It is not just the perfect mix of old monumental and new airy and vivid buildings that makes Bordeaux such an inviting metropolis. To me it is especially the topic of wine that is so exciting about this area and thus I was really keen to visit the Cité du vin. This very modern winemuseum – that somehow reminds me of a futuristic decanter – was built on the shores of the Gironde in 2016.
Cité du vin – un monde de cultures. What a name! But can it keep up to such expectations, even if situated in Frances wine-mecca?
Read my upshot in advance: This museum is bloody fascinating, but once you pull the plug there will be little left oft it…
I reckon this is the most modern museum I have seen so far. Sure, I did not see them all, but I have seen a fair bit. This one here feels like a trip into another dimension. Movies like The fifth Element and Demolition Man cross my mind… I am fascinated and yet somehow irritated at the same time. Whoever is expecting wine-romance in any kind is totally wrong here. This place is made for winefreaks and tech-geeks…
Wearing spacy earplugs attached to a handheld tourguide that offers input in any language I float from screen to screen. While some texts start with just crossing an invisible border, others need to be clicked with the device. If especially interested into a certain topic one can send further info to a personal email adress with only a click on the device.
The extensive wine knowledge presented, the wide range of wine topics as well as the creative demonstration and state of the art technology are very impressive. Still I think it is a little shame that there is hardly any interaction between the visitors. I find myself quite a few times in the situation that if there is one person in front of an exhibit that needs activity I have to stand by and watch. Those active exhibits can only be operated by one person at a time. Good thing is that on a thursday midday there are not too many people around and hardly any waitinglines.
Personally I like originals. A painting, a sculpture, an invention… you name it. Entering the Cité du vin with this opinion left me thinking. What did I actually expect here – apart from the mandatory, historical relevant bottle of wine?! Maybe an old vine? The development of winegrower machinery? Rocks and soil from different regions? Something to touch I guess… It really took me a while to adapt to so much tech stuff. But isn’t it just the same in most of the worlds cellars by now?
All of this can be discussed with a glass of wine in the spacious tasting area „Le Belvédère“ on the 8th floor. It offers you a great view of the river Gironde as well as the city. If you feel hungry you should sit down in the restaurant on the ground floor. Here they offer wines from different and sometimes even exotic countries on tap for self- service. You can decide whether you would like to drink a whole glass or start with just a sip to taste… my personal highlight!
If you are in Bordeaux and want to see La cité du vin? Reserve about 3 hours for the permanent collection. If you would like to participate in one of the frequently offered tasting seminars it might be clever to book in advance: www.laciteduvin.com