Closed to the public up until June 2021, the Clos Montmartre is one of five remaining vineyards in central Paris. The presence of vines in Montmartre dates back to the 10th century. By the Middle Ages Paris had, in fact, become one of the biggest wine-growing regions in Europe. The history of the Clos itself is, however, a little bit more recent. The plot of land that it sits on today was acquired by the Ville de Paris in 1933, following strong pressure from the locals, in order to preserve the area from further real estate development. In the meantime, urbanisation and diseases affecting grapes had destroyed most of the capital’s vineyards.
The vineyard was an initiative of the “Société du Vieux Montmartre”. It has around 2000 vine plants belonging to about 30 different varieties, which are cultivated using organic farming practices. They are irrigated using a sophisticated underground system and can produce up to 1300 bottles of wine every year. The wine – a red and a rosé – is produced in the cellars of the Mairie du XVIIIe and all profits from the sale of the bottles are donated to charity.
Every year, on the second Saturday of October, the harvest is celebrated with a “Fête des vendanges” (harvest festival). The vineyard remains closed to visitors, but it is possible to book a private tour a few weeks in the year. It begins at the Musée de Montmartre and the visit of the museum is included in the price of the ticket, as is a wine-tasting.