Glasses and corks

>> Monday, 30 November 2009



Wine tasting. Wine glasses. Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, pauillac, Medoc, Bordeaux, France

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Chateau Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Pauillac, Medoc stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, generally called Pichon-Lalande, is in the commune of Pauillac in northern Medoc, Bordeaux. It is one of the most sought after second growths, sometimes referred to as a ‘super second’, implying that it would merit to join the first growths (in case you still believe in the validity of the 1855 classification). It was for a long time run by the dynamic grand old lady May-Eliane de Lencquesaing who greatly contributed to (if not created) the chateau’s reputation. The vineyards and the winery are just next to Chateau Latour. One has a nice view over the Latour tower from the Pichon Lalande terrace, a terrace that also is the roof of the recently constructed winery and wine cellar. It was recently sold to the Rouzard family of Champagnes Louis Roederer. However, the winery is still managed by Mme de Lencquesaing’s nephew Gildas d’Ollone.

The vineyards extend over 75 hectares, including some vineyards in Saint Julien, grapes from which are curiously still used in the Grand Vin under the Pauillac appellation. They also own Ch Bernadotte, previously Le Fournas Bernadotte. The grape varieties used are cabernet sauvignon and merlot, plus some cabernet franc and petit verdot. Winemaking is of course modern with all the latest technology (as is general in the more luxurious estates in Bordeaux): stainless steel fermentation tanks, extensive barrel aging etc.

The chateau in itself is a very elegant structure, just across the street from 'the other Pichon', Chateau Pichon Baron. It is in a beautiful and well tended park decorated with various sculptures, a Bacchus aptly included.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bordeaux Pauillac Chateau Pichon Lalande stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Remontage - Pumping Over

>> Wednesday, 25 November 2009



Pumping over, fermentation tanks. Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux, France

This is a new experiment: Below is a slide show that shows different details of pumping over (remontage). The idea is to describe in pictures how pumping over is done. (Thank you to Christian David, L'Expansion, for the idea for this type of "illustrative" slide shows.)

The idea is to make slide shows like this on different subjects, say, pruning, pigeage, fermentation types, soil, ... If you have any suggestions for subjects, please let me know: write a comment or send me a mail.

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Winery: pumping over, remontage - Images by Per Karlsson
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Winery technology and vinification: Pumping over or remontage

"Pumping over" (called remontage in French) is a technology used in the winery to increase extraction. The winemaker performs it by emptying fermenting must from the bottom of a tank and then pumping it to the top of the tank. A tube is attached to a must pump and the must is sprayed over the top of the must in the same tank. This is done in order to soak the floating "cap" (chapeau). The cap is mostly grape skins that have floated to the top of the must due to the release of carbon dioxide. It is a semi-solid layer that needs to be kept wet.

By doing the pumping over (remontage) the winemaker increases the extraction of tannins and colours from the skins. The pumping over can be done by letting the must flow out into a trough and then pump from there. This gives added oxygenation. Alternatively the tube is attached directly to the tank. The must is then sprayed over the cap manually or with a spraying device.

A similar, but different, vinification technique is "rack and return" (called delestage in French). In that case the liquid part of the must is emptied from the fermentation tank and then pumped back over the solid parts that remained in the tank. This gives an even stronger extraction of anthocyans and polyphenols.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Don't trip over - that's 10,000€ worth of wine on your back

>> Tuesday, 24 November 2009



Harvest workers picking grapes. Carrying grapes in a basket. Chateau Margaux, Bordeaux, France.

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Chateau Margaux, Medoc stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Margaux is located in the Margaux appellation, in the Medoc wine region, just north of the city of Bordeaux. It is one of the five Grands Crus Classés 1855. It is also well known for its beautiful chateau, of harmonious proportions, built by the architect Louis Combes, in a style similar to, and inspired by, the Grand Theatre in the city.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bordeaux Medoc Ch Margaux stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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How do you become a better photographer?

>> Monday, 23 November 2009

FastMediaMagazine.com has asked its readers, and anyone else who's inclined to respond, to a (not so) simple question:

What is the single most important thing you have done that made you a better and/or more successful photographer?


Share your views at their post Call for photographers.

If you're curious what my response is you'll have to read the comments to their post.

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To the manor born?



A very unusual architecture for being in the Medoc in Bordeuax.

Vineyard. Chateau Cantenac Brown, Margaux, Medoc, Bordeaux, France.

