This is a very hectic period, both for wine producers and for us at BKWine.
The harvest will be late in many wine districts this year. In some places they have started but many are still waiting. It has been a year with big variations. Up north (relatively speaking) it has been exceptionally cool. (But you know that already perhaps…) In some places they have had virtually every imaginable problem. In Sancerre, for example, they have had mildew AND oidium, frost AND hail, a cold spring and beginning of summer with too much rain that led to slow growth and rot, AND a hot and very dry August with too little water. And now back to cold and rain… Further south it has been the opposite, warm, well, hot and dry. In Italy the summer has been exceptionally hot and dry which also can lead to slow ripening and late harvest.
But it is really too early to guess how it will all turn out in the end for the poor little grapes. We will have to come back with a report on that later.
It is now only a little more than three weeks into September but for us at BKWine the travel season is going full steam ahead. Over these three weeks we have already done six wine tours. So perhaps you can have some understanding that we have a hard time managing to publish the BKWine Brief and that it is shortish this time of the year. We have been to Bordeaux, Tuscany, Bordeaux (again, and again), Chablis, Burgundy, Veneto/Valpolicella/amarone, and perhaps some more wine region that slipped my mind.
If you are curious how it has been and what we have done you can take a look at our travel blog. There you can find both pictures and videos and some stories from Bordeaux and from Tuscany. More will come soon. It is a good way to get a feeling for the wine districts (and for our wine tours).
On the important subject of travel: Have you given it a thought to join us on our wine tour to Chile and Argentina? Come with us to explore the wine regions in these two exciting wine countries? And the food. And the sites. Pampas. Tango. Horses. But a lot of wine and food. And a breath-taking trip over the Andes. We have a few places left on this tour and deadline for registering is approaching! Sign up now!
And then we have two other things that we just have to mention:
On August 30 we launched our new book. It is called Wine and the Environment and is about organic wines, biodynamics, natural wines and other related things. The book had not arrived from the printer on August 29 so we were getting rather nervous for the launch event. But finally it did arrive late in the afternoon on the 29th. You can see some glimpses from the launch event if you read on further down. (There is only one “but”. The book is in Swedish. We would love to find an English language publisher…!)
To get some appreciation for what one does is of course important, so when Meininger’s Wine Business International and Tom Scheel included Britt on a list of influential wine writers / journalists in Scandinavia we were both happy and surprised. It must mean that at least occasionally someone reads what we write. WBI did a very interesting overview of wine media in several different countries that you can read more about below.
And then Per won an award too! But one of the more curious kind: In Vino Amicitas Grand Prix Lalau pour L’Amitié entre les Vins. Indeed curious. But it makes one no less happy! Read more on that too below.
And then you can read about our best pick of amarones, Egyptian wine (indeed!), the new classification in Saint Emilion (well constructed or a joke?), the Swedish monopoly discovers home delivery, Beajolais (that we should all drink more often!) and much more. In the BKWine Brief below.
Britt & Per
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief!
What’s on at BKWine Tours
“World’s Top Wine Tours” – Travel + Leisure Magazine, on TravelAndLeisure.com
2012 wine tour program
- Tuscany 10-14 October
- Champagne 14-18 November
2013 wine tour program
- Chile & Argentina, 4-19 February 2013
- South Africa, 1-11 March 2013
For more information please contact us on email or on phone (we’re on French time), or go to our wine travel site on www.bkwinetours.com!
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. More info on the custom designed and bespoke BKWine wine tours and travel here!
Wine tours in Finnish: We also do wine tours in Finnish. And in German, Norwegian, Spanish…
Do you want the latest news and updates on our wine travel activity? Subscribe here! (Second alternative BKWineTours.com)
From the World of Wine
Don’t miss our wine tour to Chile and Argentina
In February BKWine with Britt and Per is heading to Chile and Argentina. Two wine countries climbing up the sides of the Andes in South America. Both with grandiose scenery. And some of the very best wines in the New World. Imagine The Pampas extending to the horizon and the snow covered tops of the Andes, but also beautiful vineyards, impressive wineries, and a pulsating Buenos Aires.
We will visit several of the very best vineyards including some very high quality producers that have not yet reached world fame. This tour also includes many other tourist and historic attractions. Outstanding wines that match the local gastronomy perfectly.
A unique wine and food tour that will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Sign up now for this tour to Chile and Argentina! Dead line for registering is approaching.
Revolution on the Swedish wine market? Home delivery for wine shoppers
The Systembolaget alcohol monopoly in Sweden has been given green light by the government to start a trial with home delivery of alcohol, something that is not permitted today. Some say it will be a catastrophe for public health and others say that it is a natural evolution to improve customer service. Critics say the main objective of home delivery from Systembolaget is to crush the budding competition in Sweden from wine web shops.
Read more on the details on BKWine Magazine: Modern era commerce and customer service arrives at the Swedish alcohol monopoly
Bordeaux wants to protect the word “chateau” on wine labels
A few groupings of Bordeaux and other French wine producers have launched an initiative to protect the use of the word “chateau” on wine labels. It is a reaction to discussions between the EU and the US that may lead to that the word will be permitted for use on American wine estates. Another example of outrageous protectionism or justified worries about consumer protection?
Read more on BKWine Magazine: Should Bordeaux (or the French) have a monopoly on the term “chateau”?
