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2 corrections, most recently by CliveNash - Show corrections

TEE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN VINTAGE OF 1876.

[Coactodsd from S&tordav's Rtritter.\

The following are tha replies to our circulars received from 25 vignerona :— Messrs. W, Salter & Son, Angaaton, ?ay oidium is to be found in almost every vineyard in theij neighbourhood, but

except in some smalt properties the damage resulting haa been small. The vines most affected were Verdeilho and Muscatel. Few preventive measures were taken, but in one vineyard sulphuring was resorted to without much effect. The rain had done no serious injury. They usually make 15,000 i^oua of wine, but by buying tha grape3 from growers in the neighbourhood they this year made 18,000 gallons. The area they have under vines i3 40 acres, principally Sherry and Shiraz. The soil is Bandy, and the subsoil an earthy clay. The older vines jpe planted 8x8, and the young plantations 12 x 8. Mr. William Gilbert, Pewsey Vale, reports that the disease is prevalent in bis neighbourhood, and considerable injury had resulted. The grapes most subject were Verdeilho and Carbenet. No remedies were used. A hailstorm whilst the vines were in blossom did considerable damage. The quantity usually made by him is from 5,000 to 9,000 gallons, whilst this season only 1,000 gallons were produced. The area under vines is 18 acres, and the principal sorts cultivated are Yerdeilho, Reisling, Carbenet, and Shiraz. The land is sandy and undulating, and well exposed to the sun. The vines are planted 8x4. Mr. Johann Gramp, Barossa Range, states that early in the season the oidium was very virulent, but the damage sus tained at vintage time was not so serious as expected. The vines in which it was worst were Black Portugal, Verdeilho, and Pedro Ximenes. No remedies were used. The rain had spoilt some of the ripe fruit. The quantity ordinarily made by him was between 2,000 and 3,000 gallons, and this year 2,000 gallons were manufactured. Mr. Gramp has himself only six acres under vines, consisting of Madeira, Hermitage, and Pedro Ximenes. The soil is a strong, sandy variety, with red loam subsoiL The vines are planted 5 x 5, 6 x 6, and 3 x 15, which Mr. Gramp considers the most advantageous mode. We think, however, that Mr. Gramp plants too widely apart one way and not sufficiently wide the other to give the roots free spread. Mr. J. W. Richman, Watervale, ha3 seen no sign of the disease. The rain had with him done no mischief. The amount of wine ordinarily made was 15,000 gallons, and this year 18,000 gallons had been prepared. He has 75 acres of vines in bearing, consisting of Mataro, Red Spanish, Grenache, Shiraz, and Reisling. The situation of the vineyard is undula ting, and the soil loose loam with lime stone. The vines are planted 8x8.

Mr. B. Seppelt, Seppeltsfield, says oidium first made its appearance in April, after the grapes had matured, and the damage was therefore slight. (This, we fancy, must be an error. Probably it was not noticed before.) The vines most affected were Tokay and Reisling. Rain and rough weather during tlowering time injured the crop to some extent. Mr. Seppelt generally manufactures 30,000 gallons of wine. This .year he has made 40,000, mostly from purchased grapes. He has 43 acres under vines, princi pally Doradilla and Mataro, which bore this year for the first time. Hi3 ground has an easterly aspect, and the soil is sandy, with clay and limestone subsoiL Mr. G. P. Manning, Noarlunga, has heard of the disease in his neighbour hood, and believes his vineyard has had a touch of it The vines in which he noticed what he believed to be oidium were a patch of Verdeilhos. Ko remedies were used. Many gallons of wine were lost by the action of rain on the Grenache and Muscatels. The amount he usually makes is 5,000 gallons, whilst this year but 3,800 have been manufactured. Thirty acres are under cultivation, the vines being Shiraz, Malbec, Carbenet, Grenache, and Mataro. The soil is red, with a subsoil of red or yellow ochre. Sixteen acres are planted 9 x 5,' throe acres 8x5, and the remainder 6 x l-. Dr. A. Kelly. Tintara, Maclaren Yale, reports that the vines in that district are but slightly affected. Those in which oidium has been noticed are the Carbenet, Scynis, Mataro, and Doradilla. No remedies were applied, as the disease was not noticed early in the season. The rain had done considerable mischief during the flowering time, and the- principal de ficiency in the crop was, in his opinion, caused thereby. Dr. Kelly's average yearly manufacture is about 12,000. This season he has only made 6,000. He has GO acres of vines in bearing and 25 of young plants, tha principal sorts being Mataro. Carbenet, Seyrus, Doradilla, and Sauvigiion Blanco. The soil is ferruginous, the vineyard faces S.E. and N.W.,and the vines are planted 9x4.

