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