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2 corrections, most recently by anonymous - Show corrections

X.—OUR VINEYARDS AND ORCHARDS. AULDANA, THE RESIDENCE OF MR. PATRICK AULD.

It is now we believe about eight months since the vineyard we are about to notice was first brought under the attention of the public by the promoters of the South Auldana Vine-

yard Association. We are not aware whether at the present moment the company has actually been formed, and our remarks must be con sidered as altogether unconnected with the designs of its promoters. The extent of the Auldana Vineyard, and the judicious system that has been pursued in its cultivation, fully entitle it to a prominent position in our series of articles upon the vineyards of the colony, inde pendently of all considerations respecting the enterprise of the company which now proposes to purchase and cultivate it. We should mention at the outset that the speculation submitted to the public by the pro moters of the company proposes to deal with only a portion of the vineyards originally planted and at present owned by Mr. Auld. This por tion of the estate is known as the South Auldana Vineyard, and comprises about 149 acres of vineyard land, of which 35 acres are planted with vines and 14 acres are already in full bearing. Mr. Auld recognising the importance of enabling the manager of an extensive vineyard to overlook always as far as possible the pro ceedings of his employes, has erected a sub stantial dwelling-house on the crest of an ad jacent hill which commands a view of the whole of the south vineyard. En passant we may mention that the prospect obtained from the situation of this residence is magnificent in the extreme. An uninterrupted bird's-eye view of the whole extent of the plains surrounding Adelaide and of the city itself, with the Gulf and its shipping in the background, is afforded to the spectator, and it would be difficult we imagine to discover a more enchanting or more varied scene even in lands of far greater pre tensions to scenic advantages than South Aus tralia. Entering the south vineyard on its northernmost side, the visitor finds himself at the foot of what is known as the Verdeilho Hill, the whole of which was planted in 1860 with vines of that sort. To the right of this hill are planted some Tokay, Muscat of Alexandria, and a few Gouais. This hill and those beyond it to the south are admirably situated for the growth of the vine, inasmuch as they form a perfect natural basin, and the slopes on which the vines are planted shelter each other from all winds, especially from the destructive wind which blows periodically from the south-west. An adjoining lull affords an additional protec tion to the vineyard from the ravages of the north winds. At the very bottom of this natural basin, and where the soil is of the richest and deepest, an orchard has been planted, com prising a well chosen selection of the most favorite varieties of fruits. The trees are re markably healthy and bearing well. Above the orchard, on the southernmost slopes of the vineyard, is a considerable extent of Grenache, Verdeilho, and Donzelinho planted in 1836. Parallel therewith is an acre of Carignans grafted with Carbonets for the pur pose of classification, and which grafts will be in bearing next year. Mr. Auld has been taught by experience the necessity of ascertaining by careful study and observation the particular kinds of grapes adapted to produce the best kinds of wine, and the exact proportion in which they must be respectively used for that purpose, and then of classifying his vineyard accordingly. Having acquired a knowledge of this nature upon which he is prepared to rely in the manu facture of his wines, Mr. Auld has for the last year or two devoted considerable attention to classification. To this end a portion of the vineyard has been devoted to the growth of particular sorts of vines in their required pro portions, while the yield of other vines has been reduced by grafting upon them the necessary sorts. Thus, for instance, Carbonets have been grafted upon Carignans, and Verdeilhos upon Muscats of Alexandria. The Grenaches on the southern side of the vineyard are very heavily hung with fruit, and although the vines of this and one or two other sorts are flourishing in great luxuriance, Mr. Auld has not thought it necessary either to trellis or stake them. Yet he entirely abjures the theory of thick planting, multiplied centres of vitality, and close pruning. His vines are all planted at ten feet by five, except the Verdeilho, which stand at seven feet by seven. The vineyard is now being weeded for the fourth time this season. The sow-thistle flourishes prolifically there, and as the soil is rich and has received so much moisture during the present year, addi tional labor has been required to check tho growth of this obnoxious plant. Mr. Auld prefers doing this work by hand labor to using the horse-hoe, which he regards as at the best a slovenly and incomplete process. Amongst the sorts planted in the south vineyard during the years 1857-'8-'9 and '60, are the Mataro, the Malbec, Black Portugal, and Shiraz. In the early part of 1860, Mr. Auld had an additional extent of 30 acres, equally as well situated and as well adapted for the growth of the vine as is the south vineyard, trenched and prepared for planting. He was, however, deterred from carrying out his intentions of planting the   ground by the high price of labor and the uncertainty whether he would be able to procure a sufficient number of labourers to cultivate it. Above the South Auldana Vineyard there are five acres planted with vines belonging to Mr. Auld, and to the eastward another five acres were planted in 1860 with Donzelinho, Ver deilho, Muscat of Alexandria, and the Shiraz. Besides ail these there is the Home Park Vine yard, in which ten acres have been planted with Donzelinho, Shiraz, and Verdeilho. The soil in which Mr. Auld has planted his vines is very rich, of unusual depth, and particularly well adapted for vine-growing, being throughout a good loam, intermixed with decomposed slate and lime-stone. Mr. Auld's cellarage is rather limited, but hitherto it has been his practice to store his wines on his premises in Adelaide. We presume, however, the company will have to erect a suitable wine-house and cellar on their portion of the estate. We should not omit to mention that Mr. Auld does not use a press in the manufacture of his wines, but relies solely upon a crushing mill and fermentation. In con clusion, we may very reasonably congratulate the new company upon the excellent choice they have made in the selection of a spot for the commencement of their operations. We may here devote a few sentences to some of the smaller vineysuds in the neighborhood of the. Auldana:— Stoney Fell.—Mr. Henry Clark's vineyard. A little more than a mile south of the Auldana vineyard, and on the same range of hills, is situate Mr. Henry Clark's vineyard, known as

