Wednesday, June 1, 2016

La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux, France, Opens Its Doors To the Wine Lovers of the World

It's Official! 

The World's First Wine Playground 

Opens to the Public 

June 1, 

in Bordeaux, France




La Cité du Vin is a brilliant new facility, opened officially by French President Hollande on May 31, and opened to the public on June 1. It is a museum, a wine bar, a wine-rich restaurant, a multi-sensory wine experience, and a totally immersive journey into the culture and history of wine, from Man's first sip of fermented liquid to the latest trends in winemaking, from all areas of the globe. It's ambitious in reach and completely and delightfully entertaining. whether you are a wine connoiseur or an infrequent sipper.

Situated on the left side of the Garonne River, in the Bacalan district of Bordeaux, this architecturally dramatic building is more than a shrine to wine. It is designed to be an immersive journey, an entertaining 'degustation' of wine history and its place in our culture. There are twenty two different modules, all interactive and controlled by hand held devices that give the visitor the ability to activate the many layers of sound, sight and even smell that each module can present.

 Open headsets, with output available in eight different languages, allow attention to the presentation, as well as permitting the wearer to still hear ambient conversation.
When I toured the facility, the workers were in countdown mode, almost done but finishing the last jobs to prepare for the French president's visit and the grand opening. And while all the details were not completely finished, it was obvious that this museum would not be a solemn or solely academic place of meditation on wine. Rather it is a living and energetic exploration, with opportunities to engage, to experiment, to taste and enjoy and, in the best way possible, to learn.

The restaurant on the seventh floor is a soothing and calm place to dine, with a rotating array of wine choices, and with one of the best views of the city of Bordeaux.

 The Belvedere, on the top floor, will be the place where visitors can choose a glass, from twenty different wines, that is included in their ticket price, and enjoy the wine while drinking in the 360 degree view of the city, the river  and the surrounding area.

There is also a wine bar and more casual eating area on the main floor, as well as a 60,000 bottle wine store and a centre where visitors can plan and book a tour of wine country. The terraces outside lead down to the river, and boats will take visitors on tours of wine chateaus that are close to the river.
The state of the art tasting rooms can be booked by groups, or individuals can join scheduled group tastings in one of the three tasting rooms. A library and reading room, the Thomas Jefferson Auditorium and an exhibition gallery are also part of the experience and will present wine culture from many angles.
If you love wine, are interested in the history of wine in world culture, or if you just enjoy a an entertaining culinary experience, La Cité du Vin is your kind of venue.

Entrance fees for La Cite du Vin are 20 euros pp, and include the hand helds and headsets, as well as one glass of wine in the Belvedere. Tickets can be booked in advance online.