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Is this France's best tourist attraction yet (for adults)?

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Is this France's best tourist attraction yet (for adults)?
Photo: AFP
12:22 CEST+02:00
The Bordeaux Cité du Vin claims to be the largest museum in the world dedicated to wine. Here's everything you need to know about what has been labelled a "Disneyland for adults".

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.

Location

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. 

Architecture

The building was designed by Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières of the XTU agency in Paris, who said they wanted to create a place full of “symbols and references” to wine.
 
It was apparently designed to resemble wine swirling around a glass and the top of the building provides a stunning 360-degree view of Bordeaux.
 
It has been compared to the “Guggenheim” museum in Bilbao in terms of its architectural style.
Layout

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. 

Basement 
 
There is free access to the basement. Here you can find “Latitude 20”; a wine and snack bar and a cellar. “Latitude 20” focuses on wines of the world, offering an international selection of wines and tapas. Its cellar includes more than 14 000 bottles and 800 different wines of the world from 80 different countries. 
 
(Photo: AFP)
 
Ground floor
 
No ticket is required to enter the ground floor. There you can find a ticket office, a shop, a cellar selling 12,000 bottles of wine, a wine bar with 70 seats inside and 50 outside and an office for the tourist board. 
 
First floor
 
Equally, no ticket is required to gain access to the first floor. On the first floor there is a reading room and auditorium, which is available to hire.  
 
(Wine glasses on the ceiling. Photo: AFP)
 
Seventh floor
 
Here you can find Restaurant 7, which serves “inventive cuisine based on regional products”. It is open daily from 9am to 1am. It has 70 seats inside and 35 on terrace, with panoramic views of Bordeaux.
 
Visitors

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.

Exhibitions

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. 

Children

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.

Opening hours

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 

For much more information CLICK HERE.

by Marianna Spring

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