Staying close to nature, eating simple but nutritious, healthy food that has not been contaminated by pesticides, getting adequate rest and relaxation and feeling you have had a chance to "recharge your batteries" are central to what makes visiting Château Mitaud a unique and restorative experience you will want to repeat.

At Château Mitaud, we apply that philosophy of letting nature shine through in everything we do, from the way we grow grapes fruit and vegetables biodynamically (Demeter certification pending) with no artificial pesticides or fertilizers. We believe very strongly that you need to start your journey to better health and living by taking a hard look at what you put inside your body. One of the books that has most heavily influenced our thinking is 'The China Study' by T. Colin Campbell PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II. MD, which looks at the most comprehensive study of the impact of nutrition on health and wellbeing ever, which was carried out in China (where else?). We can lend you or sell you a copy if you are interested in learning more. It certainly has influenced Andrew's and Angela's whole outlook on healthy living and eating.


"辟谷" pronounced "bigu" in Chinese (perhaps to distinguish it from the similar sounding name for a certain body part in Chinese!) is a Chinese approach to the western concept of "detox". Often combined with fasting "断食" ('duanshi' in pinyin), bigu has become increasingly popular as China has started to adopt a more Western diet which is higher in fat and calories and increasingly involves consumption of copious quantities of junk food (垃圾食品). Bigu is increasingly seen as a way of withdrawing from the high-stress, high-speed social media-obsessed world in which we live today in China, by going to a place that has clean air and then doing basically nothing and consuming nothing for a period of time (other than tea or other concoctions designed to stop you feeling hungry like goji berries and tamarind powder). The aim is to give the digestive organs a rest, clean out the system to remove built up toxins (the detox part) and, of course, lose weight.

The key to a successful bigu is having experienced coaches guiding you through it who can teach you the tricks and tips to avoid feeling hunger pangs (Andrew has managed four days so far, but Angela has done two weeks!) and having people around you who are going through a similar experience, who can share experience and sensations (not all of which are pleasant) and keep your morale up. Bigu is available on request, providing that there is sufficient demand for a group and a suitably experienced coach/guide is available.


This history of fasting goes back at least to Biblical times. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Christian Bible refer to fasting on many occasions. Muslims still fast today during Ramadan. It was then and remains today an exercise in self-control and restraint. More recently fasting has made a reappearance in the form of the "5+2 intermittent fasting diet" and its variants (which Andrew follows) which involves fasting for two days a week where you limit the calorie intake to 600 calories for men and 500 for women while eating normally on the other five days (Andrew in fact follows a variant where he fasts completely on Saturday and then keeps his intake down to 600 calories on Wednesday – the days move based on client commitments or work pressure, but the regime stays the same). It is very important to drink enough water on the fast days to keep your body hydrated, and Andrew's experience is that it is important to keep yourself occupied on full fast days: sitting around with nothing to do makes your thoughts turn back to food!

What are the experiences and benefits of fasting?

Based on Andrew's experience, the fasting day tends to get tougher towards the end of the evening (as you would expect) as you get further away in time from the last time you ate. The benefits can be felt in terms of a sense the next day that your body has genuinely cleansed itself and you have lost weight so feel lighter, but have a great appetite – but the only way to really get a sense of this is to try it! See for further information on the 5+2 diet.

We recognise that this is not for everyone and are happy to provide support and encouragement to anyone who wants to kick start a sensible, supervised and coached fasting regime while at Château Mitaud. Andrew and Angela would be happy to share their experiences (good and bad) so far. All we can say as empirical evidence that it works is that after one year on the regime, a lot of people around Andrew remarked that he looked thinner and fitter, and he certainly feels better for it.

Winery visits

Find out about our network of vignerons and available excursions nearby