Localisation
Open hours

Access to the vineyard of Montmartre is not allowed except during the harvest festival (beginning of October)

Access

Clos de Montmartre (Angle de la rue des Saules et de la rue Saint-Vincent)
18 Rue Des Saules
75018 Paris, France

  • On foot
  • Little Train of Montmartre
  • Bus 40
Address

Clos de Montmartre (Angle de la rue des Saules et de la rue Saint-Vincent)
18 Rue Des Saules
75018 Paris, France

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 53′ 18″ N 2° 20′ 24″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.88839 2.33989
Full description

The Clos-de-Montmartre officially or Clos-Montmartre in everyday language, is a plot of land planted with vines in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It is located almost in the center of the Butte Montmartre and is surrounded by buildings and houses. Also, to increase the difficulty, the vineyard grows on the north side of the Butte Montmartre, not the south side as it should. The Clos-de-Montmartre is bordered by rue Saint-Vincent and rue des Saules.

On either side are two famous Montmartre buildings: the cabaret Au Lapin Agile and the Montmartre museum. It is also a few dozen meters from the Saint Vincent cemetery.

Origin of the vine of Clos-de-Montmartre

In the 10th century, vines were already quite widespread on the slopes of the Butte Montmartre. They mainly belonged to the Abbey of the Sisters of the Convent of Montmartre. However, today's vineyard did not yet exist. Gradually the vines were abandoned, the quality of the wine obtained does not seem to have been very good.

Later, the place became mainly a wasteland, an asylum for tramps and a playground for the neighborhood children. When Montmartre is annexed to Paris in 1860, the houses develop to the detriment of the little vineyard remaining.

The "Belle Gabrielle Park"

On its slopes was then a grove named "Park of the Beautiful Gabrielle", transformed thereafter into park of entertainment and which, left with the abandonment, became a waste ground. It is in this state that the precursors at the origin of the revival of the vine in Montmartre found the places.

The revival of the vine in Montmartre: the "Clos-de-Montmartre"

In 1929, the inhabitants opened a square on the former garden of Aristide Bruant to prevent the construction of a HLM. The leader of this rebellion was Francisque Poulbot, cartoonist and creator of the poor Montmartre kid of the same name, who can still be found today in comic strips.

After various negotiations with the authorities, a vineyard was planted in 1933 called "au clos de Montmartre". Later, the Commanderie du Clos Montmartre was created in 1983 by Maurice His, President of the "Republic of Montmartre", surrounded by a dozen companions plus one woman. The wish of the founding members, beyond their taste for wine, was to give an official representation to the vineyards of Montmartre.

The wine festival on the hill of Montmartre

The harvesting of the grapes does not give rise to a particular public event. The grapes are pressed in the cellars of the town hall of the 18th arrondissement.

However, every year in October, a Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival is organized, with a parade bringing together the Montmartre associations and invited wine brotherhoods from the provinces. It gives place to a great popular festival where the traditional parades of the wine brotherhoods, wine and folklore cross the hillock, under a joyful concert of applause. The wine is then sold at auction. The profit goes to the social works of the Butte.

The wine production of Clos-de-Montmartre

The Clos de Montmartre is made up of 2,000 vines, which are harvested each year. The harvest is more or less successful. The vines of Montmartre can produce 1,300 kilos of grapes some years.

The vintages are named differently depending on the year. The first vintage, harvested in 1934, was sponsored by Mistinguett and Fernandel, while the 1999 vintage paid tribute to the Moulin Rouge.

The Clos de Montmartre is not only vineyards. An arbour of perennials and Virginia creeper and a few flower beds give the Clos de Montmartre a unique charm, which has won over a statue of Saint Vincent. He watches over a stele in memory of the Montmartre artist Francisque Poulbot (1879-1946), who was particularly fond of this place. In 1929, he named the vacant lot that existed at the time, "Square de la liberté".

Who takes care of the vines of the Clos-de-Montmartre?

It is almost impossible to find in the middle of Paris professionals of the vineyard, who moreover should live in Montmartre. It is therefore the City of Paris that provides arms and expertise.

Within the Direction des Espaces verts et de l'Environnement of the City of Paris, it is the supervisors who, with a gardener's diploma in their pocket, take care of the vines in Paris. Some have received specific training under the watchful eye of an oenologist. Others, guided only by their passion, have learned these gestures by observing the professionals. This is an opportunity for them to come into contact with different worlds: students in viticulture interested in the existence of this culture in the middle of Paris, film crews from all over the world fond of this kind of picturesque and typically French activity.

The harvest is not the most difficult step. Much more delicate is the pruning of the vineyard and the phytosanitary maintenance, which are determining points in the good maturation of the grapes coveted by undesirable fungi, like mildew, but also by mites and birds. Finally, the "assembly" of the wine, which requires oenological expertise.

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