About Britt Karlsson

Maker of World's Top Wine Tours. On WBI's Power List of wine journalists. Wine Profile of the Year 2011. We've been named World's Top Wine Tours by Travel + Leisure Magazine. We've written a wine book that won the award World's Best Wine Book for Professionals and another that's been awarded Best Wine Book in Sweden for Professionals. We had (probably) the first web site on wine in Scandinavia in 1996. We publish one of the most read independent wine newsletters on wine. And lots of other things we're proud of too.
Author Archive | Britt Karlsson
Terraced vineyard. Priorato, Catalonia, Spain

Vineyard surface in the 18 EU wine countries

Of the 28 member states of the EU, 18 counts officially as wine countries. Wine is made also in Denmark, Sweden and Poland but you have to have more than 500 hectares planted to be included in the statistics. Vineyard area in hectares, total EU, 3 190 459 ha: Spain, 941 154 France, 802 896 […]

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Cork soaking for TCA testing

VINC, new TCA-free cork from the Cork Supply Group

The Company Cork Supply Group, a major supplier of natural corks, introduced earlier this year a new cork called VINC. This is a cork that is guaranteed to be free of TCA contamination. In other words, a wine sealed with VINC will not be corked. VINC is a technical agglomerated cork, which means that it […]

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Burning hay bale for frost protection in Burgundy

New type of frost control in Burgundy: burning hay (video)

In Côte d’Or in Burgundy this year, for the first time, a new method of frost control has been used. The burning of straw bales. Many of them. Maurice Chapuis at Domaine Chapuis in Aloxe-Corton explains why: “They are setting fire to the straw bales at around four o’clock in the morning. They do it […]

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Silwervis Chenin Blanc 2014 Swartland

Five “natural” wines from South Africa that are really good! | Britt on Forbes

There is a wine revolution quietly going on in South Africa. Or more correctly, a second revolution. The first one was when apartheid ended and the KVW iron grip on the wine sector also came to an end. That led to the birth of the modern wine industry in South Africa, where today you can […]

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A barrel cellar tunnel at Bodegas Roda in Rioja

Spain still the biggest wine country in the EU, according to Eurostat

Eurostat has recently published a variety of interesting statistics on the EU’s vineyards and wine industry. The EU currently has more than 3 million hectares of vineyards and 80% of it is classified as quality wine. Spain is the largest wine country with 941,000 hectares. EU’s largest wine region is also in Spain: Castilla-La Mancha […]

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Clos Saint Joseph 2015 Syrah, Côtes de Provence

Domaine Clos Saint Joseph in the easternmost part of Côtes de Provence

50 kilometres north of Nice is a small town called Villars-sur-Var. We are quite far away from the wine regions. Closer to Nice is the appellation Bellet and further west is the Côtes de Provence. But Villars-sur-Var also has vineyards. One of the few wine growers here is Roch Sassi. His small domain of 4 […]

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Working in a steep vineyard

Champagne rejects astronaut in advertising campaign

Atout France is a government organization that is responsible for promoting various French tourist destinations. Recently, it launched an ad campaign aimed at French tourists. The slogan for the campaign is “France, tout un monde à explorer – Devenez Françonaute” (France, a whole world to discover – be a Franconaute). The campaign images show an […]

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Spraying with helicopter

Frost Fighting Helicopters in Montlouis-sur-Loire

Spring is a lovely time of the year but it can also be a nail-biter for wine growers in northern wine regions. No one wants to be hit by frost in April or May, destroying the new buds.As it unfortunately happened in many places earlier this spring. There are various ways to protect the vines […]

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A beehive in the garden

Bee Friendly certification

A wine can be certified organic, biodynamic, sustainable and now there is also a certification taking into account the well-being of the bees. It is called, of course, Bee Friendly. The label is a private initiative by European beekeepers to make farmers aware of the damage that certain pesticides make to this small, but very […]

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Chateau Bourdieu Absolu 2016 primeur

