Once Paris and its region – Īle-de-France – was France’s biggest producer of wine.
Paris had what it takes to produce excellent wine: the right weather conditions; fertile soil; clergyman with a love of the stuff, and last but by no means least, Paris was where the monarch was and France’s monarch had a taste for good vin.
Accordingly, in the 18th century Paris and the Īle-de-France had 42,000 hectares of land under the vine. The Champagne region had 35,000 hectares and Alsace, 18,000. Paris’s wine was a white.
However, after the Revolution (1789), mildew and an epidemic of phylloxera (caused by a yellow sap-sucking fly) attacked the vines. Once the epidemic was over, so too was Paris’s white wine production. Instead the vintners began to produce cheap red wine (or, as is called in France, un gros rouge).
Paris wine production received another blow with the coming of the railroad to the European continent because it had become possible to transport wine over a long distance. Parisians therefore began to drink wine produced in other areas of their country.
As is revealed in the book Histoire du Grand Vignoble d’Ile de France, de la Gaulle à Nos Jours (History of the Great Vineyards of the Īle-de-France from the Gauls to the Present), there are still today 70 wine producing communities in the Īle-de-France.