Île-de-France winery launches donations appeal

An urban winery in Paris has launched an appeal for donations as its founders seek to resurrect winemaking and viticulture in the Île-de-France.

La Winerie Parisienne was founded Julien Bengué and Adrien Pelissié in 2015. In May of this year they planted their first three-hectare vineyard in Davron, a commune 30 kilometres to the west of Paris and now are asking for funds to plant more vines and buy equipment.

As is explained on the pair’s fundraising page, the aim is to create the first proper commercial vineyard in the Île-de-France for over 150 years, “and for that we need funds!” as Bengué recently told Le Figaro.

They are trying to raise €25,000 by 18 July (the fundraising page has been active since 5 June) and currently have €23,231 going into the final week.

From the fourth century AD until the coming of phylloxera in the 19th, the vineyards of the Île-de-France were some of the most famous in the country.

At its apogee the vineyards around Paris amounted to around 44,000ha and during the Middle Ages in particular, the wine that would have graced the tables of the king and his court were largely those from Île-de-France.

Unfortunately, phylloxera ravaged the vineyards and the region fell into decline. This was exacerbated by improving railway links across France which allowed producers from other regions to send their wines to the growing and ever-thirsty Parisian market.

It was a double blow from which the vineyards of Île-de-France never recovered and viticulture, or commercial viticulture at least, had disappeared entirely from the area by the beginning of the 20th century and it is this long history and association which Bengué and Pelissié are now hoping to revive.

Their fundraising page and more information about the winery and the project can be found here.

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