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CHAPTER XII.

WINE AND POLITICS.

WE are often astonished when a discovery is made, that the appliance we have at last learned to use was never so used before : it seems to us quite inconceivable. But still more extraordinary must it appear that a thing which men seek, and all enjoy, and-according to their ability appreciate, should exist in abundance within our reach, and no one, beyond a certain narrow limit, know even of its existence. Yet this is the case with a product, valued, too, as an article of commerce, and held in still higher esteem as a source of joy, as an exhilarating power, as a restorer of energy and a mighty gladdener of the human heart.

Who can read these words, and not know that it is of wine that I speak ?

"Ancient wine! Brave old wine! How it around the heart doth twine ! Poets may love The stars above ; But I love-wine!"

And who shall taste Transylvanian wine without doing so?

The very recollection of its noble qualities and the pleasurable emotions its presence always brought me, carry me away; and were I to follow my bent I should write of it in dithyrambics, as the more natural form for so excellent, for so inspiriting a theme. But I make an effort, and return to steady prose

As the waters of Transylvania nearly all flow westward, the mountains and hills lie also in this direction; and one side being exposed to the vertical rays of the noontide sun, no better sites could be found for the cultivation of the grape.

How the vine thrives in this country is proved by the superlative excellence of its produce. The inhabitants are proud of their wine ; and, whoever has had an opportunity of testing it, knows how delicious it is, how palatable and delicate, how refreshing and exhilarating, how abounding in all the generous qualities we look for in-wine.

On tasting, for the first time, good Transylvanian wine, I was astonished at its rich flavour, its peculiarly pleasant freshness, and at the fire lurking within such liquid gold. Later, I learned still better to appreciate its virtues. I can only say that, as is the case with all true excellence, a nearer intimacy tended to strengthen my regard ; and I never once had reason to repent of the judgment formed, or of the friendly footing to which that estimation led.

On returning from Transylvania, I was telling Baron Liebig of the wines it produced, when he at once broke forth in praise of them. "But what do you know of Transylvanian wine ?" said I.

"Not know!" he answered. "I know that they are of rare excellence. Some were sent here to the exhibition), and, as I was on the jury, I tasted them. They were delicious, and possessed all the best qualities looked for in wine. We accorded the first prize-the great gold medal-to wine from Transylvania." This was wine from Mediasch.*12_1 With this single exception, I have found no one out of the country who knew anything, or had even heard, of Transylvanian wine. The vintages of Hungary have at last found their way to England, and are gradually becoming known; but of those in the neighbouring province no mention has yet been made. Even the proprietor of the Three Moors Hotel, at Augsburg, who has probably the largest wine-list in Europe, has no Transylvanian wine in his cellar. Yet in what may be called his catalogue raisonné are all the wines of Germany, France, Italy, Piedmont, those of the Two Sicilies, and the isles of the Mediterranean, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Madeira, the Levant, Greece, Thessaly, the isles of the Archipelago, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, Persia, and those of the Cape.

There is a great variety in the produce of the vineyards; but even of those wines which are classed as "ordinary," are many equal to the " superior" ones of other countries, or which we drink as such in England. They are generally drunk while yet young; and, hence, leave still that flavour which the German word " lieblich " well expresses. They contain much saccharine matter ; But with the pleasant sweetness is combined a raciness and a champagne-like freshness, -j-12_2 so that it does not cloy. The purity of the wine is undoubtedly one cause of its salubrity. I never was better than while I enjoyed it ; and, as far as my own experience goes, I should be inclined to change the proverb, and say, " In vino sanitas." You get the juice of the grape without any admixture of brandy; all the spirit that is in it is entirely its own. The strongest vintage never gave me a headache or deranged the stomach ; and were any generous-minded man inclined to make me a present of whatever wine I might select, I would at once ask for a pipe of good Transylvanian.*12_3

It would seem that the German immigrants who came into the country under Geisa II., first cultivated vineyards. Their thoughts, doubtless, recurred often to home, and old customs and household habits ; and a longing arose for the wine, that was the zest of every meal and a necessary accompaniment to every merrymaking. And so they procured vines, and planted them on the hillsides. Happy the land where the vine grows on the slope of the mountain, and where the plains in summer are covered with the yellow harvest ; where the two different soils of hill and valley are so admirably adapted to bring forth, and in such full abundance, what man needs for existence, as well as to gladden and cheer him, and make his heart rejoice!

That vine grew in Mediasch in the thirteenth century we learn from the fact that the then Bishop of Transylvania commuted the tithes he was to receive of corn, wine, bees and lambs, for a yearly payment of forty marks of silver. And there must have been some abundance in the fruitful land, for, in the winter of 1687, the Saxons had to furnish a forced contribution of 70,000 gallons, and a few years later, 160,000 gallons more, to the Imperial troops while in winter-quarters. That served to keep them warm better than furs or fuel.

