The Wine Harvest Festival You Don’t Want to Miss

“Long live Montmartre, its vines and its wines!”

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Montmartre enticed bohemians in the late 1800s and early 1900s not the least of whom included painters Picasso and Matisse. Living off near-nothing, artists and free-spirits gathered on the outskirts of Paris, painting, dancing, watching bawdy shows and sipping absinthe. This area ever since has been a hub for creative thinkers and tantalizing nightlife (the Moulin Rouge is nestled in the steep streets.)

Montmartre’s residents are a proud bunch. Gone are artists eking out an existence in hovels– to live in Montmartre today costs more than most of us can afford. But the neighborhood has kept its creative roots and every October, it throws a raucous fair to celebrate the harvest, wine and the creative spirit that keeps the neighborhood lively.

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Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre is celebrated on October 10-14 this year. The center of the celebration is Paris’ sole surviving vineyard. The vineyard produces around 1,000 bottles of wine, but the celebration itself draws over 500,000 visitors annually.

The schedule for this year isn’t out yet, but previous years celebrated with parades, wine tastings, cheese and other foods, art, performances, tours of local sites, and, more wine. Best of all, most of its free.

There’s never a bad time to plan a trip to France for wine. Santé!