The operation of racking, consequently, is one of great importance, as it requires to be repeated from time to time. A copious deposit of lees generally takes place after the first racking, and a second one should speedily follow. During the first year young wines are often racked off as many as three times, but with the older wines once a year, at the beginning of spring, may be sufficient. But it is precisely in matters of this kind that judgment and experience are so much needed.
Now, it has been pointed out over and over again that it is solely by a correct treatment of Australian wines in the cellar that we can hope to attain to excellence; in fact, the whole secret lies in this direction. And it is very much to be regretted, therefore, that cellar management and wine treatment have not yet been conceded their proper position, that of being the principal factors in the success of Australian wine. Amongst others, this very truth was pointed out by Mr. Pownall, to whom I have previously referred. In giving evidence before the Vegetable Products Commission of Victoria in August 1889, he observed:—“In some of the cellars I have been horrified with the amount of wine which I should describe as ‘perished’ and as ‘perishing.’ It is astounding, I can hardly express the quantity. And very often the vine-grower is so ignorant of his business that he shows one wine which is ‘tart’ and ‘sour,’ and even praises it. I find those wines are generally exceeding three years old, and I attribute it to the lack of cellar knowledge and treatment, because in the same cellar where I find large quantities of bad wine I find this year’s and last year’s wine good, and promising well; but if longer kept, and so treated, after a few years it will be utterly useless.”
It will only be by paying attention to all the details connected with the cellarage of Australian wines that the victory will be ours. I have said so before, and now say it again, that our Australian must is quite equal to, if not superior to, any in the world. But it is from that very time that the critical stage in the making of our wines begins. It behoves our vignerons, therefore, to concentrate their energies mainly upon that vastly important period which follows onwards from the very beginning of vinification.
THE TASTING AND JUDGING OF WINES.
Of the five senses, namely, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, the last is by no means the least important. It is a wise provision, this sense of taste, in that it enables us to relish our food, and also to select that which is suitable at the same time. If we took no pleasure in eating we should probably cease to eat at all, and die of starvation. And if we had no taste we might eat that which was unsuitable. In illness, almost the first things that the sufferer will complain about are that he has lost all desire for his food, and that