As President and Vice President of the Wine Society at the American University of Paris, Steve and I attended the Fêtes des Vendanges de Montmartre in 2013. This was all in the name of research, of course. The Fête is held every year during the October fall crush. All of the neighborhood shops, markets, schools, and the historic vineyard – the only one in Paris – in the 18th arrondissement come together to celebrate the distinctive vintage that its grapes produce.
There are many activities that take place throughout the weekend. However, the most exciting events take place on Saturday, which is the day we went. The afternoon had a lively parade of wine makers from across France dressed in their traditional garb. On Saturday evening fireworks light up the Sacre Coeur in the most amazing show I have ever seen. Throughout the entire weekend, countless artisans sell their specialty cheeses, charcuterie, honey, and secret recipes of mulled wine.
The vineyard, Clos Montmartre, dates back to 1932. It remains a hidden gem, tucked away on top of Montmartre hill, in the shadow of the Sacre Coeur, a top tourist destination. Although the vineyard sits on a tiny parcel of land in comparison to most vineyards, this is a wonderful little family owned vineyard that produces 1,500 bottles annually. The Fetes season undoubtedly being the best time of year to visit.
This year’s Fete was amazing! We had a great turnout for our first Wine Society event and we enjoyed some delicious foods, wine, and the phenomenal fireworks show.