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Italy is the world’s biggest producer of grapes, followed by China!

>> Friday, July 31, 2009

Much of the world’s grape production is used for other things than wine. The productivity (tonnes/ha) varies enormously from country to country, which is the reason why the grape ranking is very different from vineyard acreage. Europe produces 43% of the world’s grapes, Asia 26%, America 21%, Africa 6%, and Oceania 3%. Source OIV:

Country forecast 2008, ‘000 quintals in %

  • Italy 80 570 -- 11,9%
  • China 72 000 -- 10,6%
  • United states 67 448 -- 9,9%
  • Spain 57 462 -- 8,5%
  • France 57 050 -- 8,4%
  • Turkey 39 184 -- 5,8%
  • Iran 30 000 -- 4,4%
  • Argentina 27 869 -- 4,1%
  • Chile 25 000 -- 3,7%
  • Australia 19 568 -- 2,9%
  • World total 677 992


The World’s largest vineyard area: Spain

Spain is the country with the largest area under vine, almost 40% more than France and Italy, which are second and third. Total vineyard area in the world is 7,741 million ha. Europe has 58% of total, Asia 21%, America 13%, Africa 5% and Oceania 3%. Source OIV:

Country (forecast for Mha 2008, % of total)

  • Spain 1 165 -- 15,0%
  • France 852 -- 11,0%
  • Italy 840 -- 10,8%
  • Turkey 517 -- 6,7%
  • China 470 -- 6,1%
  • United states 398 -- 5,1%
  • Iran 330 -- 4,3%
  • Portugal 246 -- 3,2%
  • Argentina 227 -- 2,9%
  • Romania 207 -- 2,7%
  • World total 7 742


Australian premium Yarra Yering vineyard to be sold

Yarra Yering is a highly regarded vineyard in the Yarra Valley. The wine is primarily sold on export, much of it to Europe. The vineyard extends over 26 ha. According to press reports it is up for sale. The deal is not yeat confirmed but the prices is estimated to around AUS$ 5 million.


Chateau Richelieu in Bordeaux/Fronsac sold to Chinese luxury store chain

Chateau Richelieu is in Fronsac, a sub-region of Bordeaux. A few years back it was acquired by Arjen Pen, a Dutch entrepreneur, together with a group of investors/co-owners. They have spent a lot of effort on renovating the 12 ha vineyard and the chateau, and to market the wine internationally. We don’t know if they ran out of money or enthusiasm or if they had an offer that was too good to refuse but the property have been sold to a Chinese holding company called A&A International. The company is involved in the luxury sector in China and, according to reports, the plans are to sell the wine exclusively in their own shops in China. More info


Live longer with Mediterranean diet according to Greek study

Drink wine in moderation, eat not much meat, good fats and lots of vegetables and you will live longer, a Greek study shows. Consuming wine in moderation (24%), eat not much meat (17%), a lot of vegetables (16%), fruits and nuts (11%), monounsaturated fats rather than saturated (11%), legumes (10%) and you will contribute to decreased mortality rate. The percentage indicates the contributing weight of the factor. In other words, wine was the most important contributor to a long life. Cereals and milk products seemed not to contribute to a longer life and large quantities of fish and shellfish had a non-significant negative effect. The study included 23 249 persons and was made by Antonia Trichopoulou, Christina Bamia and Dimitrios Tricholpoulos. Read more British Medical Journal and


Learn to be a sommelier at Le Cordon Bleu

The famous chef school in Paris launches a sommelier course this autumn. The wine steward training starts on September 7 and goes on until May 15 2010. The course includes both theory and practice. You can even register online for the course. More info


BKWine TV: Interview with two of the most powerful people in Bordeaux

>> Monday, July 27, 2009

The CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) is the organisation that unites all the growers and producers. It’s aim is to work on promotion as well as on other issues common to the wine industry in Bordeaux: environmental issues, political lobbying etc. Recently BKWine TV had the opportunity to meet with the present and the future president of the organisation. Watch our two part interview with Alain Vironneau, president, and Geroges Haushalter, vice-president. In the first part they talk about the situation in Bordeaux and what the CIVB is doing to promote the wines. In the second part they talk about the big projects that the CIVB has at hand for the wines of Bordeaux, like for example environmental issues. Watch it on BKWine TV. The interviews are in French.


