HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 296

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fend black skins, being extremely rich in tannin, have imparted to the wine a powerful astringency and the exceedingly dark colour which so disagreeably distinguish this common quality. The growers imagine that the extra amount of tannin is preservative, without which, their wine might deteriorate during the rough treatment to which it is subjected by transport and exposure ; and to their specially-educated palates this astringency is agreeable, combined with the strong flavour of tar, which completely excludes it from the consumption of Englishmen. Neither the commanderia nor any other quality of wine is •subjected to the process of " fining ; " when issued from the stores of the merchant, therefore, a really bright clear wine is never met with. The black 'wines could be considerably improved by allowing them to settle in large vats, and by a series of rackings into other vessels, as they become clearer iby depositing their impurities. I have tried this experiment upon a small scale with success, and there can be no doubt that the simple manual labour of drawing off the clear wine to enable it to fine itself by precipitating the albuminous matter that has been fixed by the superabundant tannin, would render the " mavro, " or black wine, drinkable ; always excepting the presence of tar, which can at once be avoided by the substitution of casks for the earthen jars and goat-skins. At the expiration of the vintage the vines remain uncared-for throughout the autumn and winter, cattle and goats invade them ad libitum so long as their leaves are attractive, and no operation is performed until the month of March. A t this time they are pruned close to the stocks, which are generally about

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