Located at the corner of rue Saint-Vincent and rue des Saules in the 18th district one of the best kept secrets of Paris lies here since the 1930’s: the only remaining vineyard called Clos Montmartre.
From Pigalle (known for Le Moulin Rouge cabaret) at the foot of the Montmartre hill, climb to the Place du Tertre where artists will quickly draw your portrait. Around the corner let’s visit the basilica of Sacré-Coeur. Now don’t follow the tourist crowd going back down to the city. Go around the west side of the church, and try to find the rue des Saules! You’ll find there on a steep slope the Clos Montmartre vineyard. The vine tradition in the Paris region comes from the Romans. But this vineyard was introduced in 1933 by the city hallto protect the area which was under threat from property developers (in France, it’s not allowed to build a house on an area where there is a vineyard). The first wine was produced the following year. The vines were planted on a former rubbish dump. The vineyard stretches over more than 1,500 square meters with less than 2,000 feet.
Most tourists pass by the Clos Montmartre vineyard unaware of what it is. Each October is the annual five-day grape harvest festival, La Fête des Vendanges (here to see the video in French). This year, the theme was love and passion focusing on both the love of food and arts. Montmartre’s grapes are harvested and brought down to the cellar the 18th district’s city hall where they are pressed, fermented and bottled. The 1,000 to 1,500 bottles produced are auctioned. Two prices are available: 20 or 40 euros per bottle which is fairly expansive considering the medium quality of the wine. But the money raised goes to charity.
Where to stay in this area?
Le comité des fêtes du 18ème – French website
Learn more about Edith Piaf who lived in this area.
Tourist Office, facing 72 Boulevard Rochechouart,
Phone: +33 892 68 30 00