1911 Beverages de luxe



Wine Expert of the Royal Department of Agriculture of Italy



The grapevine bas flourished in Italy from the reniotest antiquity, the naine of Oenotria tellus, or land of wine, given to it by ancient poets, attesting the pre-eminence already attained by the peninsula in this line of production from the earliest times. Nowhere else, perhaps, has the product of the grape played snch an important part in national life as in ancient Kome and Greece ; in art as in literature, in religion as in politics. No other country, perhaps, as Italy, owing to its orograph- ical configuration and the notable différences in climate and soil of its varions sections, shows such a varied production of wines, from the light wines of the North to the gênerons vint- ages of the South. The gamut of equality is probably un- paralleled. There are wines which seem to reflect the character of the races by whom they are produced. For example: The Barolo of Piedmont possesses those robust and austère qualities which mark the Piedmontese people who make it ; the Chianti is gentle, graceful and vivacious, like the Tuscan people; the Lachrima Christi is warm and ardent, as Neapolitans are; the Marsala, strong and generous, as the inhabitants of Sicily. A comprehensive review of even the principal types of wine produced in Italy cannot adequately be contained within the limits of a brief article. But, making virtue of necessity, and starting from the North of the Peninsula, we find, first, Pied- mont, a hilly province, in climate and soil well adapted to wine growing. Table wines form the largest and most important part of its production, of which the finest brands are the Gatti- nara, Ghemme, Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Grigno- lino, and Freisa. Ail thèse are dry wines, which possess a good bouquet and tonic qualities. "Barolo," says Professer Mosso, "is a beverage which pro- duces physiological effects even before you take it." Its color is garnet, its bouquet ethereal, its flavor full, lasting and aro- matic. Although it matures in five or six years, some prefer it ten years old. It is generally served in a basket, like Burgundy, to show its âge and préserve its crust. After "having washed our lips with this illustrious wine,"

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