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By the time the next Fete du Vin rolls round the grand wine project in Bordeaux should be completed. As we hurtled passed – as I stood up to take the photos the captain decided this was the moment to go full throttle up the Gironde – the building site it was difficult to gauge just how large a site it is.

A scale model shown to us earlier at the Cité des Civilisation du Vin press launch certainly left a lasting impression both of the scale of the project and the ambition of the ‘multi-sensory’ experience planned.

constructing the Cité des civilisations du vin

“Bordeaux’s Cité des civilisations du vin will open its doors to the public in 2016. Unique, innovative and dynamic, this new landmark will take visitors on a journey through time and space as they explore the cultures and civilisations which are intimately associated with wine. Cité des civilisations du vin aims to become the world’s foremost cultural centre and tourist attraction dedicated to wine. It is also a project of great strategic significance for the city, continuing Bordeaux’ 21st century renaissance with an iconic centre devoted to a product which is fundamental to the region’s identity: wine”

The building itself – the first stone was laid during the 2013 Vinexpo trade fair – is supposed to represent the swirling of wine in a glass. Wood is to be present everywhere to echo the way wood has always accompanied wine making – from the oak barrels to the ships that transport the wine. The top floor, 35m above the ground, will be a viewing platform overlooking Bordeaux.

Internally “the 3500m squared permanent exhibition space will present visitors with an incredible array of experiences via its 19 themed modules incorporating no fewer than 150 multimedia works”. The glossy brochure shows them all – Banquet of illustrious figures (12) , art, wine and eroticism (14), five senses buffet (11), table of terriors (3) and so on.

425,000 visitors a year are expected with a choice of half-day or full-day tours including entrance to the permanent exhibition, temporary shows and a tasting session on the rooftop viewing platform. In addition to a photo of the current view of the construction site form the river I’ve included a scan from the Cité des civilisations du vin brochure.

Full English language website at – http://www.citedescivilisationsduvin.com/accueil.html

Cité des civilisations du vin


  1. Qin Xie says:

    Oh but Am Drew, you didn’t talk about what it’s meant to look like!

    • Wait a minute… *rubs chin thoughtfully* – I think I did “supposed to represent the swirling of wine in a glass”. What I didn’t mention is what I thought it looked like ;-)

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