La Cité du Vin: 6 things to know to prepare for your visit

Bordeaux
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La Cité du Vin: 6 thi ...

But what is this voluptuous building that stands in front of the Chaban Delmas Bridge ? Slender and airy, all round… This is the Cité du Vin ! An unmissable place, an essential stopover on the road to discovering Bordeaux wines , but also from around the world. La Cité du Vin is a modern , attractive and fun museum, suitable for everyone. Professionals, enthusiasts, wine lovers, curious, you are all invited to enjoy this place at your own pace, in your own way. We have 6 landmarks to help you prepare for your visit .

Photo of the article: Guide Bordeaux Gironde


Signage for the Cité du Vin

Signage for the Cité du Vin

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1-) A unique place, a multiple place: the organization of the Cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin is an impressive and graceful building located in the Bassins à Flot district , north of the city of Bordeaux . Easily accessible , it is a rapidly changing sector, which is modernizing and revitalizing. The first stone was laid in 2013. Opened to the public in June 2016, it is an architectural feat unique in the world of 55 meters in height, more than 13,000m2 of interior spaces.

The Cité des Vins is a museum , but also a set of offices . The building is spread over 10 levels, but 4 are devoted to administration. Don't worry, you will have plenty to keep you busy for hours and you certainly won't have enough of a single visit to see it all!

You arrive on the ground floor where the ticket office is located. Note that you have the possibility to book your tickets online , which is a good idea in high season, to avoid waiting (it is a skip-the-line ticket). The ticket for the permanent + temporary exhibition + a tasting glass at the belvedere is 20 €. Other prices apply if you also book a workshop. Online tickets are dated or not (€ 5 more) and a very attractive annual pass costs € 48.


Entrance to the Cité du Vin, ticket office

Entrance to the Cité du Vin, ticket office


Ticket in hand, do not hesitate to leave your belongings in a free locker available . You will need both hands and ease to visit the Cité du Vin.

On the 1st floor is the temporary exhibition, I recommend that you start with the 2nd floor and the permanent exhibition . In the 8th floor is the lookout.


A unique and organic architecture

A unique and organic architecture

2-) THE PERMANENT COLLECTION: THINGS TO READ AND TO SEE

The permanent collection is located on the 2nd floor, it is the heart of the visit , it is here that you will spend the most time. Hours and hours of content to read, see, listen to and smell await you in 3000m2 of space .

What you will appreciate is the intimate atmosphere that emanates from this giant open space . When you arrive, you will be equipped with a (comfortable!) Helmet and a travel companion smartphone. This is mainly used to indicate your position in the scenography of the museum, to trigger in the headset, the multimedia content of your choice. Rest assured, you will not be solicited by the smartphone screen during the entire visit, it is on the museum's furniture that 90% of the content takes place, accompanied by an audio description .


Take your visiting companion

Take your visiting companion


Everyone visits the museum at their own pace . There is no order , although the discovery poles are numbered. Want to start with the section on the history of wine around the world ? No problem, head to the giant screens that will take you on a journey through vineyards around the world with a grandiose film, then to the interactive globes , which spin to give you information on all the vineyards in the world. Do you prefer, as I did, to first take an interest in tasting , and then come back to the grape variety, terroir and grape vinification part? Head to the left, where large openwork alcoves, topped with a rounded lectern, give you a fantastic tactile and fragrant experience!


Projection of images of the vines of the world

Projection of images of the vines of the world

An interactive world map

An interactive world map

An interactive table with videos

An interactive table with videos

Alcoves to discover the wines: sparkling, sweet, rosé ...

Alcoves to discover the wines: sparkling, sweet, rosé ...


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3-) The permanent collection: sensory experiences

Impossible to describe to you the wealth of information present ... Between the interactive tables which present portraits of winegrowers around the world, the large terminals in the shape of vine stocks which enlighten you on the transformation of the precious grape into red, white or wine. rosé, you have to see it (and hear it) to believe it!


Everything from the vine to the land

Everything from the vine to the land

Shapes and textures, materials ...

Shapes and textures, materials ...

