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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book shame about the TV series
I read the book first and then watched the series recently on 4OD, and was also surprised at the presence of his assistant. After seeing his barely concealed antipathy towards her in the show, and her total absence from his book, it seems obvious her presence was at the insistence of Tiger Aspect (producers of countless reality TV shows) to boost the 'drama' (yes, they...
Published on 17 May 2011 by Mr. R. W. Milward

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3.0 out of 5 stars Series versus book
The day I saw the TV programme reviewed in the Radio Times I was ecstatic! I had walked around that vinyard so many times, sheltered in the same hut that in the TV series Monty converted into a shelter (we all used it as a public loo)and picked several bunches of grapes during my ramblings. I had even helped at a vendage one year as the vinyard had always been organic. I...
Published 14 months ago by L. J. Hardy


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3.0 out of 5 stars Series versus book, 27 April 2013
This review is from: Chateau Monty (Hardcover)
The day I saw the TV programme reviewed in the Radio Times I was ecstatic! I had walked around that vinyard so many times, sheltered in the same hut that in the TV series Monty converted into a shelter (we all used it as a public loo)and picked several bunches of grapes during my ramblings. I had even helped at a vendage one year as the vinyard had always been organic. I loved the TV series, full of people I knew, absolutely delightful and I cried everytime I saw Canigou in the background.

So, on to the book. Well, what happened to the hardworking assistant? What happened to all the village people who had already kept the vinyard up to scratch until Waldin decided to rent it? In the TV series Eric played a small part but in the book he is the major player. There are several comments that are made in the book which are in error (empty le Vivier properties not having mains water - not so, every property includng empty barns went onto mains water in the 1990's etc)and a better proof reader might have helped with the grammatical errors.

I felt that the book was trying to compete with a Year in Provence but dealing solely with Monty's idea of a biodonamic process. I began to feel a bit frustrated with the idea of a cows horn filled with manure buried in the ground. St Martin has always been the home of best organic small growers and producers of vines around for many miles.

Waldin says in one point that a local for decades was not happy about being told how to attend her allotment and thus avoided him. Well, what a surprise, Monty!

To read this book you really need to be totally into how to grow grapes. And in Monty's way. If you are not it could be very boring. I am also a bit sceptical about his comments about Carignan being a "difficult" grape as it has been grown there for more years than he inhabited this earth and it is very good in the right hands.

But I loved it as I recognised so many people, have enjoyed walking round that vinyard for at least 15 years in all types of weather and for me it was a trip down memory lane. And I was able to buy La Soulas wine at my local vintners (Berry Bros & Rudd) which is mentioned in the book and we thoroughly enjoyed on Christmas Day 2012.

But the book and the TV series bear very little relation to each other. Either Monty was "guided" throughout the series or he had "ghost written" help with the book.

Since writing this review I notice Monty Waldins web site is no longer available. Nor is his wine. Perhaps not having television cameras around makes hard graft in a vinyard?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book shame about the TV series, 17 May 2011
By 
Mr. R. W. Milward (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chateau Monty (Hardcover)
I read the book first and then watched the series recently on 4OD, and was also surprised at the presence of his assistant. After seeing his barely concealed antipathy towards her in the show, and her total absence from his book, it seems obvious her presence was at the insistence of Tiger Aspect (producers of countless reality TV shows) to boost the 'drama' (yes, they got some tears out of her). This, plus Geoffrey Palmer's pithy voice-over, made it pretty unwatchable, and I would never have read the book if I'd seen the series first. Shame, because it's an interesting read and I admire his passion for biodynamics even though I don't really buy it.
We did buy some of his first vintage and it was great, especially the white. I read that he stuck with it for a couple more years but only covered his costs and has gone back to writing. Too bad, just shows how tricky it is for small producers, even with the benefit of publicity from a TV show and book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars History rewritten?, 21 Mar 2011
By 
Woodland Worker (Sludgethorpe in Mire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chateau Monty (Hardcover)
I followed this when it was first broadcast on Channel 4(?) He had an assistant who he recruited to help him run the vineyard. He got some young lady to work for him who had no experience of this type of work. She had previously worked in car sales.
In the book there is no mention of her what so ever and yet she was integral to the programme that was shown on TV. When Monty was really laid flat by his back injury it was her who appeared to keep the vineyard on track.
The book is interesting even if some of the ideas seem to be out there with the fairies. Although, in fairness, the Europeans appear to be far more interested in Biodynamics than the Brits
I can only give this book one star as the young woman from the TV programme does at least deserve a mention for all her work and yet she gets no credit.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who edited this then?, 27 Feb 2009
This review is from: Chateau Monty (Hardcover)
This is an interesting subject and a better format than the "I spent a year with a load of foreign wierdos" that we have been bombarded by in recent years. The problem seems to be in the editing, in addition to several typos or grammatical fouls the reader is often treated like a fool - one assumes to pander to an american market - and simple points about wine making or biodiversity are repeated or laboured to death.
The book could have done with being 20% shorter, had the characters developed and not put together like a collection of articles from a cheap wine magazine.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much better than a mere companion to the TV show., 3 Mar 2009
By 
D. Shiach (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chateau Monty (Hardcover)
You have to admire Waldin for his courage. Not just the chucking in of his previous career and his attempts at making his own wine but also the manner in which he has gone about it.
This is a charming romp through the first year on his rustic vineyard, dealing with the variety of trials and tribulations that befall him (anyone with who has ever suffered back ache can sympathise.) As well as moments of humanity and levity.
And if you are lucky enough to have got hold of some of the end product - it sold out in days - you will see that Waldin was very successful indeed.
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Chateau Monty
Chateau Monty by Monty Waldin (Hardcover - 4 Sep 2008)
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