From an interesting old chronicle, -j-12_4 in which the price of wine is given each year from 1501 downwards, we are able to follow its rise in value, and we also are told of the several vintages, if sour or excellent, if plentiful or otherwise, and if the frosts came early, and are also informed of the ardour of each autumn sun. In 1501, fourteen Eimer {thirty-five gallons) of must, or unfermented wine, cost one florin, and so it went on to the end of the century, varying only between thirty and fifty gallons for this price. From that time it grew dearer, till at last the quantity to be obtained for a florin dwindled down, in 1738, to five gallons.*12_5 There has probably been no year's vintage equal to that of 1834.

12_1 *The soil of the Mediasch vineyards consists of sand and marl.

12_2 -j- In the Saxon dialect, there is a word for this agreeable prickling on the tongue "tschirpsen."

12_3*The Italian Ambassador at the Court of King Matthew, of Hun" and who undoubtedly knew what good wine was, thus speaks of it :- Traussilvania ferax omnis generis frugum, vini laudatissimi."

12_4-j- The document was rescued from oblivion by Baron Bedeus Von Schberg, and is quoted in an excellent paper on the vine in Transylvania by professor John Fabini, to whom I am indebted for much of the information here given on the subject.

12_5* When I was in Mediasch in 1863, must was being sold for about one shilling and sixpence the 22-gallon cask.

The last accounts of the quantity of wine produced in Transylvania give 15,414,375 English gallons, which, at somewhat less than one shilling a gallon, yield #770,718.

From a very carefully compiled table of the quantity produced in two years-1847 and 1853-in each spot of the several wine districts, I gather that in the whole province 1,584,498 eimer were obtained in 1847,and 2,218,033 eimer in 1853.

This, be it observed, is not the exact, but only the approximative quantity, as estimated by the tax-gatherer it falls far short of the real amount. The increase in six years is considerable, and the list shows many places growing wine in 1853 where in 1847 no vineyard was to "be found. Another authority fixes the area of land ,devoted to vineyards at 50,434 Joch -j- 12_6 (the jock is nearly one and a half acre), and gives fifty eimer, or 125 gallons; as the average produce per joch. This calculation agrees sufficiently with the preceding one to give it a claim to correctness ; the number of eimer taxed being, no doubt, considerably less than the quantity produced.

12_6-j- This number does not greatly differ from that given by the Hon. Julian Bane, Her Majesty's Secretary of Embassy at Vienna, in his masterly report printed in the blue-book in 1861. There the vineyards are stated to amount to 46,989 joch. In a similar report of 1860, under the heading " wine production," we find a sum of 4,518,000 florins for Transylvania. I own I am at a loss to account for so considerable a sum, for if we put down the gallon at four times the price I have done, we even then only obtain three millions of florins.

The same unpropitious circumstances which have prevented Transylvania from turning the produce of her fields to good account, have made it difficult to find a market for her wines. In the first place, the country lies beyond the pale of the network of European railways, and hardly a traveller ever comes there from the West. Thus the favoured land and its products remain unknown. Transylvania, moreover, is surrounded by lands which also produce corn and wine in abundance, and which possess, too, natural or artificial means of exporting them: Hungary has railroads ; Wallachia its navigable river, leading to the sea. And as the produce of the neigh bouring- countries is as excellent as it is abundant, Tran. sylvania-locked in on all sides by mountain and forestis shut out from the marts and the advantages whi otherwise would have been hers. There is no doubt th the province, until lately, has been neglected by Govern went ; but the inhabitants might also have shown greate energy than they have done, and bestirred themselves more.

A railway, however, will soon unite it with Western Europe ; and there will be uninterrupted steam comet nication between London and the towns of Transylvan But of this and its consequences anon.

There was also one reason why the market for Transylvanian wine should be a limited one;*12_7 and for this the growers were themselves to blame. All that related to its preparation, barrelling, bottling, was carried on by them in the most primitive way. The necessary precautions for ensuring favourable results were neglected. Father Noah, when he planted a vineyard and, pressing out the fruit's juice, first learned its gladdening influence, might have proceeded in much about the same manner as the good folks in Transylvania do to-day. Different sorts of grapes -the early ripe and those that ripen later-are planted and picked together, which, of course, is not without an ill effect on the wine. In gathering, too, no division of the good or the rotten berries takes place ; but all and every-thing is flung into the vat, as the fermentation, it is said, will remove whatever is impure. The dweller on the Rhine knows how erroneous such supposition is; for not only does he carefully separate one sort of berry from another, and those of different degrees of ripeness, but he even avoids mixing the grapes which grow on the middle of the slope from the clusters gathered on the summit or at its foot.

Nor are the appliances made use of, or even known here, which are elsewhere employed for separating the berries from the stalk. The rough, disagreeable, bitter juice contained in this injures very materially the delicate flavour of the pure pulp of the ripe fruit ; yet all is pressed gether, sugar and verjuice, just as chance directs.

