Sweden - Blaxsta
& Maître Restaurateur Göran Amnegård
Flen, July 5, 2020
" A jack of all trades "

Southwest of Stockholm you’ll find Blaxsta, the world’s northernmost vineyard, where Maître Restaurateur Göran Amnegård and his wife Ulrika work and live. Their aim is to be as self-sufficient as possible. The farm produces lamb, various fowl and vegetables. In the nearby forest deer and moose are hunted, berries and mushrooms are foraged. Solar panels power the whole vineyard.

Insight into what makes Göran tick:
- very inquisitive, lots of energy, really embraces life
- uninterested in food growing-up but remembers good feelings of eating together
- smashed his piggy bank to buy “The Great Cookbook of French Kitchen”
- photo of a deboned quail caught his eye
- “I would like to know how to do that” he thought
- next steps - learn how to fillet a fish; get a hunting licence.

Göran and his love of Canada:
- following an economics degree came 20 years as Secretary of Trade in Canada
- result was both indigenous Indians and chefs at best restaurants becoming his friends
- the Canadian flag is on his chef’s jacket
- he makes his own maple syrup

Still in Canada after working as Secretary of Trade Göran started his own berry and mushroom company which coincided with a time of growing interest in nature, health and cuisine. Lecturing about heritage food, learning about fine dining cooking, teaching, guest lecturing, Canadian Culinary Team committee member all in his ‘spare’ time! Ulrika put her foot down as it was time to talk about a different lifestyle.

By coincidence Blaxsta in Sweden was for sale. Göran’s vision was to create a vineyard. “If you can grow grapes in Toronto why not at Blaxsta?” Chardonnay, Merlot and Vidal are thriving, producing high ranking wines with distinctive Swedish character - additives and chemicals free.

In the beginning the Merlot sold was 100 % Merlot but Göran wanted to graft Cabernet Franc onto the Merlot vine - the result was excellent. Göran’s red is now a cuvée of two grapes. Vidal is solely for icewine as the climate is very suitable, better in fact than in the classic icewine countries. Blaxsta’s icewine has won many prizes.

Göran’s baby is the restaurant where his experiments and creativity flow freely. “If you can eat horseradish you must be able to eat dandelion roots” he says, “there is always something in season”. The different ingredients in his dishes not only taste good they become a conversation piece amongst the guests. Like yoghurt made from moose milk served with rhubarb.

Combinations in the menu are well balanced. Göran thinks a six-course menu gives the optimal experience. Menus change daily giving a good reason to eat regularly at Blaxsta.

Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience, to recharge, to learn and discover, or simply to enjoy yourself? Blaxsta is the ideal choice!

Catarina Offe
Conseiller Culinaire

Translation into English by Margareta Henry, Chargée de Missions Honoraire