Doing some serious work here

>> Sunday, 31 January 2010



Wine tasting. Wine glasses. Alpha Estate Winery, Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece

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Alpha Estate Winery, Greece, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Alpha Estate Winery (Ktima Alpha) is located in the village Agios Panteleimon, Amyndeon, north western Greece, viticultural appellation region Florina. The name of the appellation and wine region is Amyndeon. Alpha was one of the first private vineyards in the Amyndeon area in northern Macedonia in Greece established with a quality wine focus. It was founded by Angelos Iatridis, winemaker, and Makis Mavridis.

The main grape variety is xinomavro, with both classic vinification and carbonic maceration. Other grape varieties: syrah, making more international style wines, sauvignon blanc giving typical varietal character. Alpha also makes a sweet white wine based on malagousia and gewurztraminer.

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


Greece Alpha Estate Winery stock photography samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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From which well known wine region?

>> Monday, 25 January 2010



Caneles cakes. Bordeaux city, Aquitaine, Gironde, France

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Food markets, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Food markets abounds in France and in some other southern European countries. They are a source for wonderful food produce and for nice food photography. They are often colourful, both in terms of all the food, vegetables, fish and other things that are sold there and in terms of the character-ful merchants who sell their products.

You can find all sorts of fish, shellfish, oysters, mussles; fowl with many different birds, chicken and duck of course but also more exotic things like partridge; vegetables and fruits, often stacked in beautiful piles making you want to take a bite; butchers and charcuteries with wonderful dry cured hams, freshly cut slabs of juicy meat, home made sausages; the cheese mongers with their incredible selections of all shapes and forms of cheeses, some of which one has never heard of etc etc.

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


Food Markets stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Where is Marc? Here is Marc.

>> Friday, 22 January 2010



Bottles aging in the cellar. Marc de Bourgogne. Domaine Bertagna, Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Domaine Bertagna, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Domaine Bertagna is a wine estate located in the village Vougeot, on one of the main streets, in Cote de Nuits in northern Cote d'Or in BBourgogne. Go out back and you immediately get into the vineyards, with a view over neighbouring Clos de Vougeot.

Since the 1980 it is owned by the family of the German business man Gunther Reh. Today it is Eva Reh and her husband Mark Siddle who runs the estate. The total vineyard area is about 21 hectares. It is planted almost exclusively with pinot noir, the dominant grape variety in Cote de Nuits, to make red wine. They also has a tiny patch (well, not so tiny in Bourgogne, to be honest) of 1 hectare of chardonnay to make some white (that is indeed excellent too).

Their vineyards are in various appellations: Vougeot, Corton Charlemagne, Chambertin, Corton, etc. They produce wines from 18 different appellations, five grands crus, seven premier crus.

http://www.domainebertagna.com/

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Bourgogne Vougeot Domaine Bertagna stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Romanee-Conti

>> Thursday, 21 January 2010



Vineyard. La Romanee Conti Grand Cru with stone cross. Vosne Romanee, Cote de Nuits, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Romanee Conti, Vosne-Romanee, Côte de Nuits, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Romanee-Conti is one of the grand cru appellation vineyards in the commune of Vosne-Romanee in Cote de Nuits in Bourgogne. It is a monopole (fully owned) by the Domaine de la Romanee Conti, sometimes called DRC. It is planted exclusively with pinot noir grapes to make red wine. Not just any red wine, but one of the most expensive ones you can find.

The Romanee-Conti grand cru is just one of several around the village of Vosne Romanee. When standing looking at the stone cross on the edge of Romanee Conti you have La Grande Rue to the left, on the other side of a dirt road, behind you is Romanee Saint Vivant, above RC up the hill is La Romanee, and to you right (north) is Richebourg.

The total vineyard area is 1.63 hectares. Yields are low, much less than 30 hl/ha according to some, a bit over 40 hl/ha according to others, so there are not many bottles around, only some 4000-5000 bottles. But that is of course not the main reason that makes the wines from this vineyard one of the world’s most expensive red wines. That is mainly du to its collectability and to the desire that well heeled people have to own a bottle that says Romanee-Conti on the label, and perhaps, perhaps even one day drink it. It is more of a collector’s item than a beverage.

