Daily Destination: Grape festival in Montmartre, Paris

Think Paris and it’s likely you will plan to visit the Louvre, zoom up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and head to Galeries Lafayette for some chic shopping. You’ll stroll along the Champs-Elysées and dine in a local bistro. You’ll perhaps glide down the Seine on a Bateau Mouche. But you’d also like to interact with the Parisians a bit. And it goes without saying that you will want to enjoy some exquisite French wine.

Say no more. Mid-October is a wonderful time to be in the City of Light, not least because you will have a chance to participate in Montmartre’s annual “Fête des Vendages” (“Feast of the Late Harvest”). This year the dates are October 9-13, and the dates for next year will be close to those. You can make the journey up to Paris’ pretty, arty, Montmartre, with its charming village-like feel, and its drop-dead gorgeous views over Paris. And once there, you can take part in the quirky neighborhood’s annual five-day grape harvest festival.

As the story goes, many years ago there were abundant vineyards on Montmartre. The locals claim that the vines were planted by the Romans centuries ago. Parisians from every corner of the city go up the hill to celebrate the harvest with gusto. One event involves a long procession from downtown Paris up the mountain to the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, the glistening white domed church that towers above the city. Even if you don’t drink wine (but then why would you be in Paris?), you can join the fun.