Finally (?) a new classification for Saint Emilion
Saint Emilion has just announced the new classification of the chateaux. The new classification includes some substantial changes but perhaps not dramatic surprises, as our guest writer and Bordeaux expert Jeff Leve of The Wine Cellar Insider explains.
We also give you the full list of the new classification on BKWine Magazine: The new Saint Emilion Classification
Swedish wine making waves in Italy
It is not (yet) the wines made by Göran Amnegård at the Blaxta vineyard south of Stockholm (Sweden) that has reached Italy but it is his reputation. Blaxta is perhaps the Swedish vineyards that has achieved the most international attention, especially his sweet ice wines. That may have to do both with his talents as winemaker and as marketer (he once worked with marketing and exports).
The Italian wine web site Chronache di Gusto recently published an article on the wines from Blaxta: A surprise, even in Sweden they make wine. And as if that was not enough, the article was written by BKWine’s person on location in Italy, Åsa Johansson! We say a big congratulation to both Göran Amnegård and to Åsa. It can not be easy to get into Italian media, not as a Swedish winemaker, nor as a Swedish wine writer!
A few late-summer days in Bordeaux
One cannot complain when one stands on the terrasse in the late-summer sunshine and look out over the chateau’s garden. With a perfectly chilled four year old white Bordeaux wine from one of the very top estates in the Graves. And then sit down for lunch in the chateau’s private dining room to enjoy a four course gourmet meal with as many wines.
Or when you arrive at one of the smaller family-owned wine estates and go for a walk around the vineyard with the owner, and he explains in the most brilliant way what the difference is between a vineyard managed organically, to encourage biodiversity, and one managed traditionally chemically. (Well…: “It is so quiet in a “traditionally” managed vineyard. There are not many insects so there are no birds.”) Ending with a tasting of a series of the chateau’s wines.
After which you continue to a country restaurant in the middle of the vineyards to feast on a foie gras (if you want) and a barbecued magret de canard and a few more wines..
That is what we did with a few travel guests earlier this autumn. Read more, and see pictures and videos from this wine tour to Bordeaux on BKWine Tours:
- From the Bordeaux wine tour: delicious wines and lots of sun
- Wine tasting and visiting Saint Emilion and Pomerol
An introduction to Beaujolais in Burgundy
Beaujolais is the biggest sub-region in Burgundy, that is well known, but how big is it actually? Is there any white wine made? And how many appellations are there? Which are the important wine villages?
This and much more is what you will find out if you read our Quick facts on Beaujolais
The best amarone wines
That is of course a question of personal taste. Amarone has over a few decades become an immensely popular wine, especially in northern countries. It is almost a bit anachronistic, this massive, compact, intense wine in an era when most tendencies go towards lower alcohol. Our contributor Stuart George went to Valpolicella in Veneto, amarone country, and tasted a wide range of wines.
We present you with his selection of the very best wines and producers. Including some surprises on BKWine Magazine: Tasting Amarone, a selection of excellent producers
Winners of the Lalau wine awards!
Per was one of the award winners when this very odd prize was announced, the In Vino Amicitas. The competition was probably on knife edge (broken bottle fight?) and the award brings with it some unexpected benefits.
Read more on BKWine Magazine: I won a Lalau wine award, but not the Roeder one
On wines from Egypt!
We have never tasted a wine from Egypt. Or perhaps we have once, at Millésime Bio. David Furer, contributor to BKWine Magazine and wine writer at large, went to Egypt to taste Egyptian wines and visit the vineyards.
Read more on his experiences in this unexpected wine country on BKWine Magazine: Egyptian wine on the way up – Hot climate viticulture is spreading
The world’s most influential wine writers and wine critics
It is an impossible task to tell who is most influential in wine media. But Meininger’s Wine Business International has given it a try. They looked at Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Russia, China, Brazil, USA, Germany, and the UK.
Read more about who are the heavyweights in wine communications in these countries on BKWine Magazine: The “wine media power list” of Swedish and international wine communicators. We can already reveal that BKWine is mentioned!
Our new book is launched! Wine and the Environment
On august 30 we launched our new book in Stockholm: Wine and the Environment, Organic, Biodynamic and Natural. The book is so far only published in Swedish so the real title is Vinet och miljön, ekologiskt, biodynamiskt och naturligt. We explain what all these different terms and principles are about, what are the rules, what are you allowed to do according to the different philosophies and what is not permitted. It is up to you to decide if it is good or bad, once you have the facts. So now if we only could interest an international book publisher to make an English language edition too!…
Read more and see pictures and video from the launch on BKWine Magazine: Book launch, our new book: Wine and the Environment
Colombaia in southern Tuscany, a vineyard worth a visit
Colombaia is actually the Italian name for a small dovecot that you often can find on the roof of old Tuscan houses. But it is also the name of a very interesting wine producer in the southern part of Tuscany.
The vineyard is at the very end of a long dirt road and it is not easy to find your way there. But it is worth the effort. They make some excellent wine, one very interesting white wine and two elegant and classic reds (although they label them as IGT). And one very original sparkling rosé wine. It is one of the wineries that we often visit on our wine tours to Tuscany and Chianti.
Read more on our latest visit there a week or so ago and see the pictures as well as a series of videos on BKWine Tours: Wine tour in Tuscany: Visiting the Colombaia winery
Wine events calendar
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This post is also available in: Swedish