VIDEO Walking Tour Part 4 – Poulbot’s Montmartre, a Hidden Vineyard and a Gallery of his work

VIDEO Walking Tour Part 4 – Poulbot’s Montmartre, a Hidden Vineyard and a Gallery of his work

Welcome to Clos Montmartre!

Vineyards have flourished on Montmartre since the Romans built a temple here dedicated to Bacchus, the god of wine. A Benedictine abbey was created on the hill in the 12th century but destroyed during the French revolution, although Clos Montmartre was spared.

In the early 20th century phylloxera destroyed the vines, and due to the annexation and subsequent urbanisation of Montmartre, the vineyard lay fallow – and almost became victim of property developers.

But in the early 30s a group of local artists led by Francisque Poulbot, petitioned the government to grant them the land so they could replant the vines. Albert Lebrun’s government approved the plan and Clos Montmartre was renewed in 1933.

The first wine was produced the following year. The vineyard stretches over more than 1,500 square meters.

Each October, Montmartre hosts the annual five-day grape harvest festival, La Fête des Vendanges (here to see the video in French).

Montmartre’s grapes are harvested and brought down to the cellar of the 18th district’s city hall where they are pressed, fermented and bottled. The 1,000 to 1,500 bottles produced are auctioned and the money raised goes to charity.

Entry to the vineyard has to be arranged through the Montmartre tourist office, at Place du Tertre, two minutes from the vineyard. They usually require you come in a group of at least 12 – though smaller groups may be lucky if the vineyard is not too busy – and you pay for a tasting, although the tour is free.

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