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The Chateau de Saumur along the river

Saumur Brut without sulphur from Ackerman

Ackerman is a major producer of sparkling wine in the Loire Valley. Now the company launches its first bubbly chenin blanc without added sulphur (Saumur Brut l’Esprit nature, 11.50 euros on site). But that does not mean that these wines automatically fit into the “natural wine” category. Certainly, the absence of sulphur is important to […]

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A tractor for treatments in a vineyard in Champagne

How much does a vineyard cost in France?

If you are thinking of becoming a wine grower in France, here are some important figures just announced by SAFER, a government organization. In 2016, the average price for an AOP vineyard was 140,600 euro per hectare. The figure shows no major change since the year before. However, one change has occurred. The prices have […]

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Biodynamic, Organic and Natural Winemaking by B & P Karlsson, at Athenaeum

The pleasure of book shops and organic wines

Every time I go past a bookshop I pop into the shop to see if they have one of our books on the shelf. We’ve done nine wine books by now, nine published in Swedish and only one of them published in English. So it works well in Sweden where there’s usually one or two […]

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Wine bottle necks with label 100% Natural

How’s it going for “natural wines”?

Very strange things – even completely incorrect – are sometimes written and said about “natural wines”, the wine category that a few years ago became one of the hottest subjects among wine geeks (and that still is largely limited to the wine geek crowd), and one that no one can really agree on what it […]

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Cork soaking for TCA testing

Natural cork is doing very well these days

An article about how natural cork has made a comeback in recent years made me look for some interesting cork statistics from Apcor, the association of Portugal’s cork industry. 34% of the world’s cork forests are found in Portugal. That means 736,000 hectares in Portugal of a total of over 2 million hectares in the […]

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Cool climate vineyard landscape in Walker Bay on the south coast

New wine videos, Glenwood, Newton Johnson in South Africa, and Pic St Loup

We have published quite a few wine videos lately. You can for example watch a whole series of videos with the winemaker at Glenwood Vineyards, DP Burger, in Franschhoek: An introduction to Glenwood Vineyard in Franschhoek with DP Burger When to pick the grapes? A visit to Glenwood Vineyards And several more on their different […]

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Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. J Portugal Ramos

Oak ageing yes, but discrete flavours please

Oak ageing is an important ingredient in the production of a quality wine, this all wine lovers are well aware of. Important yes, but more and more winemakers are trying to make the oak as discreet as possible in their wines. The oak ageing is needed, they say, to stabilize the wine and to give […]

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Nets to protect vines from hail in Chablis, Burgundy

Extreme weather and natural disasters in the vineyards around the world

Frost has been a serious problem throughout Europe this spring. But frost is not the only climate phenomenon that a vineyard can encounter. No vineyard is completely sheltered from extreme weather or natural disasters. Cold, frost, hail, fires and floods due to heavy rainfall are the most common weather problems. Burgundy, Piedmont and Mendoza in […]

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Britt & Per Karlsson, BKWine

Terroir wine, industrial wine, natural wine, or technical wine? | New Brief out, #166 | The Wine Newsletter

Terroir wine, industrial wine, natural wine, or technical wine? Terroir wines are often said to be the opposite of industrial wines (or volume wines). In short, terroir wines are wines where you recognize the origin and industrial ones are wines where you do not (and that are produced in large volumes). However, it is not […]

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Wines in a wine shop in Paris

American wineries sell 60% direct to consumers

60% of sales is “direct to consumers” (DtC) for an average American winery, according to a recent report by the Silicon Valley Bank. Rob McMillan of the Premium Wine Division of the bank says that direct sales have grown dramatically over the last five years. This is an astonishingly high number. In Europe, only wineries […]

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Britt & Per Karlsson's 9+1 books

Read our book(s)

We have written several wine books, nine at the last count. One of them has been translated to English; the others are (so far) only available in Swedish. This is the one that is available in English: Biodynamic, Organic and Natural Winemaking, Sustainable Viticulture and Viniculture All our books are on wine, but on different […]

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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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Vine burned by the frost in Languedoc

The worst spring frost in a very long time

It has been a cold spring throughout Europe. So cold that frost has caused damage in most European wine countries, in the north as well as in the south. For many wine growers, this is the worst spring frost they have ever experienced. But frost, like hail, is very local. During our trips in April […]

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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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CIVB (Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux) headquarters in Bordeaux

What’s on at BKWine Tours, June 2017

Autumn / fall 2017 Bordeaux, September 27 – October 1 Piedmont, wine and truffles, October 18-22 Douro Valley, Portugal, October 18-22 Alentejo and Setubal, October 25-29 Winter 2018 Chile and Argentina, January 27 – February 11, 2018 South Africa, February 23 – March 5, 2018 (with possible safari and golf add-on) For more information please […]

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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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Vineyards at Vina Vik, Chile

The winter wine tour program now (almost) finalised

The programs for the two winter wine tours, Chile-Argentina in February and South Africa at the end of Feb-early March, are now ready and published. These two long distance tours bring you to wonderful summer climates in the southern hemisphere and most likely it will be when harvest is in full swing. You can find […]

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Boekenhoutskloof vineyards and winery in Franschhoek

What’s on at BKWine Tours for autumn-winter 2017

Autumn / fall 2017 Bordeaux, September 27 – October 1 Piedmont, wine and truffles, October 18-22 Douro Valley, Portugal, October 18-22 Alentejo and Setubal, October 25-29 Winter 2018 Chile and Argentina, January 27 – February 11, 2018 South Africa, February 23 – March 5, 2018 (with possible safari and golf add-on) For more information please […]

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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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AdLibris ranking list for wine books

Top ten wine books: Top ranking on the internet

It’s fun with top lists. Especially when you are in the first place! I just happened to look at AdLibris’s (a leading internet book seller in Sweden) list of wine books. Our new book on Champagne is in the first place. Another book about Champagne is in second place, which underlines the popularity of bubble […]

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Port tonic overlooking Porto and the Douro River

Does port need a boost?

The answer is probably yes. Many sweet wines are struggling on the market today. (Excepting of course those table wines that are sold as “dry” but which contain a substantial amount of sugar, sometimes well above 10 grams per litre.) Port is one of the great classic wines, one of the first wines in history […]

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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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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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