Bordeaux Opens its “Cité du Vin”

Between museum, tradition and gastronomy, this new edifice dedicated to wine may definitively make Bordeaux the world capital of wine

June 01st, 2016

After seven years of construction, and an 81 million euro budget, the “cité du vin” aka the “city of wine” was inaugurated by President François Holland in Bordeaux on May 31. Commencing June 1 it will be open to the public. Its grand ambition is cement Bordeaux’s place as the wine capital of the world.

“Our first ambition is to be known all around the world because we have the first cultural place focused around wine”, said Philippe Massol, the Director of the “Cité du vin”. The impressive building, shaped like a wine jug, has been designed on the image of wine swirling around a glass. Alain Juppé, the mayor of Bordeaux, called the building “a Guggenheim to wine”. It spans 13.000m2 over 10 floors, all dedicated to wine. It includes 19 workshops, a panoramic bar and, of course, a wine cellar. The latter houses more than 800 samples of wine originating from 80 countries. In total, the museum contains over 14,000 different wines; a majority of French and especially Bordeaux wines. More than a museum, the “Cité du vin” intends to be the place “where wine comes to life through an immersive, sensorial approach, all set within an evocative architectural design”.

The idea of such a cultural attraction centered around wine has been warmly welcomed in France, but also outside the country, especially in the USA, where wine consumption is rising every year. The American website Bustler describes the opening of the “Cité du vin” as “a dream come true”. For the magazine Metro, “France is giving the world what it has so desperately been craving: a dedicated theme park celebrating the joy of wine”. International visitors will be needed for the “Cité du vin” to achieve its objective of 450,000 visitors per year.

French winemakers hope that the new “Cité du vin” will benefit them by being a catalyst for tourism centered around wine. Bordeaux and its surrounding area is already a massive tourist destination, with more than 6 million people visiting the city per year, for its architecture and its wine. In 2007 Bordeaux was designated a UNESCO world heritage site. With the new “Cité du vin”, many more tourists from all around the world are expected in Bordeaux.


Cultural Diplomacy News
Gaspard Fontaine, CD News