It is unnecessary here to enter more into detail rerding the imperfect manipulation which prevails in this tter; in the whole process it is the same. The casks often imperfectly purified, or the wood is unsound ; and if the wine be bottled-and what bottles it is put into !-they are corked with paper or with a stalk of maize. The jury, in Munich, while they adjudged the large gold medal to the Mediasch wine, could not help remarking on the poverty of the outward appliances, and the remembrance of the medicine and old ink-bottles in which it came excites still no little mirth.

12_7 *How limited it is, the official returns show. In 1845-6-7 and 1850 Y 246 cwt. of wine left the country.

No better example can be given of the state of things in Transylvania than the following incident :-A stranger*12_8 had, like myself, tasted Mediascher wine, and was so pleased with it that he sent an order for so many dozen bottles.

12_8* At Munich.

" Bottles ! " said the wine-grower, " where am I to get bottles ? I've got no bottles ; besides, they are so dear. And then corks ! What a trouble to get such things !" and the order was not attended to for want of these two articles,---for want, too, of the will to get them.

On one occasion, I was at the house of a gentleman who was desirous to let me taste the best wines of the country; and having none of a particular vineyard him.. self, he sent to a neighbour, a few miles off, to ask for some bottles. Several of the choicest vintages were sent. On putting in the corkscrew to draw the cork, it slipped into the bottle, and we found that the stopper consisted merely of a bit of newspaper, rolled together and covered with sealing-wax.

It is to be hoped, however, that such deficiency, both of corks and comprehension, will not last long. Indeed, as regards the vineyards themselves, improvements have here and there taken place already, and are still going on. Baron Stephen Kemeny, Fr. Foszto, Count Wolfgan Bethlen, and the Councillor John Gal, have been publicly mentioned as the active promoters of improvement and form in all that relates to vine culture. I have myself seen their new plantations, and know the labour and expense which the work entailed. In one place, the cost of thus preparing and planting an acre of vineyard would have purchased an acre of meadow-land in the fertile vale beneath. But these gentlemen still go on, and by their example will do great good. Not only have they introduced the Riessling grape in great quantity from the Rhine, but they have the vines planted according to the new system, so as to be exposed all day to the sun, without one row throwing its shade over the others. The different sorts, too, are kept separate, and there is as much order and system in the whole treatment, both of the plant and the produce, as there is in the farm or stable of the most scientific cattle-breeder in England.

All this is doubly praiseworthy, when we consider the difficulty there is in finding any market for the wine. Count Bethlen told me when I was with him that he had not sold one Eimer that year. He had 9000 eimer in his cellars, of different qualities, that he was willing to dispose of at 2fl. 40kr. per eimer, one with the other.

There are fourteen sorts of grape indigenous to the country; that is to say, which have been for centuries acclimatized here. Amongst them are five sorts of muscadine grape ; but these, delicious and exquisite as they are for the table, produce less good wine. The most prized by the wine-grower is one with a small berry, called Maiden Grape (Avicella nitida), which produces an incomparable wine. A commission, deputed by the Klausenburg Agricultural Society to report on the different vines, thus speaks of it : The wine which this grape yields, is, it may be affirmed, approached by none in the country, with the exception of the unique bacca d'oro. In taste, lightness, and delicacy of flavour, it reminds one at once of Riessling ; only that it has more fire and strength than that wine."* 12_9

In the immediate neighbourhood of Bistritz, in the north of the province, is the village of Heidendorf. Here grows one of the choicest vines in the country. The grapes of this vineyard are the true Riessling,-the same of which the celebrated Johannisberger is made.t-j-12_10 The Saxons, fond of thinking everything in the country indigenous to their land, believed that the Riessling vine was a native of Transylvania. A naturalist coming there examined the plant, and made the discovery that the vine was of the cherished sort found on the banks of the Rhine,-the only difference being that the reverse of the leaf was more hairy, owing to the greater roughness of the climate. "What do you call these grapes?" he asked. " Fosnische Trauben," was the answer,-a name by which all vines of this sort were known throughout the land. This word proved their origin, and showed they were not indigenous. "Fosnisch" is a corruption of "Venetianisch" (Venetian), they having been originally imported from the South.

The wine of Heidendorf has more bouquet than any I have tasted in Transylvania. But, like Horsteiner, which, except to a chosen few, is not known in Germany, it combines, in flavour, the excellences of various sorts.

A curious incident led to an improved cultivation of this particular vineyard. The former possessor, at a time when the wine was already pretty good, having to deliver a part of the produce as tithe, got into hot water with the clergyman about his dues, which he paid most reluctantly. His regret at parting with his good wine made him leave the country, and he went to live near the Rhine. Here he learned the cultivation of the vine and the management of the cellar. He returned to his home, pulled up his old vineyard, planted it afresh, racked his wine properly, and in a few years its name was celebrated.

