Résumé

The vineyard of Montmartre, whose official name is the Clos-Montmartre, is a vineyard planted on the hillock Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.. The vineyard grows on the northern slope of the Montmartre hillock, along the rue Saint-Vincent and the rue des Saules.

Owner of the vineyard: City of Paris,
Manager: Comité des Fêtes du 18e arrondissement
Maintenance of the vineyard: Technical services of the City of Paris
Annual production: about 1000 numbered bottles

In the 12th century, vines were planted by the ladies of the abbey of Montmartre founded by Adelaide of Savoy. But the impoverishment of the abbey led the nuns to sell the vineyard plots. In the 16th century, the inhabitants of Montmartre, which was then located outside of Paris (until 1860), were mainly ploughmen and winegrowers. The vines were cultivated from the top of the hill to the surrounding plains.

But since Montmartre was annexed to Paris in 1860, the houses grew at the expense of the remaining vineyard. In 1930, it was planned to build buildings there. This was without counting on the mobilization of the inhabitants of the district who were opposed to these constructions.

The disappearance of the vines in Montmartre is complete in 1928. They were replanted five years later with 2,000 Gamay and Pinot Noir vines.

The first harvest festival in 1934, takes place on the second weekend of October. It was sponsored by Mistinguett and Fernandel, and took place in the presence of the President of the Republic Albert Lebrun. But there were no grapes yet, the vineyard was only 2 years old. So grapes were bought at Les Halles and bunches were hung with wire so that the sponsors could cut them.

Localisation
Address

Vineyard of Montmartre
18 Rue Des Saules
75018 Paris, France

Coordinates Latitude Longitude
Sexagesimal (°, ', ") 48° 57′ 27″ N 2° 20′ 26″ E
Degré décimal (GPS) 48.88840 2.33989
Description complète

The vineyard of Montmartre, whose official name is the Clos-Montmartre, is a vineyard planted on the hillock Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.. The vineyard grows on the northern slope of the Montmartre hillock, along the rue Saint-Vincent and the rue des Saules.

Owner of the vineyard: City of Paris,
Manager: Comité des Fêtes du 18e arrondissement
Maintenance of the vineyard: Technical services of the City of Paris
Annual production: about 1000 numbered bottles

A little history on the Vineyard of Montmartre and elsewhere

The vine appeared in Transcaucasia as early as the third millennium BC. It was a vine that could grow up to 10m long and would have been introduced in Europe by the Etruscans, who planted it for the first time in Italy. Wine was reserved for an elite in ancient times. The Greeks drank it cut with water and often enhanced its taste with myrrh, incense, anise, pepper and cinnamon.
In the Middle Ages, the cultivation of the vine became an art in the hands of the monks, to whom we owe the first noble grape varieties, the discovery that the poorer the soils were, made up of pebbles, sand and stone, the deeper the roots went, up to 7m deep, to draw their sap. The grape could thus mature slowly, without rotting and without drying out.

Origin of the vine in Montmartre

In the 12th century, vines were planted by the ladies of the abbey of Montmartre founded by Adelaide of Savoy. But the impoverishment of the abbey led the nuns to sell the vineyard plots. In the 16th century, the inhabitants of Montmartre, which was then located outside of Paris (until 1860), were mainly ploughmen and winegrowers. The vines were cultivated from the top of the hill to the surrounding plains. In turn white wine then red, the wine of Montmartre is known under different names: "Le clos Berthaud", "La Goutte d'or", "Le Sacalie", "La Sauvageonne" or even later, "Le Picolo.

Vineyard in Montmartre in the 18th century and the opening of cabarets

The hill was then covered with 3/4 of vineyards and the wine, not subject to octroi duties because outside Paris, favored the opening of taverns and cabarets.

At the place of the current vineyard, there was a garden and a house where the French chansonnier and writer Aristide Bruant (1851-1925) lived. Toulouse Lautrec came to paint in this garden. In the house next door, it was Renoir, in what is now the museum of Montmartre. After 1925 it became a wasteland.

But since Montmartre was annexed to Paris in 1860, the houses grew at the expense of the remaining vineyard. When Aristide Bruant died, the city of Paris bought the place. In 1930, it was planned to build buildings there. This was without counting on the mobilization of the inhabitants of the district who were opposed to these constructions. The prefect of the time heard them and made the land unbuildable.

The revival of the vineyard in Montmartre

The disappearance of the vines in Montmartre is complete in 1928. They were replanted five years later with 2,000 Gamay and Pinot Noir vines. They are located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris at the corner of rue des Saules and rue Saint-Vincent, i.e. north of the Butte. An aberrant location for a vineyard! The 2,000 m² (0.15 ha or 1,500 m²) of the Clos-Montmartre are located on the site of the former Square de la Liberté, created by the artist Francisque Poulbot, founder of the Republic of Montmartre, in 1929. On either side are two famous Montmartre buildings: the cabaret Au Lapin Agile and the Montmartre museum.

The 1st harvest in Montmartre, without grapes!

The first harvest festival in 1934, takes place on the second weekend of October. It was sponsored by Mistinguett and Fernandel, and took place in the presence of the President of the Republic Albert Lebrun. But there were no grapes yet, the vineyard was only 2 years old. So grapes were bought at Les Halles and bunches were hung with wire so that the sponsors could cut them.

Today, there are still several hundred vines of this original vine according to Gilles Guillet, Grand Master of the Commanderie du Clos-Montmartre. The plants are gradually being replaced by a selection of vigorous and fertile hybrids. Currently, there are 30 different grape varieties; 70% of these varieties are old. The wine has long been considered as piquette but this is no longer the case because everything is done to make the wine excellent. Since 2016, an oenologist and a winemaker have been taking care of this vineyard.

The harvest festival in Montmartre

Every year, in October, is organized in Montmartre a Festival of the grape harvest of Montmartre, with a folk parade bringing together the associations montmartroises and wine brotherhoods of provinces invited.

The harvest of the year is from 1800 to 2000 kg of grapes, which allows to produce a little more than 1000 bottles. They are sold, with by-products, on the spot during the harvest festival, at the Montmartre Museum or on the Internet by clicking on Comité des fêtes de Montmartre. The benefits of the sale are intended for social actions towards children and the elderly of the 18th district.

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