Online Encyclopedia

WINES OF

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 728 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WINES OF AUSTRIA-HUNGARY In point of quantity Austria-Hungary takes the fourth place among the wine-producing nations. The average production for the period 1901–1905 was 178 million gallons. Of this quantity Austria is responsible for roughly three-fifths and Hungary for the remaining two-fifths. The character of the Hungarian wine is, however, much higher than that of the Austrian growths. The quality of the bulk of the Austro-Hungarian wines has been improved of late years, principally owing to the endeavours of the respective governments to introduce scientific and modern methods among the wine-farmers. Since the recovery of the Hungarian vineyards from the phylloxera considerable efforts have been made to develop an export trade, but so far the wines of Hungary are not generally known in the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, Hungary produces at least one class of wine which may be considered of international importance, namely, the famous Tokay. This is produced in the mountainous Hegyalia region in a district which has the town of Tokay for its centre. The vine trom which Tokay is made is the Furmint. The finest varieties of Tokay are made entirely or mainly from Furmint grapes which have been allowed to become over-ripe in a manner somewhat similar to that obtaining in the Sauternes districts. In the case of Tokay, however, the transformation of the grape into what is practically a raisin is not brought about by the intervention of any particular micro-organism. The sun is sufficiently powerful to cause the evaporation of the water in the grape through the skin without any preliminary loosening of the latter by the action of the bolrytis cinerea or any other micro-organism. The most precious variety of Tokay is the so-called essence. This is produced by placing the finest grapes in casks and drawing off the juice which exudes naturally as a result of the weight of the material. The Tokay essence is, even after many years, still a partially fermented wine, rarely containing more than 7 % to 9% of alcohol. Indeed, it may be said that the main fermentation rarely, if ever, reaches a climax. Another variety of Tokay is the so-called szamorod. This is produced by pressing a mixture of dried grapes and fully ripe grapes and fermenting the must so obtained. It contains up to about 14% of alcohol and relatively little sugar. The most common kind of Tokay is the so-called Ausbruch wine. This is obtained by extracting dried grapes with the must of ordinary grapes. According to the amount of dried grapes (zibebs) employed, the wine is termed I to 5 " buttig." The A usbruch winea take from three to four years to ripen, and they may contain from 12 % to 15% of alcohol and a little or a fair quantity of sugar, these factors varying according to the vintage and the number of " butts " of zibebs employed. Another variety of Tokay is the so-called nz¢slds. The term is applied to different varieties of wines according to the district. but in the neighbourhood of Tokay it generally refers to wines obtained by treating szamorod or Ausbruch residues with dry wine. In the neighbourhood of Menes sweet red wines produced by the Ausbruch system are also termed mdslds. Hungary produces a variety of other wines both strong, such as those of central Hungary, and relatively light, such as those of Croatia and Transylvania. The wises produced at Carlowitz (on the Danube), some 40 M. north-west of Belgrade, are somewhat stronger. They have a flavour somewhat resembling port, but are coarser, and lack the fine bouquet of the latter. The other chief vine-growing countries of the empire are Dalmatia, Lower Austria and Styria. Some of the Dalmatian wines are of fair quality, and somewhat resemble Burgundy.
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