HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 294

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gallons. The refuse of skins and stalks is laid upon Ibne side to ferment for the manufacture of raki, or [spirit, by distillation. The fermentation of the juice proceeds in the earthen jars, and is guided according to the ideas of the proprietor ; when he considers that it has continued to a degree sufficient for the strength ^nd quality of the wine, it is checked by the addition pf powdered gypsum. Here is one of the patent errors of the manufacture of commanderia as a wine «uitable to English tastes. The grape-juice is naturjally so rich in saccharine, that it is luscious and jvapid to an excess ; this superabundant amount of sugar would be converted into alcohol in the natural brocess of fermentation if unchecked, and by the chemical change the wine would gain in strength and lose in sweetness. Should this process be adopted, the result would no longer represent the wine now accepted &s commanderia, which finds a ready market in the iLevant, owing to its peculiar sweetness and rich flavour, although disagreeable to Europeans ; there would accordingly be a risk attending such experiments, iwhich the grower would consider unnecessary, as he already commands the sale. The large jars in which the wine ferments are porous %.nd unglazed ; the usual waterproofing is adopted, in the shape of tar, with which the inside is thickly coated. There are many jars of a century old, which have lost the flavour by extreme age, and have become liquid-proof by the choking of the pores with the crust deposited by the wine ; these are highly prized, and the wine after fermentation is left upon its own lees to ripen ; or, according to our ideas, it is entirely neglected. It is' never racked into other vessels. There is an unusual peculiarity in commanderia;

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