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Syrah grape bunch in Tuscany

Australia’s most popular grape varieties

Nowhere else is the dominance of a few grape varieties as big as in Australia. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay account for almost 60% of the total vineyard area of 149,000 hectares. Syrah alone accounts for 28% of the planted vines. But perhaps a diversification is in sight. Both Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are […]

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Ce qui nous lie - Back to Burgundy

Sibling conflicts in Burgundy

It is not as bad as it sounds… We wrote some time ago about the role of wine in French films. We asked our readers for recommendations of “wine movies” and one of our readers took us up on that. She recommends a film she watched a few months ago called “Ce qui nous lie”. […]

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A glass of sparkling wine

Choose MCC for high-quality bubbly from South Africa

Method Cap Classique (MCC) is the name given to South African sparkling wine produced according to the traditional method, ie with a second fermentation in the bottle. The Cap Classique Producers Association (CCPA) was founded in 1992. The idea was to find a suitable name that would facilitate the marketing of the wines. To call […]

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The Big Zin Zinfandel-Primitivo, Puglia, Italy

Italians do not want Nero d’Avola from Australia

Some wine regions and even individual wine producers are incredibly keen, sometimes excessively so, to protect their names and brands. Champagne is the undisputed world champion in this sport. The most recent discussion in this topic is between Italy and Australia. The conflict is about whether the Australians should be able or not to put […]

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Chateau Pech-Redon, La Clape, Languedoc

Greek and Italian grapes in Languedoc

It gets warmer and drier in Languedoc, says Christophe Bousquet at Domaine Pech Redon in La Clape. This cannot completely be compensated for by irrigation. That’s why Christophe this summer is going to plant grape varieties that are used to an even warmer climate. He has chosen Nero d’Avola (!) from Sicily and the amazing […]

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Cork oak tree in Portugal harvest a year with 5

New techniques for cork oaks in Portugal

Portugal’s (and the world’s) largest producer of cork products, Amorim, is slowly changing the cork industry. Since 2013, a project has been in progress concerning the possibility to start harvesting the cork from the cork oaks earlier than at the age of 25, as is the case today. The solution seems to be an improved […]

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Roses are pretty at Christmas too

Provence, a pink success story

The world drinks more rosé wine than ever before. Rosé consumption in the world has risen by 31% since 2003. The very light coloured style of rosé, such as they are made in Provence, is the highest fashion. The rosé trend has made Provence an extremely successful wine region. 89% of the wines in Provence […]

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A rainy day in Lisbon

Finally, it rains in South Africa

It’s winter in South Africa and it’s raining, at last. A relief, but more rain is needed, says DP Burger, winemaker at Glenwood in Franschhoek, and others we have heard from. The draught in Western Cape, where the wine regions are, have long been a serious problem, but the situation is now improving. The water […]

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Nets to protect vines from hail in Chablis, Burgundy

Hail nets are now permitted in France

Wine producers in France are now allowed to use vertical hail nets. After three years of experiments in Burgundy, the INAO has decided that the nets do not affect the maturity or quality of the grapes. The background is that in recent year hail has caused extensive damage and lost harvests in several wine regions. […]

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Gravelly soil, old vines, Chateau Belgrave, Medoc

Vineyard prices in France on the rise

Buying a vineyard in France is not getting any cheaper. On the contrary. All categories of vineyards are becoming more and more expensive. This is evident from numbers recently published by Safer, a governmental organization overseeing property transactions. The average price per hectare of AOP vineyards is 143,900 euros, an increase from last year of […]

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Ackerman, Saumur in the Loire Valley

Popular bubbles from the Loire Valley

The various sparkling crémant wines produced around France are becoming more and more popular. Not least the Crémant de Loire, which has seen a huge boost for its exports. 2017 saw an increase in exports to the US by 9%. The wines are made mainly in the Saumur area but can also be made in […]

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Ecocert organic wine certificate

