The city of Bordeaux is the gateway to the world’s most celebrated wine regions. It seems only appropriate that this city is home to a new generation cultural site that is dedicated solely to wine. It is located near the banks of the Garonne River, with unique architecture that incorporates the look of a gleaming mammoth wine decanter.
The interior presents visitors with a Guggenheim-Esque, circular voyage to discover the world of wine. There are numerous immersive, multi-sensory exhibits designed to tell the many aspects of wine history, terroir, the science of winemaking, and the personalities that are behind the wine.
Visitors are provided with a “tour companion,” an electronic device that allows exhibit animations to be triggered and comments to be heard in one of eight languages. Unlike other museum tours that follow a strict map of exhibits to visit, I loved that the device allowed me to move freely. So if a show was crowded, I could find another presentation to discover. The heart of the experience and the offer of la Cité du Vin, the Permanent exhibition (located on the 2nd floor of the building) covers more than 3000 m² and includes 19 different thematic areas!
- Le tour du monde des vignobles (The world wine tour)
- Planètes vin (The worlds of wine)
- La table des terroirs (The terroir table)
- Les métamorphoses du Vin (The metamorphoses of wine)
- Portraits de vin (Wine portraits)
- Les vins au fil de l’eau (Wine over water)
- À bord! (All aboard!)
- La galerie des civilizations (The gallery of civilizations)
- Le buffet des 5 sens (The buffet of the five senses)
- Boire et déboires (Drinking at the dark side)
- Tout un art de vivre (The art of living)
- Tête-à-tête avec les experts (Meet the experts)
- Bacchus et Vénus (Bacchus and Venus)
- Le vin divin(Divine wine)
- Bordeaux, une ville, un vignoble (Bordeaux: the city and its wines)
The average visitor spends between two and three hours visiting the exhibits. But there is so much to see and discover; I feel that it will take days to explore everything.
There are two restaurants at the facility. Latitude 20 is ideal for snacks or enjoying a glass of wine with bistro type foods.
Le 7 is the panoramic restaurant at the Cité du Vin, located on the 7th floor. We enjoyed lunch at one of the few tables on the outdoor patio overlooking the Garonne River with a view of the city in the distance.
The kitchen is led by Nicolas Lascombes, offering a menu of regional and seasonal products with a selection of 500 wines, from 50 countries. Strolling sommelier’s visit tables frequently offering suggestions for wines by the glass or bottle.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and foods!
- Duck liver foie gras from Chalosse, €20
- Beef tartar from Metzger’s Brothers €20
- Oysters from Joël Dupuch €11
- Monkfish loin from Brittany, €33
- Grilled French beef cut, €35
- Desert: Mushroom, strawberries, and pistachios €14
I highly recommend making a reservation at Le7!
La Cité du Vin
Esplanade de Pontac, 134 quai de Bacalan,
33300 Bordeaux, FRANCE