La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, France: The World’s Premier Wine Museum
Representing Wineries of the World, Wine Recommendations Included
Last week I returned from a visit in Bordeaux, which included a Press Tour of La Cité du Vin wine museum. Opened in 2016, the museum was conceived by a public-private partnership and is dedicated to exploring the world’s wine cultures and civilizations. American Friends of La Cite du Vin made the first commitment to funding the Thomas Jefferson Auditorium, named after the famous wine lover American President, who helped to foster and enrich Franco-American relations. The museum has hosted 2 million visitors, with almost half coming from abroad. Audio guides are available in French, English, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Chinese.
Paris-based firm XTU Architects, led by Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Demazières, designed the museum which boasts 574 curved arches, 128 customized laminated spines, 925 glass panels, and 1000 tons of steel at a construction cost of €81 Million.
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Visitors spend hours in this museum, the workshops, the wine cellar, and boutique. La Cite du Vin takes you around the world in wine. It takes you back into the history and discovery of wine in “the Gallery of Civilizations.” “The Buffet of the 5 Senses” offers a discovery to the keys of tasting and the olfactory journey around the aromas and colors of wine. Take a seat and watch “Vineyards from the Skies” for a flight over the vineyards of the world.
“One-to-One with the Experts” displays in real size videos with the leading experts in wine, like Maria José, Lopez de Heredia Winery, Rioja, Spain.
The Belvedere Tasting Room is 35 meters high on the 8th floor and offers a unique opportunity to admire Bordeaux and its surroundings while enjoying a glass of wine from a vineyard of the world.
You may sign up to attend tasting workshops at La Cite du Vin with options to focus on a Bordeaux Workshop, a Discovery Workshop, or an Immersive Workshop. Wines of the World features lights, sounds, and smells to be enjoyed while pairing virtual dishes with real wines.
Temporary Exhibits: Picasso--The Effervescence of Shapes
La Cité du Vin offers seasonal special exhibits like the current one: “Picasso: The Effervescence of Shapes,” April 28-August 2022. The exhibition explores the place of wine and popular spirits in an examination of over 80 works by Picasso in a wide variety of media (paintings, drawings, ceramics, films). The Musée national Picasso-Paris and the Museu Picasso de Barcelona participated in loaning these works of art which reveal the effervescent creativity that inspired Picasso throughout his life.
Latitude 20 Wine Cellar, Le7Restaurant, and Museum Boutique
The Latitude 20 wine cellar contains more than 14,000 bottles for sale from 70 countries across the globe, including places like Syria, Ethiopia, Peru, and Tahiti. A team of specialist sommeliers proposes an excellent range of bottles at reasonable process from €5 to €50.
Le7Restaurant on the 7th floor of the museum not only has a spectacular view but has a celebrated seasonal menu and 500 wines from 50 countries.
La Boutique has a range of products--gifts, books, glasses, apparel, and wine-related items that are amazing. Limited edition books and illustrations, board games, education books, bottle racks, and cooking accessories are offered.
More Recommendations on Touring in Bordeaux
See below “72 Hours in Bordeaux” and download the .pdf. Or read “Live from Bordeaux, France June 2022.” Watch for upcoming Wine Wanderings newsletters this year: Cru Bourgeois: The Greatest Value Wines; Wine Tours in Bordeaux; and Discover Bordeaux: The City of Lumières.
Getting to La Cité du Vin
The Cité is located along the left bank of the Garonne River, northeast from the city center of Bordeaux. Take the Tram Line B to the “Cité du Vin” stop. The museum is literally a half block away. If you have a Bordeaux CityPass issued by the Tourist Office, you can freely access the museum before noon (or in the afternoon with a supplement of €5.) The Temporary Artistic Exhibitions cost an additional €10.
Download my article “72 Hours in Bordeaux: Touring and A Guide to Bordeaux Wine” Classifications by Sub-Regions (Originally published in LuxeGetaways Magazine).
This Week’s Bordeaux Wine Recommendations
Chateau Lestage 2016, a Bordeaux red blend, $20
Wine Enthusiast, 92 Points- 62% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petite Verdot
Chateau Pavie 2018, St. Emilion Grand Cru Classé A Classification, $400
Wine Spectator, 98 Points – 60% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Fran and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon
Chateau Picque-Caillou Blanc 2019 a white blend, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, $42
Wine Enthusiast, 93 Points, Estate-bottled blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon
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