The Netflix series “Rotten” released new episodes last weekend, one of which features Jeff Coutelou. The series examines the food and drink industry and problems associated with it. Previous episodes have featured items such as peanuts, cod, and milk. Series 2 includes an episode about wine called, ‘Reign Of Terroir’.
The programme examines the role of Languedoc Roussillon in supplying wine. It produces a staggering 20% of the wine drunk in the world according to the programme. However, the region faces increasing competition from around the world. ‘Rotten’ looks at how cheap imports from Spain have undermined Languedoc producers and have even been sold fraudulently as French wine. The direct action of some producers against such imports is examined in detail. The programme goes on to look at how new competition is emerging from Chinese wineries.
The film makers came to Puimisson during the vendanges of 2018 and spent a few hours filming Jeff and our harvest lunch. Interviews explain how Jeff and his father, Jean-Claude, moved away from the bulk wine production of most Languedoc vignerons to more specialised organic winemaking, even grubbing up vines to plant trees and plants to diversify the environment of the vineyards. This section of the programme serves as a balance to the winemaking we see at the huge L’Occitane co-operative in nearby Servian.
It is beautifully filmed and the final scenes in Rome vineyard where Icare bounds around amongst the vines are charming. Jeff issues his mantra that love is the secret to good winemaking, a contrast to some of what we see elsewhere in the programme.
Should you watch? Well, of course, it is an interesting programme. It highlights the issues and differing points of view, fitting well into the context of the series’ themes. Call me biased but the stars are clear and obvious.
See for yourselves here, with a Netflix subscription.