12_9* Count Miko, of Klausenburg, has some wonderfully fine Bakator 1849, at eight florins per eimer. An Englishman, who understands wine; wrote to me of this sort:-" I thought it the best out of eleven wines tasted, except, perhaps, one from Lapad. At eight florins per eimer, that wine is cheap as dirt. I have bespoken ten Eimer for myself. You must remember this wine is sixteen years old. Were it mine, I should not to sell it at that price."

12_10-j- t The soil is marl, stony debris, and shelly limestone.

As was said above, in several places, and by Hungarian nobles especially, more attention is given to the production of wine than heretofore.*12_11 A better vintage and a better regulated supply must be the consequence ; and as the wines will be thoroughly racked, which was never done till now, there is no reason why they should not take their place with the produce of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Hitherto, from want of this " racking," they would not bear carriage : they grew turbid, and were altogether unfit for sale.

For an article that is in general request, no matter what it be, I cannot believe a market should not be found, if only the thing produced be good, and its existence known. I feel certain that were the Transylvanian wines but known in England, they would have consumers there. 'Many of them have the natural fire which we are accustomed to from our brandied port and sherry; others, growing near Karlsburg, resemble a fruity claret, and i a light table wine be desired, this also is everywhere to be had.

12_11 *While this is being printed, a friend from Transylvania writes:--"Meanwhile our young wines will be ready for the market, and there will be Riessling and Traminer enough to supply half Europe in a few years. I plant 30,000 Traminer and 25,000 other kinds, this year alone. I have sent to France for the best Bordeaux and Burgundy sorts, and am preparing a small vineyard at ----- for trials. We have sent for a German Kellermeister, who will soon arrive here, and then we shall be able to send off our wines in first-rate condition."

That the Transylvanian wines, with all their "Lieblichkeit," are not deficient in natural alcohol, the analysis which my friend Baron Liebig was so obliging as to make for me will show. Karlsburger contained 134 per cent., 1.5 extract, while the amount of acidity was 0.9 per cent. Another, from the vineyard of Count Domenik Teleki, 1841, contained 11.96, 1.8 extract, and 0.51 of acidity. Count Miko's famous Bokator of 1848 contained 14.12 of alcohol, 0.58 acidity, and 1.7 of extract. Steiniger, near Bistritz, 1862, belonging to Dr. Weiss, contained 14.45 alcohol, 0.48 acidity, and 2.6 extract. But this being a much younger wine than the others, it would not be fair to compare them together ; the amount of sugar present in the younger wine being greater than in an older one. A Mediascher wine, 1862, of Professor Fabini, had a smaller amount of alcohol, but this was balanced by a much larger amount of extract.

We must never forget this, that the amount of natural alcohol in a wine is not an absolute standard for its worth. If judged by it, many a Rhine and Bordeaux wine would occupy the lowest place. Alcohol is one of the factors in determining a wine's value, but not the sole or the decisive one. The celebrated Steinberger contains 10.87 per cent. of natural alcohol, while a Bingen wine, unknown to fame, has 12.1, and one of Geisenheim 12.6; but the latter has 3.05 dry residue or extract, while the Steinberger yields 9.95. It is the degree of acidity and the dry residue, in combination with the amount of natural alcohol, which determine the market value of wines. The more generous the wine, the greater the amount of solid matter contained in it in solution; and it is this which gives the mild, full, delicious flavour, which veils the acidity and takes away all acerbity. The amount of acidity in the Transylvanian wines is small, as the foregoing figures show, and when they are better treated, will be less still. But what is of importance to the consumer, is their salubrity. A man who suffers from headache or indigestion after a bottle of wine is a positive loser from such circumstance, for he is not fit to do anything. On the other hand, the gain is equally positive if he drinks a wine which, besidesbeing most palatable, leaves him clearheaded, cheerful, refreshed, and fit for work. And that this is a character istic of Transylvanian wines I can attest from experience.

The vintages most prized in Transylvania are those growing beside the Little Kokel*12_12 and near Karlsburg. Also near the Great Kokel, Hunyad Valley, the upper valley of the Maros, Nyárád near Maros, and in the Mezöség. These last are most aromatic, but the yield is small.

In the vale of the Little Kokel grow strong, clear, aromatic wines, without any tartaric acid. A wine I tasted here I found delicious ; it reminded me of Chablis.

The best vineyards are in -- +j+12_13

Saros Dombo Bolkacs
Leppend Kirafalva Forok (222)
Danyan Kokolovar Faszet
Csaras Bethlen St. Miklos Balla Varsar (2632)
Mikefalva (2713) Hederfalva (1624)
Bogacs (2140)

12_12 *There are two rivers of this name, distinguished as the Great and Little Yokel. They meet at the town of Blasendorf.

12_13 -j- t These and following names are given on the authority of a Hungarian gentleman, who has devoted much attention to wine and vineyards. I have added the figures to the names of the better sort, to show the number of Transylvanian eimer (1 eimer = 22 gallons) obtained of each in 1853. They are taken from official excise returns, but the quantity is below the bath. Since then, no doubt, the produce is far more considerable. In many places, too, the wine is better as a superior sort of grape has been plannted of late.

