HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 293

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but usually the vines are left to nature after the] grapes have formed, as the hot sun and drying wind; are sufficient to keep down adverse vegetation. The grapes ripen towards the middle or end ofj August. The commanderia grapes are collected and spread upon the flat mud-plastered roofs of the native houses, and are exposed for several days, until they show symptoms of shrivelling in the skin, and the stalksi have partially dried : they are then pressed. By thisl time many of the grapes that have been bruised by thisi rough treatment have fermented, and the dust and dirti of the house-top, together with flies and other insects^ have adhered to the impure heap. It has beenì imagined by some travellers that the grapes are pur-ί posely dried before pressing ; on the other hand, I havel been assured by the inhabitants that their only reason! for heaping and exposing their crop upon the house-i tops is the danger of leaving it to ripen in the! vineyard. None of the plots are fenced, and before! the grapes are sufficiently ripe for pressing they arej stolen in large quantities, or destroyed by cattle, goats,] mules, and every stray animal that is attracted to the fields. The owner of the vineyard accordingly gathershis crop by degrees, a little before the proper time,! and the grapes are exposed upon the house-tops to ripen artificially in the sun. In this manner the quality is seriously damaged ; but the natives will not acknowledge it any more than the Devonshire farmers, whc leave their apples in heaps upon the ground for many weeks, rotting and wasp-eaten, before they are carried to the pound for the grinding of cider. The grapes having been trodden by men with large boots, art pressed, and the juice of the commanderia is placed ir jars capable of holding from seventy to one hundrec

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