Receiving “The Nobel Prize of Wine Literature”

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A few months ago we were at the OIV ceremony for their annual book awards. To pick up our prize.

OIV is short for International Organisation of Vine and Wine (or Organisation International de la Vigne et du Vin), a technical collaboration organisation where most of the world’s wine producing nations are members. You could almost call it “the United Nations of wine”.

Each year they have a book competition where they give awards to the most deserving books in the area of wine literature. Often it is quite technical books (many very interesting!) but some are more general public wine books. Given what the organisation is, you can imagine that it is a prestigious award. The Director General of the OIV, Jean-Marie Aurand, called it “The Nobel Prize of Wine Literature”. Yes, he did say it somewhat jokingly in his presentation, but in the wine world it is perhaps not far from the truth.

Our latest book was one of the winners!

France, The Country of Wine” won the OIV Award in the category “Wine and Territories”.

Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards
Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards, copyright BKWine Photography

You can find all the award winners of the OIV book award here. We are of course very proud of that, and we have mentioned it before here.

It is the first time ever that a Swedish book has won the prize.

I thought I’d share with you here both some pictures from the award ceremony as well as our thank-you speech.

OIV Book Prize Award Certificates
OIV Book Prize Award Certificates, copyright BKWine Photography

This is the short thank you that I said to the assembled dignitaries (it was said in French and this is the English translation):

“France, the Country of Wine, Trends and Traditions

Our book is about French wines and wine regions.

It is our fourth book, after one on Languedoc, one on winegrowing and wine-making and one on organic and biodynamic wines.

It is written for the enthusiastic “wine amateur”, i.e. wine lover.

Curiously there were no books dedicated to French wines on the Swedish market. (And not that many in other countries either.)

Previous books, that in one way or other did talk about France as a wine country, (as a whole as one of many wine countries, or those that talked about one or other French wine region,) were all terribly out of date.

So we thought it was about time. A modern and up-to-date book about French wines!

Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards
Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards, copyright OIV

We are also a tour operator – specialised in wine tours – so we travel to many wine regions. Every year we visit 200 or 300 wineries. And have done since many years. This gave us a very good insight into what is going on in the French wine country.

The core of our book is about all the wine regions and wine makers across France.

But we also wanted to show the reader a broader picture. How has France–The Country of Wine changed in recent decades?

And how has the international market for wine changed? France used to be the undisputed leader in the world of wine. Today competition is much harder. Many more countries make excellent wines. So how has France’s position on the world market of wine changed? And what is France doing to respond to the new challenges? And perhaps more importantly, what do WE think – Britt and I, the authors – that France could do better, or should do, to keep its leading position as the world’s greatest wine country.

But lots of facts are not enough for a good book.

What we have also tried to do is make it easy to read, and beautifully illustrated. To tempt the reader into discovering more and more of all the exciting wines that exist in this fantastic wine country!

It is unfortunately only available in Swedish at this moment. Perhaps translations will come.

We hope that it will make more wine lovers discover or re-discover French wines.

We want to give a big thank you to all wine makers who have shared their passion with us and all their “secrets”, which have allowed us to write it.

We also want to thank the OIV for having thought our book worthy of its attention.

Thank you all!

– Per Karlsson & Britt Karlsson”

Read more about our book “France, The Country of Wine” here.

The prize ceremony took place in November at the embassy of Romania in Paris. The pictures are from the awards ceremony.

You can read the OIV press release here.

Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards, with the OIV President
Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards, with the OIV President, copyright OIV
All the award winners at the OIV prize ceremony
All the award winners at the OIV prize ceremony, copyright OIV
The presentation of the OIV Book Prize Awards
The presentation of the OIV Book Prize Awards, copyright BKWine Photography
Britt Karlsson, author of Vinlandet Frankrike, at the OIV Awards
Britt Karlsson, author of Vinlandet Frankrike, at the OIV Awards, copyright BKWine Photography
Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards, with the OIV President
Per & Britt Karlsson, Vinlandet Frankrike, OIV book prize awards, with the OIV President, copyright OIV
OIV Award to Vinlandet Frankrike
OIV Award to Vinlandet Frankrike
Vinlandet Frankrike, trend och tradition, lektyr med ett glas vitt vin
Vinlandet Frankrike, trend och tradition, lektyr med ett glas vitt vin, copyright BKWine Photography

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