La Cité du Vin is located on the banks of the Garonne river in the north of Bordeaux, France. It’s about 25-30 minutes pleasant walk along the river bank from the city centre, or a few minutes by Tram Line B.
La Cité du Vin’s curving glass, silver and gold metallic structure is meant to symbolise wine swirling in a glass, the sinuous knots of vine stock and the eddies of the River Garonne, which it overlooks.
Opened on 1 June 2016, it’s a fun cultural centre celebrating all aspects of wine.
The permanent exhibition has superb state of the art interactive displays with translations into 10 languages via a small computer (looks like a modified smartphone) you hand around your neck and headphones. Keep your exhibition ticket safe as it gets you re-entry on the day but more importantly a glass of wine in the Belvedere, the tasting bar on the 8th floor offering and all-round panoramic views of the river and Bordeaux city from both inside and from an outside walkway. There are around a dozen wines to choose from, about half from outside France.
La Cité du Vin’s has ‘Le 7 Restaurant Panoramique’ gourmet restaurant on the 7th floor and there’s a café wine bar on the ground floor, and a very large wine shop with a selection of world wines.
Other facilities include a library, book and gift shop, function rooms and a theatre.
While there’s a €20 charge to enter the permanent exhibition, entry to La Cité du Vin and its facilities itself is free. Workshops, talks and events have their own charge but it’s not necessary to purchase entry to the permanent exhibition to enjoy them.
If you're in Bordeaux a Cité du Vin is well worth a visit. The website diary shows which temporary shows and events are taking place.
La Cité du Vin
150, 134 Quai de Bacalan
Tram: Line B, Stop. Cité du Vin. Single Fare €1.50 transferable from all public transport anywhere in Bordeaux. Buy ticket at machine on tram platform.
If you’re in Bordeaux to take a river cruise, Cité du Vin is visible from the mooring quay, just the other side of the lifting bridge and about a 20 minute walk. Tram line B runs alongside the mooring quay.
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Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape.
Disclosure: Peter May paid all costs associated by his visit to Bordeaux and La Cité du Vin