Bordeaux has just done a huge favour to its title of ‘wine capital of the world’ with the inauguration of its first wine theme park, La Cité du Vin, which directly translates to ‘the city of wine‘.
Growing up with frequent visits to Adventure island and Worlds of wonder (sighs with disappointment), a theme park based on alcohol with a lack of pestering children sounds too good to be true. I can just hear the words from the mouths of the majority of Indians, ‘yeh theme park mein toh compulsory jhoole nahin hone chahiye?’.
Built in a shape to resemble wine swirling in a glass, La Cité du Vin is an absolutely stunning piece of architecture. Oh no, don’t just take my word for it, see for yourselves.
So what’s La Cité du Vin all about?
La Cité du Vin is essentially a look at the journey of wine through diverse cultures, civilizations as well as ages.
The cost of entry starts at about $22 per adult. The ten storied building has an obvious absence of rides with the theme park focusing instead on exhibitions. There are about 20 wine themed sections which show the story of wine through the ages. The closest you can get to a ride is a stimulated boat ride.
It holds classes, screenings and sessions of wine tasting in its 250-seat auditorium named after the American wine lover Thomas Jefferson. It houses two restaurants. One serves regional dishes while the other has a large collection of wine bottles. It also boasts of gorgeous interiors.
What can one expect from a tour of La Cité du Vin?
The tour is an immersive experience with a variety of activities such as
- The boat ride mentioned above. It’s a 10-minute experience of how merchants voyaged through the seas carrying wines. The images and animations are vivid.
- A workshop which triggers the five senses. It provides education on the art of wine tasting through a variety of colours, images, smells, flavours and textures of wine.
- Experts are present to answer to your queries. Just press a button and you get an answer from experts such as the popular wine consultant Michel Rolland.
- The historical reenactment where actors portraying figures such as Voltaire, Nepoleon and Colette talk about their favourite wines.
- A wine theme park is incomplete without a session of drinking. La Cité du Vin is home to the most diverse wine cellar in the world with 14,000 different wines from 80 countries.
La Cité du Vin is also a museum
The city of wine also emphasizes the education and promotion of wine in France. Bordeaux’s mayor Alaine is calling it the Guggenheim (a chain of museums) to wine with hopes that it will bring more recognition to the wine capital of the world.
If you have the time and money, it’s definitely worth a visit. For wine lovers, this place is nothing short of paradise.
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