World's Top Wine Tours
Per Karlsson, <a class="external" rel="nofollow" href="http://bkwinephotography.photoshelter.com">BKWinePhotography.com</a> / <a href="http://www.bkwinetours.com/" class="external" rel="nofollow">www.bkwinetours.com</a>
BKWine: Best for Meeting Winemakers
Swedish wine writer and author Britt Karlsson, a Paris resident since 1990, organizes 20 tours annually to wine regions in France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, and Austria through her BKWine (four-day itineraries for two from $2,020). She concentrates on small producers—not always the most famous, but typically high-quality and representative of the region—and her groups are met by the proprietors, not paid guides. Visits often include informal lunches at the estate.
The Caveat: Karlsson only offers English-language tours to France and Portugal; the rest are conducted in Swedish (custom trips are also available in English). Accommodations are comfortable, but don’t expect Michelin-starred meals. “They take too long,” Karlsson says.