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
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.