France produces some of the world’s best wines. With vineyards covering famous territories from Bordeaux to Burgundy, France’s image as a wine-producer is unequaled. Our tour combines two distinct wine venues in Paris, with tastings and walks in both locations. The first experience occurs in a 200-year-old wine cellar near the Louvre, used at one time to store the wine reserves of Louis XV, now upgraded into a multi-faceted wine discovery locale. Here you’ll explore the grape varieties featured in French wines, talk through the winemaking processes, and get tips on tasting techniques. You’ll taste a selection of 3 wines here, served by an expert sommelier. The second component will take place across town in the Montmartre district, within a little-known vineyard that operates within Paris. Here you’ll have a VIP tasting of this tiny production, and learn about the personalities that made this neighborhood their home.
Meet your convivial local guide in a central location near the Louvre Museum. We’ll begin our wine experience together in the underground wine cellars where King Louis XV stored the royal wine collection in the 18th century. These vaulted galleries may even have been linked to the Louvre Palace by secret passages to make sure wine was always available for the royal table! This historic cellar has now been transformed into a state-of-the-art wine extravaganza, featuring exhibits and explanations about French wine traditions and culture, from the vineyard to the table. Your guide will lead you among the displays, giving you a quick education in the techniques of grape growing, the essentials of the winemaking process, and the sensations to be aware of when tasting quality wines. Then we’ll enjoy a tasting of 3 quality wines selected by the in-house sommelier, so you can exercise your new skills and discuss wine with professionals in a relaxing atmosphere.
Then, we’ll climb back to street level and begin traveling to our second venue. We’ll dive into the Métro to access the bohemian artists’ neighborhood known as Montmartre, featuring the hidden Clos Montmartre vineyard where further delectation awaits us.
Grapes have been cultivated for wine on the Butte Montmartre for nearly 2000 years, and this specific vineyard was first documented in 944 AD, making it the oldest of its kind in Paris. In the 18th century this hill was all about wine, with three quarters of the surface given over to vineyards. Since Montmartre was outside of Paris proper, rents, taxes, and the wine itself was very affordable, thus encouraging the implantation of dance halls and cabarets in the area, and drawing young artists who imbued a free, creative spirit to the neighborhood. Enjoy a stroll through the winding streets while your guide regales you with tales of the famous residents of the hill. Then you’ll be given VIP access to the Clos Montmartre vineyard, which is not open to the general public due to the exclusive nature of the venue and the limited availability of its wine production! You’ll tour the miniature vineyard, which in spite of its tiny size features a wide range of grape varieties, and hear how the wine is bottled in the nearby town hall, the only administrative building in Paris with an alcohol license! Finally, taste this unique wine that is grown, fermented and bottled in the City of Light. We open for you one of the mere 1750 bottles produced each year, the proceeds of which support neighborhood charities.
Following your immersion into French winemaking as experienced in the capital, you’ll be poised to enjoy more time in the Montmartre district if you wish. You could meander around the Place du Tertre central square, or ensconce yourself in a typical restaurant or terrace bar in the neighborhood. You might even end up at a cabaret show! Your guide will be sure to direct and advise you at the end of your tour, to ensure you get the most our of this unique neighborhood.