As if you needed another reason to visit France, a new museum dedicated to wine has just opened on June 2nd in Bordeaux. Titled “Le Cité du Vin” (City of Wine), this 10-story museum explores wine culture and its 7,500-year history.
The building design was created by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières. In a statement given on the museum’s website they said: “This building does not resemble any recognizable shape because it is an evocation of the soul of wine between the river and the city.” And indeed, the building’s shape is one-of-a-kind. It can seem out of place until you realize the inspiration behind it: The swirl is meant to mimic the curves of a wine glass, a grapevine, and the waves of the nearby Garonne river.
Bordeaux is considered by many to be not only the best wine region in France, but also the best in the world. It’s unique wine history dates back 2,000 years to Roman times. The marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened up the region to the English who began importing the new wine which they commonly refer to as “claret.”
This museum features 20 themed spaces with all manner of interactive, digital tools to educate visitors. Guests are even treated to a virtual boat tour simulating a merchant’s ship traveling the world. Visitors may access audio guides in 8 different languages for individualized experiences. The audio guides will play content based on whatever room guests are exploring. In addition to tours, visitors may also participate in tastings, classes, and workshops. A 250-seat auditorium will play host to some of these classes and film screenings. A museum of wine would hardly be complete without an area to sample wine and the designers have not let us down. There is a 2-story wine bar as well as a store which boasts 14,000 bottles of wine from 80 different countries.
Le Cité du Vin is expected to host 450,000 visitors a year. 2017 will see the arrival of a high-speed train connecting Paris to Bordeaux. Those wishing to make the trip from Paris to Bordeaux will be able to do so in as little as two hours.
Bordeaux has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007 and it’s not hard to see why. Bordeaux wine has remained a staple of the wine scene for centuries and this new museum will bolster that reputation. Though Le Cité du Vin has only been in operation for a week, it has already achieved a 4-star rating on Google and mostly positive reviews.
For more information, visit: http://www.laciteduvin.com/en