Food & Beverage

France’s new wine theme park comes of age

A picture taken on March 14, 2016 in Bordeaux, southwestern France, shows a general view of the Wine Civilisations Museum (Cite des civilisations du vin). The official opening of the 14,000 m2 building, designed by the architects Nicolas Desmazieres and Anouk Legendre from X-TU agency, is scheduled for June 2016.
Nicolas Tucat | AFP | Getty Images

A new wine-themed park is ready to open its doors to the general public on June 1. La Cité du Vin (City of Wine) located on the banks of the Garonne river in Bordeaux, France is split over 10 levels in a museum-themed fashion aiming to welcome close to 450,000 visitors every year.

Designed by Parisian architects XTU and English museum design experts Casson Mann Limited, the structure of the museum symbolizes the swirl of wine moving in a glass and the coiled movement of a grapevine.

"Their design captures the spirit of wine and its fluid essence: 'a seamless curve, intangible and sensual'," the press brochure published by La Cité du Vin said.

A man harvests the wine grapes on September 21, 2015 at the Muscadet vineyards of the Cognettes domain, in Clisson, near Nantes, western France.
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After nearly seven years of construction, the 81 million euro ($91 million) museum has now been completed. With 81 percent of the funding from public sources and 19 percent from private companies, the project is a first of its kind in France.

The City of Wine aims to provide a varied cultural experience has a 250-seater auditorium for performance, concerts, screenings, conferences and debates. It has 19 different themed spaces, majority of which are interactive.

Located in Bordeaux, a famous wine-growing region in France, the City of Wine also has tours to offer to its visitors. Known as 'The Wine Routes,' these tours will take visitors to the famous vineyards in and around Bordeaux with tastings along the way. There is also a permanent tour that will offer a journey through the evolution of wine and its civilizations.

"The permanent tour is structured around an array of different experiences: sometimes visitors will be standing, interacting directly with the e-vine or Meet the Experts, at other times they will be seated, or ushered All Aboard a ship for a voyage across the oceans and through the ages, and at certain moments they will need to be almost horizontal to marvel at the starry projections of artworks illustrating the theme of Bacchus and Venus," according to the brochure.

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There are three tasting areas including an immersive multi-sensory space, and educational workshops for young audiences. With a reading room, three different food areas with a panoramic restaurant on the seventh floor, the City expects nearly 38 million euros of economic activity in terms of job creation and tourism every year.

The park also boasts a 250 square meter store. This will offer a selection of objects, books, limited edition gifts and souvenirs related to the world of wine.

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