Inside the Cité du Vin, Bordeaux

citeduvinbordeaux

The Cité du Vin is a major new tourist attraction in Bordeaux. I visited and spent a couple of hours looking around.

Here’s a short film of the visit:

It’s like a museum, but it’s very modern and creative, making good use of technology to create varied, creative, interactive displays.

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You navigate with the aid of an iPhone-like device, with headphones that cleverly avoid touching your ears. At each exhibit, you point your device at a special symbol, and the commentary begins in your language.

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The content is very good: I thought it was pitched just right, and although the translations from the French didn’t always feel completely comfortable, I found it interesting. It’s not pitched at wine professionals, of course. But if you are a normal person with a bit of interest in wine, you could learn a lot here. The information was accurate and up to date. Even if you know a lot, there’s plenty here to keep you engaged.

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Realistically, you need a morning or afternoon if you want to get the most out of this. There’s a lot to learn. And it’s not just about Bordeaux or French wine, either.

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After the main exhibition, there’s a chance to taste a wine of your choice from an interesting international selection on the top floor, which has good views over to the city, including the new moveable bridge.

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And you can then go down to the ground floor where there’s an extensive wine shop, selling wines from a bewildering array of countries. Alas, the selection from  outside France isn’t the best chosen: for example, the USA and South African selections were particularly weak. There’s a wine bar/bistro where you can drink any of these wines for a 10 Euro corkage fee, which is cool.

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Overall, I was really impressed by the Cité du Vin, and would recommend it highly.

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