Friday, October 8, 2010

A Vineyard Grows In Paris

The hilltop district of Montmartre was once home to a thriving church-owned vineyard that produced wines for the local cabarets and drinking establishments, before bohemian artist Picasso and his ilk arrived on the scene. With the urbanization of Paris, the district's wine-making legacy would have been lost if not for a group of artists who petitioned the government in the late 1920s to save a plot of land and recreate the original church-owned vineyard. That plot is the one you see above, the Clos de Montmartre vineyard. It's the only vineyard of its kind within Paris city limits, spans 1,556 square meters and produces about 1,700 bottles of wine per year. The bottles are auctioned for charity at the annual autumn Fête des Vendanges (Montmartre Harvest Festival). The Clos de Montmartre vineyard is not open to the public, but we caught a glimpse of it through the fence on our way to the Museé de Montmartre. For more information about Clos de Montmartre, click to visit the Commanderie du Clos Montmartre website.

Photo: Signage being put up for the 2010 Montmartre wine festival