The Karlsburg wines have all a golden tinge, except those growing in the vineyards of the Bishop, which are of superlative quality and called Roszamaler. They are strong, have some aroma, but contain a small quantity of tartaric acid. The best are Csombord, Fiigget, Czelna,*12_14 Krakko, Igen. Of these five, 27,289 eimer were produced in 1853.

Of the Kokelburg wines I can give the following account :

Varhegy, 1853, growing on the west side, a pure fine flavoured wine, of a clear golden colour, with more body than Rhine wine, and rather dry. Four florins per eimer.

The same, 1860, darker, strong, a little aroma. Three florins twenty kreutzers.

The same, 1862, with taste of the grape ; dark. Two florins fifty kreutzers. This wine had not been obtained by pressing the grapes ; the juice had been allowed to run out, of the vat, the only pressure being the weight of the grapes themselves. The wine from grapes that had been pressed was stronger.

One of 1846, slightest possible idea of acidity; aroma, and peculiar flavour. Eight florins.

A red wine of 1860, light, full flavour ; aroma, taste like excellent Bordeaux, though with more body; most beautiful ruby colour. Five florins.

12_14* This wine is the property of Count Domenik Teleki, and is of the very finest quality. It will keep well, and bear transport, as I know by experience. Some, twenty-three years old, that I took with me, did not suffer in the least from a long journey ; it was as clear and good in every respect as any wine could be. Of this sort, from 3000 to 4800 Transylvanian eimer are produced annually. Close by, in other vineyards, from ten to twenty times as much is the annual produce. As a proof that good Transsylvanian wine is found acceptable to English palates, I beg to state that inquiries were lately made by a well-known connoisseur of wine in London in order to learn if Count Teleki could furnish him with some casks Czelna.

1863. A very good light wine, bright-coloured, fullbody. One florin.

These vineyards are the property of Countess Bethlen. On the Little Kokel, at Kis Kend, I tasted wines, the property of Herr von Zeyk. One of 1859, beautiful, pale amber colour, good table wine. Three florins.

1858. Bakator. Most beautiful pale tint, excellent flayour, rather dry wine. The grape of which this is made was brought from Italy. It is in reality the bacca d'oro of that country. Six florins.

1848. Same wine, stronger, leaving an excellent taste in the mouth. Ten florins.

1862. A most excellent red wine ; ruby colour, fine flavour, containing much natural alcohol. Five florins. This wine contains 14 percent of natural alcohol and only ; 6/1000 of tartaric acid.

When at Klausenburg, a gentleman made me a present of some bottles of Roszámaler thirty years old, --a proof that, if properly treated, it will keep.

The wines growing on the banks of the Great Kokel are very clear, light-coloured, but less strong than those of the Little Kokel. The best are from Mediasch (22,737), Berthelm (25,051), Gross Maschalken, Barlacz, Bessendor rf, Alma Kerek (2569), Keresd (5980). In the Hunyader Comitat the wines are dark, very strong. Of these the best are found at Babohla (1064), Guaraszada, Cyogy, Boldogfalva (1528). On the banks of the Upper Maros, they are dark and strong. The best are of Radoth, Malomfalva (150), and Karonka (1383). Some grow near Nyarad (in the neighbourhood of Maros Varsahely), they are clear, very agreeable, and not strong. Of these, Batzko Madros (1971), and St. Gerlicze are most to be recommended.

I here give a table of the produce of the different districts throughout the country in two different years.

District. 1847. 1853.
Transylvanian Eimer. Transylvanian Eimer.
Hermannstadt791,086961,799
Kronstadt458 488
Udvarhely 2,126 5,157
Maros Vasarhely 106,980 201,633
Bistritz 118,112 129,228
Déés22,336 37,788
Czilágy Somlyó162,077367,956
Klausenburg 98,858 117,301
Karlsburg 195,442 289,526
Broos 87,023107,157
Total 1,584,4982,218,033

This list may serve to assist any future traveller who interested in such investigations. Strangely enough, red wines are not liked in Transylvania; no one drinks them, at least not when others are to be had. They are also few in number. The average price for must of the best sort is eighty Austrian kreutzers (ls. 7d.) per eimer cask containing 2 1/2 gallons.*12_15 In 1863 it was less. In 1862 it was 1fl. 20kr. (nearly 2s. 5d.) per eimer. The dearest wine which my informant remembers to have been sold was an old wine which was bought up for Poland. The price paid was eight florins (sixteen shillings) per eimer. A jock of land does not generally produce more--one year with another--than fifty eimer. This, at eighty kreutzers per eimer, would give as brutto receipts forty florins per joch--a small remuneration for the trouble and risk incurred. Vineyards, like fields, are often let for one-third of the produce ; the lessee having the farming

12_15 * This has been the price during the last ten years.

work to do, and retaining one-third of the profits. In this way only 13 1/3 fl. (#l. 6s. 8d.) would go to the possessor of one jock of vineyard as his share. But from thiss small sum the taxes have to be deducted, 1 fl. 93kr., and the price of the sticks for supporting the vines: these cost 4 fl. 50kr., with eighty kreutzers for the overrseer. When these sums are subtracted from the profit, 6fl. 10kr. per joch is all that remains for the vinegrower.

