After seven years of work and 25 years of planning/ thinking process, the Cité du Vin or City of Wine is finally ready to open.
It's been described as the biggest wine museum in the world or the more catchy title of a “Disneyland for adults”. It only cost a mere €81 million - some €18 million over budget.
Located in Bordeaux, the home of France's wine country, the museum aims “to bring wine to life” when it opens on June 1st after it is officially inaugurated by President François Hollande on Tuesday.
Its futuristic building on the banks of the river Garonne is reason enough to visit, let alone what it promises to offer once visitors go inside.
Alain Juppé the Mayor of Bordeaux explains more: “When I was elected mayor of Bordeaux in 1995, I realised that we were doing little for wine when the city owes a lot to it, starting with its international reputation and its tourist influence. My first idea was to celebrate wine."
Here's everything you need to know about it a new attraction that's been described as the best theme park in the world for adults.
The Cité du Vin has been built on the left bank of the Garonne river at 134 quai de Bacalan, near the bridge of Chaban-Delmas.
The Bordeaux tram stop formerly known as "Bassins à flot", at the Quai de Bacalan on Line B has just been renamed "La Cité du Vin” in honour of the new museum.
The building has 8 floors, including 4 dedicated to non-public offices and offers several areas that will be used for businesses.
The main museum space covers around 3,000 square metres. Visitors will be taken on an interactive journey through wine in 19 different stages accompanied by a free audio guide in eight different languages.
Those behind the project hope to attract 450,000 visitors a year from around the world not least from America, where "friends of the Cité du Vin" helped stump up €300,000. Given that Americans are the world's number one drinkers of wine in terms of pure volume, it's no surprise Bordeaux wants to attract visitors from across the Pond.
A permanent exhibition will break down the “world of wine” into 19 steps, with animations and interactive workshops. Tickets are required to visit the exhibition.
There will also be several temporary exhibitions. As part of the Guest Wine Region exhibitions, each year the Fondation pour la Culture et les Civilisations du Vin will offer a winegrowing region the chance to present a cultural exhibition in La Cité du Vin for six weeks.
Although they can't try the wine, there will be specific workshops for children and schools about taste, flavours, wine making techniques, landscapes and heritage.
From 1 June to 31 August, the site will be open from 9:30 to 19:30.
From September 1 to 30: 9h30-19h Monday to Friday and weekend 9h30-19h30.
From 1st to 30th October: 10 am to 18:30 Monday to Friday and 9h30-19h the weekend.
November 1 to December 31: open from 10am to 18pm from Tuesday to Sunday, and from 10 am to 18:30 during school holidays. Closed on 25 December.
Price (Exhibition tickets)
Full adult price: €20
Adult reductions: (For those with disabilities, those aged between 18 and 23-years-old, unemployed): €16
Young people (12-17 years-old): €10
Children (6-11 years-old): €8
Children under 6: free of charge
by Marianna Spring