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Welcome to the BKWine Brief nr 93, April 2011

>> Saturday, April 30, 2011

Our new site on wine travel is now up and running. All information about our wine tour activity will in the future be found on Our wine tour programs will of course be published there (take a look at Bordeaux and Burgundy!), but we will also publish a lot of other travel-related information on that site. First we have a “Travelog”, or travel blog, that talks about things that happen on our wine tours, visits we do, people we meet etc. But it will also talk about other things that have to do with wine travel. On that site there will also be various other “useful” information, for example city guided to some of the places that we visit on our wine tours (e.g. Beaune in Burgundy), or short introduction to the wine regions that we travel to. You can find all that under the menu ‘resources’.

If you want to be up to date on what we do on the travel side it is a good idea to subscribe to the RSS feed for, or specifically to the RSS feed for the travelog.

(There will be quite a lot of talk about travel in this Brief and elsewhere – as you can imagine, we have been quite immersed in travel things having launched our two new sites (one in Swedish too) and also finalising this autumn’s program.)

The wine travel season has now started in full speed. You can for example read more on Istrian wines in this Brief – we were in Croatia not very long ago.

We have also been to Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy (our “Three Classics” tour). We enjoyed a weather that was almost like summer and we visited several interesting producers – and tasted many wines. And then we went to northern Italy, both to Piedmont (amazing how many different styles of Barolo and nebbiolo wines there are!), to Soave and to Valpolicella. Interesting mix!

At this time of the year the activity is low in the winery but in the vineyards things are very busy. Buds are bursting so that you can almost hear a pop-pop-pop among the vines. And soon you have leaves and tendrils everywhere. Apparently, a vine can grow 20 or 30 centimetres per day when it is as most vigorous. This time of the year is really a wonderful time to come out into the vineyards: there are different shades of pale green everywhere, fruit trees are blooming and even between the vines you often see flowers. These days growers often let the grass and other plants grow between the vines so you can sometimes get amazingly colourful patterns in the vineyards. Another big advantage of travelling at this time of the year is the long and bright evenings!

Weather has been excellent (amazing!) in many parts of Europe so far this spring. In Paris we have had two weeks of summer weather – with lunches on the balcony. Some wine growers tell us that the growing season is two weeks ahead of normal. One producer said pragmatically “well, we just have to adapt”. How true. However, in some wine districts it has not been so fun: in Sauternes they had hail. How much damage it has done, or if the vines will be able to recover, we don’t know. We will have to wait and see – just like always with wine.

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 the full BKWine Brief here!


Wine tours brochures now available for download

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The wine tours this coming autumn have now downloadable e-brochures. You can download the pdf and print it or share it with your friends on email.

You can find the list of wine tours (Bordeaux, Burgundy) here.


A six-Michelin-star dinner!

>> Friday, April 22, 2011

I went to a very interesting dinner the other day, the Dîner des Chefs at Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme. The dinner was organised for the 6th time (and always during the Paris Book Fair), by the publishing house Glénat. One of the specialities of Glénat is cook books and books written by famous chefs, so for this dinner they had gathered 5 different French chefs for an extremely creative dinner who together had six Michelin “Red Guide” stars!

A creative dinner, yes. What we were served was French cuisine haute couture. Fascinating, delicious but, as often is the case with haute couture, sometimes a bit too complicated and even strange. Read the details on this Dîner des Chefs på Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme



France’s best sommelier competition now open for entrants

Every two years the French sommelier organisation (UDSF, l’Union de la Sommellerie Français) organises a competition for young wine waiters, open to anyone who is working with or studying sommellerie and is under 26.

Anyone who wants to participate should register before April 25 by contacting the l’Union de la Sommellerie Français. The competition is sponsored by Champagne Duval Leroy and the finals will take place at their winery on 27 and 28 November.


CIVB on the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux

>> Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beautiful and sunny summer and an exceptional autumn gave us a very successful vintage in the whole of Bordeaux. Good maturity and fine, healthy grapes. 2009/2010 is now being compared to the successful duo of 1989/1990.

