Les Vignerons Parisiens: Wine Made in Paris

Paris is not only the city in the world where one drinks the highest quantities of wine. Paris is not only the capital of the most famous country which produces wine, France. Yet Paris is THE capital of wine, THE unique place where to find everything from the vineyards to the glass of wine. Last week I discovered by chance that Paris also has its Winery. It is called Les Vignerons Parisiens and is located near the Metro way out Arts et Métiers. There, since April 2016, wine is Made in Paris. I love Paris and I love wine! So I am happy to share with you this unexpected discovery.

One cannot miss the shop window of Les Vignerons Parisiens: high picture windows, a contemporary inside looking like a neat and stylish warehouse, a black and white sign reminiscent of the coat of arms of the city of Paris (and its motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur) and next to the door an oak barrel on which a scholar’s slate invites us to enter: Open, Come in!

I have pushed the door and been welcomed by Marie. She is the only employee of the winery, smiling, ready to listen and answer any question. Her welcome has been so good that I decided to come back and attend an educational tour of the store the next day.

Les Vignerons Parisiens - Stylish inside
Les Vignerons Parisiens – Stylish inside
Les Vignerons Parisiens- Bricks, Wine and more
Les Vignerons Parisiens – Bricks, Wine and more…

Les Vignerons Parisiens is the first urban Winery in Paris. The idea of making wine in Paris is Matthieu Bosser’s who joined together with three other partners, Emmanuel, the oenologist, Frédéric, the wine grower and Michel. Those Fab Four (‘quatre garçons dans le vin’) created Les Vignerons Parisiens in early 2015: they have rent vineyards in the village of Visan, located in the Rhône Valley, found premises in the 3rd arrondissement of Paris in the Haut Marais area, spent about eighteen months fitting them out… and getting the administrative authorization to produce wine in Paris.

At last they opened their store in April 2016: the 2015 wines were made in the Rhône Valley but since 2016 their wines have been vinified and bottled in their Parisian premises. During the harvest the grapes are put into small boxes and moved to Paris immediately in a refrigerated truck.  The destemming, the fermentation, the maturing -either in oak barrels or in stainless steel tanks depending on the wines-, the blending and the bottling are all made in Paris.

Les Vignerons Parisiens-Winery-Paris-Fermentation
Destemming, fermentation and storage of the bottles
Les Vignerons Parisiens-Winery-Paris-Maturing
Maturing the wines in oak barrels

Quality and traceability, authenticity and freshness are the four watchwords for Matthieu and his team: All the vineyards have been grown biodynamic or organic for fifteen years, the harvest are handmade and apart of one of the white wines all the wines are made from a single type of grape, which is quite unusual and is in my opinion one of the most interesting qualities of their wines. For instance I had never tasted before a 100% Cinsault wine and enjoyed very much the remarkable and pure nature of their Turbigo 2016.

I have visited the place with Marie who is really a remarkable teacher. The tour takes about 45 minutes. It is very instructive, takes place even if you are the only visitor and can be made either in French or in English. It costs 25€ and ends with a wine tasting of 5 among their 6 wines. All of them have names suggestive of Paris: Lutèce and An 508, the two white wines; Turbigo, Les Templiers and Haussmann, the three red ones; and Sequana, the rosé, which is the only one not to be tasted. I guess you can understand all those names… but maybe don’t you know what happened in An 508? I didn’t but Marie taught me that this is the year when Paris had been for the first time the capital of France (thanks to Clovis)!

Les Vignerons Parisiens-Winery-Wine tasting
Les Vignerons Parisiens – Wine Tasting

I loved the tour and highly recommend it to you! I have also appreciated all the wines without exception. As I could not afford buying one bottle of each – all of them are worth their price… but not cheap- I have chosen Les Templiers 2015, a red wine 100% grenache, my favourite, pure and well-balanced, a gourmet wine! Its price is in accordance with its quality: 19,50€; and fair.

And if you do not have the opportunity to visit the Winery of Les Vignerons Parisiens in the rue de Turbigo you can nevertheless buy their wines in a few selected wine shops in Paris, including La Cave de la Grande Epicerie de Paris. An original souvenir to buy for yourselves or for a present! And if you feel a bit of nostalgia once back home do not worry: Les Vignerons Parisiens have already started exporting their wines and no doubt that you will be able to buy them in your country fairly soon. Wine made in Paris is back… as it used to be in the 18th century. I mean very good quality wine, really to be tasted and discovered!