The vineyard is cultivated with organic farming since 1985.

But why there is a tall stone cross standing at the edge of the vineyard I do not know. It was erected in 1723, according to the inscription (which also says “Pierre Argo”), re-erected by the Gaudin de la Villaine and Leroy (at one time co-owners of the vineyard).

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


Bourgogne Vosne Romanee Domaine de la Romanee Conti stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Meursault Perrieres

>> Wednesday, 20 January 2010



Vineyard Meursault Perrieres. Meursault village, Cote de Beaune, c d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Domaine Marc Jomain, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

THIS IS ONLY A SELECTION OF SAMPLES. Use the image SEARCH function to find more relevant photos.Domaine Marc Jomain, Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy

Domaine Marc Jomain (or simply Domaine Jomain) is located in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, not far from the main square. It is owned by the family Jomain and has some 9 hectares of vineyards, mainly in the appellation of Puligny. It is run by the brothers Philippe and Christophe Jomain and their sister Catherine. They took over the winery from their father Marc in 1992.

The vineyards are planted with chardonnay for the white wines. They have parcels in four of the Premier Cru vineyards in Puligny and a substantial chunk (a third of a hectare) in the very exclusive Batard-Montrachet grand cru.

They practice the so called culture raisonnée, sometimes called sustainable vine growing and that could be described as almost, but not quite organic, accepting to do chemical treatments when absolutely needed.

The harvest at Domaine Jomain is traditionally made by hand by a team of pickers in the vineyard. Some of the wine is aged in wood, only a proportion of which is new oak barrels.

http://www.domaine-jomain.com/

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


Bourgogne Puligny Montrachet Domaine Marc Jomain stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Too much wine when planning the roads?

>> Saturday, 16 January 2010



Winding road through the vineyard with Beaune village. Bikers. Pommard, Cote de Beaune, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Pommard, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Pommard is one of the best known villages (or communes) in Bourgogne's Côte d'Or. No doubt it is helped by a name that is easily understood in English. The Pommard commune starts just a short walk south of Baune, the capital of the Cote de Beaune. You can take the Route des Grands Crus or you can walk (or take your bike) along the small roads through the vineyards.

Pommard has 27 premier crus (e.g. Les Rugiens and Les Epenots: Grans Epenots and Petits Epenots), but no Grand Cru. The total vineyard surface area (in production) is 320 hectares, of which an impressive 118 ha is premier cru. All wine made in Pommard (with its appellation controllee) is red and made from pinot noir grapes. Thus, they have no chardonnay vines, Burgundy's (almost) sole white wine variety.

There is a quite famous Chateau de Pommard, that you can visit and where you can taste some wines in the cellar. However, there are other growers that are perhaps better known for their quality. Along the road leading to the village you will pass the old railway station that seems to have been converted into a modest holiday home.

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


Bourgogne Pommard stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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The gate to riches

>> Friday, 15 January 2010



Vineyard. Domaine Bouchard Pere et Fils. "Le Montrachet" Grand Cru, Puligny Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Le Montrachet grand cru, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Le Montrachet is perhaps one of the most famous white wines from Burgundy, or even from anywhere. It is made from grapes grown in a small vineyard in Bourgogne, so even if many people know of it, few have actually tasted it. It is certainly one of the most expensive white wines in the world.

Montrachet is an appellation controllee grand cru vineyard split between the two villages Chassagne-Montrachet and Puligny-Montrachet. It is exclusively for white wines, thus made exclusively from chardonnay grapes. The total vineyard area is less than 8 hectares. This tiny vineyard is, as always in Bourgogne, not in the hands of one winery, but the property of several winemakers and wine growers. According to Wikipedia there are 18 owners and 26 producers. Each owner has his own rows of vines. In other words, there are at least 26, if not more, different Montrachets produced each year.

Burgundians are not for making things simple, so this tiny vineyard plot has neighbouring vineyards (which are often considered as part of Montrachet, when talked about in general terms) of almost equal fame: Batard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrachet, Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet, and Criots-Batard-Montrachet, this last having less than 2 hectares... There is also a plot (without a specific appellation) called Grand Montrachet.

