Who would think that on the hills around Paris and in Paris itself were about a 100 hectare of vineyards. That was in the time of the Romans. The Romans were great wine growers in France and everywhere else. Now there’s only one small vineyard of 1 hectare you can visit. It’s located nearby Paris in the village of Suresnes. On Monday it’s open to the public. If you are in the vineyard you have the most spectaculair view. You can see the Eiffel tower and the ‘Dôme des Invalide’, the place where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried. It’s one of the most spectaculair views I have ever seen.
They planted 5000 vine-stocks of chardonnay on this small piece of land. Experts thought that this grape would be most suitable for the type of soil and the climate. The experts compaired the conditions with the famous Burgundy and Champagne area. People in the Anglo-Saxon world and now also in other countries mostly order a grape variety as a wine. But the name of the grape doesn’t tell you anything about it’s quality but more about your own taste.
Normally one vine stock produces enough grapes to make wine for one normal bottle of 75cl but in 2022 they could even produce 6000 bottles.
The director of this vineyard is Charles Jourda and the ‘Chambelan’ (Chaimberlain), the boss of the local wine guild is Axel Brucker.
Axel Brucker is also an important man in the world of cinema.
From all over the world important people come and visit the vineyard. This time people from the ‘US Open’ (the big tennis tournament of New York) came to see it.
The l’Association du Clos du Pas Saint-Maurice is responsable for the vineyard. A ‚clos‘ is a walled vineyard. There’s mostly a micro climate there.
The origin of this local wine guild dates back to 1984. In October people who helped to promote this local vineyard or famous people are inaugurated and get a medal with a title for their merits.
This time I was as nervous as when I could see Château Mouton Rothschild in the Bordeaux even though they do not pretent to produce a high quality wine. It’s just a pleasant wine to drink.
You can find a lot of small and bigger wine shops in Paris. Wine has always been important in the capital. It was transported by ships on the river Seine. ‘Les Caves du Louvre‘ (the wine cellars of the Louvre) in the first district, reached in the 18th century (when Louis XV ruled) directly to the Louvre. Wine merchant André Eynaud ordered to build a mansion with large cellars. He was one of the 25 privileged merchants of the King. He could provide him wine without people knowing it. You could say that André Eynaud was the sommelier of the King. Because the city of Paris decided to build a metro line, part of the cellars do not exist anymore.
Entrepeneur Nicolas Paradis got permision to buy a part of these old wine cellars. In eighteen months he made a wine shop, a cheese shop and tasting rooms in the cellars and the building above it. In 2015 he opened his complex to the public also in the first arrondissement of Paris. The complex is divided in three floors. On the third floor you find the tastings rooms. We were invited for the premium tasting. This means that you get higher quality wines or more expensive wines (if you like). We got a Savennières (only white wine) from the Loire, a red Châteauneuf du Pape from the Rhône valley and
a Saint-Emillion Grand Cru (only red wine) from the Bordeaux area. Our host was sommelier Nicholas Burnier.
With the guided tour you can choose different tastings; a simple or premium, one with wine in combination with cheese, cheese in combination with Japanese Sake and whiskey and you can assemble your own wine. This can take one to two hours max.
It’s a great achievement of Nicolas Paradis to build such a wine-shop. People are coming from all over the world to see it. Home – Caves du Louvre
There’s certainly more to tell about wine and Paris, but that’s for one of my next stories.