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris The Blog

Practical information: Les Vignerons Parisiens – 55 rue de Turbigo 75003 Paris – tel: +33(0)1 44 93 72 97 – tuesday till friday: 11am-1.30pm and 3.30-8pm – saturday: 11am-1.30pm and 3-8pm

Anders Zorn: A Must-See Exhibition in Paris Until 17 December

Good Morning Paris The Blog is back after a few silent months… hopefully with a new post every week! For this comeback I am happy to introduce you to the most beautiful painting exhibition taking place in Paris this autumn: Anders Zorn, in the Petit Palais. There are ten days left to discover this remarkable Swedish artist and his masterpieces. You might have never head of him; you might have never seen any of his paintings… Do not miss this unique opportunity!

Anders Zorn-Petit Palais-01
Anders Zorn – Paris – The Petit Palais by night

Anders Zorn is the Master of Scandinavian painting from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Zorn was born in Sweden in 1860 and has been internationally famous in his lifetime as a watercolourist, as a portraitist and as a printmaker. Nevertheless one might have never heard his name as the exhibition taking place this autum in the Petit Palais in Paris is the first retrospective of his works since the one held in… 1906 at the Galerie Durand-Ruel. Do not miss it, it is simply amazing!

From the first room I have been captivated by Anders Zorn’s painting. The watercolours from his early years are masterpieces and among my favourite works in the whole exhibition. I have literally fallen in love with the portrait of a young woman “En deuil” that Zorn painted at the age of 20: so stirring!

Anders Zorn-Petit Palais-09
Anders Zorn – Petit Palais – En Deuil – 1880

I have also appreciated very much the way Zorn has caught the movement of water, waves and ripples, in many of his watercolours.

In the following rooms most of the works exhibited are oil paintings whose delicate and airy touch is as impressive as for the watercolours. One travels with Zorn, from Paris to his native land, Dalecarlia, where he painted many scenes drawn from day-to-day existence.

Scenes from Paris…

… and from Dalecarlia

Anders Zorn was also a master printmaker and an entire circular room shows in a subdued light a wide selection of his printed works, mainly portraits or prints based on his painted compositions. Black and white ambience…

Anders Zorn-Petit Palais-19
Anders Zorn – Eaux fortes

The whole exhibition is carefully laid out: the setting of each room, the colour chosen for the walls depending on the room, and even the captions for the paintings. Everything is perfect, especially the atmosphere of traditional Sweden for the paintings of Dalecarlia: so well rendered by the light wooden walls!

Anders Zorn-Petit Palais-21
Salle des peintures de Dalecarlie – Musique en famille

Furthermore one can appreciate the place itself, the Petit Palais and its beautiful architecture and decor, whether inside or outside, in its gardens or from the street. If you have some time left, enjoy a walk through the permanent collections or a drink in the garden tea room: not to be missed as well.

For sure ten days is a short delay and I apologize about it. Nevertheless I hope that you will have the time to go and visit this outstanding exhibition. The Petit Palais opens late on Fridays… and there are two fridays left until 17 December!

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris The Blog

Practical information: Exhibition Anders Zorn –Petit Palais– Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris – Tuesday till Sunday: 10am-6pm (9pm on Fridays) – Until 17 December 2017

 

Paris Plages by Night: So Romantic!

In 2002 the Mayor of Paris had the crazy thought to convert the banks of the Seine into sandy beaches during the summer: Paris Plages was born! The operation was so successful that it has been repeated every year, which makes local people and tourists very happy. Indeed what could be more magical than having a drink on a deckchair on a beach along the Seine with a view on Notre Dame. During the day Paris Plages is very lively and attracts many families with children and groups of friends; but not only: one can also meet single persons sitting on a deckchair with a book. The atmosphere is always relaxed and friendly.

This year I got the idea of going there at night rather than during the day or in the evening after work… and I can highly recommend it. I have walked at the water’s edge from one end of Paris Plages to the other on the Voie George Pompidou. And I have much enjoyed the amazing views on every bridge, from the Pont des Arts to the Pont Marie, and on every monument, from the closest -as Notre Dame- to the most faraway -as the Eiffel Tower.