Bordeaux facts

>> Sunday, July 26, 2009

Facts and figures on Bordeaux

  • 34% of all Bordeaux goes on export, 66% goes down in France
  • Exports decreased with 7% in 2008 to reach 1.8 Mhl. 1998 was record year with 2.5 Mhl exported.
  • Exports to Europe shrunk with 12% while ROW was stable
  • The biggest export markets (in value):
    -United Kingdom
    -Hong Kong
    -The Netherlands
  • Germany and the Netherlands buy cheap wines, Switzerland and Hong Kong (and to some extend USA and the UK) go for quality (or at least higher prices)
  • Virtually all markets in Europe show decreasing sales. USA and Canada are relatively stable while some markets in Asia expand.
  • China has arrived as a buyer with a bang: +60% in 2008 and it is now the 8th market in volume up from virtually nothing five years ago.
  • 85% of exports are red wine; only 15% is white wine.


BKWine TV: Piero Lanza, biodynamic winemaker at Fattoria Poggerino, Chianti

>> Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fattoria Poggerino is a small vineyard in Chianti in Tuscany run by Piero Lanza and his sister. They work with biodynamic farming since several years back. They make several different wines, starting with a rosé, a Chianti Classico, an IGT in more modern style and a prestige cuvée. BKWine TV was there and made an interview: Piero Lanza talks about the wines from Fattoria Poggerino and about their vineyards, on BKWine TV.


BKWine TV: A Finn in Tuscany

Jarkko Peranen arrived in Tuscany some years back to spend a little time working in a vineyard. He never left. He is now running his own vineyard, Cantina Candialle near Panzano in Chianti, together with his wife Josephin Cramer. They make three different wines, mainly from sangiovese. BKWine TV was there and interviewed Jarkko. Watch our video with Jarkko Peranen, winemaker at Cantina Candialle in Chianti.


BKWine TV: an introduction to Austrian wine

We’ve done a short introduction video on Austria and Austrian wines to show you a bit of the landscape on tell you about the wines and about the grape varieties (gruner veltliner, pinot noire,…). The video takes you around some of the Austrian wine regions, to Wachau, Rust, Neusiedlersee etc. Watch it on BKWine TV.


BKWine TV: Domaine Huet, a top grower in Vouvray

A bit upstream from Angers/Savennières you find Vouvray, using the same fabulous grape variety (chenin blanc) but on different soil. Here too you can find some outstanding white wines, both crisp and dry and very sweet – it all depends on the weather, says Noel Pinguet, co-owner and winemaker at Domaine Huet. The Domaine Huet winery is one of the best producers, is biodynamic since long and is run with panache by noel Pinguet, that we have interviewed in this video (in French) on BKWine TV.


Chateau la Conseillante in Pomerol

>> Friday, July 24, 2009

Chateau la Conseillante is a family owned (Nicolas) property in Pomerol. Jean-Michel Laporte is responsible for the running and for the winemaking since a handful of years. The 12 ha vineyard is planted with mainly merlot (80-85% in the wine) and some cabernet franc. In 2007 they launched a “second wine” called Duo de Conseillante, which now accounts for 10-20% of production.

- 2008 Duo (barrel sample): powerful, cocoa and chocolate, elegant, “aérienne”, good structure
- 2008 La Conseillante (barrel sample): powerful, lots of warm fruit, round, cassis (black currants), warm barrel aging style without being exaggerated, long, hot
- 2007 Duo (first year of production): compact, warm, lots of cassis, more substance than the ’08, good structure, balanced oak, classic and elegant.
- 2007 La Conseillante: small nose, elegant, discrete toasted oak, quite a lot of tannin, restrained but very elegant
- 2006 la Conseillante: softer and rounder, lots of cassis and fruit, high acidity, elegant tannins. “great potential, longer life than 2005, unfortunately overshadowed by 05” (Laporte)
- 2005 La Conseillante: open, developed nose with cedar wood, warm fruit and truffles. Powerful, lots of tanning, elegant, warm, young (of course). Long finish.
- 2001 La Conseillante: lighter, more delicate, very elegant. More young fruity berries in style. High acidity, more “red fruit” style. A bit angular. Needs time? “Very good” (Laporte)
- 2000 La Conseillante: warm, powerful but rounded, leather, maturity. Classic, cedar wood. Drinking very nicely now. “Excellent and delicious but perhaps less long-lived than 01”
- 1999 La Conseillante: lighter, more elegant, tobacco, cedar, classic, warm, herbs. Quite light but with lots of elegance, red fruit, good maturity. Very drinkable…


