Les Grappes magazine with le parisien
The magazine Les
Grappes & Le Parisien
Everything you always wanted to know about wine but never dared to ask

Micro Wineries", meaning "small wineries" in French, is a new phenomenon. Born in the 90s in the United States, the concept is simple: vinify wines in small premises in the city. With a rapid expansion in North America, however, this project has left the wine world sceptical. It was without counting on its international development that this project started to make people talk about it. So, are Urban wineries a fashion trend or a real underlying trend? Investigation.

How did these wineries conquer the world?

It was in 2008 in New York in the Brooklyn district that things accelerated. The first micro winery opens in a city with a global reach. What's his name? The "Red Hook Winery", created by Mark Snyder and two of his friends. The project that has trouble getting started ends up making noise. The American trend is spreading around the world and getting more and more serious. The step has been taken in Asia first, with the opening in 2010 of a Micro Winery this time in Hong Kong. Many supporters are beginning to mature the project in their cities and openings are multiplying. It was officially crossed in Russia in 2010 with the opening of a micro winery on the shores of the Black Sea by a wine enthusiast, Alexey Tolstoy!

Street Winery in San Francisco ©USA Today
Street Winery in San Francisco ©USA Today

In France, it is in Marseille where we will make the first step. The opening of "Microcosmos" at the beginning of 2012 therefore marks the beginning of this new trend. It is then in London where in 2013 the London Cru, the most famous micro winery in Europe, was born. The phenomenon is therefore becoming more and more serious. For Paris, however, it will be 2015 before two urban cellars open their doors: The "Winerie Parisienne" and "Les Vignerons Parisiens".

Les Vignerons Parisiens
The Parisian Winegrowers

How do you make wine in the city?

These organisations can of course own their own vineyards and decide to highlight the manufacturing process in different cellars than those on their properties. Otherwise, they buy grapes from wine-growing properties and bring them to the cellars in town in optimal conditions to preserve the quality of the fruit. Then, all the steps until bottling are done in these Micro Wineries.

Why do Micro Wineries wake up cities?

Today, the trend is towards attachment and local products. More and more the countryside is inviting itself into our cities and wine is no exception! These "Urban Wineries" offer us the opportunity to reconnect with the wine world, to see both the work done, to understand it and to be in contact with the people who produce. And all this just a stone's throw from home is a revolution! The lifestyle of large cities is not comparable to that of the winegrower. And yet! Going out and seeing grapes in the middle of winemaking is not common but it is now possible.

Winerie Parisienne
Parisian Winery

Beyond producing quality wines, these micro wineries are placed where people consume wine. They therefore have a legitimate place and a real role to play, both in today's wine world and in that of tomorrow. Whether in New York, London, or 50 years after Bercy's closure in Paris, Micro Wineries no longer seems to be a passing trend, but real companies that seize a market full of opportunities.

To conclude with a single watchword: go for it!

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