There is probably no better place for a wine museum than in the city of Bordeaux. Surrounded by world-class vineyards in every direction, Bordeaux’s history as a busy trading port for wine places it at the center of the global wine world. True oenophiles consider Bordeaux as one of the greatest places on Earth, and they definitely aren’t wrong. Enter La Cité du Vin, a wine-themed wonderland for anyone with the slightest interest in wine and viticulture (and quite honestly, even if you’re not that into learning about wine, THERE’S WINE.)
If you do have a passion for vino, then you’ll definitely find La Cité du Vin an excellent excursion – it’s a state-of-the-art, interactive museum designed to stimulate all your senses. You’ll be offered equipment for an audio tour, so you can enjoy the exhibits in whatever language you choose.
This hall was my favorite, with an exhibit that focuses on smell. I have to admit, I am never 100% confident in my nose when it comes to wine. This display lets you explore common wine aromas in their pure form, from fruity notes to pencil shavings and mint, and then in blends. There are a few guessing games interspersed too, so you can test yourself on identifying aromas.
I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s quite a marvel. I worked in the wine business for 5 years and there are facets to wine here that I would have never called “cool” until now. The museum suggests about 2.5 hours for a visit, but between the virtual history lessons, the guessing games, and the theater that turns you into a passenger on an 18th-century ship, you could probably stay here for an entire day.
In addition to their permanent exhibit, they also have temporary exhibits, events, tastings, and educational seminars that happen on different floors of the museum. It’s truly a center designed for international wine affairs, a modern-day interpretation of Bordeaux’s wine trade history.
And of course, your ticket includes a glass of wine at the bar up on the top of the museum, sipped while you enjoy a beautiful view of Bordeaux’s Port de la Lune and the Garonne river.
La Cite du Vin
Esplanade de Pontac
134 Quai de Bacalan
33300 Bordeaux, France
Tel: +33 5 56 16 20 20
Open most days from 10am-7pm