For several select days each Autumn, people to the 18th arrondissement of Paris will be delighted to discover that you can actually go to the city’s most exclusive vineyard during the annual Montmartre Grape Harvest Festival. A unique way to experience the district, not to mention learn about how the French vin is created, here’s your ultimate help guide to all that you should know about the Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre!
Fête des vendanges de Montmartre 2020 dates: Wednesday 9th – Sunday 13th October 2020
A good reputation for the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre
The secret Parisian vineyard is hidden behind the Musée de Montmartre and close towards the oh-so-famous Lapin Agile 19th-century Cabaret House. Not so long ago, Montmartre was a village outside the city limits of Paris and was only actually absorbed into the material from the French capital itself before the mid-19th-century.
Prior to this time, the ‘French village’ was populated by many a windmill (just a few of which survive to this day) and plenty of farmland. Because of its rural nature, vines happen to be attested to have been grown on the Butte Montmartre since a minimum of 944, and perhaps even earlier (though some records claim that the very first vines weren’t planted before the ecclesiastical women from the Abbey of Montmartre in the 12th-century).
Whatever the date, the rich history of the Clos Montmartre has undoubtedly contributed to the ‘village vibe’ the 18th arrondissement enjoys now. The vineyard you see today was actually created by the City of Paris in 1933 as a means of stopping property developers from acquiring the land. Before the development of Clos Montmartre, the 0.15 hectares of land had been used as both a children's playground so that as a drop zone, among other things.
Once created, the new green space was a lot more than welcomed inside a city which was quickly developing. The initial 'Harvest Festival' of Montmartre occured only one year later in 1934. With this being said, the newly planted vines had not yet produced any grapes! Nevertheless, the tradition has carried on for a lot of a decade and regularly draws in crowds from Paris and beyond.
How to visit the Montmartre Grape Harvest festival
Unfortunately, the Montmartre vineyard remains closed for a lot of the entire year, permitting the vines to thrive and the grapes to grow. With this being said, the character of the wire railings surrounding the picturesque spot imply that the key spot continues to be pretty visible, especially in the location right near the entrance gate to the ‘clos’ (which itself features a constantly so adorable miniature handle in the shape of a wine bottle).
Known in French because the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre and organised by the Mairie (town hall) from the 18th arrondissement, the festival has become in the 86th edition and it is well worth a visit if you’re in town if this occurs. During this time, parades take place and local people from all walks of life (schools, wine vendors, viticulturists, artists, and others) are invited to participate.
Since 1934, the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre has had place annually throughout the second weekend of October. The event is free of charge to go to. Typically, the weekend consists of lots of different types of celebrations; during the course of three days, there are talks, dances, concerts, and guided walks.
There’s even an impressive fireworks display throughout the Festival (usually on the Saturday night), as well as a ‘Not receiving Married Ceremony/ Ball’ (which generally happens on Sunday). Visit the Grape Harvest of Montmartre today and you’ll be frequenting probably the most visited events in Paris, third simply to the Paris-Plage and the Nuit Blanche. Overall, some 400,000 people love the Fête des vendanges de Montmartre every year.