Cité du Vin.
A city full of wine? This piqued my curiosity right away! Cité du Vin or The City of Wine is located just slightly North of the city centre of Bordeaux on the left bank of the Garonne river.
Cité du Vin is full of interactive exhibits and technology to take you on a sensory adventure in wine. Covering many aspects of world wine regions, the terroir, trading and history of wine in a mostly engaging way. Some were good for beginners but ‘old hands’ in wine may find it a bit basic in places. However, it was nonetheless very well put together.
Additionally, the tour is presented in a number of languages and via the little mobile device below. Coupled with the headphones, you can scan any of the little circle signs on the interactive display to hear more.
Interactive table display. You touch on the winemaker to hear their story.
Cité du Vin – Tasting
Tasting, which is part of the permanent tour (cost 20 Euros) takes place on a 35-metre high, 8th floor part of the building known as the Belvedere. It has impressive views of Bordeaux and a walkway on the outside, however, no wine glasses are allowed outside. You are allowed to taste 1 wine from any on display. For the price, I felt there should have been 1 or 2 more. Overall though, the selection of world wines had something for everyone.
I went for a Georgian wine, having never tasted one before, it was a first for me. I knew nothing of Georgian wine, about the only thing I knew of Georgia was that it was the birthplace of ‘Uncle’ Joe Stalin. It was a quirky, unexpected wine and quite different from what I would have imagined.
Conversely, John, my friend, driver, translator and all round good bloke, went for a familiar Pomerol which was extremely pleasant.
As shown below, the views through the windows as you taste your wine are stunning. Also, the restaurant is directly below the tasting level, wafting up its gorgeous aromas into the bar area. A masterpiece of planning!
The shop, as you can see below is particularly well stocked with world wine. I would defy anybody not to find a suitable bottle of wine here!
Cité du Vin – Building
The Official Website of Cité du Vin states, ‘Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières, the architects from XTU, designed a space shaped by symbols of identity: gnarled vine stock, wine swirling in a glass, eddies on the Garonne’
For me, it looked like a decanter. All things considered, whatever you might think of the building, whether it’s a bold, modern design or it’s just done with the Bilbao principle in mind (build something weird and they will come) the Cité du Vin was time well spent in the city of Bordeaux.
Cité du Vin – Conclusions
Suitable for the beginner and also the more serious wine drinker, the exhibits and displays have an informative charm about them. I see what Cité du Vin has tried to do and, not that my opinion makes any difference what so ever, on the whole, I liked it. The architecture, coupled with the setting of this building is a wonder.
For more on my mini adventure in the vineyards of Bordeaux, see here and here