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Chateau Cantenac Brown, Margaux, Medoc stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Cantenac Brown is in the commune of Margaux in the Medoc region in Bordeaux. It is one of the "classified growths", classified as a troisième cru (third growth) in the ancient classification of 1855. The vineyards extend over some 54 hectares, mostly around the chateau in the Cantenac area. It is planted with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. The chateau itself is one of the more unusual of the grand Medoc chateau, built in brick (or at least it looks as if it were) and more looking like a British mansion rather than a bordelais wine chateau.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Bordeaux Medoc Ch Cantenac Brown stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Chinese wine

>> Tuesday, 17 November 2009



(Chateau Richelieu has been sold to a Chinese retail chain according to press information.)

La Favorite. Chateau Richelieu, Fronsac, Bordeaux, France

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Chateau de Richelieu winery, Fronsac, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

The Chateau Richelieu estate is located in Fronsac, in the Libournais in Bordeaux. It was bought some years ago by a group of Dutch and French investors but has recently been sold to a Chinese company. The winery and chateau needed renovation and investment when it was acquired and with constant efforts it has been transformed into a beautiful property. The wines are designed and packaged to attract an international market, rather than the more traditional and conservative French consumers. Fronsac is one of the lesser known appellations in the Bordeaux region, but a wine country where one can find some very interesting and affordable wines. The vineyards are mainly planted with the merlot grape variety and with some cabernet franc and malbec. Winemaking in the winery is relatively modern with e.g. thermo-regulated tanks.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bordeaux Fronsac Chateau Richelieu stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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In a small and crowded space

>> Monday, 16 November 2009



This requires some explanation. this is a detail of an oak barrel where the end has been replaced by a plexi-glass sheet so that you can see the inside. The barrel is filled with grapes, yes entire grapes. That's the blotchy red-black thing you see. This is a trendy, "modern" way that some winemakers vinify prestige cuvees. It is inevitably expensive. (Just imagine the work to fill the barrels with the grapes, and then to empty them.) sometimes it is called "vinification integrale" in French.

Fermentation in barrel. Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. Chateau Reignac, Bordeaux, France.

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Chateau de Reignac winery,Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

The Chateau de Reignac wine estate is located in what is often called the Entre-deux-Mers region, in the Libournais in Bordeaux. It was bought some years ago by Yves and Stephanie Vatelot who started a massive renovation of the winery and investment program (having previously made a fortune as an inventor and industrialist helped). The Chateau Reignac is located in what is nominally a rather humble appellation but the Vatelots had bigger ambitions than that. Their intention is to make a wine that can compete on the same table, so to say, with the best of what Bordeaux has to offer. The winemaking is ambitious and modern. They are experimenting with e.g. vinification of the red wines in barriques a painstaking and time consuming way of fermenting the red wine in small barrels (Cuvee Balthvs). The property has 80 hectares of vineyards planted on limestone and clay soil.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bordeaux Chateau Reignac stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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The jaws of the beast?

>> Sunday, 15 November 2009



Mechanical harvesting tractor. Interior with conveyor belt and vibrating bars. Chateau de Haux, Bordeaux, France

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Chateau de Haux winery,Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

The Chateau de Haux estate is located in what is often called the Entre-deux-Mers region, in the Libournais in Bordeaux. Flemming and Peter Jørgensen bought Chateau de Haux in 1985. The vineyard was in poor shape and the chateau itself was in ruins. They were in for plenty of work to put things in order. Now both the red and the white wines are among the best in the district. To finance the development they founded a company where wine enthusiasts can buy shares and get a return in wine and also get the opportunity to stay at the chateau. the vineyards surround the chateau itself. The main building is a beautifully restored chateau of a size that would be just perfect to live in... Winemaking is classic, with fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The range of wines includes both red (the majority of the production), rosé and white.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Bordeaux Chateau de Haux stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Bare bones

>> Saturday, 14 November 2009



Grape buch stems after destemming ("la rafle"). Chateau Belle-Garde, Bordeaux, France.

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Chateau Belle-Garde winery,Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

The Chateau Belle-Garde estate is located in what is often called the Entre-deux-Mers region, in the Libournais in Bordeaux. The vineyards extend over some 45 hectares, mainly planted with red grape varieties: merlot, cabernet franc, and cabernet sauvignon. Today it is owned and managed by Eric Duffau. The Chateau Belle Garde has been in the family sine 1850. Winemaking is classic, with fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The range of wines includes both red (the majority of the production), rosé and white.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Bordeaux Chateau Belle Garde stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Nice hat, Quinta do Carmo

>> Friday, 13 November 2009



Pumping over. Quinta do Carmo, Estremoz, Alentejo, Portugal.

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Quinta do Carmo winery, Alentejo, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

The Quinta do Carmo winery is located in the Alentejo wine region, east of Lisbon. It is a joint venture with the Domaine Baron de Rothschild of Bordeaux and has therefore brought some French winemaking techniques to Portugal. Nevertheless Quinta do Carmo is a quite traditional winery with not as much modern winemaking technology as one sees in some places in Portugal. The top cuvees of the estate are aged in oak barrels in the barrique cellar. Near the winery there is also a cork oak forest - Portugal being the world's biggest producer of natural corks. The winery is surrounded by the vineyards.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Alentejo Quinta do Carmo stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Pumped up

>> Thursday, 12 November 2009



Fermentation tanks. Pumping over. J Portugal Ramos Vinhos, Estremoz, Alentejo, Portugal.

