IX. Climate. Grape Cure.
The climate of the valley of the Lower Rhine is influenced by
the proximity of the North Sea, which renders the temperature
remarkably equable. To the same influence are due the mild
autumns enjoyed by the districts on the central Rhine, where the
mean temperature is 3-6° Fahr. higher than that of the correspond¬
ing portions of E. Germany. A tour in the Rhenish provinces is
therefore still enjoyable at a season when the Alps and the moun¬
tainous districts of Central Germany are beginning to feel the
frosts of the coming winter. This geniality of climate is also very
favourable to the ripening of the grapes; and hence it is that
the 'Grape Cure', a very popular continental institution, long
established in the Southern Tyrol and on the banks of the Lake
of Geneva, has been introduced into the Rhenish Provinces also.
Grapes when eaten in moderate quantity (1-2 lbs. daily) have
a soothing effect on the mucous membrane, and in conjunction
with a generous diet contribute materially to restore the strength
of convalescents. When eaten in greater quantities (3-8lbs. daily),
the vegetable acid and salts produce an effect similar to that of
mineral waters containing Glauber's or common salt. The grapes
of the Rhenish Palatinate ('Gutedel' or 'Junker', and 'Oester-
reicher' or 'Sylvaner') are large, thin-skinned, and well-flavoured,
and hence this district is the centre of the 'Cure'. Gleisweiler
(p. 266) is especially frequented on account of its favourable
situation and the proximity of the vineyards, in which visitors
may gather the grapes for themselves. The grapes of Diirkheim
(p. 262), Annweiler (p. 276), Edenkoben (p. 266), and Neustadt
(p. 264) are also in great request. Good desert - grapes may,
however, be procured almost everywhere on the Rhine, and the
grape-cure may be undergone at Honnef, the Laubbach, Boppard,
St. (joarshausen, Riidesheim, Wiesbaden, Badenweiler. and numer¬
ous other summer-resorts.
X. Wines of the Rhine and Moselle.
Wine is a subject to which those who visit the land of the grape
will naturally expect some allusion, and although it must necessa¬
rily be noticed but briefly in a work like the present, the following
remarks may prove acceptable.
No error has been more prevalent than that the Rhenish and
Moselle wines possess an injurious acidity. Liebig on the contrary
affirms, not only that the exquisite bouquet of the Rhine wines
is owing to the free acid which they contain, but that some of
their most salutary properties arise from the tartar present in them.
To this he attributes the immunity enjoyed by those who use
the German wines from the uric acid diathesis. Dr. Front, among