Chateau Monty, a Channel Four six part series, about Monty Waldin, former wine critic, author, and Biodynamic® expert turned winemaker aired its first episode this week.  Reviews have been mixed, but the concept is intriguing.  As reported,

But even organic wasn’t good enough for Monty. No – when it came to making his own, Monty decided he’d settle for nothing less than biodynamic – an agricultural method that avoids pesticides and chemical fertilisers, relies on nature to protect and feed the crops, and uses the lunar cycle for harvesting and pruning the vines.

So Monty traded in his Tuscan villa (where he was writing a wine travel guide) for a vineyard in St-Martin-de-Fenouillet, a tiny village of 40 set in the French Pyrenees, a region responsible for one-third of all French grapes, and gave himself 18 months to make a delectable biodynamic wine. Economic downturn in the wine industry meant that many winegrowers were selling off their vineyards, so it didn’t take long for Monty to find his perfect patch – a 5.5 acre, sloping vineyard home to 6,000 Carignan grapes and a stunning view over the mountains.

The result of Monty’s effort, trials (some that are hilarious), and tribulations is Monty’s French Red, a now popular selling bottle. Despite the mixed reviews, the show looks to be a nice warning signal to anyone looking to enter wine making.

Halesowen News coverage
Times Online review
Decanter review
Guardian interview

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