White, dry wines

The sunny days with cool nights kept the acidity and the freshness in the grapes. Sauvignon Blanc started to be harvested end of August and Sémillon, always later to mature, in the end of September. The wines have a fine balance.

Red wines

Merlot was picked from September 20 and Cabernet Sauvignon from end of September and all through October. All grapes reached a very fine maturity and a good acidity. The ageing potential is very good. The year is also characterized by soft and ripe tannins and high alcohol levels.

Sweet wines

Very good and even botrytis. The firsts grapes were picked end of September and the harvest continued until end of October. Sémillon, especially, had very concentrated and intense flavours this year. An exceptional year for this grape.


Bordeaux plans for the future - CIVB's view

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Georges Haushalter, the president of the CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionel du Vin de Bordeaux) was in Paris recently to talk about the new vintage 2010 and also in general about Bordeaux’s plans for the future.

Bordeaux has more or less recovered from the crises of 2008/2009 when they lost about 20 % of their sales. But the crisis is not totally gone. Some chateaux still have problems, especially many petit chateaux – small, unknown chateaux in (mainly) AOC Bordeaux – and some of these will probably soon disappear from the scene. One of CIVB’s priorities is to reorganise the sales in bulk to be able to more effectively fight against low prices that harms the image of Bordeaux and, of course, harms the financial situation of the winegrowers. The beautiful vintage 2010 will help to us to take one further step out of the crises, says Georges Haushalter.

Bordeaux is a wine region with enormous differences in prices. You have everything from very simple wines that nobody wants to pay for; to the extremely expensive ones that are more like luxury products comparable with a Louis Vuitton handbag. If you have wines that nobody wants to pay for, well, then something has to be done. The only way to fight against low, image harming prices, however, is to make the wines more attractive, in taste and in presentation. If you can’t do that, stop making the wines.

Georges Haushalter also wishes to make Bordeaux more accessible, to make people understand that they don’t have to be afraid of Bordeaux. This is probably a very wise way of thinking. Too many people think of Bordeaux as a region with high prices and prestigious chateaux and nothing more. It is important to make people realize that Bordeaux has so much more to offer, in very reasonable prices. In Great Britain a marketing campaign is running at the moment, with the slogan "With good food we drink Bordeaux”. More campaigns to stress the fact that Bordeaux is the food wine par excellence (so true) is being planned.

Georges Haushalter also wants to make Bordeaux easier to understand. ”We have many different appellations”, he says, ”around 50, and that is our richness and strength and we don’t want to change that, but we need to make it more easy to understand.”

Easier said than done, but then that goes for the whole of France.


The strange story of the Languedoc classification

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Is the purpose of a classification to benefit the consumer or to benefit the producer? That is one of the questions one can ask when reading about the new (yet to come) classification in the Languedoc. It was recently launched officially at a trade event in the Languedoc. The answer to the question seems to be the producer, but only the incumbent and well behaved.

Here are the principles.

There will be three levels in the classification:

-- “plain” AOC Languedoc wines costing 3-4 euro per bottle

-- mid-range wines costing 3.5/4 to 7/10 euros per bottles. This will include the appellations Corbières, Minervois, St Chinian, Faugères, Picpoul de Pinet, Malepère, Cabardès and various sub-appellations such as Languedoc St Georges d’Orques and Languedoc-Montpeyroux

-- expensive wines, above 7/10 euro per bottle, including Corbières-Boutenac, Minervois La Livinière, La Clape, Limoux blancs, St Chinian Roquebrun and Berlou as well as Languedoc -Grès de Montpellier, Pézenas, Pic Saint Loup and Terrasses du Larzac

If we recall correctly, the mid range is to be called Grand Vin and the top level Grand Cru. Or was it the other way around? Is the distinction obvious to you?

We fail to see the point in this. If the classification is just a function of the prices, what good does it do? Is it difficult for the consumer to look at the price tag? What if someone in Saint Chinian makes a very ambitious wine, costing more than 10 euro, what will happen? Or if someone in Terrasses du Larzac chooses to make a rather simple volume (or makes a promotion to get into a market) wine for only 3 euro?

