frontignan, a town on the Mediterranean, near two or three leagues from Montpelier, where the most and best sort of this wine is made. It is a pleasant grape, and early ripe, before the ordinary sorts; but they are not near so good to eat as the espiran, being apt to fume to the head and make it ache.
32. Servan, a long, large, white, fleshy, sweet grape, called so because they keep well, and you have of these always latest in winter.
41. Crispata; this I saw nowhere but in the physicgarden at Montpelier: a good sweet white grape; called so from its jagged leaves, and I suppose the same with our parsley grape in England.
At Marmoustier, the great abbey of Benedictins near Tours, I saw in their garden a sort of grapes pretty ripe, which they called raisins de Ste. Magdalene, because they used to be ripe about that time, which is the 22d of July.
Upon the skilful mixture of these several sorts of grapes, as well as on the propriety of the soil
, depends, in a great measure, the goodness of their wine : though, as far as I could observe, it was not so far improved as it might; nor any other great care taken, but that there should be always a mixture of white grapes
when they made their red wine, which will otherwise be too thick and deep-coloured : and therefore, if they have a sufficient quantity of claret or piquardin grapes in their vineyards, they seem not over curious of an exact proportion of the other sorts, which are planted there promiscuously.
When their grapes are ripe, and they have leave, they cut them, carry them home, and tread them immediately; for they will not keep without spoiling : this is the reason they must have leave; for, the parson being to have his tithe, and of that make his wine, if the parishioners were not obliged to vintage all at the
same time, he could not make wine of his share, since one parcel of grapes could not stay till the other was cut to be pressed with them.
The grapes being brought in great tubs, either on mules or men's backs, to the place where the wine is to be made, they put them in a kind of grate over the kuve, and there tread them till they are all broken, and then they throw them, husks, stalks, and all, into the kuve: and thus till all their whole crop of grapes are trod.
When all the mass is in the kuve, they let it work there one, two, or three days, as they think fit to have their wine : the longer it works, and the more stalks are in it (for sometimes they put them not all in the rougher and deeper-coloured will the wine be, but keep the longer.
When it has wrought its time in the kuve, they put it into buts, and there let it work as long as it will, filling up the working vessel every day with some of the same must kept on purpose, for it wastes much in working.
Of the marc (which is husks, stalks, and other sediment, left at the bottom of the kuve when the must is taken out) they make a worse and coarse sort of wine for the servants, and this they press as we do our apples, to make cyder.
The stones, after pressing, some people cleanse from the rest of the marc, and sell for food for pigeons : the stalks also cleansed they use in making of verdigris. And in some places they take the remaining marc after pressing, put it in great tubs, and cover it with water, keeping the marc down with weights, and of this they give to their horses, which very much cools and refreshes them there in the hot season. This may give one reason to consider, whether any such use might be made of the marc of our apples, after making cyder.
When they have a mind to have their wine fine sooner than ordinary, they put into the cask a pretty good quantity of shavings of fir, and in some places of hazel, and with it they sometimes put some whole white grapes.
A little bread or oil (they say ever so little, and therefore they are very careful in this point) mixed with the