On May 31st, many eyes will be turned towards Bordeaux for the inauguration of La Cité du Vin. In keeping with our wine heritage, the event is already shaping up to be exceptional and promises to be a fine showcase for French wine tourism. To be patient, let's have a look at the project.
Conceived as early as 1995 by the current mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, the Cité du Vin project was officially launched in May 2009 with the ambition to promote the cultural, universal and living heritage of wine. Accompanied by Sylvie Cazes and Philippe Massol, the mayor of Bordeaux is gradually bringing together numerous public and private players around the project. The latter can also count on two great ambassadors of renown: the world-renowned oenologist Robert Parker and the French artist Pierre Arditi, a passionate wine lover. Supported and financed, work on the future Cité du Vin will start in early 2014 with completion scheduled for the end of March 2016. Total cost of the project: 81 million euros.
In January 2014, the foundations of the future Cité du Vin begin on the banks of the Garonne, in the Bassins à Flot district. Entrusted to a Parisian architectural firm, the building presents a modern architecture with curves inspired by the shape of the vine stock, the movement of the wine spinning in the glass and the swirling of the Garonne. To draw the silhouette of the building, the facade is equipped with numerous glass and aluminium panels and is adorned with golden reflections, reminiscent of the blonde stones of Bordeaux buildings. With a spire culminating at nearly 55 meters, the building is divided into 10 levels and represents a total area of 13,350m2.
The Cité du Vin will be able to count on this impressive architecture to promote French wine tourism internationally. 450,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to visit the site each year.
Like the building, the visitor experience promises to be new and surprising. Equipped with an interactive visit companion, visitors will be able to wander through 20 permanent thematic areas around wine. On the programme for the visit: giant screen projections, interactive globes, touch table, 3D images, tasting workshops, multi-sensory experiences... so many activities that will plunge visitors into an original experience to discover the culture and civilisations of wine. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a world wine bar, a tapas bar, a fast food area, a world wine shop, a souvenir shop and a panoramic restaurant with an exceptional view of the Bordeaux city. The Cité du Vin has all the assets to seduce the numerous visitors and to reinforce Bordeaux in its position as a must-see destination for wine lovers. Opening to the public scheduled for June 1st 2016.
Beyond the interactive and innovative visit proposed, the Cité du Vin is intended to become a real oenotouristic platform oriented towards the vineyards.Multiplying new experiences in the field of wine tourism, the Bordeaux Metropolitan Tourist Office will occupy part of the ground floor of the building and will offer excursions to the surrounding vineyards and to many other wine regions around the world. To continue the wine tourism experience outside the Cité du Vin, visitors will be able to rely on a shuttle bus system but will be able to take advantage of a special shuttle bus service.There is also a 90-metre-long pontoon, providing a departure and arrival point for numerous excursions to and from the vineyards. The Cité du Vin promises to be a great showcase for wine tourism and paves the way for the development of new initiatives in the vineyards, with an estimated 40 million euros in benefits for the local economy.
Quentin (Les Grappes)
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