Small 4to. [20 x 14.5 cm], 32 pp. including title-page. Unbound [as issued?]. Title page lightly toned, some light foxing. Generally good.
Very rare first edition, and likely a pre-journal ‘off-print,’ of this report on the wines presented and judged at the Vienna World’s Fair of 1873, with special focus on the wines of Spain, written by the chief of the Spanish Agricultural Commission.
Santos’ work begins with a description of recent advances in soil science and chemistry, including the work of Ramon Torres Muñoz de Luna, a chemistry professor at the University of Madrid, and especially Justus von Liebig, the recently-dead German chemist who revealed the role of nitrogen in plant science. He continues with a roll-call of Spain’s award-winning exhibitors at the Vienna World’s Fair, presenting a variety of products from soap to beeswax to foodstuffs, followed by an international roundup of the Fair’s alcoholic offerings. These include wines from America, in which Santos notes “una predisposicion grande á imitar algunos de nuestros vinos,” as well as tropical liqueurs from Brazil and Cuba, Belgian and English beers, and Japanese rice-wines.
The centerpiece of the report is Santos’ detailed list of the Spanish wines presented at the fair, totaling no less than 349 exhibits that garnered 249 medals and diplomas (only 15 less than the French). He then lists the award-winning exhibitors by region and vintners’-house and reviews the highlights of the winning wines, including an anecdote in which Francesc Gil Borrás, an early commercial producer of cava, won the day and the ‘medal of progress’ against the makers of the more prestigious Moet & Chandon champagne.
Santos published an identically titled work in the business journal Fomento de Producción Nacional (Barcelona 1874, no. 186, pp. 7-26), and in Revista de España (vol .36, pg. 179, “28 Enero 1874). Judging by the date printed on the verso of the final leaf (January 15, 1874) and the pagination, this copy appears to be an off-print of the report, in which case it would possibly have been printed prior to the journals themselves.
OCLC: No copies in US. No US copies of journals located.