But the cultivation of the vine is a task which, all the worldd over, carries with it its own peculiar incentive. It is truly a labour of love; and the enjoyment it brings, and the bright hopes and the pride of a glorious vin, are the indemnification for many a privation, and day after day inspire and cheer the peasant as he toils. on the Rhine, he is one year a rich man, and the succeeding ones has nothing. But there is always a chance that fortune may be propitious; that the dews will give fuless of sap, and the autumn sun make the heavy clusters so many glowing volcanoes teeming with a concealed fire.

It is nonsense to say that the lighter wines of France Germany do not suit the English palate. An Englishman likes everything that is really good; and put a pure, wholesome Rhenish or Transylvanian wine within his reach, he will, most certainly, profit by the opportunity. They all have ardency enough, though not that fire which the admixture of brandy gives. The so-called lighter wines of the Continent, as sold in England, are, generally speaking, such as no carter would drink on a Sunday or day in the land where they grew. They are not fair specimens of the ordinary produce of Germany or France; that they should not suit English palates is very natural. Neither do they suit the palate of the French or German peasant ; he drinks them only when he can get no better.*12_16

In England, generally speaking, people know as little about wine, as until a few years ago they did about a rifle. But in this, as in other things, they are the slaves fashion,--and drink and praise what they call hock claret, though neither one nor the other has the least resemblance to the real thing. As to honestly liking them, that is impossible, for no one can. Yet in perfect good faith they look knowing, hold up the glass to the light, and flatter themselves the trash it contains " may be called a good wine! " After having been accustomed to well-brandied Portuguese wines, it is very natural that we should find purer and lighter ones insipid; and people supposed " that the French wines were less adapted to our climate than those of the Southern Peninsula."-j-t12_17 In Scotland, formerly, much good claret was drunk; but I never heard that it was found not adapted to the climate. The circumstance of the whisky-loving Scotch liking this wine, shows too that a good wine, though it be a light one will make its way in our island, if only the opportunity be given.

12_16* The cheaper wines of France have not come so fully into use as they should have done according to the laws of commerce. The reason is clear enough. People would drink them very readily, had they a fair opportunity allowed them. As a rule, the old-established wine-merchants do not sell the low-priced wines.... On the other hand, the hotel and tavern keepers do sell the cheap wines, but at the old prices. A man cannot get a bottle of good vin ordinaire at his dinner, at any hotel or tavern of certain pretensions, without paying for it as claret, from four to eight shillings a bottle." These observations are so to the purpose, that I copy them from the `Athenaeum' of December 5th, 1863. Mr. Sheen, in his work `Wines and other Fermented Liquors,' speaks of Mr Gladstone " not being able to get the public to imbibe, or persuade them to swallow" so-and-so many gallons of French wine. To which observations the reviewer in the same Journal, of July 21st, 1857, very sensibly replies, that " The public thirst for good and cheap wine." If hotel-keepers find that their guests do not drink the cheap wines France, it is because the former will not allow them to do so but at adear rate."

12_17-j- t James L. Denman, `The Vine and its Fruit.'

Any one who has been in Transylvania and seen the untry and its resources, can hardly doubt of a bright future being before it. Before long, it will be visited for the various interest which attaches to its inhabitants and scenery. People will then discover that a fine opening is there offered them for commercial speculation, and among other undertakings will most assuredly be a trade in wine. Whoever comes first will have the conditions in his own hands. He will, from a concatenation of peculiar circumces, be favoured by peculiar advantages ; but he must seize them while they are to be had, and not wait till incidents occur which take them out of his reach, and give them to the opposite party.

The plan to be pursued by any one inclined to carry out se suggestions should be this :-He must come into the country and make himself acquainted with the different wines, and the vineyards which produce them. He then should enter into an agreement with their possessors for purchase of the vintages for the next say ten-years ; buying them as they come from the wine-press, --mere grape-juice in its unfermented state. And this prospective agreement should be made to prevent the winegrower wer from taking any undue advantage of an increased demand; for if the speculator runs all the risk, and has the work of the pioneer to do, it is but fair that he should retain some of the chances of remuneration for himself. Ready money, in a country like Transylvania, where cash is one of the greatest rarities, will go a great way and accomplish much. Moreover, the certainty of a purchaser for the next ten years' produce would induce and enable the grower to sell at a price most advantageous to the speculator. Even at the usual market price, a considerable profit would be ensured to the English merchant.*12_18 But by coming early, before there is competition, by offering the grower the above advantages, by making oneself, in short, master of the situation,-a still larger return for trouble and capital might be had.

