Celebrating a rosé wine made in…Paris

by M. L. Longworth

A wine made from Parisian grapes? Yes! And it’s for sale this weekend in Paris at 50 euros a bottle (friends who have bought it tell me it’s more to celebrate the occasion and the history of Paris’s famous Montmartre vineyard than for the quality of the wine). There are 2,000 vine stalks (mostly Gamay and Pinot Noir) planted in a gorgeous vineyard located at the foot of la butte, the first vines having been planted as early as 944 A.D.

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The harvest has been celebrated since 1934, always during the second weekend of October. All kinds of festivities are taking place over the weekend, organised by hard working and passionate volunteers who make up the many Montmartre community groups. There’s even a Harvest Choir made up of 200 singers; they began singing this morning at 10:30 in the vineyard and then made their way down the hill to begin the parade. Our daughter lives not far from this lively neighbourhood (quickly becoming my favourite place in Paris, in particular the north side of the hill, where the vineyard is located) and she sent us some photographs of today’s parade:

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There are 1,000 bottles of rosé made each year; the vines are taken care of by the City of Paris and its Espaces Verts department (the equivalent of Parks and Rec). The wine is made by the city’s chief eonologist, Sylvaine Leplâtre, a woman 🙂 and a harvest ball ends the weekend, held outside in the Square Louise Michel then overflowing into the streets. Here’s an old photograph of the bal:

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Whatever you are doing this weekend, have a great time enjoying the fall weather, and if you open a bottle of wine, pretend that you are in Paris.