Mr. E. J. Hector, Slontura, Langhome s Creek, says oidiuui !i:is appeared in three viiaysrds in his neighbourhood, and ho3 totally destroyed the crop of 50 acres, and reduced the yield considerably on 18 acres mere. The sorts of vines affected were :.t first Yerdeilho, Tokay, Palaniino, and Gouais: latterly the red grape3 wore similarly diseased. Ku remedies were applied, and on tins subject Mr. Hector adds : — ' On referring to my notes taken in France and Spain in 1859 I find that the French assert that the practice of sulphuring has succeeded ir reducing the oidium, but the Spaniards say that they have repeatedly tried it in the Barbania (the best sherry district) and failed, and that the disease disappears of Itself in time. The sulphur cure is too expensive where the soil is rich and the plant vigorous. Time and thinning the plants seem to me the only way to effect a cure, and the more the vine is allowed to run to a state of nature unpruned and uncared for the sooner it will recover it3 health, because the leaves will be better exposed to the wind and sun than when it is pruned, so as to form dense shady foliage near to the stem and branches. ' The rain probably assisted in spreading the com plaint, but did no other perceptible damage. Hitherto from 10,000 to 14,000 gallons have been made on his property, hv£ iin3Jeaz he haa not made a sin4e gallon. Thirty-six acres are under vines mostly Yerdeilho and Sbiraz. The situa tion is flat, and the soil red sand with red clay subsoiL The vines are planted 6x4. The Hon. J. Crozier, Oaklands, says the disease has been prevalent amongst

his Yerdeilhos and Black Hambargs, and a large black grape, 'The Yineyard King.' Other vines growing amongst those affected were quite free. Much injury had been done, and tho backward season and rains had affected other sorta. No remedies were used. He made 2,800 gallons this year, but does not mention his average yield. He has 14 acres under vines — Pedro Ximenes, Pala mino Blanco, Sweetwater, Verdeilho, Tinta, Grenache, Mataro, Carignan, and Black Hamburgs. The greater part of the ground faces the north-east. Four acre3 are deep alluvial, the remainder sandy loam with gravel subsoiL The vines are planted 5x5and5x8. Mr. Crozier adds : — ''South Australia from its soil and climate, so far as I can judge, is mo3t suitable for the vine and producing wine of a good quality. No doubt up to the present with many who have planted vineyards and tried to make wine it has been a failure, and from wine in a young, raw, unmatured condition having been sold through the medium of wineshops, and the makers themselves, much odium has obtained against colonial wine; but in time all tliis will pass away, and in the future, perhaps not far distant, this pro vince may become as famous for its wines as it now is for excellent wheat. But if the farmer had to make his wheat into flour perhaps it would only be an inferior article; so with much of the wine made.' Mr. Thomas Hardy, Bankside, says oidium is to be found more or less in every vineyard, but in his neighbourhood little damage has been done, as the disease did not make much progress until the grapes were colouring. The vines most affected were the Yerdeilho ; Zante currant, which was worst of all ; Muscat ; Shiraz, slightly; and Pedro, badly where closely planted. No remedies were em ployed, and it was a question with him whether to use sulphur as a preventive next season or wait until the disease appears before attacking it. The rain did no damage. He usually makes from 40,000 to 50,000 galls, of wine, and has manufactured this season 35,000 galls, of good wineand 6,000 or 7,000 inferior for distillation. He has 50 acres of vin.es, and has purchased the produce of 39 small growers. The principal sorts of grapes used by him are Shiraz for wine, and Muscat, Zante currant, and Sultana for drying. His vineyard is nearly level, and the soil allu vium, with a subsoil of red clay, having veins of decomposed limestone running through it The vines are planted from 5 x 5 to 10 x 7£. Mr. Hardy continues: — ' In some portions of my own and other people's vineyards in this neighbourhood the vines dropped their leaves at the beginning of April, before the grapes were fully ripe. This was noticed to happen after some very cold weather which fol lowed great heat in March. After the leaves fell there was a second growth of foliage at the end of the shoots. 1 found the must of the irrapes from these