BKWine TV: Domaine Baumard, a top grower in Loire

>> Thursday, July 23, 2009

Savennières is a small and little known region not far from Anger in the Loire valley. The main grape variety is chenin blanc (one of the world’s most underrated grape variety) and it is used to make both dry and sweet white wines. It is a small appellation with not many growers. One of the top wineries in the area is Domaine des Baumard. They also make Quart de Chaume and Anjou wines. Watch our interview with the winemaker Florent Baumard at the winery in Savennières on BKWine TV.


Graves – an appellation also for white wines!

Graves is located a short drive south of the city of Bordeaux. The majority of the production is red but they also make excellent white wines. The total area planted with vines is just under 4000 ha, only a quarter of which produces white wines. Twenty years back it was closer to half-and-half. The fall in popularity for the whites is really a shame, since they can be excellent. The grapes are the usual white varieties in Bordeaux: sémillon (which dominates here), sauvignon blanc, and muscadelle. There are two types of whites, Graves, and Graves Supérieures, this latter designating the rather rare sweet variant (contrary to how that word is used for AC Bordeaux). Here are a few recommendations for particularly successful whites in 2007:

  • Chateau Brondelle ”grand vin”: full-bodied, some oak, quite chewy
  • Chateau Mageau (a Terra Vitis-producer): krisp and frash, elegant, grape fruit, minerally
  • ”Tentation” du Chateau le Bourdillot: full-bodied, aromatic, quite developed
  • Ch Villa Bel Air: fresh fruit, good body and volume, mineral, elegant
  • ”Benjamin” de Vieux Chateau Certan: sauvignon-style, high acidity, fresh, elegant

These – and many other white Graves wines – are certainly worth (re-) discovering.


BKWine TV: Chateau d'Yquem‘s winemaker Sandrine Garbay

>> Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chateau d’Yquem is the biggest vineyard in Sauternes with its 100 ha. Since a few years back the winemaking is under the responsibility of Sandrine Garbay. When BKWine was there recently we took the occasion to make an interview with Sandrine and we have now published the two short videos on BKWine TV. Watch them here: On the first clip Sandrine Garbay talks about Yquem, the vineyard and her role as winemaker, and on the second Sandrine Garbay talks about the taste of Yquem and how the wine evolves with aging. Watch it on BKWine TV.


Italy’s biggest wine export markets:

In 2008 Italy’s biggest export markets were:

- USA: 789 M euro
- Germany: 743 ME
- Great Britain: 478 ME
- Switzerland: 220 ME
- Canada: 200 ME
- Japan: 101 ME
- The Netherlands: 88 ME
- Denmark: 83 ME
- France: 80 ME
- Sweden: 73 ME

(Source ICE)


BKWine TV: Weingut Emmerich Knoll, Austria

>> Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Emmerich Knoll is a family owned winery in Austria, run of course by the Knoll family. The winemaker is the young generation version of Emmerich. The family also runs a lively restaurant next to the winery where you can enjoy typical Austrian food and the wines from their vineyards. BKWine TV was there and made a short video interview with Emmerich just before the harvest. Watch the winemaker interview on BKWine TV here.


