Yesterday evening as the rain lashed down as normal here in Galway our neighbours over in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop (a treasure trove that must be visited) dropped over a book that had come into their possession that they thought might be of interest to us, ‘The Penguin Book of Wines’ by Allan Sichel (2nd Ed. 1972). Now while I have not read the whole book I did notice some interesting points as I glanced through it that I have to share with you the wider world. The Entry on new Zealand is as follows: –
On the North Island there are about 2 square miles of vineyards, producing 850,000 gallons of wine – a yield per acre comparable with the Provencal area of France. All sorts of wines are made and drunk in the country, reinforced by imports amounting to another 130,000 gallons. Australian wine-growers are interesting themselves in New Zealand and it is possible that wine production may increase. (p.252)
That is a huge 66 Words, dedicated to what is now considered one of the world’s top producers of wine, Marlborough Sauvignon anyone?
The other humdinger in terms of entries was that of Algeria, now generally ranked down around 30th position in terms of bulk tonnage of grapes produced for wine production (incidentally that’s about 15 or so places lower than New Zealand) is given a page and a half which given the time and its colonial likes to France is probably to be expected but the line ‘ it is possible that they will one day compete with Portugal and Spain’ (p.245) for supplying good, sound wine is an interesting take.
Oh how the times Changed how both of these Countries entries would read today nearly half a century later. As I read through the book I will post what observations I find that are both humorous and interesting, it is truly great to be able to read the opinions of wine folk before I was even born!