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J Portugal Ramos winery, Alentejo, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

J Portugal Ramos has become perhaps THE poster boy of Alentejo wineries. He evidently has a talent for marketing. The winery is located on a hill near the town of Estremoz. It is probably one of the bigger producers in Alentejo. Some of the wine making technology is decidedly traditional, e.g. the use of stone lagares for treading the grapes (although we're not sure how much they are actually used). They also have many modern stainless steel fermentation vats, roto-fermenters for an efficient extraction, oak fermentation vats, and a big barrel aging cellar of maturing the wines in wood. They have been extremely successful on the Swedish market, partially thanks to an aggressive pricing strategy for the wines on that market.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Alentejo J Portugal Ramos stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Wine tasting. Herdade das Servas.

>> Wednesday, 11 November 2009



Wine tasting. Herdade das Servas Reserva 2003. Herdade das Servas, Estremoz, Alentejo, Portugal

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Herdade das Servas winery, Alentejo, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

Herdade das Servas winery is in the Alentejo wine region in Portugal. It is a very quality conscious producer with some 200 hectares of vineyards. It is not far from the town of Estremoz. The winemaker, Tiago Garcia, has introduced many modern techniques but is also continuing old traditions. One example in the winery is the lagares. The grapes used to be trodden by foot but the modern lagares have pneumatic feet to increase extraction. Some of the wines are aged in oak barrels. They make a range of white, rosé and red wines.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Alentejo Herdade das Servas stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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A good base for wine excursions

>> Tuesday, 10 November 2009



Evora is, for discovering the Alentejo wine region.

Santo Antao Church and 18th century fountain on Praca do Giraldo. Evora, Alentejo, Portugal.

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Evora, Alentejo, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

Evora is the central city (or town, it's not that big) in the Alentejo wine region (as well as administrative province). It has a bit over 40,000 inhabitants. It has an old city centre with narrow cobble stone streets, old buildings, white-washed houses and many charming things to discover. It is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Evora has a history that goes back more than 2000 years. Perhaps the most notable historic monument is the Roman temple, a well preserved ruin today. There's also the Santo Antao Church on the Giraldo Square (Praca do Giraldo) with its elegant archways and 18th century fountain. It's a good base for excursions into the wine country.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


Alentejo Evora stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Pink wine too?

>> Monday, 9 November 2009



Fermentation tanks. Chateau Saint Christoly, Medoc, Bordeaux, France.

When the sisters renovated the winery they painted the fermentation vats in pink... The woman's touch?

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Chateau Saint Christoly, Medoc stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

Chateau Saint Christoly (a Cru Bourgeois according to the now defunct classification) is located in the northern part of the Médoc region, at the far en from the city of Bordeaux itself. Today it is run by the two young daughters of the Héraud family: Sandrine Héraud, in charge of marketing and sales, and Catherine Héraud, winemaker, in charge of the wine production. The vineyards extend over 29 hectares on gravel and clay-limestone. It is planted with vines of two of the classic Bordeaux varieties: merlot and cabernet sauvignon. The wine is fermented in concrete vats (painted in pink at the recent renovation!), and aged for 12 months in oak barrels. The sisters are using mainly French wood but are also experimenting with some other sources.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Bordeaux Medoc Ch Saint Christoly stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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What, what? Books you said? No. This is better.

>> Sunday, 8 November 2009



Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. Bacalhoa Vinhos, Azeitao, Portugal.

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Bacalhoa Vinhos winery, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

Bacalhoa Vinhos (João Pires & Filhos Lda) winery is located in the Vinho Regional Terras de Sado wine region a short drive south of Lisbon, in the small town Azeitao. Alternatively, one can say that it is on the Setubal peninsula. Setubal is mainly known for its luscious sweet white wines from the moscatel grape variety, the Moscatel de Setubal (pronounced without the 'e' as 'stubal'). They are often aged for a very long time in wooden barrels.

Bacalhoa Vinhos is one of the biggest wine producers in Portugal today. The owner, Joe Berardo, is a wealthy business man who also has interests in the Madeira producer Henriques & Henriques. The winery in Azeitao is located in what used to be a warehouse for books, not a bad looking warehouse actually. There is plenty of space for the thousands of wooden barrels used for aging the wines, beautifully arranged in rows and piles. Inside the winery they age the wines in barriques, bottle, and store the finished wines. The winemaking is done outside, with the fermentation tanks, vats, presses and all other equipment shaded by a roof and surrounded by vineyards.

