If you’re in Paris this week, head up the hill of Montmartre to participate in a local celebration that’s taken place since 1934. The city’s sole surviving vineyard is located here, and the annual de Montmartre (grape harvest festival) isn’t just a merry old time; it’s an opportunity to partake in a long-time neighbourhood tradition honouring art, culture, music, and gastronomy… along with the new cuvée. (There are only 950 bottles produced.)
This year’s theme is the “Planet”- in light of the UN Climate Change Conference which will take place in November in Paris. There will be exhibitions, film screenings, conferences, concerts, and a spectacular fireworks display over Sacré-Cœur on Saturday night. Did you know that Sacré-Cœur is the second most visited site in Paris after the Eiffel Tower? Some 10 million visitors trek to Montmartre every year, and half a million people are expected to attend the Fête des Vendanges.
Saturday’s parade is always a highlight, when members of the Republique Montmartre—wearing their distinctive red and black costumes—join other wine “knighthoods” representing diverse French wine regions. Tip: Bystanders hold out verres which are filled with wine tastings as the different groups stroll past.
Another must is the “Parcours du Goût.” Brimming with gourmet treats sold by passionate artisans, tasting tents are set up on the butte’s summit.
The 82nd edition of the Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre will take place from October 7-11, 2015. It’s even possible to sign up (on the official website) for a guided tour of the vineyard (Vignes du Clos Montmartre). For the official programme, visit www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com
Practical details: Access by car is not advised for this event. Metro access by lines 2, 4, and 12.