THE VINEYARD OF CLOS MONTMARTRE
Discover, through Paris Unplugged, one of the wonders of Montmartre: the wine.
Until the 19th century, three quarters of La butte Montmartre (Montmartre mound) were covered in vineyards. As the village was located outside the precinct of Paris, it was exempted from the taxation that befell goods inside the capital city. The boundary was marked by the wall of the Fermiers généraux (farmer general). The ongoing urbanization and annexation of villages in 1860 led to the disappearance of this tradition in the very early 20th century.
The present vineyard of Clos Montmartre spread over a gentle and gentle hill between rue des saules (willow tree Str.) and rue Saint Vincent. This place was the eastern part of the previous Maquis , which was the name of this poor village at the end of the 19th century.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the fast-growing urbanization temporarily left this place in a derelict state. During the 1920’s, the building of low rent dwellings was considered. This project triggered the local residents’ anger, but was accepted by the City Council. However, a petition launched by the defenders of Old Montmartre gathered 2300 signatures. When the Préfet de la Seine (the Prefect) saw the petition, he decided to change the decision in favor of the plaintiffs.
In 1929, a public garden was set up there, but the important degradations that followed entailed other alternatives. In 1933, the Free Municipality of Montmartre suggested to plant two thousand vine in memory of the past of the Mound.
These first vine plants bore fruit only three years later so in 1934, a harvest was done with the help of grapes imported from Beaujolais. This tradition has been going every year and takes place on the first Saturday of October. This event often results in numerous festivities in the neighborhood.
The harvests usually amounts to around 500 liters. The wine is crafted in the basement of the City Hall of 18th district of Paris and is known for its diuretic properties.