View on the EIffel Tower from Paris Plages
Paris Plages : View on the Pont Neuf and the Eiffel Tower in the background

At 10pm the Eiffel Tower starts sparkling…

Paris Plages by night- The Eiffel Tower in the background
Paris Plages by night- The Eiffel Tower in the background

… and all the bridges are beautifully lit up. In front of us, the Pont Notre Dame:

Paris Plages by Night - The Pont Notre Dame
Paris Plages by Night – The Pont Notre Dame

One goes on strolling on the river banks, highly secured:

Late walkers on Paris Plages
Late walkers on Paris Plages

It looks like we are elsewhere considering all the palm trees:

Paris Plages : a palm tree in front of the Pont Notre Dame
Paris Plages : a palm tree in front of the Pont Notre Dame

Many river cruise boats are passing by…

Paris Plages- A river cruise boat under the Pont Notre Dame
Paris Plages- A river cruise boat under the Pont Notre Dame

… and their passengers admire the beautiful views on the top of the towers of Notre Dame, just like us:

Paris Plages-Beautiful view on the towers of Notre Dame
Paris Plages-Beautiful view on the towers of Notre Dame

A little further one goes past six areas for playing boules, located between the Pont Louis Philippe and the Pont Marie. This is one of the most popular activities of Paris Plages during the day… but so quiet at night:

Paris Plages - One of the six areas for playing boules
Paris Plages – One of the six areas for playing boules

It is now 10.30pm and we have to leave the water’s edge. Back to the street level we cross the Seine on the Pont Marie and then on the Pont de la Tournelle from which the view on Notre Dame is just amazing!

Paris Plages-View on Notre Dame from the Pont de la Tournelle
Paris Plages-View on Notre Dame from the Pont de la Tournelle

I have been surprised by the peace and quiet of the place and was expecting more liveliness and a more festive atmosphere. I went there on a weeknight and shortly before the closing… and of course all the activities were already closed: beach games for children, areas for playing boules, table football,… as well as the pop-up libraries. Only the ice-cream makers and the riverside cafés were still open.

If you prefer a more festive and lively atmosphere you have better choose a Friday or Saturday night. Indeed on those two nights Paris Plages closes at midnight instead of 10pm during the week.

And to make the most of it one can also visit the two other areas where Paris Plages is taking place: The Bassin de la Villette, in the North East of Paris, which offers beaches and activities on both banks and on the water as well ; and the Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville, close to the Seine, where four beach volleyball courts have been set.

Enjoy the summer in Paris with Paris Plages! I will be back in a month with new posts as I am leaving the city for a couple of weeks holiday. See you soon!

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr

Practical information: Paris Plages 2016-Voie Georges Pompidou, on the right bank, from the Pont des Arts to the Pont Sully 75004, until 4 September- Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville 75004, until 21 August- Bassin de la Villette 75019, until 21 August 2016

Top Five Fountains in Paris

Paris counts around 500 fountains and it was not easy to make a selection of my favourites and write a post about my top five fountains in Paris. I had others or more in mind but some of them were not in working order when I have seen them… and personally I cannot consider a fountain without water as a real fountain, especially in summer when the sun is at last shining! So here is my selection of five amazing fountains, each of them being a work of art and offering a peaceful and refreshing break in Paris. Enjoy!

The Most Artistic: The ‘Fontaine Stravinsky’

The ‘Fontaine Stravinsky’, also called ‘Fontaine des Automates’ was ordered in 1983 by the City of Paris and the French Ministry of Culture to two famous artists: Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle. They were not only both painters and sculptors at once but also husband and wife. The sponsor of the project is Pierre Boulez, the famous French composer who was also the manager of the IRCAM: he asked the artists to design a fountain in tribute to the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.

Fountains Paris-fontaine stravinsky-01
Fountains Paris-fontaine stravinsky-01

This monument was to create a link between the modernity of the Centre Pompidou in the north and the Gothic architecture of the Church Saint Merri in the south…  and the result is absolutely perfect! The size of the pond, the fitting-out of the square, the poetic, magic and childish nature of the sculptures make this place look like a go-between through times.

When one comes from Saint Merri and the narrow streets surrounding the church one appreciates the progressive opening to wider and more modern spaces offered by the peaceful and a bit timeless fountain, before reaching the Centre Pompidou and its majestic esplanade. And if one comes from Beaubourg one can go back in time gradually. Before entering Saint Merri or the surrounding alleys one is invited to have a sit along the pond so as to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, admire the colourful and poetic sculptures and listen to the real musicians often playing on the square.