The CIVL (the producer control organisation) says, according to Vitisphere, that they have no means to sanction those producers who don’t respect the price levels defined. At the same time Jerome Villaret responsible at the CIVL says, according to Vitisphere: “we will only give promotional funds to those who respect the rules”. More from Vitisphere

Languedoc is one of the most exciting and most dynamic wine regions in France and this classification scheme seems designed to stifle that dynamism. To us this seems just another way of trying to do collective price fixing. Is that really acceptable today with EU open market and competitions rules (banning e.g. price fixing among competitors)? And it also seems to be a way of confusing the customer, rather than making it more transparent. And at the same time putting up artificial barriers that will make it more difficult for innovative and entrepreneurial winemakers to succeed. But perhaps we have misunderstood the point?

Update: After we wrote the above we found some more information on the Love That Languedoc by Ryan O'Connell (with an interesting but hard to understand video). But it just seems to confirm what we said. First they create a labyrinth of appellations, sub-appellations, terroirs etc. Then they hope to “simplify” by creating yet another layer of terminology, thinking it will simply for the consumers. Read our more detailed comments on the O’Vineyards blog


Champagne Brut Nature – the new trend?

>> Monday, April 18, 2011

Dry champagne goes under the name of ‘brut’ (French for raw, unprocessed). Half-sweet and sweet are, confusingly, called sec and demi-sec. Even if ‘brut’ linguistically means “in its original state, sugar has been added to the brut champagnes, at bottling with the so-called dosage. Up to 12 grams per litre for brut. (12 grams is around 2 table spoons of sugar, or a half filled espresso cup) Perhaps more than what one would think? In recent years a new category has entered the champagne scene: ‘brut nature’, sometimes called brut zero, brut integrale or other things. The most extreme variant of this is when no sugar at all is added. It has even become a bit of the in thing to ask for. “The drier the more luxurious”, “the sugar hides the quality” etc. To some extent it is true, excessive sweetness can hide defects, but a bit of sugar can also give a more balanced and harmonious wine, especially if the acidity is very high. So one should not exaggerate “totally dry is best”.

Ideally one should taste (blind preferably) and decide for oneself. But even if it has become trendy with brut nature it is far from being a big seller. Yet. In 2003 shipments to the UK of brut nature was 180 bottles (according to CIVC). In 2006 it reached 474 bottles and in 2009 a dizzying 4,770 bottles. But it is a hardly noticeable drop in the champagne ocean compared with the 32 million bottles of brut shipped in 2008.


UK is biggest export market for South African wine, Sweden in third place

The United Kingdom is by far the biggest market for South African wine exports. A bit more surprising is perhaps that Sweden, with only 10 million inhabitants, is the third biggest market, far ahead of e.g. the USA. South Africa is actually the biggest supplier of wines to the Swedes. Here are the top-ten export markets for South Africa (May-09 to April-10, source: Drinks Business and DOAFF/SA):

- UK: 121 million litres
- Germany: 72 Ml
- Sweden: 39 Ml
- The Netherlands: 28 Ml
- Denmark: 16 Ml
- USA: 14 Ml
- Canada: 12 Ml
- Belgium: 9 Ml
- France: 9 Ml
- New Zealand: 6 Ml


The French catch the bag-in-box bug: 25% of wine sold in Bib

>> Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2.23 million litres of wine was sold in bag-in-box in the big retail chains in France in 2009. This represents 24.4% of the volume! It is an increase of 17.5% compared to 2008. Evidently the bib wines are getting more expensive: the value of sales reached 530 million euros which was an increase with 20%.

The figures include sales in “grandes surfaces” and excludes direct sales and specialised wine shops. Grandes Surfaces represent the majority of the sales though. (Source: La Vigne, France AgriMer)


Lavinia opens new shop in Paris

It is not an exaggeration to say that Lavinia has revolutionised the wine shop scene in Paris. Their wine shop is very centrally located, close to Place de la Madeleine. There you can find 6000 wines and spirits (for comparison, three times as many as the Swedish monopoly Systembolaget offers). The shop extends over three levels with 1500 m2 surface. Around 2000 of the wines are non-French!