The growers would be only too glad to find at last a purchaser for their crops, which till now they never could turn to any account. Large stores are everywhere lying in the cellars, which the possessors would gladly dispose of to make room for coming vintages.

The next thing to be done is to obtain, from the Rhine a man who thoroughly understands the treatment of wines, to superintend the cellarage. Let but the same care be bestowed upon the vintage of Transylvania as is given to that of Hochheim, Epernay, or Bordeaux, and no fear need be entertained for the results of land or sea carriage.

There is plenty of oak in the country, which is the best wood for wine casks. All that relates to cooperage is of vast importance in the preservation of wine. This department, too, should therefore be in the hands, and and the superintendence, of the English speculator. For all such details no reliance can be placed upon the people of the country. They are not aware how much depend on seemingly trifling matters. It would be an advantage to have barrels made of certain sizes for the English market, according to English measure.

12_18 * The average price of must is, as was said, eighty kreutzers per einer. Wine, of which this was the original price, has been sold me two years later for five florins per eimer, and it was only as a favour that it was given me at this price. If worth five florins in the country, what would be its value in England?

Good cellars would also be necessary for storing the stock in hand. These might be had to any extent in Klausenburg, on reasonable terms. Here, too, would be be best place for the agent to reside, who had the superintendence of the whole concern. From year to year, the vinage in Transylvania will improve ; for the landed propretors are bestirring themselves, and doing their utmost to enable their wines to compete with the growth of lands which have got the start of them. Once made known, and the undertaking set going and got into working order, there is no fear of these wines making their way ; they are wholesome, pleasant, and generous, and, even when a good profit has been gained upon them, can be furnished at low price. What, then, can be wanting to ensure the speculator success?

I have already alluded to the amount of saccharine matter which these vines generally contain. Those of Mediasch, and some growing, if I remember rightly, at Bethlen in the north, are pre-eminent in this respect. From the peculiar qualities of the Mediasch wine, I am certain that a champagne might be made from it but little inferior, if inferior at all, to that of Aix. This alone were an undertaking worth thinking of; for the continued demand for such wine, and the absence of any neighbouring competition in this special branch, offer the conditions for success.

These are no random or immature opinions. During residence of nearly a year in Transylvania I have given much thought to the question, and collected information relating to it ; and having spoken of wine as one the many products of the country in which enterprise might safely engage, I am desirous to give what hints I can for practically carrying out the scheme. And of this I am certain, that any Englishman who came into the country with a view to commercial undertakings would, both on the part of the inhabitants and the government, be met cordially, and receive every assistance that either could render him.*12_19

An ordinary wine-grower cannot do for his produce what is necessary for it. This must be the work of others. He has not the capital nor the knowledge, nor will he bestow the care absolutely requisite if excellence is to be obtained. Hitherto, moreover, as none was exported, wine was grown more for the individual proprietor's own use and delectation than for anything else. It was not looked on as an article of commerce. It was intended for the household and for friends, and was neither more nor less than what the fruit and flower garden is to the English cottager, or to the citizen in his little box a few miles from town. Government might assist the vinegrower in two ways,-by helping him to get consumers abroad, and by removing at home those causes which prevent wine being drunk by the greater part of the population. A more liberal commercial policy would aid in effecting the first, by obtaining for Austrian produce fewer restrictions in foreign states.

And as to the second, were a heavier tax laid on the consumption of brandy, the practice of spirit-drinking, which prevails to a fearful extent in the country, would be diminished, and wine taken instead. If dearer than wine, who would drink it ? Here, as everywhere, the demoralizing effect of the constant use of spirits is apparent.

Maize, from which the spirit is distilled, grows in vast quantity. The landed proprietors are unable to sell the harvest ; for at home each man has plenty, and as to a foreign market that is out of the question, from the difficulty of transport. Their only means, therefore, of obtaining some remuneration for their outlay is to turn their corn into spirit, or to sell it to the distiller for this purpose. Where there is such abundance, the competition is great, and, despite the excise, the price of whisky is very low.

12_19* "Let only capitalists come here and look about them," said a Hungarian gentleman to me who is himself interested in commercial speculations " we will stick to them, for it is to our interest that they should succeed."

Thus as, in our moral existence, we see how one illadvised act leads to others, which involve in difficulty, begetting a progeny that from day to day become more tyrannously our masters. Our spiritual teachers tell us this, but it seems to me that they do not so with sufficient force, putting the fact before us as an inevitable law from which there is no escape ; showing how, as by the irresitible coils of a mighty snake, circumstance evolves from circumstance, and we are at last entwined ; showing us too, how, like the Fate of old, the one original fault will have its atonement. I cannot but think our poets, on this point, are far more effective teachers than our professed guides and instructors.