Some well known owners/producers of Montrachet are Laguiche, Joseph Drouhin, Domaine de la Romanee Conti, Hospices de Beaune, Bouchard Pere & Fils, Domaine Leflaive.

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


Bourgogne Le Montrachet stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Is this why they say 'langue de bois' in French?

>> Thursday, 14 January 2010



Bung hole with stopper. Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, d'Or, Burgundy, France

['Langue de bois', or wooden tongue, is a French expression for having a rather heavy head in the morning. Or perhaps they mean that you have wooden splinters in your tongue.]

[UPDATE: Apparently, according to some of my informers, 'langue de bois' actually means something more akin to politicians filibuster language. Perhaps that is so.]

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Domaine Philippe Livera, Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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The Domaine Philippe Livera winery is on the outskirts of the village of Gevrey-Chambertin in Côte de Nuits in Burgundy. It is run by winemaker Philippe Livera and his son Damien. It is a small(ish) family estate in the northern part of the Côte d'Or. Winemaking is traditional and the wine spends varying time, depending on the appellation and on the vintage, in barrel to age and mature slowly.

Just outside the Livera house, across the street, they have a small vineyard, a 'clos', that is surrounded by a wall, almost in the centre of the village of Gevrey. (And it produces the wine that they call "Clos Village".)

They make several different wines, including village appellations as well as grands crus from chambertin or chapelle-chambertin. All, of course, made from pinot noir grapes.

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


Bourgogne Gevrey Chambertin Domaine Philippe Livera stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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The grass is greener - here

>> Wednesday, 13 January 2010



Bunches of ripe grapes. Vine leaf. Pinot noir. Corton Grand Cru. Aloxe Corton, Cote de Beaune, d'Or, Burgundy, France

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Corton and Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru vineyard, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Corton is a ‘grand cru’ vineyard in the commune (or village) of Aloxe-Corton a short drive north of Beaune in Côte de Beaune in Burgundy. The appellation controlee Corton includes both red and white wines but the vast majority is red. White Corton is really more of a rarity. It accounts for barely 5% of total production.

The total vineyard are is just under 100 hectares (94.78 ha according to one source). Most of it is planted with pinot noir. The whites are made from chardonnay grapes. The size is thus comparable with a big chateau in the Bordeaux region. The difference is that a chateau in Bordeaux has one owner, whereas a “vineyard” in Burgundy is divided into numerous individual plots where each owner might have a single hectare or even less.

All the vineyards are located on the slope just above the village of Aloxe Corton. On the top of the hill there is a small forest, almost like a cap, but the rest of the area is planted with vines. This is one of the most expensive vineyard land that you can find. Expect to pay 1 or 2 million euros per hectare if you want to buy. (There are occasionally very small plots for sale.) Corton is not the only Grand Cru in Aloxe. There is also Corton-Charlemagne and Charlemagne.

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

Bourgogne Corton Grand Cru stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Only in your dreams!

>> Tuesday, 12 January 2010



Bottles aging in the cellar. Richebourg 18xx, 19th century bottle. Domaine Negociant Champy Pere & Fils, Beaune, Burgundy, France

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Maison Champy, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Maison Champy (previously Champy Père et Compagnie) is a Burgundy négociant based in the town of Beaune. The company was founded already in 1720. That gives them the right to claim that they are the oldest wine trader ('maison') in Burgundy.

Their wine cellars are in central Beaune, not far from the Mairie/Town Hall. Since 1990 it is owned by Henri and Pierre Meurgey. As a négociant they both buy grapes and must as well as finished wine. More than half of their production is vinified by themselves (as opposed to being finished wined made by someone else). They also own 12 hectares of vineyards. The grape varieties are of course pinot noir for the red burgundies and chardonnay for the white burgundies.

The wines are made with very careful vinification, with the aim to express the grape style and the original terroir from each plot. The wines spend varying lengths of time aging in oak barrels in the wine cellar.

Their total range of wines extends over a large number of different appellations, both from the Cote de Beaune and from the Cote de Nuits.