vines, wnicn 1 kept separate, to stauu at 111 sp. gr., whilst the same kind from vines not defoliated stood at 113. Several vineyards on the South-road from which I have had the grapes have been affected in the same way. In this neighbourhood vrn ' noticed that some spots which were affected in this way in previous years have recovered, and have this year held their leaves, but have not given much fruit. The density of the must this year has not gone near so high as in some seasons, owing doubtless to the very cool summer. Shiraz with me did not go above 113 even as late as May 9. Last year it reached 115, in 1874 116, in 1873 118, in 1872 115, and 1871 115, consequently I have not been able to make as much sweet wine as usual. The wines, however, fer mented well, and the red wine3 have an unusual amount of colour. With the exception of a few days in tho beginning of April the weather has been very favourable for the vintage operations. The expectations of some that the plains vineyards would be worse affected with the oidium than those in the hills is now seen to be fallacious. As far as I have observed the hill vineyards, from the greater humidity of the climate, are much more seriously diseased.' Mr. J. D. Holbrook, Underlale, answers that he has no oidium in his vineyard, and does not think it lias done much mischief in the neighbourhood. The vines on which it has been seen are the Zante currant and the Yerdeilho. The rain has caused no injury. La3t vintage he made 12,500 gallons of wine, but some of that was from purchased fruit. This season he has produced 83500 from his own grape3 alone. He has 23 acre3 under vines, two acres of which are only coming into bearing. The descriptions principally cultivated by him are Shiraz for red wine, Doradilla and Yerdeilho for white, and several acres of Muscatels for either drying or wine. The situation of the vineyard is upon an open and nearly level plain near the Torrens. The soil is alluvial with a limestone sub soil. All the vines are planted in rows running north and south, with spaces between nine feet wide, and the plants are each six feet apart. Mr. Hol brook then goes on to offer some perti nent remarks on viniculture. He says: — ' The oidium is found to attack the vines worst in low sheltered situations, but I think the great fault is in too close and badly-judged planting. I am, and always have been, a strong advocate for giving plenty of room for plants and trees to grow and breathe in. If a family be crowded in close ill-ventilated apartments, you see the result in their squalid appear ance, and the same applies to plants. Yines too closely planted are more sus ceptible and less able to withstand an epidemic. I have planted all my vines 9 feet by 6 feet 'apart, the rows running north and SQuth, arid after more than 20 years' experience I am satisfied that this is a good plan, and one which conduces to healthy plants and well-grown fruit. Again, at vintage time, when every day is of vast importance in a large vineyard, a cart can be taken between the rows and the grapes emptied into casks as cut, thus saving the time and labour of carrying them out to the ends of the rows. The same advantage is afforded when clearing off the primings and sup plying the manure which vines require, and room is also given to work the plough and scarifier without injury to the plants. Then as to the yield, I am quite sure close planting will be disappointing both in quality and quantity, no matter upon what soil it is tried. I may state that during the vintage of 1875 I had four acres of Shiraz 15 year3 old that

