Sunday, 10 October 2010

Fête des Vendanges

The most famous vineyard in Paris is in Montmartre, located on the corner of rue St.Vincent and rue des Saules in the 18th arrondissement. Every October after the grapes are harvested the Fête des Vendanges is held. A festival lasting 5 days. One of the highlights of the festival is the Grande défilé, a grand procession with brass bands, folk groups and this year's guest of honour, the 'Carnval of Chalon-sur-Saone' with their 25 giant brightly painted caricature heads. 

Last week I was up by the Sacré Coeur and saw the preparations underway. The weather was miserable and it all looked rather bleak.

This afternoon was the day of the parade. The weather was amazing for October, an astonishing 25 degrees . 
 There were Rolls Royce.
There were brass bands. 
There were street performers.  This man balanced a green bottle on his head for hours, while juggling.

There were great hats. 
There were lots of balloons. 
There were people in Georgian National dress. 
There were gorgeous street scenes. 
There were grapes, very tasty they were too.

And there were the Giant heads from  the Carnval of Chalon-sur-Saone'.
  • Apparently the grapes are fermented in the basement of the Mairie du 18e
  • In 2009, 1003 bottles of wine were produced.
  • The oldest vines are 78 years old.
  • A bottle of the Montmartre wine cost 45 euros in 2009.
A collection of Fête des Vendanges photos can be found here 

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