Have you ever tasted the wines of Paris?
Rather Clos Montmartre or parcels of Belleville? Cuvée Bercy or Georges Brassens? Pinot Noir or Gamay? You are spoiled for choice! So how to discover these historic and hidden vineyards in the heart of the French capital? What wines are there and how to taste them? We tell you everything!
It may be surprising but the wine of Paris really exist, moreover, it is natural! One more reason to taste these exceptional canons, which we are finally rediscovering thanks to the recognition of the IGP Ile-de-France, in 2020.
A little history
5 Parisian vineyards to discover
How to taste the wine of Paris?
The private vineyards of Bagatelle and its workshops
Wines from Ile-de-France: an IGP that confirms the rebirth of the vineyard
A little history
Île-de-France was the largest vineyard in Europe, especially in the Middle Ages, thanks to the work of the monks. Three abbeys are at the head of the main vineyards: Saint-Denis, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Montmartre. In the 19th century, however, phylloxera, an aphid from the United States, ravaged French vineyards, which almost completely disappeared. Under the pressure of real estate developers, the vine was finally replaced by construction. Finally, the development of the railway and the emergence of wines from the south further accentuated the decline of wines from the Paris basin. Today, however, a few private urban vineyards remain or are reborn from their ashes!
Where to find vines in Paris?
There are 5 major vineyards in the capital of France, but at least ten times more vines are scattered everywhere.
Montmartre (18th arrondissement)
Today, it is the most important vineyard in Paris. The Clos represents approximately 2,000 vines and is made up of a large number of grape varieties (: Siebel, Merlot, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, etc.), even if Gamay (75%) and Pinot Noir (20%) largely dominate . Le Clos-Montmartre produces around 1000 bottles a year, whose labels, different each year, are made by artists. Like the rest of the Parisian vineyards, its owner is the Paris City Hall (Direction des Parcs et Jardins). Vinification takes place at the town hall of the 18th arrondissement.
Belleville (20th arrondissement)
Land of vineyards since the Merovingians, Savies (former name of Belleville), today represents a little less than half a hectare and can produce between 80 and 100 bottles. The labels here are designed by the gardeners of the Parc de Belleville and the vinification takes place in the cellars of Bercy.
Bercy (12th arrondissement)
In the 19th century, it was the largest wine and spirits market in the world! The rails of the Cour Saint-Émilion bear witness to this: they were intended to transport the barrels. The vines, replanted in 1996, are in the Yitzhak Rabin garden and include 350 feet of Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The vineyard produces around 250 litres of wine per year.
Parc Georges Brassens (15th arrondissement)
“In 1983, when the Parc Georges Brassens was created, this new vine was planted to pay homage to the wine-growing past of the district. 720 vines are planted on 1,200 m² of a mixture of Loire sand and limestone rock. But the original grape variety, Morillon, has become untraceable and we are planting vines of Pinot Noir, Perlette and Pinot Meunier. The annual yield of this vine is 200 to 600 kilos depending on the year. ". More information on the Paris City Hall website. Here the vinification is carried out in an annex of the town hall of the 15th arrondissement.
Butte Bergeyre (19th arrondissement)
A few steps from the Chaumont hills, these vines represent around 160 feet in Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Muscat, Chasselas or Pinot Noir. In 2019, this private vineyard produced a hundred litres of red wine.
In Paris, you can also see vines at the Hôtel de Ville (4th arrondissement), at the Jardin des Plantes (5th arrondissement), in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondissement), etc.
How to taste the wines of Paris?
Paris Wine Walks: there are dozens of cheerful, festive and enriching experiences to be enjoyed, which have in common to combine tastings and discovery of Paris and its vineyards. Whether you opt for Saint-Germain, the Marais, Montmartre or Belleville, the credo of Geofrey S. Finsch, founder of these activities, remains the same: sharing. “Sharing personal stories, sharing wine, sharing bread, sharing food. It is about Paris, its vineyards, its wine history, its mediaeval quarters, its inhabitants, its wines. It is about living vines and living wines. » Harvest festival in Montmartre: during this event which brings together many local producers and which will take place this year from October 5 to 9, you will have the opportunity to taste Montmartre wine, by the glass, in partner cafés or restaurants. You can also treat yourself to oysters, foie gras or raclettes while cruising around the Sacré-Coeur. Nota Bene: there are a lot of people in the evening. Arrive early or prefer the day. More info here. Vine and Grape Festival: after the harvest which usually takes place at the end of September and in which you can participate voluntarily, you will have the opportunity to taste Belleville wine, often on the first weekend of October, like the harvest festival.
The private vineyards of Bagatelle
Located in the Bois de Boulogne, these vines produce around 250 bottles per year. You can participate in many workshops throughout the year (: pruning of the vine, trellising, harvesting, vinification, etc.).
Ile-de-France wines: an IGP confirms the rebirth of the vineyard
In the inner suburbs too, the wine-growing activity is regaining its letters of nobility. And for good reasons : The INAO has recognized the IGP Île-de-France since the 2020 harvest. A great rebirth, for what was one of the largest vineyards in France. Find other addresses of vineyards located in the Paris region here.
As you will have understood, the wine of Paris is rare but not inaccessible and you have the possibility of tasting it! Moreover, in wine-growing terms, the Paris region is developing and starting to produce more wine again. Indeed, Île-de-France, which offers more freshness than the terroirs of the south of France, has something to appeal to winegrowers in these times of global warming.
Cheers to you and to your exceptional tastings,