Paris-fontaine stravinsky-02
Paris-fontaine stravinsky-02
Paris-fontaine stravinsky-03
Paris-fontaine stravinsky-03

And it is even more magical when the automatons of the fountain come to life as they do not only move but also generate sounds: dance and music are united as in a ballet of Stravinsky! Unfortunately the automatons are often out of order and I have not seen them in motion for a long time… but here is a nice video showing them in motion :

The Most Design: The ‘Sphérades’

The ‘Sphérades’ are two fountains located in the Cour d’Orléeans, between the Cour d’Honneur of the Palais Royal where one can see the famous Columns of Buren and the Palais Royal Gardens. They were designed by the Belgian artist Pol Bury and inaugurated in the same time as the Columns of Buren, in 1985. Like the fontaine Stravinsky they act as a go-between and create a link between the columns which are a static and mineral work of art and the gardens, alive with their trees, thanks to the gentle noise of the water and to the slow movement of the balls.

Fountains Paris-The Spherades-01
Fountains Paris-The Spherades-01

The ‘Sphérades’ were put in pre-existing bowls and one can sit on the edge of them and dip one’s feet in the water. Children like to cool down by standing in the water while adults only dip their feet… And all enjoy the sight of the sky and surrounding columns which are reflected in the seventeen steel balls of each fountain. I like the very pure design of the fountains and the contrast between the round form of the balls and the straight shape of the nearby columns. And above all I love the changing appearance of the balls, depending on the colour of the sky and on their positioning as they gently move with the water.

Fountains Paris-The Spherades-02
Fountains Paris-The Spherades-02
The Most Majestic: The ‘Fontaine des Quatre parties du monde’

The ‘Fontaine des quatre parties du monde’ is in my opinion the most remarkable fountain in Paris thanks to its architecture and to its location. Indeed the ‘Fontaines des fleuves’ on the Place de la Concorde is even more majestic but its location in the middle of a square surrounded by cars is not so pleasant and one cannot enjoy it as much as the ‘Fontaine des quatre parties du monde’.

This fountain is located in the Marco Polo Garden on the Avenue de l’Observatoire, between Port Royal and the Luxembourg Garden. The local people also call these gardens the ‘Petit Luxembourg’ as opposed to the main Luxembourg Garden.

Fountains Paris-fontaine des quatre parties du monde-01
Fountains Paris-fontaine des quatre parties du monde-01

It is a beautiful monument which was built by several sculptors between 1867 and 1874: Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (also famous for his sculpture ‘la Danse’ at the Opéra Garnier) designed the four young ladies who represent the four continents, Africa, America, Asia and Europe. The globe that they carry above their heads and that is illustrated with the signs of the Zodiac was made by Eugène Legrain. Finally the animals in the pond -eight horses, four dolphins and eight turtles- were sculpted by Emmaunel Frémiet. The whole is very harmonious: I love it!

Fountains Paris-fontaine des quatre parties du monde-02
Fountains Paris-fontaine des quatre parties du monde-02

And I also love the pond located at the back of the fountain: it is surrounded with grass where one can sit or lie and take a breath of cool air thanks to the nearby water with a view on the fountain and on the chestnut trees of the Marco Polo Garden: A true delight!

Fountains Paris-fontaine des quatre parties du monde-03
Fountains Paris-fontaine des quatre parties du monde-03
The Most Romantic: The ‘Fontaine Médicis’

The neighbouring Luxembourg Garden shelters many other fountains… including a very special one which is the most romantic area of the garden: The ‘Fontaine Médicis’. Shadow and Coolness guaranteed! The fountain is located in one of the most hidden part of the garden: next to the Senate but under trees which make it invisible to the walker in a hurry.

The ‘Fontaine Médicis’ gets its name from the Queen Marie de Médicis who ordered its building around 1630. At that time the queen was a bit nostalgic and hoped to feel again the atmosphere of the caves and gardens of her native Italy! Since it was built the ‘Fontaine Médicis’ experienced several transformations and was even moved stone by stone to its present location. The long pool lined with vases which lies in the front of the fountain was added after this moving, in 1860.

Fountains Paris-fontaine medicis-01
Fountains Paris-fontaine medicis-01
Fountains Paris-fontaine medicis-02
Fountains Paris-fontaine medicis-02

Today the ‘Fontaine Médicis’ is THE place in the Luxembourg Garden where to rest, dream or read… or kiss, away from the crowds and out of sight: peaceful, shady and romantic!

