City of Wine

Re­cently listed as one of the World’s Best Mu­se­ums by Na­tional Ge­o­graphic, the Cité du Vin con­tin­ues to pull in the crowds

Bordeaux J'Adore - - Contents - CARO­LINE MATTHEWS

over 18 months since it First opened its doors, vis­i­tor numbers For Bordeaux’s Wine mu­seum con­tinue to

soar, with al­most 445,000 recorded for 2017, of which 23% were non-french, rep­re­sent­ing 176 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. Suc­cess is well-de­served, for a project which took 8 years and cost €81 mil­lion. Over­look­ing the Garonne, its strik­ing form is said to re­sem­ble the move­ment of wine in a glass and the in­side is spread over 13.350m², reach­ing dizzy heights on the 8th-floor, the lo­ca­tion of the Belvedere tast­ing room. Lit­tle sur­prise then, that it has be­come one of the mod­ern sym­bols of the city.

In­side, the av­er­age vis­i­tor spends al­most 3 hours be­ing en­ter­tained by 19 mul­ti­sen­sory spa­ces. Holo­grams of wine­mak­ers and aerial footage of the world’s great­est vineyards pro­vide vis­ual stim­u­la­tion while the temp­ta­tion to sniff the brass fun­nels con­nected to glass cloches hous­ing items like leather gloves and pen­cil shav­ings is hard to re­sist.

Although there is no spe­cific guide for chil­dren, the dis­plays are con­ceived to ap­peal to the emo­tions and senses rather than to ed­u­cate about wine, there­fore younger au­di­ences can also en­joy them.

Tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions 2018

The Cité du Vin will host two tem­po­rary ex­hi­bi­tions dur­ing 2018. En­deav­or­ing to at­tract a broad range of visi­tors, the cu­ra­tors part­nered on these cur­rent projects with ex­perts from the worlds of art and an­thro­pol­ogy.

Wine and Mu­sic, har­mony and dis­so­nance, from the 16th – 19th cen­tury (23 March - 24 June)

An ex­hi­bi­tion to see and hear : the lineup of over 150 works range from paint­ings and sheet mu­sic to pot­tery and mu­si­cal in­stru­ments. Many of the ex­hibits date from the Re­nais­sance pe­riod up to late 19th-cen­tury. Mythology is rep­re­sented in the form of Bac­chus, de­pic­tions of whom are found on oil paint­ings and carved on wooden in­stru­ments.

Recitals us­ing harp­si­chords and lutes form part of the ac­com­pa­ny­ing cul­tural pro­gramme. Wine and mu­sic pair­ing is the back­drop to one tour, while the theme of an­other dis­cusses how wine­mak­ers are in­spired by mu­sic. Younger visi­tors are also catered for with a work­shop back­stage at the opera and a dress­ing up area com­plete with cos­tumes and jewelry.

Porto & Douro Val­ley (5 Oc­to­ber – 6 Jan­uary 2019)

Sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Bordeaux and Porto abound, not least be­cause both are clas­si­fied by UNESCO and were his­tor­i­cally im­por­tant ports from which wine was trans­ported. Cel­e­brat­ing the fact that they have been twinned for 40 years, this ex­hi­bi­tion also shines a spot­light on the Douro Val­ley, where wine has been pro­duced for 2,000 years. Con­tem­po­rary pho­to­graphs al­low a glimpse of the spec­tac­u­lar land­scape and ver­tig­i­nous vineyards over­look­ing the river, giv­ing in­sight into why grow­ing grapes here is such a chal­lenge. Sound is an­other cen­tral el­e­ment, no­tably the record­ings of com­mands dur­ing the foot-tread­ing phase of port wine mak­ing, and the singing and ac­cor­dion mu­sic at the af­ter party.


Old port of Porto.

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