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


Bourgogne Beaune Maison Champy stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Morgon

>> Monday, 11 January 2010



Vineyard. The village with church. Morgon, Beaujolais, France

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Beaujolais, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Beaujolais, the southern-most tip of Burgundy. Tip is perhaps the wrong word, since it produces the largest volume of Burgundian wines. Virtually all wine in the Beaujolais is red, made from the gamay grape. (Gamay does exist in the vineyards in other parts of Bourgogne also but to a very small extent.) They also make small quantities of white wine, from the chardonnay grape variety.

For many years Beaujolais has been mostly known for its Beaujolais Nouveau, the “new” new sold shortly after the harvest, in November – usually not of a very exciting quality. Perhaps Beaujolais is today moving towards making more of the ‘serious’ style of Beaujolais that they are quite capable of making.

The landscape in Beaujolais is quite different from the rest of Burgundy: more hilly and undulating. Very pretty, with small villages here and there.

There is “plain” Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, and Beaujolais Cru. Cru meaning that the wine comes from one of the ten villages (Brouilly, Régnié, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleury, Saint Amour, Chénas, Juliénas, Morgon, and Moulin-à-Vent) and has the right to put the village name on the label.

The gamay vine is usually trained in gobelet style (bush vine). The regulation says that it must be so but trials with guyot trellising are done and there are also old vineyards that have not used gobelet. Harvest is done manually (necessary with gobelet) but some trials are done with machine harvest.

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


Bourgogne Beaujolais stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Cornucopia?

>> Sunday, 10 January 2010



Carrying grapes in a basket. Gamay. Domaine Tractot & Dubost, Beaujolais, France.

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Domaine du Tracot and Domaine Dubost, Beaujolais, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Domaine du Tracot and Domaine Dubost are the property of the Dubost family in the Beaujolais. It is managed by Jean-Paul Dubost, winemaker.

It is a fairly substantial property with vineyards in several of the crus in Beaujolais: Moulin à Vent, Brouilly, Morgon, Regnié, Fleurie. The vineyards are planted with Beaujolais, the red grape variety of the Beaujolais. They also have small plots of vineyards planted with white chardonnay and viognier grapes.

The winemaking and the winery is a mix of modern and traditional. They harvest the grapes by hand, as is the rule in Beaujolais. The grapes arrive at the winery and are sorted on a sorting table to eliminate bad fruit. The winery has on one side shining stainless steel fermentation tanks, and on the other traditional concrete vats.

Being a relatively large producer in Beaujolais they export their wines to several different countries and have received positive mentions from several international wine critics.

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


Bourgogne Beaujolais Domaine Tracot Dubost stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Newer than nouveau

>> Saturday, 9 January 2010



Freshly pressed Gamay juice. Domaine Melinon, Morgon, Beaujolais, France

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Domaine Melinon, Beaujolais, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Domaine Melinon is a small Beaujolais winery located in the Beaujolais cru Chiroubles in the Villié-Morgon village. It is managed by the winemaker Odile Melinon and her husband Gérard. The family has been winemakers since several generations.

The winery is traditional with small, open-top concrete fermentation vats.

The vineyards are planted exclusively with the gamay grape variety. Grape picking is done by hand.

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


Bourgogne Beaujolais Domaine Melinon stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Riding the wave (of wine)

>> Friday, 8 January 2010



Bottles aging in the cellar. Domaine Gravallon Lathuiliere, Morgon, Beaujolais, France

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Domaine Lathuiliere-Gravallon, Beaujolais, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Domaine Lathuilière-Gravallon is a 17 hectares wine estate in the Beaujolais region in southern Burgundy. The winery belongs to the Lathuiliere Gravallon family. Today it is Cathy Lathuilière who is the winemaker.

The vineyards are in the Beaujolais region so the grape variety used is gamay, making fresh, aromatic red wines. They make several different cuvees from the different communes, "crus", in Beaujolais: Morgon, Fleurie, Chirobles. They even make a Beaujolais rosé.

Harvesting the grapes is done by hand with a team of grape pickers. the gamay vines in Beaujolais are traditionally trained in gobelet style, bush vines, making hand picking essential.

The winemaking is very traditional. The wine is aged in oak vats of large size. Some are aged in smaller barrels.