yielded 1,000 gallons per acre. The most when pressed stood at 11-26 specific gravity, and is now a full-bodied, sound, dry wine. Thia crop did not at all weaken the vines, and this year (1876) the same plants yielded 800 gallon* per acre of a specific gravity of 1110. The wine u already bright, of good colour, and pro mises to make the class of wine which a Frenchman would select for a summer beverage, and Buch as your correspondent, Mr. Hardy, wishes the doctors to recom mend as tending to convert us into a tem perate, sober people.' Mr. B. Herschel Babbage says that the oidium is not very prevalent with him. The ravages of the disease were confined almost exclusively to the Verdeilho3. As it was only noticed a few months before vintage no remedies were used. The rain had done little or no damage to his crop. From 3,000 to 6,000 gallons is his average make of wine, and this season he has manufactured 4,000 gallons. He has 25 acres planted with Temperano, Dora dilla, Pedro Ximenes, &c, for white wines; and Frontignac, Shiraz, Mataro, Carignan, Grenache, and Malbec for red. The vineyard faces south, and consists of a reddish, top soil, with stiff red clay and limestone beneath. The vines are planted four feet apart in rows running north and south, each row having a space between of eight feet. Mr. Babbage continues : — 'My vintage began March 28, ended April 26. I was very late in making the wine, and the must was very high. For instance — Specific gravity — Verdeilho, must, 117 '3— the highest I have heard of in the colony; Frontignac, 116 0; Grenache, Mataro, Malbec, mixed, 115 '2; Shiraz, 112-5; Mataro, 111*5. I made a quarter-cask by itself of Yerdeilho attacked by oidium and blighted, fer menting the juice only. It has not as yet any taste of mustiness from the oidium. There is a very slight taste of salt from the blighted grapes.' Mrs. Lorimer, Goodwood, says the damage done by oidium in her vineyard has been very slight, the grapes most injured being Frontignac and Sweetwater. No remedies were employed- The late rains had done little or no damage, but stormy weather when the vines were in flower had materially decreased the yield. The quantity usually produced by her is 5,000 gallons, but this year only 1,200 gallons had been made. Twenty acres are under vines, principally Shiraz and Madeira. The vineyard faces both east and west; the soil on the east being rich loam with clay beneath, and -on the west sand and gravel. The vines are planted six feet apart. Messrs. J. Holmes & Son, Brookside and North Kensington, report that all their vines are perfectly free from the pe3t, but that the vineyards of some of their neighbours are suffering, princi pally amongst the Yerdeilhos. The rain, had done no mischief. The usual quan

tity oi wine manuiaciureu Dy uiem is 20,000 gallons, and that wa3 about the amount made this year. They have 40 acres planted with Mataro, Grenache, Shiraz, and Verdeilho. Their vineyard is nearly level, but with a slight westerly decline. The top soil is sandy or clayey, with chocolate and gravelly subsoil. The vines stand eight feet apart, and Messrs. Holmes add that they consider it a mis take to plant any closer. Mr. J. Gillard, Norwood, states that his vines are slightly affected with oidium, but no great amount of injury has so far resulted therefrom. The plants most subject are the Yerdeilho and Frontignac. Early in the season he sulphured his vine yard with good effect. No perceptible injury had resulted from rain. He gene rally makes from 10,000 to 12,000 gallons, but this year had produced 13,000. He cultivates seven acres of vines, principally Mataro, Frontignac, and Shiraz, but buys large quantities of grapes in addi tion. His vineyard is nearly level, with a slight south-westerly slope. The soil is a moderately rich loam, with lime stone beneath. The vines are planted four feet apart. Mr. Gillard further says: — ' I have bought between 60 and 70 tons of grapes this season, and have made a splendid sample of wine, it being very rich and full-bodied.' Mr. W. Clark, Norwood, states that oidium is found in his vineyard, but it has not done a very great amount of injury this season. No remedies were used. The rain had not caused any loss that he is aware of. He has made about his usual quantity of wine — 6,000 gallons. He has 12 acres under vines— Black Por tugal, Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro, Ver deilho, and Frontignac— which are planted six feet apart. The Hon. R. D. Ross, Highercombe, says that the disease i3 prevalent in his neighbourhood, and that considerable injury has resulted. The vines most affected were Yerdeilho, Stein, and several black varieties. For the most part no remedies had been resorted to. Much loss had also been occasioned by the rains when the vines were in blossom, to which cause Mr. Ross greatly attributes the failure of the crop. His usual manufacture of wine is from 5,000 to 8,000 gallons, but this season only 600 gallons had been made. He has 42 acres under vines, principally Reisling, Yerdeilho, Madeira, Shiraz, Carbenet, and Malbec. The vine yard has an eastern and south-easterly aspect, with a gentle slope, tho soil being black loam interspersed with ironstone or red loam, limestone and iron subsoil. The older vine3 were planted very closely; but are now being thinned out. The new portions are planted G x 0. The Hon. Thomas Elder, Glen Osmond, writes that the oidium is not prevalent, but yet has shown itself in his vineyard; the damage, therefore, is very slight. The vines affected were the Yerdeilho3 only. No remedies were used, as the apparent cause of the disease wa3 too much moisture. The rain had done no percep tible mischief. He usually produces about 4,000 gallons from his own grapes. This year he has made 6,000, but does not mention whether any fruit was purchased. Sixteen acres are under vines but two are not yet in bearing. The principal descriptions are Madeira, Shiraz, Pedro Ximene3, and Doradilla. The vineyard faces the north-west. The soil is alluvium, decomposed slate and lime stone, with slate rock beneath. The vines are planted five and six feet apart. Mr. Elder adds : — 'During the Ia3t 12 months I have blended a number of my be3t wines, the effect of which is not yet ascertained, but M. Bourbaud, who conducted the opera tion, seems confident of its success, and

