Thursday, March 31, 2016

All About the Wine - 1743 Benjamin Franklin on making American wine from local grapes




Poor Richard, 1743. An Almanack For the Year of Christ 1743,... By Richard Saunders, Philom. Philadelphia: Printed and sold by B. Franklin, at the New Printing-Office near the Market. (Yale University Library)

Friendly Reader,

Because I would have every Man make Advantage of the Blessings of Providence, and few are acquainted with the Method of making Wine of the Grapes which grow wild in our Woods, I do here present them with a few easy Directions, drawn from some Years Experience, which, if they will follow, they may furnish themselves with a wholesome sprightly Claret, which will keep for several Years, and is not inferior to that which passeth for French Claret.



British gentlemen drinking and smoking pipes round a table in an interior, a servant bearing a bowl of punch by an unknown artist

Begin to gather Grapes from the 10th of September (the ripest first) to the last of October, and having clear’d them of Spider webs, and dead Leaves, put them into a large Molosses- or Rum-Hogshead; after having washed it well, and knock’d one Head out, fix it upon the other Head, on a Stand, or Blocks in the Cellar, if you have any, if not, in the warmest Part of the House, about 2 Feet from the Ground; as the Grapes sink, put up more, for 3 or 4 Days; after which, get into the Hogshead bare-leg’d, and tread them down until the Juice works up about your Legs, which will be in less than half an Hour; then get out, and turn the Bottom ones up, and tread them again, a Quarter of an Hour; this will be sufficient to get out the good Juice; more pressing wou’d burst the unripe Fruit, and give it an ill Taste: This done, cover the Hogshead close with a thick Blanket, and if you have no Cellar, and the Weather proves Cold, with two.


1730 Gentleman with a Glass of Wine by an unknown British artist

In this Manner you must let it take its first Ferment, for 4 or 5 Days it will work furiously; when the Ferment abates, which you will know by its making less Noise, make a Spile-hole within six inches of the Bottom, and twice a Day draw some in a Glass. When it looks as clear as Rock-water, draw it off into a clean, rather than new Cask, proportioning it to the Contents of the Hogshead or Wine Vat; that is, if the Hogshead holds twenty Bushels of Grapes, Stems and all, the Cask must at least, hold 20 Gallons, for they will yield a Gallon per Bushel. Your Juice or Must† thus drawn from the Vat, proceed to the second Ferment.


William Redmore Bigg (British artist, 1755–1828) A Bottle of Wine

You must reserve in Jugs or Bottles, 1 Gallon or 5 Quarts of the Must to every 20 Gallons you have to work; which you will use according to the following Directions.  Place your Cask, which must be chock full, with the Bung up, and open twice every Day, Morning and Night; feed your Cask with the reserved Must; two Spoonfuls at a time will suffice, clearing the Bung after you feed it, with your Finger or a Spoon, of the Grape-Stones and other Filth which the Ferment will throw up; you must continue feeding it thus until Christmas, when you may bung it up, and it will be fit for Use or to be rack’d into clean Casks or Bottles, by February.


A Wine Drinker by an unknown British artist

n.b. Gather the Grapes after the Dew is off, and in all dry Seasons. Let not the Children come at the Must, it will scour them severely. If you make Wine for Sale, or to go beyond Sea, one quarter Part must be distill’d, and the Brandy put into the three Quarters remaining. One Bushel of Grapes, heap Measure, as you gather them from the Vine, will make at least a Gallon of Wine, if good, five Quarts.


All about the Wine & Spirits - 1600s



 1600s David Teniers the Younger (Flemish artist, 1610–1690) Vintner



 1690 Studio of David Teniers the Younger (Flemish artist, 1610–1690)  Autumn



 David Teniers II (Flemish, 1610 - 1690) & workshop, Allegory of Autumn 1644



 David Teniers III (1638-1685), and workshop, Allegory of Autumn



The Toper, but may be intended as a personification of Autumn, copy of Teniers's Autumn of about 1644.



