Chateau Monty

FOOD TELEVISION – Tuesdays from 14 September, 10.30pm

39-year old writer Monty Waldin is a man in pursuit of a dream… He’s giving up his life in England and using all his savings to take over a small vineyard in the south-west of France – to produce his own wine. The odds seemed stacked against him. Much to the derision of some wine experts, Monty is determined to grow his grapes biodynamically, using no chemicals or machinery, relying instead on planetary rhythms and the influence of the moon. Always strapped for cash, Monty has no business experience – even his Italian girlfriend is sceptical. Follow Monty in this buoyant and exuberant quest to pull off the greatest adventure of his life.

Saturday, January 24th at 8pm

Take one Englishman with dreams of making his own wine, a few sceptical French locals, a girl from Birmingham and a dog called Harry. Place them together in a small organic vineyard in rural France. Then mix with bad weather, financial uncertainty, health scares, wild boar and a sprinkling of cow manure.

The result? A perfect recipe for success? Or disaster? Find out when 3’s fascinating new series Chateau Monty, premiers on Saturday, January 24th at 8pm on 3.

Chateau Monty sees top UK wine critic and author, Monty Waldin, put his money where his opinionated mouth is and pack it all in to make wine biodynamically in rural France.

Tired of reviewing… “bland supermarket plonk and even worse premium rip off wines”,   Waldin thinks he can do better and take on the harsh critics he used to drink with.  He wants to demystify the black art of winemaking by getting his hands really dirty – from the very start through to the uncorking and first tasting.

Waldin’s selling up and moving to the Fenouilledes Hills, less than one hour from Perpignan. His plan is to work a small neglected vineyard, turn its fortunes around and produce 20,000 bottles of premium quality red and white wine. 

If successful he could make over £100,000 and enjoy an idyllic lifestyle – the envy of friends and wine critic colleagues.  If he fails – he risks financial ruin!

Joining Waldin on this brave adventure is Lichfield mum Linzie Bissett who will be assisting the posh wine expert in growing his grapes in the Fenouilledes Hills. 

A former sales/marketing girl at BMW, Bissett’s new job will included hand-scooping manure on to the vines and generally getting stuck in at the sharp end of wine-making.

“I think my accent helped me to get chosen because it was such a contrast,” Bissett explains to The Birmingham Mail. “I went to London to meet Monty and at the interview I got the job.”

“I got paid an hourly rate and, although I’m no gardener, I did crack it in the end. I think I was chosen because of my accent, liking a challenge and being a bit crazy.”

“It was the chance of a lifetime, it has changed my life and I’d love to do more TV.”

However the question still remains: has Chateau Monty changed Waldin’s life, and has it been for the better? Make sure to tune into Chateau Monty as these questions start to get answered when the series premieres on Saturday, January 24th at 8pm on 3.