Lavinia has recently opened a new shop in Paris, this time in the business district La Defense. It is a much smaller shop, but still has 260 m2 and some 1000 references. There is even space for a small tapas restaurant where you can drink any wine from the shop at no extra charge (over shop prices). They also have a wide selections of wines by the glass, served in 3cl, 5cl or 10 cl portions. A must for a lunch time pause if you are in La Defense!

More facts about Lavinia: Lavinia France turned over some 13 million euro in 2010; the whole group 40 M euro, with 200 employees (49 in France). They have a wine club with 6000 members – the members account for 50% of the shop’s turnover. They have shops in Paris, Geneva, Barcelona, and Madrid, and franchises in Kiev and Odessa.


Three new French appellations: Fiefs Vendéens, Côtes-du-Brulhois and Gros plant du Pays Nantais

>> Monday, April 11, 2011

The story starts with the reform of the French appellation system. Since a long time back there has been a small intermediate group called VDQS, just below the highest quality category AOC.

VDQS stands for Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure. The new rules will eliminate the VDQS category by the end of this year. In February the INAO, who sets the rules, decided to ‘upgrade’ three current VDQS to appellations. Not to AOC but to AOP. (AOC changes name to AOP…)

The three new appellations are: Fiefs Vendéens, Côtes-du-Brulhois and Gros plant du Pays Nantais. There now only ten VDQS to be dealt with before the end of the year. Read more in


Growing Gruner - part 4: Still not a sign of life...

>> Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Still not a sign of life on my cuttings from gruner veltliner that I got at the European Wine Bloggers Conference in Vienna last October.

Here is how they look now:


In contrast, here's how another vine looks - from a cabernet franc (or merlot?) from our balcony. I put this one in water just a little bit before the GV!

Shall I give up? Or give it another week or two?


Bordeaux Primeurs, part 4: tasting notes on some 2010s

Some interesting wines of vintage 2010. Some new names, worth remembering.

Château Puygueraud, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux
Very fruity, really easy to taste and juicy.

Château Puygueraud, Cuvée George, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux
This wine is made of 45 % Malbec and 35 % Cabernet Franc (the rest is Merlot) so an exciting and unusual Bordeaux blend. The wine feels a bit old fashioned with a somewhat rustic feeling to it (but in a positive sense). Quite tannic and structured.

Château La Prade, Francs – Côtes de Bordeaux
A very fine structured wine full of finesse from 6 hectares of old Merlot.

Château Gigault, Blaye – Côtes de Bordeaux
Cuvée Viva. Very fruity and stylish from an very good terroir in Blaye.

Château Magdeleine Bouhou, Blaye-Côtes de Bordeaux
Good structure, soft tannins, classic style with 90 % Merlot and 10 % Malbec.

Château Clarisse, Puisseguin – Saint Emilion
The very first vintage for this chateau with a 5,30 hectare vineyard.

Château Haut Ballet, Fronsac
Generous fruit in this wine with a 100 % merlot.

Château Saint Paul, Haut-Médoc
Closed on the nose. Full of flavours and structure on the palate.

Château Vrai Canon Bouché, Canon-Fronsac
Fine fruit, elegant, good potential.

Château Côte Montpezat, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux
Cuvée Compostelle
“An exceptional vintage med good balance and freshness that makes you want to have another glass”, says owner Dominique Bessineau. And thhis wine is just like that, soft, round, fresh and with a certain elegance.

Domaine de l’A, Castillon – Côtes de Bordeaux
Very ripe, dark fruit, a bit sweet, seems very extracted.

Château des Fougères, La Folie, Graves
Nice fruit, easy to drink and elegant – the cool nights preserved the aromas and the freshness, in the whole of France, says owner Benoit Labuzan.

Château Berliquet, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé
Good, classic Bordeaux style.


Bordeaux Primeurs, part 3: A head start with Stéphane Derenoncourt

We tasted primeur wines already this week (last week, when this comes on the blog) here in Paris. Monday this week Bordeaux consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt invited to a tasting of 2010 from all the chateaux where he and his team work as consultants, in total over 100 chateaux and some domains from outside of Bordeaux and France. It is an impressive selection of big, famous names and less famous but very high class chateaux.

