Paris Wine Walks
Hidden vineyards, exceptional private wine tastings & gourmet foods
Take a stroll back in time and explore 15 centuries of wine history in Paris with any one of our inspiring wine walks. Ancient vineyards tell their stories and come alive through varietal wine tastings corresponding to existing vines, linking us to the soils that have born fruit for centuries on these same plots. Fascinating history, secret vineyards, living wines, gourmet bistro lunches and aperitifs lead by seasoned wine professionals combine to create an unforgettable experience. Book now to discover this hidden side of Paris!
It is hard to imagine that beneath the historic streets of Paris, vineyards flourished in most every quarter of the city and that in some neighbourhoods, hidden vineyards still survive. These ancient vineyards often produced wines comparable to some of the best of France, in both quantity and quality. The vines may be gone (though in some quarters vestiges still exist) but their presence is witnessed by street names such as the Cour St-Emilion, rue de la Goutte d'Or, rue des Morillons, rue des Vignes, rue Vineuse and rue des Vignobles.
Fifteen centuries of wine production
The great vineyards of Paris and the Paris region prospered for 15 centuries, right up until the 18th century. At the instigation of man in general but religious orders in particular, vines were planted everywhere they could be, with at times trees being uprooted so more vines could be planted. The Seine plateau, like the Aquitaine plateau, is a magnificent viticultural terroir. In 1775 a writer described Paris as a “city situated in a delicious valley, crowned with hills laden with the gifts of Ceres and Bacchus.The wines were very highly regarded, especially the whites because the monks sought quality over quantity. The wine of Suresnes for example, was appreciated as much as the great Burgundies.
Noble grapes and exports
‘Noble’ grape varieties such as Pinot de Bourgogne for the reds and Fromental for the whites were used most often and the wines sold as far as England, Holland and Flanders. The vines were threatened during the Hundred Years War, but the ‘Français’ vineyard (of the Ile de France) was restored at the end of the 15th century and in the 16th. The vineyards of Bagneux, Clamart, Rueil, Clignancourt, Marly, Meudon, Auteuil as well as many others produced wines that were greatly appreciated. At the end of the Middle Ages, vineyards prospered, exceeding the boundaries of the Ile de France to reach into Normandy and Picardy. By the beginning of the 17th century, these two regions saw a significant regression, while the vineyards of Paris had not yet reached their full extent.
A living legacy
Today there are five wine producing vineyards within the city with several other vineyards producing wine outside the city. Though the role of these vineyards is often a combination of historical continuity and folklore, there is also a growing interest in the greening of urban landscapes. Vineyards are also unquestionably a symbol of France’s historical and economic heritage, the vine having played and continuing to play a key role in the nation’s identity.