Britt Karlsson #66
Discover wine tourism destinations all over the world with BKWine
Britt Karlsson co-founded BKWine AB in 2004. The company has two main activities: wine writing and wine tourism (BKWine Wine Tours). It is today one of the world-leading specialised wine tour operators. Britt, and the company, is based in Paris (France), but of Swedish origin.
BKWine Wine Tours organises – in a normal year – around 30 wine tours to destinations all over the world. France and Italy are the two main destination countries, with most of the countries’ wine regions on the list of travel destinations. Other countries that are regularly on BKWine Tours’ programme are Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand. Britt has also on occasions planned and led tours in other wine countries, such as Croatia, Hungary, Germany. The destinations change each year.
Organisation of wine tours requires keeping finger on the pulse
Since the creation of BKWine, Britt is in charge of planning and organising all wine tours and has thus created many hundreds of wine tours across a dozen or more countries. She also personally leads the majority of the tour as a tour manager, guide and instructor. In a normal year, this means that she usually visits some two hundred wineries across the world on around 20 different tours that she personally handles, bringing several hundred wine lovers to the wine lands.
The double competence
This double competence – wine travel and wine writing – leads to Britt’s unique competence in organising wine tours. This exceptional focus on quality and details means that customers come back time and time again. On a typical tour more than a third of the participants are repeat customers.
What is a successful wine tour about?
For Britt, a successful wine tour is not about visiting famous-name vineyards, completing a wine celebrity “bucket list” designed for name-dropping back home. Instead, she strives to give the wine travellers (and wine lovers) truly unique experiences of a kind that is often impossible to do independently. Perhaps the most important aspect of a wine tour – at least according to BKWine’s and Britt’s travel philosophy – is who the visitor meets at the winery. Britt puts a lot of effort into assuring that in most cases the traveller meets the winemaker or the owner, or another key person involved in the business. In fact, it is the meetings with the people that stays in the memory for the traveller.
For Britt, visiting a winery is first and foremost something that should be a special and enjoyable experience, but it should also be something where you can learn a bit more, for example, why people use egg tanks, what’s the effect of barrel ageing, how you improve quality by pruning the vines, why and how is a winery “sustainable” etc.
On the wine tours that Britt organises, food always plays an important role. Many of the meals are enjoyed at wineries, sometimes with the winemaker participating at the table, at the chateaux and domaines that are on the programmes. A wine tour with BKWine is also a gastronomic experience.