The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































 -  - Martini observes that the grapes in Shan-si were very abundant and
the best in China. The Chinese used them - Page 50
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- Martini Observes That The Grapes In Shan-Si Were Very Abundant And The Best In China.

The Chinese used them only as raisins, but wine was made there for the use of the early Jesuit Missions, and their successors continue to make it.

Klaproth, however, tells us that the wine of T'ai-yuan fu was celebrated in the days of the T'ang Dynasty, and used to be sent in tribute to the Emperors. Under the Mongols the use of this wine spread greatly. The founder of the Ming accepted the offering of wine of the vine from T'aiyuan in 1373, but prohibited its being presented again. The finest grapes are produced in the district of Yukau-hien, where hills shield the plain from north winds, and convert it into a garden many square miles in extent. In the vintage season the best grapes sell for less than a farthing a pound. [Mr. Theos. Sampson, in an article on "Grapes in China," writes (Notes and Queries on China and Japan, April, 1869, p. 50): "The earliest mention of the grape in Chinese literature appears to be contained in the chapter on the nations of Central Asia, entitled Ta Yuan Chwan, or description of Fergana, which forms part of the historical records (Sze-Ki) of Sze-ma Tsien, dating from B.C. 100. Writing of the political relations instituted shortly before this date by the Emperor Wu Ti with the nations beyond the Western frontiers of China, the historian dwells at considerable length, but unluckily with much obscurity, on the various missions despatched westward under the leadership of Chang K'ien and others, and mentions the grape vine in the following passage:

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