The Wine Crop in France.
The wine crop of 1879 was about twenty-five million hectolitres, or thirty million hectolitres below the average of the last ten years. The annual consumption in France is from forty to forty-five million hectolitres. Everybody expected a rise in the pfice of wine, and some conscientious dealers laid in a stock from abroad. The rise in price, however, never came, and the market remained well supplied. The reason was that the natural deficit was compensated for by artificial means. Wine was manufactured out of dry grapes. All. the raisins to.be found in the Eastern ports were bought up, and wine manufactories sprang up all over the country. Around Paris alone there are seven steam power wine manufactories. The cost of a cask of raisin wine is about fifty francs, and it was sold at one hundred francs, thus giving a profit of a hundred per centum. But the competition has now become such that the price of raisins his risen from twelve francs to seventy-five francs the one hundred kilogrammes. The consequence is that rasins have been abandoned, and wine is now manufactured out of glucose, a sugary matter obtained from the potatoe, out of the residues of molasses, out of rotten apples, dried prunes, dates, figs, arid all kuids of refuse fruit, and even out of beet root. r '"hese abominable liquids are colored artificially, and coupes more or less with Spanish wine or white wine. The adulteration and manufacture of wine has attained such vast proportions that the principal dealers, who had taken measures to supply the market royally with harvest wine from foreign countries, have taken steps to put a stop to the gigantic fraud. The imposture has reached such a pitch that not one-third of the wine drunk at Paris is real grape wine.
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