• New Zealand Biodynamic Wine – Churton, Marlborough

    New Zealand finds making wines with strong flavours so easy – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Otago Pinot Noir being notable examples – that producers focussing on bringing definition to their wine more by texture than by great blasts of fruit often slip under the radar. I believe Sam and Mandy Weaver’s Churton estate, in Marlborough’s(…)

  • New Zealand 2015–Kevin Judd on voluptuousness

    It’s not easy photographing people like Kevin Judd who are a)  naturally rather shy – despite in his case being arguably New Zealand’s most famous and most written-about winemaker*, both as founder-winemaker at Cloudy Bay in Marlborough, and latterly at his own venture, Greywacke b) brilliant photographers in their own right, of landscapes mainly in(…)

  • New Zealand Wine – 8 Ranges, Otago

    8 Ranges (Tussock Ridge), Pinot Noir Barrel Selection 2010 www.8ranges.co.nz 8 Ranges is a 3ha estate in the (very dry) Alexandra sub-region of Otago owned and planted from 2003 by business partners Mark Borrie and Trevor Deaker. Both have full-time jobs. Mark is the data-security expert for the local University of Otago. Trevor works for Sky Sports(…)

  • New Zealand 2015–Paraquat ban in NZ upheld

    I was a keynote speaker at the recent Organic and Biodynamic Wine Growing Conference in Marlborough, New Zealand and also gave the closing address. It was an inspirational conference in terms of tone, but based very much on science-based research in terms of content, as a succession of speakers outlined effective strategies to deal with weeds, pests, diseases, soil(…)

  • France, Champagne–Étienne Cadestin of Champagne Esterlin

    I tasted Champagne Esterlin for the first time last week, in London at a private event organised by Frenchman Étienne Cadestin. His day job is working for Longevity Partners, a firm advising businesses, mainly those involved in commercial property, about making economic gains by being more intelligent regarding energy use. Champagne Esterlin is a private cooperative (as(…)

  • Eben Sadie

    Anyone who has ever met Eben Sadie will know he rarely has a quiet moment. I like what he and others are doing with the old vines in South Africa’s Swartland (whites especially), and I think that now Eben is no longer leading quite such a peripatetic life (by also being very hands-on at the Terroir(…)

About Monty

This recent interview with Chris Scott of the UK Wine Show is only a rough and ready summation of bits of my career but is perhaps far easier to digest than pages of online text. But in a nutshell I have been writing about wine since 1995 for various magazines including Decanter , plus various newspapers and journals in the UK and elsewhere.

I have written ten books, including on the Wines of South America, Bordeaux and Tuscany. In 2013 I became the Regional Chair for Tuscany at the Decanter World Wine Awards.

My main focus has always been organic and biodynamic wine, although I have also written a detailed reference book on Biodynamic Gardening which was published in both e- and print versions by Dorling Kindersley in early 2015. I wrote the first independent guide to organic wine in 1999. This was voted the UK wine guide of the year. I followed it with another award-winner, the first book on Biodynamic Wines which was published in 2003 (but both the print and Kindle versions of this book so far out of date it’s embarassing the publisher still has them on sale).

From a more up-to-date and comprehensive version containing suggestions of biodynamic wines to enjoy, see Monty Waldin’s Best Biodynamic Wines.

If you are a wine-grower then Monty Waldin’s Biodynamic Wine-Growing: Theory & Practice – available in both print and electronic forms – might be of more use. This explains the background to biodynamics (the world’s first organic farming movement, and for me still the best), plus the practical nuts-and-bolts of biodynamic wine-growing, like making the biodynamic preparations, compost, and herb teas, plus suggestions as to which celestial cycles are worth farming to and when, which are worth avoiding, and why.

I also contribute entries on organics, biodynamics, cover crops, sustainable wine-growing and orange wine to the Oxford Companion to Wine (2015 ed. Jancis Robinson MW OBE).

Wine is seen by some as being not very TV-friendly, but I am one of the very few wine writers lucky enough to have had their own TV series (before me in the UK I think only Hugh Johnson, Jancis Robinson and Oz Clarke could make such a boast). My show, Chateau Monty, was a documentary made by TigerAspect for Channel 4 in the UK but which was subsequently screened in various markets worldwide. The series followed my journey to make a biodynamic red wine from a vineyard I rented in France’s Roussillon region in 2006-2008.

My latest project in 2014-2015 involved making ‘Monty’s Pet Nat’, the first ever pétillant naturel in England, from Demeter-certified biodynamic Chardonnay grapes grown by Nick Wenman at Albury Vineyard in Surrey, England. A pétillant natural is simply a wine – white in this case – that is bottled whilst it is still fermenting, producing a slightly cloudy (due to the wild yeast) wine with a light spritz. The grapes were picked in autumn 2014 and the wine was released in May 2015 at the RAW fair in London. Ant Palmer of SeaBlueMedia, who directed the Chateau Monty TV series, filmed the Pet Nat story and the episodes (bite-sized at about 3-minutes on average) about are free to view here.

If you need to get hold of me you can either come and hear me speak at an event – such as at this conference for professional organic wine-growers in New Zealand in July 2015, or at this forthcoming wine-tasting weekend for members of the public in the UK 16-18 October 2015 – or find me via Facebook or Twitter.

I speak French and Italian too if that helps.