Organic vineyards increase in France

Currently, there are 5,835 organically certified wine estates in France. This is an increase of 11% since 2016. The certified vineyard surface is 61,048 hectares, an increase of 4%. The trend shows a continued increase. 17,617 hectares are under conversion. Of these, 3,369 hectares are in their third (and last) year of conversion, 5,588 are […]

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Ripe grapes

The most popular grapes in South Africa

In South Africa, around 100 different grape varieties are grown on an area of approximately 117,000 hectares (table grapes not included). This is quite impressive, although of course many of the varieties are grown in very small quantities. The most planted variety in South Africa is still Chenin Blanc with 19,000 hectares. This is still […]

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Shelves of bag-in-box at Systembolaget

Sweden is world champion in bag-in-box wines

Swedes are world champions when it comes to drinking bag-in-box wines. In 2017 box wines were separated from bulk wines in international import and export statistics. Up until then, everything over 2 litres was considered as bulk wine. So now we have statistics showing which countries export and import bag-in-box. The statistics show that Sweden […]

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Vineyards in Condrieu, Rhone

The truth about the size of the French wine regions

Sometimes it is said that statistics is an effective way to hide the truth. But often it is very interesting and sometimes surprising. New statistics – very detailed – were recently published on the wine production in France in 2017. In total, France has 745,044 hectares of vineyards. Of this, 446,000 hectares are AOP vineyards […]

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Mendoza vineyards and the Andes

2018, a very good year in Mendoza

The Argentinian wine farmers really needed this vintage. After small quantities due to severe weather conditions in 2016 and 2017, 2018 is a very good year both for quality and for quantity. The quantity is up 30% from last year. The growing season offered perfect weather. Not so much rain, hot days and cool nights, […]

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Un chateau en ville by Lestrille, wine bar Bordeaux

Un Château en Ville, a new wine bar in Bordeaux

Château Lestrille is a family-run chateau in Entre-deux-Mers, the region between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. This is a region that most people only pass through going from Bordeaux to Saint Emilion. But if you stop you will discover a lot of good wine producers. One of our favourites here is Lestrille, located in the […]

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Oak barrel ageing and fermentation cellar, Chateau du Tertre

What’s on at BKWine Tours (June 2018)

Autumn 2018 Champagne, September 26-30 Bordeaux, October 10-14 Douro Valley in Portugal, October 17-21 South Africa, November 9-19 Winter 2019 Chile-Argentina, January 20 – February 4, 2019 South Africa, February 16-24, 2019 New Zealand, March 11-26, 2019 For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we’re on French time), or go to […]

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An old farm house

Wine Fair with Swedish (!) Wines on July 27-28

Sometimes people as “Do you make wine in Sweden?” A fair question. The climate is obviously not ideal. The answer is “Yes.” I believe there is well less than 100 hectares in total, but quite a few producers. If you happen to be in the south of Sweden on July 27-28 you have a unique […]

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Spraying in Clos des Goisses, Champagne

Oil spray in the vineyard to fight weeds

During our spring wine tours we have visited the small and interesting Champagne house Philipponnat. On our visit in early May we saw people working in their prestigious vineyard Clos des Goisses with knapsack sprayers on their backs. Obviously they were doing some kind of treatment. It turned out to be weed control with a […]

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Céline Gueguen with her scay vines (or chardonnay)

Sacy, a rare grape in northern Burgundy

Unusual grapes can pop-up when you least expect it. On one of our tours in Chablis in the spring, a little-known grape called sacy made an appearance during the tasting of Domaine Frédéric and Céline Gueguen. Of course, this was not a Chablis. Some Chablis producers, including Domaine Gueguen, also make wine outside the Chablis […]

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A glass of Italian bubbly wine being poured

Mini-Prosecco will be served on French TGV trains

Champagne producers would like to make us believe that Prosecco’s huge successes does not affect champagne. That champagne and prosecco play in different leagues. It is possible, but hard to believe 100%. At least Prosecco has now succeeded with the feat of entering the French high speed TGV train bistro wagons. You can now buy […]

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