La Cité du Vin gives you an immersive, multi-sensory tour of the wine world
Bordeaux is the undisputed capital city of the wine world, and with La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux reaffirms its status as one of the world’s top wine destinations. La Cité du Vin is the only cultural center in the world offering an approach to wine to a wide audience. It will certainly also attract attention thanks to it’s wonderfully audacious architecture and exposition space inside.
It’s powerfully expressive form is supposed to capture the spirit of wine and its fluid essence, intangible and sensual, like the swirl of the wine in the glass, the coiled movement of a grapevine or the gentle curve of the Garonne river flowing past outside.
The Permanent Tour of the Wine World
The permanent tour is a multi-media tour de force of the world of wine. It consists of 19 stations, or themed spaces, where you can easily spend half a day learning about absolutely every aspect of wine-making, around the world, in France and in the Bordeaux regions. Some of the stations are passive in the sense that you sit down, watch and listen, but there are also hands-on themes such as the one about “everyday smells” where you learn to distinguish and familiarize yourself with quite common smells. The expert “trick” seems to be to memorize or to keep a vocabulary of common smells, and more importantly common tastes, and then articulate these impressions and make use of what you already know when you enjoy a glass of wine, or whenever you want to impress your friends. One thing is certain, if you are not already an expert, you will definitely get a flying start at the La Cité du Vin.
NB! You are advised to arrive at least 2-3 hours before closing time in order to get the maximum out of the visit.
Bordeaux – Sleeping Beauty waking up
Bordeaux used to be nick-named “Sleeping Beauty” due to its limestone facades having turned black from pollution. Today most of Bordeaux looks golden white and quite stunning. The highlights are many, among them the stately Place de la Bourse building complex facing the Garonne River and the Grand Théâtre on Place de la Comédie. Its historic centre is a coherent unity with many outstanding examples of 18th century neoclassical architecture.
Some 347 buildings are protected by national conservation laws. Thanks to the revival of the city over last few decades Bordeaux was inscribed on the World Heritage list as an inhabited historic centre and it also features on the list of World Heritage Cities.
What makes Bordeaux all the more enjoyable both for locals and visitors are the city’s many lively Quartiers, squares and backstreets bustling with people having a good time at the numerous trendy cafés, restaurants and wine bars.
- See also the Bordeaux page for more.
La Cité du Vin was designed by Parisian architects XTU and the exposition design and scenography by English museum-design experts Casson Mann Limited.
La Cité du Vin
All photos by Asgeir Pedersen, IN Editions
This is a revised version of the article, first published 27 November 2016.