Stéphane Derenoncourt about 2010: “It was a year with a long and balanced growing season, giving grapes with aromatic intensity, good acidity and an exceptional ripeness. The only problem in the vineyard turned out not to be a problem at all. The cool weather during the flowering caused some coulure to occur but in the end that was a good thing because it naturally lowered the yield.”


Bordeaux Primeurs, part 2: wines difficult to taste

It is not easy to taste the primeur wines and judge the potential quality and taste. Bordeaux is a wine blended from different grape varieties and at the moment they are kept separately in the barrels. For the primeur tastings the cellar master makes a blend that resembles as much as possible the final blend (although some say that they instead make a blend that is easy to taste, but we don’t really know if that is true). The malolactic is sometimes not finished, or just finished, which doesn’t help and furthermore, the wine at this stage is not always very stable so it can matter when, during the week, you taste one particular wine.

But all these difficulties apart, of course you can get an idea of the quality and the characteristics of the vintage (maybe more difficult when it comes to individual chateaux). Anyway, for 2010, really all you have to do is read about the weather conditions and you know the vintage is successful.

And then you buy your favourite chateaux (if you can award them!)


Bordeaux Primeurs, part 1: Let the circus begin, ed. 2010

>> Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The week of the primeur tastings in Bordeaux is approaching fast. Next week it starts (first week of April - current week when this is published on the blog). Wine merchants and journalists will, during one week, taste and spit hundreds of Bordeaux wines of the new vintage 2010.

The wines that are being tasted are far from ready; they have barely finished their malolactic fermentation and will spend another 15 or 18 months or so in oak barrels before being bottled. But the big and famous châteaux in Bordeaux sell an impressive quantity of their production en primeur. Next week wine merchants are supposed to get an idea of the quality of the vintage and of the different chateaux so that they later on can decide what to buy. Prices will be released in May or June and starting now there will be, as always, a lot of speculations.

Pricing is a bit complicated. Often the chateaux release a certain amount of cases at a certain price and after a few weeks another batch is released, maybe at a higher price. And what determines the price? Well, to some extent points given by important wine journalists are taken into account. But more important, the chateaux probably know what they can expect from the market. We have seen some staggering increases in price during the last years but this is mostly from the most famous chateaux. A lot of very good chateaux (even some Grand Cru Classé) keep their pricing quite stable.


Publish and be damned! Or should we have a plan economy for Bordeaux wines?

>> Monday, April 04, 2011

In an article last week Jancis Robinson advocated a freeze period for comments and reviews on wines tasted at the Bordeaux primeur circus next week (presentation and trade tasting of the new 2010 vintage) until after the chateaux have announced their prices. She argued that holding off on comments may have a dampening effect on the wine prices. She says she is starting to feel like a pawn manipulated by the wine trade. It has sparked a lot of debate on the internet and elsewhere. Michel Bettane, one of France’s most influential wine critics, has also been very negative about this years Primeur campaign, but with a reasoning that more sounds as if he is bitter because some other journalists have been given priority access.

Robert Parker, the Wine Spectator, Decanter and others have been sometimes sympathetic but generally not supportive. Dr Vino (Tyler Colman) on the other hand seems to like the idea. BKWine is not going to the primeurs tastings but in any case we do not think Jancis’ let’s-all-keep-a-secret journalism collusion idea is good. Nor is it something that is likely to have much effect on the market. Read our more on the proposal and our detailed comments in this article: “Is the market for Bordeaux wine a market economy or should it be a plan economy?

What do you think?


Germany’s most popular white grapes

Here is the list of the most popular white wine grape varieties in Germany, counted in volume:

- Muller thurgau, 14%
- Riesling, 13%
- Gruner veltliner, 7%
- Chardonnay, 5%
- Pinot gris (rulander), 4%
- Silvaner, 4%
- Other, 53%

White wine still dominates production but merlot is actually the second most used variety, after M-T. Quite a surprise, as is the quantity of chardonnay. Source: Drinks International.

UPDATE: This listing looks very strange. For an update from the German Wine Institute look here.


