Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/214

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189
OF THE VINE.

very good on these soils, whilst in Auvergne they are execrable.

The variety of grape used in making wine has also great influence upon its quality; thus some varieties that yield good wine in a cold country might yield indifferent wine in a warmer country; and vice versâ; also some varieties thrive best in one kind of soil, and some in another. In a new country like Australia, it will only be from actual experience, that we can eventually acquire a knowledge of the varieties of wines best suited to its climate and soils, for yielding the best possible wines that can be produced in that colony.

The oldest vines have always been considered in France to yield the best wine; and in some of the best vineyards, at Vongeot near Dijon, Migraine near Auxerre, and Epemay, the vines are at least five hundred years old. It is this consideration that has induced the system of cultivating the vine, generally adopted throughout the provinces of Burgundy and Champagne, which consists in never uprooting the old vines, but in drawing them down to the ground, and covering them with earth every few years. In Italy, also, some of the vines are three hundred years old, but in the south- western part of France, in which I resided some time, I have heard, that the vines are in general replanted about once every forty years. With regard to the distance vines should be planted from each other, no determinate rule can be assigned, for in France not only different