South African wine exports

For the 12 months to March 2009 South African wine exports reached 4.1 million hl. That is about two thirds of the total production in Bordeaux. The biggest export markets were:

  • United Kingdom 1,16 Mhl
  • Germany: 694 000 hl
  • Africa: 319 khl
  • Sweden: 318 khl
  • The Netherlands: 290 khl
  • Eastern Europe: 234 khl
  • Denmark: 166 khl
  • USA: 141 khl
  • Canada: 132 khl

(Source: Drinks International, Dpt of Agriculture)


Scientific barrel making

>> Monday, July 20, 2009

Radoux is one of France’s leading coopers. It is part of the Oeneo Group that dominates the industry. On July 6 they launched their new invention called Radoux OakScan at a presentation in Paris. This is a technique that makes it possible to rapidly and with precision measure the tannin contents of the oak staves that goes into the making of the barrel. Radoux calls it simply “revolutionary”. “There are already some methods that allows you to measure the tannin with chemical analysis in laboratories. But that takes time, is costly and is not necessarily very precise” they say. The technology used for OakScan is called SPIR, which stands for Spectrométrie proche infrarouge, near-infrared spectronomy (“near” meaning that it is close to visible light). It’s a technology that is already used in food production, for example to measure the protein contents in milk and the acid level in wine, and also in the pharmaceutical and medical industry to measure e.g. haemoglobin levels in blood. has already since some time been selling their barrels with a “porosity” specification (medium grain, fine grain, super-fine grain…) instead of the more traditional provenance specification (Allier, Vosges,…) used by most other tonnelleries. The thinking is that the finer the grain, the more intense are the aromas. But even within each category the tannin levels can vary substantially. Starting last week, when the system was put into production, all staves going into a Radoux barrel will be measured with SPIR which will allow Radoux to make a more precise classification of the staves. The barrique buyer (the winemaker or oenologist) will have more reliable information of the tannin contents and character of the barrel and can make more informed choices when deciding on what barrels to use for aging his wines.


International wine competition in Bordeaux – Councours des Citadelles

df15-1844.jpgLes Citadelles du Vin ( is a wine competition that takes its name from the Citadelle in Bourg and it is in Côte de Bourg that it takes place during three days every year. The latest edition was in June 2009. This year they had decided to launch a Grand Prix to be awarded to wines from a specific wine region. “Danube / Balkans” was the region of choice this time. The Grand Prix was to be awarded by a “super jury” made up of wine journalists who had the tough task to taste the gold medal winners in the first round of the competition and pick the one for the Grand Prix. BKWine being part of the Grand Prix jury we can attest to that it was not an easy task. There were many very good wines. Our final scores added up, the Grand Prix Danube-Balkans winner was declared and it was the Trockenbeerenauslese 2007 Huxelrebe from Anselmann ( in Pfalz. We also tasted several Greek wines, one very good white Ovilos 2008 from Biblia Chora in Macedonia ( and a comples and fruity Alpha 2007 made from xinomavro, syrah and merlot by Alpha Estate, also in Macedonia. (


Wine of the Month, Åsa recommends, La Battagliola Grasparossa Lambrusco - Red sparkling wine to charcuteries

Many people are sceptical to red sparkling wines and to lambrusco in particular. If you are, you should try this wine made by Alberto Salvadori in the Emilia Romagna region. La Battagliola Grasparossa Lambrusco can make the most ardent critic change his mind. The wine is deep blood red with a hint of purple and it froths charmingly when poured. The taste is full of red berries – strawberries, currants. There’s not a lot of alcohol, only 5%. The wine is traditionally served with prosciutto ham and mortadella sausage, also coming from Emilia Romagna. Expect some 8 euros for a bottle.
- Åsa


Wine of the Month, Jack recommends, Panic prevention - Pol Roger Brut Réserve

Panic! It’s in the middle of the summer, mother-in-law celebrates 70, you're far away in the country and you have to find something decent and appropriately festive to serve in the cottage. Calm down. Go looking for a Pol Roger Brut Réserve (some 25-35 euro). It’s widely distributed and fits the bill – full-bodied, dense and toasty champagne that you can enjoy all by itself (but preferably not by yourself) or with some nice summery fish dish. Not cheap but a good choice for the big day or for some other festive occasion. Good bubble value.
- Jack