History shows us that in political life it is the same. In reference to the question in hand, I would point out how the neglect of providing means for the producer to turn produce to account, caused it to be thrown back upon him. He, not being able to consume all himself, or to rid of his grain for its legitimate purpose, makes spirit of it, and deluges the land with alcohol. The use and abuse of such drink hinders progress, both intellectual and other. Thus, indirectly, a province suffers morally and economically from a primal neglect; and one that might be the most flourishing in the monarchy, and by growing wealth furnish revenue to the Government, remains so behind in the competitive race of the nations as to be altogether unseen. The financial state of the country may be inferred, from the deplorable fact that the population is in arrear of payment of taxes to the amount of thirty-three per cent. There are only two provinces, Croatia and the Vaivodie, which show a worse monetary condition than this fertile and, by nature, most favoured land of the monarchy.

It is a truth, growing every day more apparent-and one of our chief blessings and consolations is that Truth does grow-that intercourse of people with each other is the greatest furtherer of all development. The roadmakers are the great civilizers. There only where people come together are their energies developed, and their resources, mental and material, called forth. Some, never dreamed of before, are suddenly found out. In isolation many a power remains dormant, but contact, producing new combinations, elicits new forces, and modifies, while it adds to our former capacities.

At a public meeting in London, a speaker observed the other day that there was no instance of the introduction of a railway not having benefited a land. There is n country in such need of the boon as Transylvania, and yet it has been so long delayed. When opened, a new era will begin for the province. But the Saxon must bestir himself; that the Hungarian will do so there is no doubt The Wallack will advance in civilization; his natural abilities will develope ; he will emerge from his present Naturzustand,*12_20 or primal state of nature ; and as his wants augment, his faculties and industry will be employed in order to satisfy them.

For it is quite false to suppose that a people without wants are best off. Such state is neither best for them, nor best for the realm they belong to. The Wallacks of

12_20 *It may seem hardly credible that in a country like Transylvania, abound ing in iron, the use of this metal is not general. In many Wallack villag there is, perhaps, not, a single waggon that has a bit of iron in it, and in t houses scarcely a scrap is to be found.

Transylvania would be far more profitable subjects if they needed the goods which other countries can produce. It is quite indifferent to me whether it be English calico, or broadcloth, or iron-ware that they require, or the manufactures of France or Belgium ; but if they did use such things, and were unable to do without them, instead of, as now, literally wanting nothing, their social position would be a higher one, and far greater the gain which heir existence brought their country. A government gains in every way by the individual prosperity of its subjects. Enlightenment, civilization, and the refinements of social life, all hang together ; and no people were ever the worse for rising out of their barbarism; nor has any Government ever suffered by their doing so.

Civilization is strength. What would England's position be if the greater portion of her inhabitants were still e wild sandalled people like the Scots in Edward the 'hird's time, with no wants but what nature could supply? A vast number of Austria's subjects are still in this state. Whatever will tend to raise them out of it will add to the dignity of Austria's position. It will also add to her wealth and power; and that such change should take place is, I firmly believe, as much to our interest and the interest of Western Europe as her own.

It may seem chimera-like to picture to ourselves the advanced position Austria would hold with these subjects raised in the social scale, and busily exchanging the work of their industry for the productions of other lands. But though merely in fancy, and as a hope for the future, it is impossible not to dwell on such a change with satisfaction. In time, of course, it will ensue. However, the sooner it takes place the better; and wise and bold legislation may do much in furthering the progress towards so desireable an end.

NOTE.

I have already spoken of the large quantity of wine produced formerly in Transylvania. In the neighbourhood of Bistritz, the land devoted to the culture of the vine is now one-twentieth of what it used to be. Close to the excellent vineyards of Count Wolf Bethlen, near Bonyha, are also slopes where the vine once grew, but which long since have been covered with grass and bushes.

This was a natural consequence of the diminishing export trade. In the last century a very high duty was laid on the wines imported into North Germany, Gallicia, and the Bukovina. Before this, a large amount of Transylvanian wine was consumed there and in the kingdom of Poland.

Such change in commercial relations had an influence on the quality as well as quantity of wine produced. For when it had to travel so far, the vine-grower was obliged to rear grapes of the best sorts, in order that his wine, rich in alcohol, might bear transport without deterioration. But when the distant market was closed against him by prohibitive duties, the producer had to find another mart for them at home. Here, however, lighter sort was needed ; and not having to make a long journey it was un necessary that it should be so spirituous. The choice sorts of grape we therefore neglected, and inferior ones, yielding more, cultivated instead.

Here we again see how prohibition, in every way, even the least suspected tends to work harm. But we learn from these facts that Transylvanian win was prized abroad and fetched a good price ; an additional proof, were an needed, of its sterling excellence. What the country once produced it produce again; with all the additional advantages that greater care an knowledge can give.

When a system of railways unites Transylvania with North Germany an Poland, and England and Russia are brought nearer to this fertile province -when, too, by reciprocal concessions their inhabitants will be enabled t profit of its produce,-the wine-trade must flourish again ; and gladly will the inhabitants of Transylvania take in exchange the wares which our factories produce.




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