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


Bourgogne Beaujolais Domaine Lathuiliere Gravallon stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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A fire in my belly

>> Thursday, 7 January 2010



Burning, toasting the barrel with fire. Cooperage, barrel manufacturing, Cadus, Louis Jadot, Ladoix-Serrigny, Beaune, Burgundy, France

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Cadus cooperage, Burgundy, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Tonnellerie Cadus is a cooperage (barrel maker) in the heart of Bourgogne in Ladoix-Serrigny just north of Beaune. It belongs to the Louis Jadot négociant (wine merchant and wine producer) but also sells its barrels to other wineries.

They make barrels of all sizes, including the Burgundian pièce of 228 litres and the Bordelais barrique of 225 litres. Making a barrel is still very much a hand craft. It starts with selecting the wood from oak grown in France or, increasingly, other countries. The wood is cut in rough planks that are let to dry in the wood yard for several years. The planks are then cut into precision shaped staves and then the assembly starts: The staves are put together in a cylinder held tight with the iron hoops.

The cooper then heats the barrel over open fire, both to make it easier to bend the staves to the rounded shape and also to give the barrel it's toasting. The firing, or toasting ("chauffe"), can be soft, medium or strong and is one of the key parameters in the characteristics of a barrel. Other key elements are the provenance of the wood, albeit many argue that the tannin contents is more important than what forest the trees come from, the grain of the wood, and the craftsman's skills of the cooper.

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


Bourgogne barrel making Cadus stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Waiting for the right moment

>> Wednesday, 6 January 2010



Oak barrel aging and fermentation cellar. Chateau Haut Marbuzet, Saint Estephe, medoc, Bordeaux, France

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Chateau Haut-Marbuzet, Saint Estephe, Medoc, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Haut-Marbuzet is one of the best known “Cru Bourgeois” in Medoc. It is in the Saint Estèphe area. It is owned by the Henri Duboscq family and managed by the brothers Bruno and Hugues Duboscq.

The vineyards extend over 61 hectares. The grape varieties planted in the vineyard are cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc vines. The winery is on one side of a country road and the offices and tasting room on the other, built in a rather grandiose style.

The wine made at the winery is exclusively red, full-bodied and powerful. At harvest, the grapes that are brought in to the winery go through a manual selection on a sorting table to assure that only quality fruit go into the winery. Winemaking is classic: fermentation is big concrete vinification vats and aging in oak barrels. Much new oak is used.

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


Bordeaux Saint Estephe Chateau Haut Marbuzet stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Cabernet franc

>> Tuesday, 5 January 2010



Bunches of ripe grapes. Cabernet Franc. Chateau la Grace Dieu les Menuts, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France

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Chateau Grace Dieu les Menuts, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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You will find Chateau Grace Dieu les Menuts vineyards on the main road between Libourne and the town of St Emilion, on the right hand side of the road. There are several “Grace Dieu”:s so you have to be careful. It is a 16 hectare vineyard planted with 65% merlot, 30% cabernet franc and 5% cabernet sauvignon. It is owned and managed by the winemaker couple Thierry and Odile Pilotte Audier.

It is a medium sized Saint Emilion property with the right to carry the mention Grand Cru on the lable. Winemaking is traditional: pressing with a vertical basket press, fermentation and vinification in concrete vats, aging in oak barrels. But it is balanced by modern technology and techniques: sorting the grapes at the harvest to obtain optimum raw material, thermo-regulated tanks etc. Depending on the vintage, a protion of the wine is aged in one (or two) year old barriques to give it a balanced character.

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


Bordeaux Saint Emilion Grace Dieu les Menuts stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Would you dare...?

>> Monday, 4 January 2010



"....pull this cork?"

Bottles aging in the cellar. Clos Saint Julien, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France

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Clos Saint Julien, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Clos Saint Julien is classified as a Grand Cru in Saint Emilion. It is a very small vineyard situated just outside the town limit on the north side of the village of St Emilion. The vineyard is on one single plot with all the vines surrounded by a wall, hence the name clos. It is mostly planted with the merlot grape variety.

