HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 291

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Nothing is added, and the following concise description will account for their disagreeable peculiarities. There are no roads in Cyprus in the mountainous wine-producing districts, therefore all agricultural products must be conveyed upon the backs of mules up and down the steepest and most dangerous rocky tracks, apparently more fitted for goats than other animals. A mule will travel in this rough country with a load of 250 lbs. This serious difficulty of transport will account for the rude and ancient method of conveying wine in goat-skins. " No man will put new wine into old bottles, " referred to this system of employing skins instead of casks, or other receptacles that could be cleaned and rendered tasteless. The goat-skin would quickly rot, unless it was prepared by a species of tar ; thus not only is the naturally unpleasant flavour of the skin imparted to the wine, but the mixture of tar renders it completely abominable to any palate that has not been educated to receive it. Let any person conceive the result of pouring ten or twelve gallons of Château Lafitte into an old and dirty goat-skin thoroughly impregnated with tar, and carrying this burden upon one side of a mule, balanced by a similar skin on the other sidefilled with the choicest Johannisberger. This load, worth at least ^70 or ^80 at starting, would travel for two days exposed to a broiling sun, and would lie for several days before it would be turned into the vati of the merchant at Limasol. By that time, according; to civilised taste, it would be perfectly valueless and! undrinkable ; if the best wines in the world can b4J thus destroyed by a savage means of transport, whatl must the effect be upon such inferior qualities as thel crude produce of Cyprus ? Common sense will suggest

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