Tasting En primeur: Château Bourdieu Absolu 2016

Muhammad and the mountain? The primeur tastings in Bordeaux take place every year in early April. We have not been there this year but we did a mini-primeur tasting at home with one wine the other day. I tasted the wine blind. The colour was dark, really dark with a purple rim. The wine looked […]

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The castle ruin in Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Stony soil and lots of sun = rare Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc | Britt on Forbes

Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of France’s most exclusive appellations. It covers only 3200 hectares (less than e.g. Chablis in Burgundy). It is famous for its rich and powerful red wines. Only 7% of the production is white, so the white Chateauneufs can almost be considered a rarity. but if they are hard to find it is […]

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Bottles in a wine shop marked organic wine (ekologiskt)

Some organic favourites worth trying

Here’s a handful of organic wines that we have encountered recently that we certainly recommend trying: Anima, Avondale, Chenin Blanc, 2013, South Africa, ~15 €. Nice honey tone, a little pineapple and citrus, elegant and subtle oak. The wine is full-bodied without being heavy. Vacqueyras Garrigues, Domaine Montirius, Vacqueyras, France, ~16 €. Clean and nice […]

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Shipping all over the world

Bordeaux exports stable in 2016

Bordeaux exported 2 million hectolitres of wine (270 million bottles) in 2016. The region accounts for 17% of French wine exports in volume and 36% of the value. China and the US compensate for declining exports to Europe. The six largest markets for Bordeaux wines in value are: China: The growth continues and China is […]

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Big tractor equipped for spraying

Lower copper limit for organic wine producers. Maybe.

Being an organic winegrower means that you are obliged to spray with copper to prevent certain fungal diseases rather than using synthetic pesticides. Copper is effective primarily against mildiou. As with all other pesticides the authorisation to use copper is renewed every ten years. This year the EU will evaluate copper and decide whether to […]

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At the wine trade fair

Montpellier has, again, two large wine fairs: Millésime Bio and Vinisud

The move to Marseille was short-lived. For the 2018 edition Millésime Bio returns to Montpellier. The dates for  Millésime Bio will be January 29 to 31. There will be no cooperation with the other major Montpellier wine fair, Vinisud, something that Vinisud seems to have wanted but not Millésime Bio. Vinisud 2018 will take place […]

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Cow horn and herbs used in biodynamic wine making

Austrian Respekt-Biodyn certifies biodynamic winemakers

Demeter is a large, global organization that certifies biodynamic wine growers and other farmers. But Demeter is not alone in doing this. In France, Biodyvin certifies around 100 members. And now there is also a third group, with headquarters in Austria, called Respekt-Biodyn. This group is working, just like Biodyvin, only the wineproducers. Respekt-Biodyn’s members […]

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Champagne, vinet och odlarna, omslag

Launch of our new book: Champagne, the wine and the growers

On March 22 we launched our new Champagne book, “Champagne, vinet och odlarna”. This is Swedish (the book is written in Swedish) and means “Champagne, the wine and the growers”. The launch took place at a book store called Akademibokhandeln at Mäster Samuelsgatan in Stockholm. Big thanks to Akademibokhandeln for all the help to organise […]

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La Cendrillon Nuance

Nuance 2015, La Cendrillon, Vin de France | Britt’s Wine of the Month

A delicious white wine with excellent freshness. Full-bodied, some “fat” and with a lot of fresh fruit. The grape blend is unusual: petit manseng, albariño, verdejo, grenache blanc and grenache gris. And these unusual grapes are of course the reason why this wine is a Vin de France. Domaine de la Cendrillon (cendrillon = Cinderella) […]

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A glass of Italian bubbly wine being poured

Spanish Freixenet makes Italian Prosecco

The Cava house Freixenet has for some time been looking east towards the Italian Prosecco competitors. And now we see the result. Freixenet is launching its on Prosecco DOC and Prosecco DOCG. The two wines were presented at ProWein, the big wine fair that recently took place in Dusseldorf. The wines are made by the […]

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A snifter glass with a digestif