BKWine Pick: Bistro de Serine, Bar à Vin – Caviste – Restaurant, Ampuis, Rhone

>> Friday, July 17, 2009

Bistro de Serine, Bar à Vin – Caviste – Restaurant, Ampuis, Rhone
Ampuis, the ”capital” of the northern Rhône Côte Rôtie district, is not big so you will not miss Le Bistro de Serine on the main street in the middle of the town. It is a wine bar and restaurant and they also have a wine shop. The exclusive focus is of course the wines from northern Rhône, and there are many of them, not least from some of the top growers, Pierre Gaillard, Yves Cuilleron, Jean-Michel Gerin and François Villard, who is a well known northern Rhône “bande de copains” who also happens to own the bistro. Good food, well prepared, clearly a notch up since the change of ownership some time ago, a lunch menu for 19 euro.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Restaurantes El Donjuán, Martínez Cubells, 8, Valencia

Restaurantes El Donjuán, Martínez Cubells, 8, Valencia
In a nice and calm narrow alley you find this two-storey restaurant hidden behind a small street terrasse. Tapas is the natural choice of course and if you stay long enough and sample enough of the different small tapas dishes it will be a meal in itself. Everything we tasted was very good! And ‘la dolorosa’ will not be more painful than some 15-20 euro per person, including wine or beer. Nice.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Les Vignes de Bacchus, Trèbes

Les Vignes de Bacchus, Trèbes
If you happen to be boating in a barge along the Canal du Midi we recommend a pit stop at the wine bar / wine shop les Vignes de Bacchus in Trèbes, just east of Carcassonne. They have a good selection of producers, focused on the nearby appellations of Minervois and Corbières. The owner of the shop/bar is also a winemaker and makes, for example, a very decent Tempranillo (3.50 euro), an unusual grape in France! From April 1 to October 30 they are open every day from 9 in the morning to 2 at night (well, as long as there is someone still there…).

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Château Ricardelle, Languedoc-La Clape

>> Thursday, July 16, 2009

Château Ricardelle, Languedoc-La Clape
After having worked for Cinzano in Swizerland and as a wine buyer sourcing wine for German sekt producers, Bruno Pellegrini decided to study oenology to be able to start his own winery. In 1990 he arrived in La Clape and discovered Château Ricardelle, with 45 ha of vineyards, for sale. The deal was done. His favourite grapes are carignan and grenache. “They can take the heat and the dry climate much better than the syrah” he says. The “visiting card” of the chateau is the wine called Château Ricardelle La Clape, a grenache-carignan blend that costs some 7 euro at the winery. It is well structured without “make-up”, with character from the wild herbs growing around the vineyard. Pellegrini also makes a very good white from bourboulenc, roussanne and grenache blanc – complex, chewy (“gras”) and flowery. “Pellegrini” is an easy-to-like mix of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and the new grape variety marselan. The Closablières (9.50 euro) has been very well received by the market and is an oak-aged syrah-based wine with dark fruit, cocoa and wood in the character. A wine for the winter in front of the oak fire, says Bruno. He also makes several other cuvées well worth tasting.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Domaine Pierre Frick, Pfaffenheim, Alsace

Domaine Pierre Frick, Pfaffenheim, Alsace
Domaine Pierre Frick was one of the first biodynamic producers that we got to know. Their wines are full-bodied and full of flavour. Some are made entirely without sulphur (which is very unusual). It is not easy to make wine completely without sulphur but Jean-Pierre and Chantal Frick know how to do it. Making wine without sulphur gives the wines a different character that may not appeal to everyone – more subtle and soft character, less young, fresh fruit (only some of the Frick wines are without sulphur). They have 12 hectares and make some 30 different cuvees. All wines are closed with a crown cap (beer bottle style). They tried various closures and decided that the crown cap was the ideal (“millions of champagne bottles can’t be wrong”). The wines are over-all very well balanced, some have a little residual sugar but it is matched by a high acidity. Try the Riesling Bihl, Riesling Grand Cru Vorburg, Riesling Cuvée Précieuses and the excellent Pinot Noir Les Terrasses and Pinot Noir Strangenberg

Click here for address and more recommendations.


Partial victory against contents thief

>> Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A few days ago I posted a long description of a situation where a site (Gibbston Gables is stealing my contents and reposting it on their site.

Here's the description of the inappropriate use of contents (scraping / splogging).

I had a quick response the my DMCA notification: I received today a notification from The Planet that the offending site has removed my contents.