The Most Secrete: The ‘Fontaine de la Cité de Trévise’

The last fountain of my selection is the less famous and the most secrete of the five. Unlike the other four it is not a fountain where one can enjoy sitting at the edge of it. Nevertheless it is so beautiful, unexpected and located in such a charming and peaceful place that it is really a must-see!

Fountains Paris-cite trevise-01
Fountains Paris-cite trevise-01

The Cité de Trévise is a lovely cobbled street located in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. It was built in 1840 and is lined by beautiful buildings in the Renaissance style. Its quietness contrasts with the liveliness of the nearby ‘Grands Boulevards’ and is much appreciated by the local people. In a place the Cité de Trévise bends and opens onto a charming square lined with beautiful buildings in the Renaissance style. There lies a tiny garden closed to the public and in the middle of it one can admire the ‘Fontaine de la Cité de Trévise’ surrounded by four majestic plane trees.

Fountains Paris-cite trevise-02
Fountains Paris-cite trevise-02

Well before seeing the fountain one can hear the continuous noise of the water and, when one discover it, one is delighted by the magic of the place: so peaceful, so romantic… The only thing missing are benches where to sit and enjoy the motion and the noise of the water and the frolics of the pigeons in the water!

And here are some more pictures so that you feel like going and discovering these five amazing fountains at once: Enjoy!

Christine Bokobza – Good Morning Paris B&B – www.goodmorningparis.fr

Practical information: Fontaine Stravinsky-rue Brisemiche 75004 – Les Sphérades-Cour d’Orléans Palais Royal 75001 – Fontaine des quatre parties du monde-Jardin Marco Polo Avenue de l’Observatoire 75006 – Fontaine Médicis-Jardin du Luxembourg rue de Médicis 75006 – Fontaine de la Cité de Trévise-Cité de Trévise 75009

The Parisian Market of the Month: Le Marché Saxe Breteuil

Among the 82 Parisian markets, the Marché Saxe Breteuil is one of my favourites, Number Three ranking. It is located in the select 7th arrondissement on the wide pedestrian central reservation of the Avenue de Saxe: at one end, the Place de Breteuil and at the other end the Place de Fontenoy and the Ecole Militaire… and above all: the Eiffel Tower in the background!

The Marché Saxe Breteuil is made in the image of the local people: smart, calm and relaxed! Its two lanes of stands are wide and never crowded ; nobody pushes you and the stallholders do not shout at the customers. There is something of a holiday atmosphere: I love it!

Marche-Saxe-Breteuil-Paris-Airy and relaxed
Marche-Saxe-Breteuil-Paris-Airy and relaxed

And for a visitor passing through Paris what could be more authentic and magical than going to the market with a view on the Eiffel Tower?

Continue reading The Parisian Market of the Month: Le Marché Saxe Breteuil

Up and Down the Butte Montmartre

The Butte Montmartre competes with the Eiffel Tower to be the most famous and popular tourist attraction in Paris. I therefore hesitated for quite a while before writing a post about Montmartre considering that the place was too busy with lots of tourists to have kept its charm and authenticity. Yet Montmartre is not only a major tourist attraction. It remains a very charming area with a village-like atmosphere where one can still imagine how the artists used to live, meet and work there in the end of 19th century. No doubt that strolling in Montmartre is one of the most extraordinary walks one can go for in Paris: amazing views, lovely cobbled alleys, impressive stairs, beautiful houses and gardens with trees and birds,…

Montmartre-Le Bateau lavoir- place Emile Goudeau
Montmartre-Le Bateau lavoir- place Emile Goudeau

Continue reading Up and Down the Butte Montmartre

Reopening of the Musée Jean-Jacques Henner in Paris: A True Gem!

The Musée Jean-Jacques Henner has just reopened last Saturday on the occasion of the European Night of Museums 2016 after two years of renovation. I visited it yesterday. I love the remarkable architecture of the building and the way the works of art are exhibited; and I have been really impressed by Henner’s paintings which I did not know at all before my visit. Thanks to the renovation the Winter garden and the Lounge with columns are now open to the public after a fifteen-year closure: A must-see!

Musee Jean Jacques Henner-Paris- The winter garden
Musee Jean Jacques Henner-Paris- The winter garden
Musee Jean Jacques Henner-Paris- The Lounge with columns
Musee Jean Jacques Henner-Paris- The Lounge with columns

Continue reading Reopening of the Musée Jean-Jacques Henner in Paris: A True Gem!