”World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals 2010” is awarded to BKWine for The Creation of a Wine! - from the press release

We are immensely proud! This is the beginning of the press release:

“The Swedish wine book “The Creation of a Wine” was awarded the prize “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals 2010” in the international book competition Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2011. The Creation of a Wine is written by Britt Karlsson, with photography by Per Karlsson, published by Carlsson Publishing (Stockholm). The award ceremony took place at Folies Bergères in Paris on March 3. The book is an in-depth description of vineyard vine growing and wine making in the cellar. The book is not yet translated into any foreign language. Britt and Per are Swedish wine journalists based in Paris and also operate a wine travel business called BKWine Tours…”
Read more on The Creation of a Wine


BKWine Pick: In Vino Veritas, Montpellier

In Vino Veritas, Montpellier

In Vino Veritas is a small wine bar and restaurant hidden on a narrow street just behind the opera in central Montpellier. The wine list has a good selection of wines, mainly local for the region, at reasonable prices. Many good producers are represented; some examples: Domaine Gauby, Mas de l’Ecriture, Grand Moulin, Chateau Lascaux etc. Food is uncomplicated – typical for a small French bistro-café: steak tartare, entrecôte, magret de canard etc. A good place to go if you are looking for a friendly welcome, simple food and good wines.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


BKWine Pick: Domaine des Terres Dorées, Beaujolais

>> Friday, April 01, 2011

Domaine des Terres Dorées, Beaujolais

One of our favourites in Beaujolais is Domaine des Terres Dorées. The owner and wine maker is Jean-Paul Brun and he has worked hard to make his wines some of the best in the region. The domain is situated in the south of Beaujolais, in the little village of Charnay-en-Beaujolais, not so far from Lyon, in the middle of the beautiful countryside called ”Le Pays des Pierres Dorées”.

Jean-Paul has 30 hectares, all organic, and 11 of them are in Beaujolais Cru, in Brouilly, Moulin à Vent and Fleurie, some 300 kilometres from Charnay. ”Up there, in the northern part of Beaujolais”, says Jean-Paul, ”the granite soil gives more minerality to the wine compared to the lime stone soil here”.

Jean-Paul is not your traditional Beaujolais grower; he works more like someone in Burgundy would. He does not use carbonique maceration at all. He destalks and ferments in the traditional way, with crushed grapes. He never adds sugar; he prefers to have a lower alcohol level. Which is not a bad thing in Beaujolais, he says, here the fruit is the most important thing. He is looking for balance and character. One way to get character is to use only the natural yeast. “This is very important for the personality of the wine”, he says. He uses very small doses of sulphur.

He is also unusual in another way. He makes a lot of white wine. This is a very good region for chardonnay, he thinks. If you see his wines, red or white, don’t hesitate. Buy.

Click here for address and more recommendations.


News on Wine Tours from BKWine

"World's Best Wine Tours" - Travel + Leisure Magazine, on

BKWine offers you two possibilities to go wine travelling this autumn:

For a wine lover a trip to Bordeaux is a must! In Bordeaux you find world famous châteaux and world famous wines but also a lot of new exciting initiatives (less famous but maybe more important for the future of Bordeaux!) and young enthusiastic wine makers.

On this trip we will visit both some big, famous Grand Cru Classé-châteaux and smaller ones that are less known, but very quality conscious. More info on our wine tour to Bordeaux here!

Some of the most unique wines in the world – reds and white – come from Burgundy. A well made red Burgundy, made from the elusive pinot noir, is a wine of elegance, hardly found anywhere else. You find them in the Côte d’Or, the golden slope, the heart of Burgundy. More info on our Burgundy wine tour here!

For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we're on French time). Visit our video channel to meet some of the producers we visit.

Visit our brand new wine travel site on!

What do people think about a wine tour with BKWine?