It has a tiny winery building in the middle of the vineyard, as is necessary. Catherine Papon Nouvel own and manages this wine estate since some years back when she took over from her father. She has two other Saint Emilion properties: Chateau Gaillard, which is bigger, and Chateau Petit Gravet Ainé. All three produce excellent wine, very different in style.


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


Bordeaux Saint Emilion Clos St Julien stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Chateau Yon Figeac

>> Sunday, 3 January 2010



Chateau Yon Figeac, Saint Emilion, Bordeaux France.

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Chateau Yon Figeac, Saint Emilion stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Yon Figeac, Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé, is located in the Saint Emilion appellation, in the Bordeaux wine region, across the Garonne and Dordogne rivers from the city of Bordeaux. It lies between the towns of Saint Emilion and Pomerol. The vineyard is planted with merlot and cabernet franc grapes on primarily sandy soil with clay and limestone. The wines are aged in oak barrels for 16 to 24 months.

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


Bordeaux St Emilion Ch Yon Figeac stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Wine Dreamliner?

>> Saturday, 2 January 2010



Chateau d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux. 2001, 1988, 1975. Bordeaux, France.

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Château d'Yquem, Sauternes, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Yquem is in the appellation of Sauternes in Bordeaux. It produces luscious sweet white wine from grapes that have been affected by noble rot, the famed botrytis cinerea, which affects the grapes in the vineyard.

Chateau d'Yquem is the grandest, most famous, biggest and - most expensive of the Sauternes wines. It is the only chateau to have be designated as Premier Cru Supérieur in the more than 150 year old 1855 classification. It was for a long time the property of the Lur Saluces family, and was managed by Comte Alexandre de Lur Saluces. In the late 90s, due to disagreements in the family, it was sold to the luxury goods group LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy) headed by the French tycoon Bernard Arnault. The vineyards extend over 113 hectares and are planted with 80% sémillon and 20% sauvignon blanc grape varieties. The vines are trained in a trellising system called gobelet pallisé, which is unusual, except here in Sauternes.

The chateau is an impressive medieval fortress commanding spectacular views over the surrounding landscape. The winery has been much renovated, a new barrel cellar has been constructed (the wines are aged for an extended period of time in new oak barriques), and everything now exudes the same richness as the wines themselves. The winemaking is under the responsibility of the exceedingly 'sympathique' Sandrine Garbay while Pierre Lurton, the director of the chateau leads the business. They also make a non-sweet (dry is not the right word) called "Y" (i-greque), which started the trend of not-so-sweet wines with single letter names (R de Rieussec, G de Giraud...).

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


Bordeaux Sauternes Chateau Yquem stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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Small, ugly and wrinkled - but loved

>> Friday, 1 January 2010



Noble rot grapes. Semillon. Chateau Nairac, Barsac, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France.

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Château Nairac, Barsac, Sauternes, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Nairac is in the appellation of Barsac in Bordeaux. It produces luscious sweet white wine from grapes that have been affected by noble rot, the famed botrytis cinerea, which affects the grapes in the vineyard. When this rot comes late in the season, just before harvest, it is beneficial and causes the grapes to shrivel on the vine and become more concentrated. It can also attack the vines at other times and then it can cause great damage as 'grey rot'.

Chateau Nairac is in the commune of Barsac, an appellation that has the right to sell its wines under the bigger appellation Sauternes. Many wineries in the appellation chooses to label the wine as Sauternes since it is better known internationally, but at Nairac one uses the Barsac name. Chateau Nairac has some 17 hectares of vineyard planted with 90% sémillon grape variety, and 6% sauvignon blanc, 4% muscadelle.

Nairac has a rather grand chateau building lying next to the main road south through the appellation. The winery is today headed by the brother-and-sister pair Nicolas and Eloise Heeter-Tari, Eloise taking care of promotion and management and Nicolas being responsible for the vineyards and winemaking.

At harvest a large number of pickers arrive in the vineyard to pick the shrivelled grapes almost one-by-one by hand. The grapes that arrive at the press in the winery look all mouldy and dried up, but they produce an incredibly rich sweet white wine with a deep golden colour.

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


Bordeaux Sauternes Chateau Nairac stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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