For the love of urban wineries: a powerhouse in Paris

Les Vignerons Parisiens is the first and, we think, still the only urban winery in Paris.

Urban wineries have become a bit of a thing recently, with the trend emerging, as you can imagine, in San Francisco. They’re not a particularly new idea and hark back to the prohibition in the US.

But the timing feels right now for urban wineries. At Altitude wines, we’re all for them, as they help to reduce the carbon cost of getting wine to your door.

Urban wineries also make wine more accessible to city folk like us: knowing where it was made creates a simpler connection to the bottle, cutting out the pretence that can creep into the wine world.

With hindsight, it actually feels odd that urban wineries are only just getting their moment in the sun. Brewing beer and distilling spirits has always been an urban endeavour. Why not wine too?

But, back to Les Vignerons Parisiens

We think it's one of the best examples of what an urban winery can achieve.

It was founded by Matthieu Bosser with two partners, oenologist Emmanuel Gagnepain and biodynamic viticulture consultant Frédéric Duseigneur. It’s based in the 3 eme Arrondissement, in, of course Paris.

Organic grapes and obsession with process

Their certified organic grapes are sourced from four growers, located in the communes of Visan and Sabran in the southern Rhône. The traceability of the grapes is known to the exact parcel.

The grapes are harvested by their own team of pickers, usually before noon. The whole clusters are placed into small boxes and loaded onto pallets and transported by refrigerated truck for 15 hours to the (organically certified) cellar on Rue de Turbigo. They cool for at least 18 hours and then are crushed the following morning, ready their journey to wine.

Production is around 37,000 bottles per vintage, divided over five different cuvées.

We stock Lutèce, the only multi-varietal wine made in the cellar. It’s a three-way blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. The wine is raised in-tank and bottled at the end of April following the harvest. Interestingly Lutèce was the original name of Paris way back in Roman times until about the 3rd century AD.

We also stock Turbigo. This is a 40 to 50-year old Cinsault raised in stainless steel. It’s named after the small boulevard in Paris where they work. A slightly less grand name than Lutèce, perhaps, but we scored it 92/100, so it needs to be noticed.

They both feature in our Mindful Tipples collection, a wine series you can subscribe to that celebrates great flavours, free from the taint of unnatural industrial practices. Perfect for people who care about their health, but still raise the occasional glass. Cheers!