The founders of the Paris winery Winerie Parisienne are about to start a historical harvest - the first commercial vineyard harvest in the Paris region for more than 100 years. The first wines will be released in 2020.
A vineyard 25km from Paris on the Plaine de Versailles
In May 2017, Adrien Pélissié, Julien Bengué and Julien Brustis planted the first professional vineyard in the Paris region since the 20th century. Chardonnay, Chenin, Pinot Noir and Merlot have all been planted on 10 hectares with the first harvest being this Autumn. The wines will be 100% made from grapes from the Paris region. The vineyard will receive its organic label at the end of the three years necessary for conversion, I.e. for the next vintage. The plot, historically uncultivated for 15 years, has been mechanically treated without synthetic chemical products.
The department of Yvelines supports this business in the accompaniment of its project through L’Etablissement Public Foncier d’Île de France (EPFIF) on the back of AFDEY (Action Foncière pour un Developpement Equilibre des Yvelines, i.e. land action for the equal development of Yvelines). This organization takes care of the region’s land lease account of 26 Hectares.
“The project supported by Winerie Parisienne blends seamlessly into the environment of Yvelines. It was essential for us to contribute to this entrepreneurial dynamic that has been written into the regional politics to accompany businesses and thus favor the creation of wealth,” declares Pierre Bédier, president of the General Council of the Yvelines region.
Towards a new historic vintage.
The 2019 vintage has benefitted from particularly favorable conditions for the vines. The cycle of the vine started at the end of April, cool nights in May brought slow progress until the end of June where rain and sunshine were in abundance – allowing for a beautiful flower mid-June. The sunshine in July let the greenery flourish without suffering from drought thanks to the clay soil. Each variety of wine goes at its own pace and according to each of its special needs, the grapes should be in optimum conditions to ripe at the end of September and the start of October.
“The ground potential on the Plaine de Versailles is meeting our expectations, the soil high in calcium has allowed us to avoid suffering from the rain ; the subtle balance between the cool evenings and sunshine is going to allow us to produce wines in a new, elegant and refined manner conforming to the typicity that we envisioned for our wines,” explains Adrien Pélissié.
Enologist Julien Brustis states: “Now the veraison (the start of ripening) has passed, we follow the ripening of the grape closely before collecting each grape variety at the right moment, focusing on a mature aromatic flavor and good sugar-acid balance for the white grapes - and a phenolic (tannin-colour) for the reds.“
Wines from the Paris region in 2020
The first wines, anticipated to be from a single variety, should be out in 2020. It will offer the opportunity to Parisians to rediscover these well-known varieties from a different region with a new signature. With an initial aim to make 10,000 bottles of the new vintage, Winerie Parisienne predicts a rise in its production in the 4 years to come with a potential of 150,000 bottles per vintage.
Launched in 2015 by Adrien Pelisié and Julien Bengué, Winerie Parisienne is the first urban winery in Paris since 1970. Winerie Parisienne selects grapes from a large French wine-growing regions to vinify them in Paris.
Apart from the Winerie, on the Plaine de Versailles, Adrien Pélissié, Julien Bengué et Julien Brustis planted the first professional vineyard in the Paris region since the phylloxera. Up until the end of the XIX century, the Paris region was home to over 40,000 hectares of vines and was one of the biggest wine-growing regions in the country. The vineyards were then destroyed by the phylloxera, a destructive swarm of insects that ate the wine crops and then disappeared from the local countryside.
The trio’s greatest wish is to give Paris its place back in the professional French wine industry. The vineyard therefore integrates tomorrow's challenges of viticulture whilst combining precision and traditional know-how to reveal the true potential of the region and the reputation of its wine, all whilst respecting the environment.