The weeks when nothing must go wrong | New Brief #217

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Britt Karlsson and Per Karlsson, BKWine

Our travel season is in full swing! We are so happy to see our travellers, the wine producers and the vineyards again. Many of the wine producers we visit are almost embracing us with joy, but that is not allowed, so instead it’s a heartfelt “fantastic to finally see you again and receive you in our cellar” at a safe distance.

Right now, the producers are harvesting almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere. A hectic and intense period. In France and elsewhere in Europe this year is a bit special because they are more uncertain about the result than they usually are. What we have seen so far shows small quantity and good quality.

During the harvest, the wine cellars are not clinically neat and tidy. At other times of the year, some of them can give the impression of being art museums and not active workplaces with their long rows of finely shaped concrete tanks or shiny stainless steel and designed lighting.

Instead, colourful hoses cover the floor. The juice is emptied from the tank, rests for a while in a container on the floor and is pumped back again. It’s wet on the floor. Everyone works quickly and efficiently. There is a lot to do in a very short period of time. If necessary, you work around the clock.

You only make wine once a year. The presses are working full time. In Champagne, we saw up close the enormous work that the traditional basket press requires. But it’s worth it, some think.

Out in the vineyards, the harvest workers are already having their first coffee break when we start the day’s program. Picking begins early, when it is still cool.

In mid-September, the white grapes were being harvested in Bordeaux. We tasted the freshly squeezed juice of sauvignon blanc. It was delicious. With around 220 grams of sugar per litre, it is really sweet; you get a real energy boost. In Champagne we got to taste chardonnay juice. Not as sweet, “only” 185 g; we are further north. But still very sweet and flavourful.

We, ourselves, have a hard time drawing any conclusions about the potential, but the winemakers we have met look happy when they taste the juice and talk about their harvest. A good sign.

Other times of the year it is not as busy and the winemakers have a little more time with visitors. Something is always happening though. It can be the blending of the different tanks. An exciting job (for a visitor). Racking in the barrel cellar. Pruning in the vineyard, perhaps the most important contribution the winemaker makes during the year. There is always something fascinating that happens when you visit a vineyard, regardless of what time of year it is.

Soon we are off to our next wine destination.

Wine Tours

The autumn wine tour season is in full swing. As mentioned, we have already been to several wine regions with groups of wine lovers, early adopters of the newly re-opened wine world, Provence, Champagne, Bordeaux, Sicily with Etna, Sardinia… Several more are on the schedule for the coming weeks: Burgundy, Piedmont, the Douro Valley…

It is now the right time for you to plan for your spring season wine tour. This spring we have two great tours on the programme:

  • Bordeaux
  • Champagne

Don’t miss out on “the world’s top wine tours”.

More info on our wine tours here.

Enjoy the Brief!

Britt & Per

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What’s on at BKWine Tours

BKWine is also one of the world’s leading wine tour operators. Here’s what we currently have on our scheduled wine tour program:

  • Bordeaux, April 20-24, 2022 (program available soon)
  • Champagne, May 4-8, 2022 (program available soon)
  • Bordeaux and Champagne, Sept 28 – Oct 6, 2022 (program available soon)
  • Champagne, Sept 28 – Oct 2, 2022 (program available soon)
  • Bordeaux, October 2-6, 2022 (program available soon)

We also make custom designed wine tours.

We’re different than most other wine tour operators. We are people who know wine inside out, who travel constantly in wine regions, who write award winning books about wine. Who do this out of passion. Our tours are different from others. More in wine tours:

Book a wine tour today! »

Chardonnay grapes just in from harvest in Champagne
Chardonnay grapes just in from harvest in Champagne, copyright BKWine Photography

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