Cognac is doing well on the export markets

The French wine and spirits exports hit an all-time high in 2016. In total France exported wine and spirits at a value of 11.9 billion euros. This was an increase of 1.2% from the year before. Now this was actually not thanks to the wine but to the French spirits, more particularly Cognac. Cognac did […]

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Maria Luz Marin, of Vina Casa Marin, Chile

Casa Marin, a cool climate pioneer in Chile | Britt on Forbes

Most people think of powerful, intense red wines when thinking of wines from Chile. Think again! Today Chile also makes outstanding white wines that are elegant, fresh, mineral and aromatic, and even very good pinot noir. Vina Casa Marin is one of the pioneers in this kind of wines in Chile. Casa Marin was created […]

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The Corton hill in Burgundy with its vineyards

Mysterious buyer of the Corton forest upsets growers

The Corton hill is Burgundy’s biggest grand cru vineyard. On the slopes of the hill just north of Beaune pinot noir and chardonnay are grown side by side. On top of the hill there is 66 hectares of forest. Rumours have it that this forest is about to change owners. The wine producers are upset, […]

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Marselan, recently planted vines

A future with herbicides replaced by thermal foam?

More and more herbicides are prohibited. What will happen to glyphosate and flumioxazin, two key ingredients in a variety of herbicides, is currently unclear. Many winemakers are preparing for a future without chemical weed removal. But there is no lack of new inventions. An Italian company will soon launch a new thermal weed control called […]

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Flowers in the vineyards in Limoux

Limoux, a different part of the Languedoc

When you think of Languedoc you probably think warm, sunny days and rich full-bodied wines made from grapes like grenache and carignan. But the reality is more varied than that. In the 1970s the growers started to plant the Chenin Blanc in Limoux, in the south-western part of the Languedoc. The idea was that chenin […]

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Vineyards protected with a net against hail, Zuccardi, Mendoza, Argentina

Protection against hail in Burgundy and Argentina

In Mendoza in Argentina they have nets to protect the vines against hail. In Burgundy they prefer to launch silver nitrate rockets in to the clouds. The effect is that the hail grains become smaller and fall more slowly to the ground. Hopefully. This is not a system that works all the time. But obviously […]

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Movia Sivi Ambra Pinot Grigio 2011, Brda, Slovenia

Pinot Grigio, still trendy

Pinot Grigio in Italy does not have many similarities with Pinot Gris in Alsace. It is not only the name that is different, but also the style and, not least, the popularity. Pinot Grigio has increased enormously its acreage in Italy since 2010. Right now there are about 25 000 hectares (the whole of France […]

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Chardonnay vines in the spring in vineyards in Chablis

A few notes on Domaine Alexandre in Chablis

We recently had the opportunity to taste the range of wines from Domaine Alexandre in Chablis (they have just been launched by one of the Swedish internet wine merchants), and we quite liked them. The property is in the small village of La Chapelle-Vaupelteigne just north of Chablis itself. It is Olivier Alexandre and his […]

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Country road and vineyards in Languedoc

Andreas Larsson raises confidence in Languedoc

There is a shortage of cheap French wine, which means that some supermarket chains in France are importing Spanish table wine. This has led to criminal actions by some militant winemakers in the Languedoc. But it has also led to more serious measures. The producers’ association in Languedoc, the CIVL, has decided to raise the […]

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Chateau Thieuley, Entre-deux-Mers, Bordeaux

Cru Artisan: small chateaux in Médoc

Cru artisan in the Médoc has made a comeback. This year, a new regulatory framework will be published. The cru artisan classification existed in the Médoc already in the 1800s. At the time it was small estates where the owner himself was the winemaker. In order to support the family he often also had another […]

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Selected yeasts "XR grand rouge"

Cultivated natural yeast?

Yeast, cultivated or natural, is something that a lot of people feel strongly about. Both consumers and producers. Although the vast majority of producers use cultivated yeast, the “natural” yeast enthusiasts have been so convincing, or overwhelming, that some wine consumers today mistakenly believe that natural yeast is the only true path to quality. “Natural” […]

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