That is of course a question that we think is very important. We want it to be a wonderful and memorable experience for everyone. Here are some of the comments we’ve had from customers this season:

“Many thanks for a fantastic trip. You are so keen to make everything the best for your guests and you are so knowledgeable about wine. A pleasure to travel with you.”, W-A

”Thank you for a wonderful trip to Umbria and southern Tuscany. Wonderful in many ways – our initial ideas for the trip on food and wine in Umbria and Tuscany – and discovering sagrantino and sangiovese – were more than fulfilled”, I & P in Umbria and Tuscany

“After last year’s fantastic trip to Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy our expectations were set very high. But this trip to Bordeaux was even better than we had hoped for. What lunches! What dinners we had! And what wonderful and personal wineries and chateaux we visited. We hope to come back on a new tour with BKWine!” A-M & S in Bordeaux

”You surpassed all the expectations that we had on the tour before we came. The organisation was without a glitch and the tastings was far beyond any similar things we’ve been to previously. It whet our appetite and we already look forward to our next tour!”, B & T in the Rhône Valley
Custom wine tours

We also make custom designed wine tours – on-demand tours for you and a group of friends, for your company (maybe to scout new winegrowers?), for a special event… We can combine winery visits and wine touring with other activities: gastronomic workshops, visit to an oyster farm, truffles hunting, cheese making, and more. We’ve done tours for wine clubs, for sommelier educations, for corporate events, for wine importers, for wine course study groups… just to mention a few.

You'll get a tour designed exactly according to your requirements and tastes, made by one of the most experienced wine people in the business. We personally visit some 200 wineries and taste thousands of wines every year; we write on wine for various wine magazines (we had more than 30 articles published last year); in 2007 we published a ground breaking book on the wine of the Languedoc and in 2009 we published a book on vine growing and wine making - unique in its kind. And we have organised hundreds of wine tours over the years.

More info on the custom designed and bespoke BKWine wine tours and travel here!

Wine tours in Finnish

More info on the Finnish wine tours here: Viinimatkoja


Welcome to the BKWine Brief nr 92, March 2011

It feels like ages since the last issue of the Brief. So many things have happened since. A few:

World’s Best Wine Book!

We won the prize “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals 2010” in the international book competition Gourmand World Cookbook Awards! The book had already been named “best wine book of the year 2010” in Sweden and we knew we were nominated at the GWCA. But we also knew that we were up against books from for example Spain, Italy and China. So when we were at the awards ceremony at the Folies Bergères theatre in Paris (nice place!) we did not really have much hope to be on the podium. And then we win!! Dumbstruck is not an exaggeration.

We are immensely proud and very glad the book is appreciated even internationally. We just regret that it is not (yet?) available in English! We have made a big effort to make the book unique and informative – there are not that many comparable texts on the subject for the enthusiastic ‘amateaur’ or dedicated wine professional. More info further down in the Brief!

The World’s Best Wine Travel Site?

That may be stretch, but it is FINALLY there. Our new site on wine and food travel: It is an entirely new site with all information on our wine tours (English language tours). We have spent a lot of time and effort to create a site that has lots of information and where it is easy to find what you are looking for. And that gives us a better tool to really show you what our wine tours are about: more exciting text, beautiful pictures, and even a few videos.

The site also has a brand new dedicated travel blog – the TRAVELOG – that you definitely should subscribe to if you are interested in wine and food travel. Subscribe on RSS here: (If you’re not familiar with subscribing with RSS, send us an email and we will explain. It’s easy!)

And later this spring we promise much more news too!

Visit our wine and food travel site here: !

World’s Best Wine Travel Destinations

(Have to stop this silly ‘world’s best’!)

On the tour program schedule for this autumn’s wine tours we have one trip to Bordeaux and one to Burgundy. You can find the full details on the NEW site! ;-) More will come soon!

Register NOW for an autumn wine tour! On our new wine travel site !

And don’t forget that we also do custom tours for small or larger groups.

A few interesting reads

(Look! I managed!)

In this issue of the Brief we have quite some debate and discussion. For example: on the new Primeurs Circus in Bordeaux or the curious new classification in the Languedoc. Some of the texts became so long that they did not fit here, so you will have to read them on our blogs. Follow the links in the Brief below!

Britt & Per

PS 1: Do let us know what you think about our new site!

PS 2: If you write a blog: we’d really appreciate your help in getting the word out about our new wine travel site. If you had the possibility to write a line or two about it we’d really appreciate it! Launching a new url is not easy…

You can read the full newsletter, BKWine Brief #92, here!

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

The blog has moved. Here is the new location: BKWine Magazine Blog.

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