The winery also has a famous collection of old Portuguese painted tiles, the azulejos, some dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Portugal Terras do Sado Bacalhoa Vinhos stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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The world upside down

>> Saturday, 7 November 2009



But who cares when it's a reflection in a luscious Moscatel de Setubal?

Wine tasting. Wine glasses. Moscatel de Setubal JM Jose Maria da Fonseca, Azeitao, Setubal, Portugal.

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Jose Maria da Fonseca winery, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

The Jose Maria da Fonseca winery is located in the Vinho Regional Terras de Sado wine region a short drive south of Lisbon, in the small town Azeitao. Alternatively, one can say that it is on the Setubal peninsula. Setubal is mainly known for its luscious sweet white wines from the moscatel grape variety, the Moscatel de Setubal (pronounced without the ‘e’ as ‘stubal’). They are often aged for a very long time in wooden barrels, 20 years is not unusual, but they also exist in vintage versions. JM da Fonseca also makes ‘table’ wines, and is perhaps best known for its red Periquita brand. Periquita is both the name of the wine and the name of the grape variety from which it is made (the variety also goes under the name of castelão frances). Today it also exists in white (but of course made from a different grape variety). They are one of the biggest producers of wine in Portugal (480 hectares of vineyards according to one source) and have impressive cellars in Azeitao. The aging cellars are immense filled with old oak vats and barrels for aging both the table wines and the sweet muscat wines. Much of it is decorated with the charming traditional Portuguese painted tiles, the azulejos.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Portugal Terras do Sado JM da Fonseca stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Brown or Brane?

>> Friday, 6 November 2009



One needs to keep apart Chateau Cantenac Brown and Chateau Brane Cantenac in Bordeaux. Physically, they're not far from each other in Margaux. Architecturally, they're worlds apart.

Vineyard. Chateau Cantenac Brown, Margaux, Medoc, Bordeaux, France

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Chateau Cantenac Brown, Margaux, Medoc stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

Chateau Cantenac Brown is in the commune of Margaux in the Medoc region in Bordeaux. It is one of the "classified growths", classified as a troisième cru (third growth) in the ancient classification of 1855. The vineyards extend over some 54 hectares, mostly around the chateau in the Cantenac area. It is planted with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. The chateau itself is one of the more unusual of the grand Medoc chateau, built in brick (or at least it looks as if it were) and more looking like a British mansion rather than a bordelais wine chateau.

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Bordeaux Medoc Ch Cantenac Brown stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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A little something to help you see clearer

>> Thursday, 5 November 2009



Well, actually not. Sometimes the candle can be used to check the clarity of the wine, but in this case it's not what it's for:

Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. Candle for lighting the sulphur pellet inside the barrel. Chateau Brane Cantenac, Margaux, Medoc, bordeaux, France

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Chateau Brane Cantenac, Margaux, Medoc stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

Chateau Brane Cantenac is in the commune of Margaux in the Medoc region in Bordeaux (not to be confused with the neighbour Cantenac Brown!). It is one of the "classified growths", classified as a deuxième cru (second growth) in the ancient classification of 1855. The vineyards extend over some 90 hectares. It is planted with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Today it belongs to the Lurton family, who is one of the great land and property owners in Bordeaux. It is run by the charming Henri Lurton since 1986, the oldest son of Lucien Lurton. The soil is gravel, sand and clay. The winery (chai) has recently been renovated and has an impressive range of new wooden fermentation vats. Wine is aged in French oak barrels, with some racking. It is bottled and labelled with a gold-and-black label of not the most modern design.

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All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

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Bordeaux Medoc Ch Brane Cantenac stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

TIP: You can 'grab' this slide show and embed it on your site. Click the lower-right up-arrow.

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David Sanger changes style

>> Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Not as dramatic as it sounds. the well known photographer David Sanger has simply changed his web/blog design from white text on black background to black text on white background.

It simply makes it much more easy to read.

Many photographers like to use a black background. I think this is in the belief (probably correct) that the photographs who better against a black background.

The problem with this is, as David points out, that it is difficult to read white text on black background.

I think David's decision is the right one!

Will this blog follow the same path? Maybe. Most likely, actually. I have a project to entirely rebuild and redisign what we do on the web and that is one thing that is likely to change.

One example of it is the (currently in beta) photo site I have built on Photoshelter: http://pa.photoshelter.com/c/bkwinephotography

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Where am I today?



Quite an easy one this, isn't it?

Let's make it more difficult: Exactly where was the picture taken?

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Do you have wine & travel picture needs?
Let us know if you have any specific photo requests from wineries and vineyards.

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- More Wine Pictures


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