Well, they have. But they have also made a new post that scrapes my contents.

I have also had some response from other people which have been the subject of scraping by this site, with varying result: some say thanks and will take action (good!), others say that their happy that anyone uses their material in any way at all (bad!).

So I will just have to
a) follow up with the hoster and complain again
b) watch the and see if they continue to steal my contents


Welcome to the BKWine Brief nr 72, July 2009

It is curious how different markets work differently. Sweden and Denmark are basically rather similar countries, especially when seen from a distance (for instance from Paris as in our case, although we’re of Swedish origin).

Sweden is the 23rd biggest (biggest?) market for Bordeaux wine. One could almost say that we seem to buy not much Bordeaux at all in Sweden. (The UK, USA and Switzerland are the biggest markets – see more below.) Demark, that is a much smaller country (in terms of population) is the 11th (10th in volume).

The situation is different for South African wine. Sweden is the third biggest importer of South African wine, and Denmark is seventh.

Why is that?

Difficult to know, but it has no doubt a lot to do with the structure of the market. Sweden is a monopoly market and that means e.g. that they like suppliers who can supply big volumes. South Africa can. There are about as many wine producers in the whole of South Africa as there is in Saint Emilion, one of the smallest sub-districts in Bordeaux. Big buyer wants a big seller and it’s hard to find in Bordeaux (and in the rest of France).

Then there is the question of range: The Swedish monopoly carries some 2000 different wines. In Denmark you can find, according to estimates, 20,000 wines. The monopolist is “obliged” to carry at least a few wines from every wine region (for impartiality reasons) which means that there is less scope to have a good selection of Bordeaux wines.

In Sweden more than half of all wine that is consumed is sold in bag-in-box! Yes, more than half. Have you seen any Bordeaux in bib? You can find them but you will have to look hard (and this goes for the rest of France too). The South Africans, though, don’t seem to have any qualms “bottling” in plastic bags (the interior of a bib is a plastic bag).

There are many other factors to this, e.g. that Sweden is extremely trend-drive when it comes to wine. One year it is Primitivo in every second bottle (well, BiB actually), the next it is Australian shiraz etc. And Bordeaux is not really very trendy. The situation is quite different in Denmark where the retail sector (for wine) is much more fragmented.

And there is of course the fact that Danes drink more wine than Swedes. But I guess that doesn’t really account for the difference between South Africa and Bordeaux.

Since South Africa is now so immensely popular in Sweden we are launching our first wine tour to South Africa. The first one (in March 2010) will be in Swedish, but if you’re interested in going wine touring in South Africa do let us know. As you know we do do custom tours and perhaps we’ll put an English language SA tour on the program if there’s demand.

And don’t miss this month all the new wine videos we’ve put up on BKWine TV. We have, for example, and interview with the chief winemaker at Château d’Yquem, Sandrine Garbay, an interview with a Finnish winemaker in Tuscany, and much more. More info further down.

Britt & Per

PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief or forward it to them !

More on wine:
- Guest writers on
- Wine videos: BKWine TV
- Wine photography

Read all of the new BKWine Brief here!


Is someone stealing your blog / web contents?

>> Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thiefs and scoundrels

It's happened to us a few times. Our blog entries show up on some other blog in their entirety. Someone is simply copying all the posts and publishing them on their blog.

Nice, you think. someone thinks what we/I write/produce is so good that they want to copy it.


What they are doing is stealing your work.

Why is this bad? I'm sure there are many more reasons but here are a few:

  • duplication of contents is not something Google likes so you're potentially losing Google rank
  • they may be stealing google juice away from your site (they may end up higher ranked than you)
  • they may get ad revenue that you should have had, if you and the thief both have ads on the sites, and if you don't have ads but they do, then they are simply profiteering off your back
  • your contents may show up in contexts where you don't want it to be, especially if it looks as if you have contributed it freely.
  • and no doubt others...
Now it's happened again to us and this time I will fight back.

The Thief

The "thief" this time is a "tourism" site called It seems to be promoting tourism in New Zealand but is hosted out of the US.

