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been replanted in the south ; so that, from the new and the old plants, a small supply may be looked for. Time, however, is demanded for the new plants, as the vine requires to be about six years old before it yields good grapes for wine.

The two following circulars, dated in June 1864, give interesting information on the present and prospective state of Madeira trade :

In the year 1862, on the occasion of introducing to your notice a sample of madeira, as the first shipment for several years, which had been refreshed with good sound young wine, we took the liberty to offer a few remarks on the position of our trade at the time; and we stated that the partial revival in 1860 of a vintage was very gratifying, that the quantity of good wine to be produced in subsequent years must necessarily, for a time, be small, and that the price of old wines must continue to rise, &c.

We are now happy to be able to inform you, that the prospects of the Island of Madeira, as a wine-producing country, are even more promising than at any time since the first appearance of the oïdium.

To the best of our judgment—for no trustworthy statistics are obtainable in the Island—the produce of the vintages of 1860, and of subsequent years, was as follows: 1860 about 500 pipes

1862 about 500 pipes

1 Next year we hope to see a further increase in the quantity and improvement in the general quality; for it is the fact that a great deal of ground has been and is being replanted with vines, and that the use of sulphur, &c., as a cure for the oïdium, is now general and successful.

Most of the wine we secured in 1860 turned out to be

1861

400

1863

900

MADEIRA WINE CIRCULAR.

447

exceedingly good, but we have nothing particular to say of 1861 and 1862. Of last year's produce, however, we can give a better account: of the 900 pipes estimated to have been produced, we consider about one-half may be classed as good and fair wine, and about 100 pipes as really fine south-side wine, made from clean well-ripened • Verdelho'

grapes. As regards old wines, we need hardly say that the few pure ones which remain are very valuable, and are in the hands of some five or six houses—we say pure wines because, unfortunately, some of the holders in Madeira have been so unwise as to admit into their stocks spurious kinds, and it therefore behoves those who would avoid disappointment to purchase only where they can rely upon the assurance that the wines offered are pure and genuine.

Respecting prices, we cannot hold out much hope of a reduction for a year or two; the most we can reasonably expect during that time is, by the judicious use of good young wine, to supply the demand at current rates, but we trust in a few more years to have a fair characteristic wine at a moderate price.

Our present prices are :
Old London Particular.
Fine rich old Wine
Do. dry

paler Fine old reserve, rich

Prices in the island
Roda, very fine, very old reserve

from £- to £160
Bual, very rich, fine and scarce
Malmsey, very sweet,
Sercial, very dry

(to order only) East India Madeira (to arrive)

per pipe.

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We have little to add to the report given in our circular of the 2nd November last. We then said it was scarcely possible the produce of the last vintage could amount to 1,000 pipes in the whole island.

The actual produce scarcely reached 900 pipes—a poor result, when it is remembered that, before the outbreak of the oïdium in

1852, the average production was 27,000 pipes. No material improvement in the quantity or quality of the wine produced can be expected for many years to come, as, although every encouragement is given to the replanting of the vine, the result of long experience has shown that, in Madeira, only old wines will produce fine wines.

In the meantime, all sorts of compounds, under the name of madeira, are shipped from the island ; while Cette, Marseilles, &c., likewise furnish their quota in handsome - Madeira' casks.

It is seen by the Table of Consumption, &c., that the consumption and the percentage which madeira bore to all other kinds was :

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In 1831, consumption 209,127 gallons and 3.56 percentage
1841,
107,701

1:58
1851,
71,025

1.14
1859,
29,566

0:41
1860,
28,242

0:39 1861, 28,749

0.27 1862, 31,906

0:32 1863, 29,671

0.28

97

>

92

9)

CHAPTER XVIII.

TENERIFFE, VIDONIA, CANARY SACK.

Teneriffe, one of the Five Canary Islands—Vidonia from the Vidogne

Grape—Teneriffe much used Forty Years ago — Canary Sack
Not denoting Dryness—Vine Disease.

Fetch me Ben Jonson's skull, and fill't with sack,
Rich as the same he drank, when the whole pack
Of jolly sisters pledged, and did agree
It was no sin to be as drunk as he.

BISHOP HALL, in the sixteenth century, writes

If the drinker could put his finger into the flame of the candle, without playing hit-I-missi-I! he is held a sober man, however otherwise drunk he

may

be. This was considered a trial of victory among these canary birds, or bibbers of canary wine.

The Canaries consist of five islands opposite the coast of Africa, of which Teneriffe and Canary are the most important; and it is within the recollection of many that there was a large trade in Teneriffe, more usually called Vidonia, owing to the principal grape being the Vidogne.

There is no doubt that considerable quantities of these wines, under the name of Canary Sack, were brought to this country even three hundred years ago. And, as there is sometimes allusion to sack

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with sugar,' and even to 'sacke sweete,' and the same is applied to “ Malaga sack’ and · Sherris sack,' it is evident that the word sack' cannot be understood to have denoted sec (dry). Indeed, as far as I can make out, our forefathers, like the Greeks and Romans, seem to have had very coarse tastes, and could drink no wine without such admixtures as to make it a compound, and not a wine.

In Disraeli's Curiosities of Literature, is an extract from a writer in 1663, in which coffee, that had been lately introduced, is contrasted with Canary :

When they, but men, would speak as the gods do,
They drank pure nectar as the gods drink too,
Sublim'd with rich canary sack: shall then
These less than coffee's self, these coffee men ;
These sons of nothing, that can hardly make
Their broth, for laughing how the jest does take,
Yet grin, and give ye for the wine's pure blood,
A loathsome portion, not yet understood,
Syrup of soot, or essence of old shoes,

Dasht with diurnals, and the book of news ? The very name of Teneriffe, or Vidonia, is now almost forgotten, and instead of a yearly consumption of 150,000 gallons, there is not the tenth part. The oïdium attacked the Canary Islands' vines as severely as those of Madeira, and the sufferings and losses have been consequently great in both places.

Like Madeira, which it resembles, though far from possessing its flavour or body, Teneriffe participated in the diminished demand when George IV. gave his royal preference to sherry. Both of these wines had been going out of fashion long before the vine

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