maintains that the quality of the wine will be improved by this process. He considers some of the produce already quite fit for shipment, and is of opinion it will command ready Bale if sent to the English market. I have now upwards of 20,000 gallons stored in my cellars at Glen Osmond.' Mr. E. W. Wright, Magill, states that he has no sign of the disease in his vine yard, but the rain had done some mis chief. He usually makes 10,000 gallons of wine, but this season had made but 8,000 gallons. He has 40 acres planted ^exclusively with Muscatels. The vine yard is at the foot of the hills, and has a westerly aspect. The soil is a ferruginous gravel partly overlying a decomposed limestone, with a strong red clay beneath; other parts are a strong red clay without any of the limestone or gravel. The vines are planted 8 x 8 in one vineyard, and 7 x 5 in the other. Mr. Wright adds: — 'I find the vines thrive so much better where the spaces are largest that I intend to remove every third row of those that are planted 7 x 5, so as to make two rows 5 feet apart and the next two 10 feet. I am sure the result will be beneficial in every way. I planted these vineyards for raisin- making ; but found so much at tention necessary, owing to the constant scuds of light rain during the drying season, that in the state of our labour market it did not pay. I find the wine from these grapes commands a good market ; and though with plenty of manageable labour raisins would pay very well, I cannot expect to resume the original intention of the vineyard for many years, if indeed it would ever pay now to resume it.' Mr. Patrick Auld, Auldana, says that he has no oidium amongst his vines, but as it is so prevalent he intends takirtg the precaution to sulphur at the proper season. The rain had done no damage whatever. He has 104 acres under vines, from which the average yield is 200 gallons per acre, or 20,800 gallons.' About the usual quantity has been made this year. The. grapes principally grown are Shiraz, Eapanoir, Malbec, and Carbenet for red wines, and Verdeilho, Tokay, and Pedro Ximenes for white sorts. Eighty two acres of the vineyard have a northerly aspect, and 22 face the west The soil is calcareous, containing quartz, iron, and decomposed slate.1 The vines are planted 8x4 apart. Mr. G. F. Cleland, writing for Mr. S. Davenport, Beaumont, says they have no oidium as far as he - knows in the immediate neighbourhood. The rain had done some damage, and would somewhat diminish the strength of the wine. They usually manufacture 5,000 gallons, but this season had made 6,000. Fourteen acres of vines are in full bearing, and 12 not yet come on. The grapes grown are Shiraz, Mataro, Malbec, Carignan, Gouais, Verdeillio, and Grenache. The vineyard