What they do is they "scrape off" the the contents of our videos from YouTube, not only the video itself (which would be OK, that's what the embed code is for - if they put some of their own text/comments around it), but also the text that we have written about the video (what you see if you click "more" on YouTube), and even the comments from viewers. Here's an example:
(If my plan of action works out well the first link may no longer be there in some time.)

They even have a search function on the site that makes it easier to find what they've stolen:

This time I'm fed up with it and I will fight back.

So should you, if it happens to you!

How would one know?

"But how would I know", you might ask, "that someone is scraping my contents?"

One good way to find out (and the way I found out) is to set up some Google Alerts on well chosen keywords: I have alerts set up for, for example, "BKWine" and for our URL. It's always interesting to see if you are ever mentioned somewhere, and it also catches scrapers as an added benefit.

So, I thought I'd tell you the story of what I am doing to fight it.

Who goes there? Whois?

First, I figured out who is behind the site: do a whois lookup. It won't necessarily be of much use, but at least it can be interesting, and maybe it will give you a better contact email than what's on the thieving site. Enter the URL Here's what you can use:

In my case that didn't give much information so instead they suggested to use:

... and it turns out that the thief is (or at least the thieving site is owned by) someone called "Domains by Proxy, Inc" in Scottsdale, Arizona. If you happen to be in Scottsdale, would you go check 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353. Might it be a post box? Perhaps not. Funnily enough, only a stone's throw away from GoDaddy. Here they are Google Maps.

And they do list a contact email. But I'll come to that later.

The details:
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States

Registered through:, Inc. (
Created on: 21-Apr-04
Expires on: 21-Apr-10
Last Updated on: 11-Jun-09

Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2598

Technical Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2598
So at least now we know who is stealing our contents and who we're fighting. Sort of.

What to do?

Having come this far, what can I do to fight back? I found a good description of a course of action on how to fight scraping on Not all of it is relevant to me, so here's what I've done:

Here are some more info:

1. Complain to Google

Google is not happy with people doing this kind of things so the first thing to do is to report the culprit to Google. If Google takes notice they might even block the site from searches. How to do it is described on the ProBlogger site.

2. Complain to AdWords

If the thief is trying to make money from Google AdWords / Google AdSense you might want to send an abuse alert to them too. That's also described on the ProBlogger page. In my case they did not have any ads on the page though.

3. Alert the hoster of the site

It's also a good idea to notify the hoster of the site. This can be done under the framework of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a so called DMCA Copyright Infringement Procedure, f you think it is relevant.

The hoster in this case is "The Planet". On their site they have a Legal page with contact information and info on what to do. They even have a good instruction on how to file a DMCA complaint (pdf). You should not do that "frivolously" without knowing that it is actually stolen contents (you might be liable for legal costs if you file complaints that are not in good faith and incorrect). But if you know you're right it seems to be a good thing to do. If you do, and follow the rules, then they are obliged to remove the infringing material and notify the site owner. He in turn may respond and defend his position.

Here's the kind of notice that I will send to them (I've tried to follow the instructions that the Planet has. I imagine that if you don't they won't take notice of it).
To: Internet Services, Inc. and all subsidiaries
Name of Agent Designated to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement – Andrea Z. Almeida
1333 Stemmons Freeway, Suite 110, Dallas, TX 75207
Telephone Number of Designated Agent (214) 782-7800
Facsimile Number of Designated Agent - (214) 782-7756
E-Mail Address of Designated Agent copyright@thep....

Notification to the Designated Agent, Andrea Z Almeida

Subject: Notification of copyright infringement by site supposedly hosted by The


Dear Sir,

I am the owner of the copyright of material published on the YouTube “channel” bkwine:

Identification of infringed copyrighted work

As example, I own the copyright of the following video and, equally, to the accompanying text:

You will find a more extensive list at the end of this notification.

Identification of infringing material

The website , that according to my information is hosted by you, in your facilities, is infringing on my copyright of this material. They practice what is generally known as “scraping” or "splogging", in this case scraping contents from YouTube, thereby using the original material in its entirety without permission. (This is different form simply “embedding” a video which would not in itself constitute copyright infringement.)

As example, the above mentioned material is being used without my permission on the following pages:

I request that you remove the infringing material or disable access to it.

