La Cite du Vin

by Wendy VanHatten

In 2017 La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, France, proudly marks its first birthday having welcomed 425,000 visitors from 150 countries.


The official press release gives information here:

As well as the permanent tour, the rich cultural programme offered throughout the year by the Fondation pour la culture et les civilisations du vin (Fondation CCV) which operates La Cité du Vin has also enjoyed great success, in particular the first temporary exhibition Bistro! From Baudelaire to Picasso from 17 March to 21 June, which welcomed 31,500 paying visitors up to the end of May. La Cité du Vin has therefore established itself in the local and national cultural landscape to become a place where Bordeaux comes to life. With foreigners making up 27% of tourist visitors, La Cité du Vin has also demonstrated that it enjoys an international reputation. In addition, a quarterly barometer has shown that visitors have been extremely satisfied.

Recently I was one of those 27% tourist visitors.

Stepping foot inside, my first impression is that this could be overwhelming. With over 3,000 square feet of information, exhibits, and short films…that’s a definite possibility.

Vineyards around the world are highlighted and explored. Wine history through the ages, the metamorphoses of wine, terrior and what it is, Bacchus and Venus, food and drink, and the city of Bordeaux are all a part of this museum. But wait…there’s more.

My favorite part…The 5 Senses Buffet. Hundreds of glass jars filled an entire room, each containing a different scent. Every jar had a bulb-like device you could squeeze, which delivered that scent through a tube. Smell it and try to figure out what it was. Your audio device or a small screen near each jar gave you hints, questions, and finally the answer. How did I do? Remarkedly well. There were a few that I knew, but couldn’t quite place. Then, there were ones where I had no idea…old books, aged linen, old flowers.

It proves everyone can enjoy wine…from the first smell to the taste. Fun!

We spent several hours there and could have spent more time. This is not some boring museum…even if you aren’t a wine connoisseur.

But, really…you are in Bordeaux, France!