When it comes to famous wine areas, Paris might not come to mind — especially after the city’s winemaking efforts were decimated by a plague in the late 19th century. But the City of Love is about to return to making wine next year: And what better way to relaunch Parisian wines than with the Eiffel Tower itself?
By next Spring, guests visiting the Eiffel Tower will be able to sample and purchase wines made by the famous landmark itself. But make no mistake, it isn’t going to be a showpiece project — the winemakers aren’t just going to slap a picture of the Tower on a bottle and call it a day.
A fully-functional winery has been installed on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, 57 metres above ground. It’s situated next to Thierry Marx’s upcoming La Bulle Parisienne, and guests are free to walk through the open-concept winery and marvel at the process.
Though there’s one thing that can’t be produced in the tower proper, and that’s the grapes. Since planting vines on a 324 metre-tall landmark would prove understandably difficult — not to mention unsanitary — grapes will be sourced and provided by Winerie Parisienne. And these grapes might even come from the gardens of the Palace of Versailles itself.
Founded in 2015, Winerie Parisienne became the first winemakers since the 19th century to cultivate vineyards in the Paris region when they planted 7.5 acres of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir on a plot of land near the former royal palace. The vines are scheduled to be harvested sometime next year, so who knows? The grapes for the upcoming Eiffel Tower vintage might just be from Versailles’ backyard.
Before the Great French Wine Blight laid waste to the French wine industry in the late 1800s, the region around Paris had been a major winegrowing area. Some estimate that at its peak, there were over 100,000 acres of vines in the greater Paris region, approximately a third of what Bordeaux produces today. The industry never quite recovered after aphids destroyed much of the vines, and Paris lost its lustre as a wine-producing region — but the Eiffel Tower’s upcoming wine might be the return to form that it needs.