I hereby affirm, as the complaining party, that I believe in good faith that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright holder, its agent or the law. In fact, I am the copyright owner and I have not authorized such use.

I hereby affirm, under penalty of perjury, that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on behalf of the holder of the exclusive right that I claim to be infringed.

In addition to the above mentioned, it seems that several other copyright owners have their material used in an inappropriate manner by the said site.

Sincerely yours,
signed, with contact details

Annex 1:

List of pages found on with infringing material to which I own the copyright. The list may be incomplete. The list does not include material from other copyright owners:

Annex 2:

I attach pdf printouts of the pages referenced above.

I will also include pdf prints of the pages, just in case they would have been removed. (Which would be good, of course, but may cause confusion with the DMCA).

You can also use the DMCA form referenced on the ProBlogger pages that you can find here: DMCA and Cease and Desist forms. On this page you can also find some additional useful links!

4. Notify the infringer

The above done, my last step is to notify the infringer and request that he immediately remove the infringing material.

In my case they have contact web form on their page but no email. However, the WhoIs lookup through GoDaddy had a contact email address. I will use both those to send them a notification. Depending on what's happened you can send a full fledged Cease and Desist notification (see the template in the link above) or some other sort of notification.

I will opt for sending them a simpler message:
Domains by Proxy, Inc.
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
Scottsdale, Arizona 85260
United States
(480) 624-2599 Fax -- (480) 624-2598


Dear Domains by Proxy, Inc,

It has come to my attention that you have made unauthorised use of my work.

The site owned and/or managed by you, according to current WhoIs lookup information,, practices what is generally called “scraping” or “splogging”, thereby copying contents from other sites without the permission of the copyright holder.

As example, I own the copyright to the following videos and, equally, to the accompanying text:


The above mentioned material is being used in an inappropriate manner without my permission on the following pages:


This is just a few examples. There are many other occurrences of such inappropriate use of material, mine as well as that from other sources, on your site.

I request that you remove the infringing material or disable access to it within five days and that you desist from this or any other infringement of my rights in the future.

For information, this copyright infringement is also the subject of a DMCA notification as well as an abuse notification to Google.

With that I think I've done a reasonably good effort to stop the thieving.

5. Spread the word

But I'm not the only one who have been the subject of their illegitimate use of material. I will also try and track down the others that I find on their site and alert them to that their contents is being scraped.

Good luck to you if it happens to you.

PS: Doing a bit of internet digging it turns out that the owner of the domain, Domains By Proxy, Inc is owned by the CEO of GoDaddy internet hosting. They advertize their business as
Did you know that for each domain name you register, anyone - anywhere, anytime - can find out your name, home address, phone number and email address?
Sounds completely above-the-board, doesn't it?


A quick response the my DMCA notification: I have received a notification from The Planet that the offending site has removed my contents. Well, they have. But they have also made a new post that scrapes my contents.

I have also had some response from other people which have been the subject of scraping by this site, with varying result: some say thanks and will take action (good!), others say that their happy that anyone uses their material in any way at all (bad!).

So I will just have to
a) follow up with the hoster and complain again
b) watch the and see if they continue to steal my contents


INAO approves new appellations: St Pourçain and Bugey

>> Friday, July 03, 2009

On may 28 INAO approved two new appellations: Saint Pourçain, and Bugey with Roussette de Bugey. Saint Pourçain is made from gamay or pinot noir grapes and covers some 600 ha. Bugey extends over 500 ha a little east of Burgundy. AOC/AOP Bugey can be red, white or rosé, or even sparkling. Roussette du Bugey is a white wine made only from the altesse grape (locally known as roussette).


New – last? – somersault in the tragicomedy of the Saint Emilion classification

>> Wednesday, July 01, 2009

A new court ruling (will it be the last in a dozen or so?) has established that both the classification from 1996 and the one from 2006 will be valid. In other words, the chateaux that were classified in 1996 will all retain their honorific label and those that were upgraded in 2006 will keep it too. However, no downgrades will be done. Of course. Depressing. One wonders if the main purpose of classifications (in general, and this in particular) is to blow smoke in the eyes of the consumers. Read more: and

(BTW, I quite like the illustration. Try and figure out the relevance!)

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