Stoney Fell. Twenty-fire acres have been already planted with vines, but only 1½ acres put in in 1858, are yet in bearing. The prin cipal extent of the vineyard was planted in 1860, chiefly with black Portugals; but there are 2½ acres of Muscatels. The soil is a rich loam with a limestone and rotten slate subsoil. The surface soil is extremely porous, and is thereby enabled to absorb and retain the rain. The vines are planted on slopes overlooking the village of Beaumont. The grubs having been found very troublesome among the younger plants, Mr. Clark has tried as a remedy painting the stems of the vines with gas tar; but this has been found ineffectual for the purpose. Pre parations are already being made for the erec tion of a wine-house and the excavation of cellars for the manufacture and storage of wine on a scale proportionate to the extent of the vineyard. Hazlewood, the residence of Mr. F. Clark, is situated within the precincts of Beau mont on the banks of a creek which runs through the garden and vineyard. The vine yard comprises about three acres, and is chiefly planted with Muscatels. The oldest vines were planted in 1855 at four feet by four apart, and others were planted in 1858 at five feet by six. These vines have always yielded well, and they present at the present time a dense mass of foliage and are heavily hung with fruit. A few Tokays were planted in 1858, but these have not done so well. There are also a few plants of the Zante currant and some of the Cape sorts thriving remarkably well. In the lower part of the vineyard the vines appear absolutely to revel in luxuriance, and we have rarely seen more wood and foliage upon so small a space. Non-pruning   has not at all events detracted from the appear ance of these vines. At one place we noticed four vines trained together by means of a centre stake. The branches were so completely enter twined as to be self-supporting and to form a perfect arbour, from the interior of which the grapes .may be plucked with ease. Mr. Sidney Clark (who manages the vineyard, intends training other of the vines in the same way. There are a number of fruit trees, comprising, amongst the more ordinary kinds, oranges, lemons, and Bengal citrons growing luxuriantly on the borders of the creek. Closely adjacent to the house the singular spectacle is presented of a vine and an almond tree flourishing together in as close an embrace as that in which the ivy enfolds the elm. Each has attained a height of something like 20 feet, and both are bearing abundantly their respective fruits. In the wet season the whole of this orchard and vineyard is easily irrigated by means of races leading from the creek, from which there is a fall amply sufficient for the purpose. The soil is a good sandy loam. Mr. Clark will commence with the ensuing season the manufacture of pure Muscat wine. Dr. Wyatt has an excellent orchard and garden adjoining his residence on one of the hills above Beaumont. There is a large variety of fruit trees, and shrubs of a merely orna mental appearance adorn tbe pleasure-grounds. Twelve or thirteen years ago Dr. Wyatt im ported from Sydney a large assortment of vines for the purpose of ascertaining by practical experience what sorts were best adapted for the soil and climate of the hills in the immediate neighborhood of Adelaide, with the intention of subsequently planting a large vineyard in toe vicinity of his residence. The worthy doctor's time has been, however, so much occupied with other matters that the project has remained un realised, and many of the imported vines have been uprooted or otherwise destroyed. Dr. Wyatt has, however, derived from his expe rience the opinion that the Madeira variety might be very profitably cultivated in the colony, as he has fouud the vine thrive well audits fruit produce au excellent wine.

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