Eat + Drink

France Has a Theme Park for Wine Lovers

Who says theme parks are just for kids?

The world’s wine aficionados now have their own place to spend the day and play in France—and it’s naturally in the world renowned wine producing region of Bordeaux, just an hour flight from Paris.

La Cité du Vin (City of Wine) is a mix of a museum and world’s fair, featuring over 800 different bottles of wine from 70 countries. Admission for €20 (around $22) provides access to tastings, shuttles that offer tours of local vineyards, screenings, lectures and workshops.

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The swirl of wine flowing into a glass is reflected in the look of the shiny 10-story building, designed by Paris-based architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazieres. The entire project cost around $91 million to develop and build.

“This building does not resemble any recognizable shape because it is an evocation of the soul of wine between the river and the city,” Legendre and Desmazières told ArchDaily.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

A two-story wine shop and bistro that offers visitors access to the museum’s wide variety of vintners on display.

Le 7 Restaurant provides 360-degree views of Bordeaux’s waterfront on the Garonne River, and a menu produced by chef Nicolas Lascombes, of Saint-Emilion’s Terrasse Rouge.

Twenty exhibits about the history of wine and how it’s made. One uses massive screens to simulate a merchant’s journey by ship.

The Jefferson Auditorium’s 250-seat theater hosts presentations, concerts and screenings.

And don’t worry about a language barrier. Materials are available in eight languages, including English, German and Spanish.

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Bordeaux’s new wine museum offers over 20 exhibits on the history of wine and how it’s made. (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
Bordeaux’s new wine museum offers over 20 exhibits on the history of wine and how it’s made. (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
One of 20 exhibits inside La Cite du Vin. (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
One of 20 exhibits inside La Cite du Vin. (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
Jefferson Auditorium which will house screenings, presentations and music concerts. (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
Jefferson Auditorium which will house screenings, presentations and music concerts. (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
Set sail on a merchant ship via a virtual tour (Photo: La Cite du Vin)
Set sail on a merchant ship via a virtual tour (Photo: La Cite du Vin)

“We want young people, old people, people who know a lot about wine and people who just want to enjoy the building and the view,” Philippe Massol, the museum’s CEO, told Wine Enthusiast’s Roger Voss. “We will judge our success if they drink a glass of wine with more understanding and respect than before.”

If you can’t make it to Bordeaux, there are more local versions of La Cite du Vin, including the California Wine Museum, which is getting a new home in 2016.