Château Mitaud is located in the Graves region and sits on around 11 hectares of land. Graves means gravel in French, and the soil is generally shot through with small white stones (gravel) mixed with sand and clay.

The vineyard was partially planted in 2016 with the reds (merlot and cabernet franc) and the remaining reds and whites (sauvignon blanc and semillon) are being planted this year. Soil samples suggested it was not suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon.

Andrew finally received approval in early 2017 from the French Government to plant the remaining areas allocated to the whites and part of the reds, after a long and bureaucratic process. Grapes are not picked and vinified until the third year after a new plantation, so you’ll have to wait until the 2019 campaign at least for the first harvest and vintage of Château Mitaud. We lost 25% of our vines (including newly planted ones) in the 2017 late frost, so we are in the process of replanting these at time of writing. We plan to build the winery and tasting room in one corner of the vineyard.

As far as we know, the current site was once a vineyard, but it was converted to an asparagus farm after World War II. Dominique, our neighbour and good friend says he still sees the odd spur growing wild on the fringes of the now vineyard site. Nothing has been grown here for about 50 years, so the soil is relatively untainted and easy to convert to organic and biodynamic farming methods, which are at the heart of the underlying philosophy of Château Mitaud.

Since we cleaned up the somewhat haphazard mix of fruit and pine trees, we have only used organic and biodynamic fertilizers following in the footsteps of Austrian visionary, Rudolf Steiner, who created the biodynamic method in the 1920s. Certification as "AB" Agriculture Biologique and by the global biodynamic industry body, Demeter, is under way. 

Once you go beyond the vineyard you are into the beautiful and untouched forest, where you can see deer and wild boar roaming free in their natural habitat. Just be aware that wild boar are, indeed, wild (especially where a sow is protecting her young) so keep your distance.

And one final word of warning... it can turn into the jungle very quickly there (our land goes all the way through to the road leading to the village of St. Morillon) and so please beware of tics before you go into the more dense parts of the forest in the summer months. Our advice is to dress appropriately and to apply plenty of anti-tic repellent, which we can provide.