Paar dat wijn drinkt, Anonymous, Crispijn van de Passe (I), Maerten de Vos, 1574 - 1687



Liquor seller by David Teniers II (Flemish, 1610 - 1690) ca. 1640



Liquor seller by David Teniers (II), ca. 1640


All about the Wine - 1670 Dutch Garden


Het inleggen der Wyngaerden (Establishment of vineyards) From Jan van der Groen - Den Nederlandtsen Hovenier (1670)


All about the Wine - Farmers Working - Illuminated Manuscripts



AUTOMNE, Treading the grapes in the wine press from The Tacuinum Sanitas of Vienna, 1390



Book of Hours, France, Loire, ca. 1475, MS G.1 I fol. 9r Treading grapes into wine



Book of Hours, France, Rouen or Orléans, last quarter of 15th century MS G.4 fol. 10r Treading grapes into wine



Calendar, MS M.511 fol. 5v Calendar, Italy, Bologna, 1324-1328 Pouring wine into press



 Heures de Marguerite d'Orléans,1430 Treading grapes into wine



FILIPPO CALANDRI, Trattato di aritmetica Sec. XV,  Firenze; bottega di Boccardino il vecchio. Raccolta del vino da un tino pieno d’uva pigiata, c. 94v



Livre d Heures Jean Marion, 1500 Treading grapes into wine



Weinbau psalter 1180 Bringing harvested grapes to be treaded & pressed



Grapes of the Promised Land. 1400s Bringing harvested grapes to be treaded & pressed



Martyrologe de St-Germain-des-Prés, 1270 Picking & Treading grapes



SARMENTS ACCROCHES A UNE PERGOLA, Picking & Treading grapes 1385



 September. Pressing grapes. detail Flemish c. 1440.



September. Treading grapes. British Library. Yates Thompson 3 Book of Hours, Use of Rome ('The Dunois Hours') France, Central (Paris); c. 1440 - c. 1450



SEPTEMBRE, Psautier, Septembre, ca. 1250 Harvested grapes to be treaded & pressed



The Labors of the Months, Treading Grapes,  September from the Hours of Henry VIII.



Psautier de la reine Marie, c 1310 Bringing harvested grapes to be treaded & pressed



Psautier de la reine Marie, ca. 1310 Treading grapes, the month of September in the Canterbury Calendar, c. 1280



Psautier de la reine Marie, ca. 1310 Vendanges à la main Grandes heures de Rohan, Anjou, vers 1430 Harvesting grapes & treading grapes for wine



 Psautier de la reine Marie, ca. 1310 VENDANGE vendange miracles notre dame. Harvesting grapes



Psautier de la reine Marie, ca. 1310 VENDANGE weinbau psalter 1180 Month of September Harvesting grapes



Psautier de la reine Marie, ca. 1310 VENDANGES, FOULAGE ET OUILLAGE. Grandes Heures de Rohan, Octobre, 1430-1435 Bringing harvested grapes to be treaded & pressed



Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis,1385 Cooper making wine barrels



 October with a miniature of wine-making, from the Golf Book (Book of Hours, Use of Rome), workshop of Simon Bening (1483-1561)  Netherlands (Bruges), c. 1540, Additional MS 24098, f. 27v



Pierre de Crescens Illustration of growing & manufacturing grapes for wine



Justinien, Digestum vetus, Bologne, ca. 1345 Marketing the wine



Heures à l'usage de Cluny, ca. 1500 Collecting grapes to be pressed into wine


All about the Wine - Farmers Working - Illuminated Manuscripts - 1100s



Fécamp Psalter c. 1180 Manuscript (76 F 13) Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague



Fécamp Psalter c. 1180 Manuscript (76 F 13) Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague



Fécamp Psalter c. 1180 Manuscript (76 F 13) Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague



Fécamp Psalter c. 1180 Manuscript (76 F 13) Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague


All about the Wine - Farmers Working - Illuminated Manuscripts - 1100s


1180s Labours of the Months, September, Psalter, France, Central, Latin, British Library, Harley 2895

Most iconography of months evolved from Medieval & early Renaissance art depicting in 12 scenes the rural activities that commonly took place in the months of the year. These early illustrations are important to the development of landscape painting.

A typical simple scheme might include:
January - Feasting
February - Sitting by a fire
March - Pruning trees, or digging
April - Planting, enjoying the country or picking flowers
May - Hawking, courtly love
June - Hay harvest
July - Wheat harvest
August - Wheat threshing
September - Grape harvest
October - Ploughing or sowing
November - Gathering acorns for pigs
December - Killing pigs, baking

But there were many variations, especially in major wine-growing areas, where more wine related scenes were included. Illustrations from further south, such as Italian cycles, often advance the agricultural scenes a month earlier than ones from the more northern Low countries or England.