iaces wesc, ana tnesoii is a gnoa lignt loam, with limestone beneath. The vines are planted six feet apart. Mr. T. Evans, for Me33rs. Clark and Cronipton, Stonyfel, states that oidium has shown- itself in their vineyard, but the general crop has not been injured. The Carignan was most affected, and was almost destroyed ; no remedies have been used. The rain had not done perceptible injury. Their usual quantity of wine is 10,000 gallons, but this season only 4,000 had been produced. The vineyard, which consists of 35 acres, is planted with Black Portugal, Muscat, Mataro, and Doradilla. The aspect is northerly and westerly, and the soil a chocolate alluvium, with decomposed slate and lime subsoiL The vines are planted six feet apart. Mr. G. F. lad, Paradise, reports that the oidium is very troublesome in hh vineyard, affecting nearly all sorts of vines, but particularly Verdeilho, Tokay, and Gouais. He has used no remedies so far, but intends this season to graft the more susceptible vines with hardier varieties. The rain had done no mischiaf . About 4,000 gallons is the usual product of his vineyard, but this year only 2,500 gallons were made. He has 20 acres under vines, principally Shiraz, Mataro, Doradilla, and Frontignac. The vine yard is situated on an alluvial flat, close to the Torrens, and the vines are planted seven feet apart. Messrs. Ind & Beasley, Balmoral, near Paradise, say that their vines are affected to a very great extent, about four acres having been totally destroyed. The disease showed itself worse in the flat amongst the Black Hamburg3 and Sweet waters. No remedies were attempted, and the rain has done no mischief. Messrs. Ind & Beasley are large exporters of fruit, and in addition make usually about 1,000 gallons of wine, but this season have made only 600 gallons. They have ten acres planted with Chasselas, Muscat, and Grand Turk The aspect of the vineyard is south-westerly; and the soil a deep sandy loam. The vines are planted seven feet apart, but the proprietors con sider this too close, and that 10 x 10 is a proper distance. Mr. G. H. Harris, Marden, says that a great amount of damage has been done to his crop this year by oidium. The vines most affected were Black Hamburg, Muscat, Red Prince, Yerdeilho, 'Wortley Hall, and Santa Paulo. Sulphuring, but not to any great extent, was tried with partial success. The late rains had done some damage. Mr. Harris 13 also a fruit exporter, and makes generally about 2,000 gallons of wine, but this season he has only casked 1,000 gallons. His vineyard is situated on the Torrens flats at Marden, and the soil consists of a rich sandy loam. The vines are planted five feet apart. Mr. H. C. Quick, Marden, states that he has sustained considerable loss from the ravages of oidium, which has taken an average of three-fourths of his whole crop. The vines most seriously affected were Yerdeilho, Black Hamburg, Frontignac, Sweetwater, and Madeira. No remedial measures were adopted, as the di3ease progressed sc rapidly that it was thought uselesstotrytouombatit. Instead of making 8,000 to 10,000 gallons as usual, this year only 2,500 gallons were made. Eight acres are under vines, comprising Verdeilho, Shiraz, Grenache, Morillion, Sweetwater, Muscat, and some others. The vineyard lies low, on an alluvial flat, with a slight westerly inclination. The soil is a richgbrown loam, with red clay subsoil, in some parts mixed with iron stone and lime. The vine3 are planted five, six, and seven feet apart. Mr. Quick adds that his wine is superior this season to any formerly made by him, which circumstance he attributes to the

fact that it haa been manipulated by M. Bourbaud. Messrs. L. Smith & Sons, Angaston, say the oidium has appeared in many vineyards in their neighbourhood, and some gmall vineyards have suffered severely. In their own vineyards Black Hamburgs were the plants affected; but as the disease was only noticed late no remedies were used. The late rain had done mischief by rotting some grapes and retarding the ripening of others, causing the wine to be thin. Messrs. Smith usually make 20,000 gallons. This year they made 20,600. They have 58 acres of vines, 38 acres oi which are in full bearing. Shiraz, Muscats, and other sorta are cultivated. The soil is a red clay, with limestone subsoil and a sandy ,oam, with clay and gravel beneath. The vines are planted 8 x 8- & x 10, 6 x 12, and 6 x 15.

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