A stunning building that does not resemble any recognisable shape because it is an evocation of the soul of wine between the river and the city of Bordeaux, France, La Cité du Vin or “The City of Wine” is a museum-theme park dedicated to wine and opened its doors to the public on Wednesday.
La Cité du Vin promises to provide an immersive experience, one that gives a different view of wine, across the world, across the ages, across all cultures and all civilisations. The museum-theme park will feature material that will promote and share the cultural, universal and living heritage that is wine, whilst having a focus on emotions, sensations and imagination. Most importantly, the museum-theme park aims to pass on knowledge interactively.
Designed by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières from XTU architects, the building certainly makes an impact on Bordeaux’s skyline. It is a journey in itself, creating a place filled with symbols of identity: the knotted vine stocks, wine turning in the glass, the swirls and eddies of the Garonne river. Each and every architectural detail evokes liquid elements and the very soul of wine.
Allow yourself to be transported by this sensation of movement, of uninterrupted flow between the exterior and interior of the curvaceous structure. Set off on your wine adventure beneath the wooden vault of the torus which reminds us of the massive hull of a ship putting to sea and continue exploring through the space that comprises more than 13,350m2 spread over ten levels and reaching a height of 55 metres.
The Wine Experience
Inside, visitors will be guided by the “travel companion,” an innovative and technological tool available in eight languages, helping you to explore the circuit at your own pace and adapted to your own profile.
The final phase of the journey will take you up to a height of 35 metres, up to the Belvedere of La Cité du Vin where you can take in a 360° view of the city: Bordeaux, capital of the Gironde, its Port de la Lune and, stretching out of sight, its vineyards and wine regions.
La Cité du Vin will be organising two big temporary exhibitions each year on varying cultural and artistic themes, bringing together works of art from leading international museums and private collections. Each year, a “guest wine region” will spend the summer at La Cité du Vin to showcase its cultural wealth and its history.
The Thomas Jefferson auditorium and the conference areas offer visitors interesting cultural experiences through workshops, shows and concerts, cinema screenings, meetings and seminars.
Visitors can also settle into the calm of the reading room and plunge into a wealth of multilingual documentation. This is a free access area where you will find a wide selection of multi-media publications linked to the world of wine.
If you’re hungry, Le 7 panoramic restaurant on the 7th floor of La Cité du Vin, offers an exceptional view over Bordeaux while tasting a selection of seasonal regional produce, accompanied by a list of more than 500 wines from around the world. Or try Latitude20, a wine bar with more than 50 different wines by the glass and a selection of tapas from around the world, a snack bar with a big choice of snacks for any time of day and a worldwide wine cellar with more than 14,000 bottles from more than 80 wine producing countries.
Be it for a few hours, a day, or an evening, La Cité du Vin offers a unique panorama, both in view and in knowledge, of everything you would ever want to know about wine – all enjoyed while sipping a glass of wine in one of the great wine-producing areas of the world.
Adult admission is €20 and children under 6 years are free of charge.