All about winemaking

All about winemaking


After you have had your fill of qualitative information, you enter an upper half-floor where sensory experiences await you. A giant cabinet of curiosities is in front of you. Carefully arranged on a huge long table, glass bells contain smells , scents , sensations to be discovered with half-closed eyes. You squeeze the small pumps , to bring out subtle evocations of the flavors of the wine: old books, liquorice, woody, fresh smells ... The eye observes the textures that are locked up: smartphone around the shot, you point your visiting companion to listen the stories these little bells have to offer you.


These slender lines hide an astonishing place, furnished with red cushions ...

These slender lines hide an astonishing place, furnished with red cushions ...

Go up half a floor

Go up half a floor

A giant cabinet of curiosities, textures, smells mix ...

A giant cabinet of curiosities, textures, smells mix ...

Watch Press Feel

Watch Press Feel

A little further on, it is a tête-à-tête with wine growers , winegrowers and wine experts that is offered to you. Take a seat and on the seat in front of you is a screen that reproduces at life size, a guest facing you. A dark room on your left reveals a festive table where other experts and famous personalities share their impressions, their emotions reminiscent of a grand cru. What is for you the wine? What memories does he call on you? Immerse yourself with delight in this sensory space ...


One-on-one with the experts

One-on-one with the experts

In complete privacy !

In complete privacy !

4-) The temporary collection: exhibitions to discover

The day I visited the Cité du Vin, the temporary exhibition was dedicated to the Douro . It is a region, but also a river, bordered by wine-growing lands listed as World Heritage by Unesco. This exhibition is very subtle, interspersed with works of art , material to handle, photos to observe, texts to read… It is artistic and quite conceptual . The temporary exhibitions are punctuated by conferences, specialized tastings and it is in this way that one lives and understands best the region in the spotlight.


The exhibition dedicated to the Douro, in Portugal

The exhibition dedicated to the Douro, in Portugal

A beautiful perspective of the subject, artistically

A beautiful perspective of the subject, artistically


5-) The little extras of the visit: the Belvedere, the Garden, the Reading Room, the shop, the restaurant.

A visit to the Cité du Vin would be incomplete without… a tasting ! With your ticket, you are entitled to the tasting of a wine of your choice from a selection. I wanted to taste New Zealand, to remember a trip to this region. No bottle being available, I tasted an Argentinian wine , recommended by a member of the Cité du Vin team. Delicious, supple and strong as I requested! Children will be offered a tasting of very good grape juice .

The belvedere has a panoramic outdoor area , do not forget to push the door to discover a splendid view of the Halles de Bacalan on one side, the Chaban Delmas Bridge and Bordeaux in the distance on the other. Foodies can order other tasting tickets, to enjoy other original bottles, under the psychedelic ceiling of the Belvedere bar.


The Belvédère bar

The Belvédère bar

The view from the belvedere

The view from the belvedere

Tasting offered at the Cité du Vin

Tasting offered at the Cité du Vin

Magnificent ceiling

Magnificent ceiling

A large reading room is located in a free space, open to all and free to access. It is a library , mainly focused on wine and grapes, in all its forms. Novels, historical books, comics, 1,200 works in 16 languages share the shelves, plush seats invite you to browse.


The reading room

The reading room

Also open to everyone, the gardens of the Cité du Vin are contiguous to the restaurant terrace, at the base of the building. Bucolic, they are respectful of the environment, landscaped. It is a pleasant place to walk to contemplate Bordeaux and the Chaban Delmas Bridge, as well as the building that rolls up above you.


View of the Gardens of the Cité du Vin

View of the Gardens of the Cité du Vin

Hungry ? Do not stop your visit, enjoy the restaurant on 7 or the Latitude20 brasserie , two good addresses to discover. The panoramic restaurant has 500 bottles of references to the map, it is located on the 7th floor. I advise you to book in high season…. The brewery, which is located behind the magnificent cellar, contains wines from all over the world, over 14,000 bottles … For all budgets! It is a trendy and contemporary place, which can also be appreciated outside of a visit to the Cité du Vin.

To bring back a gift from this unique place, go to the 250m2 shop , which does not offer bottles this time, but a multitude of objects around gastronomy and wine. This is the perfect place to find a gift for a wine lover. Technological and modern gifts, original or creative gifts, quality kitchen accessories… I loved going for a walk.


The cellar and the entrance to the brewery

The cellar and the entrance to the brewery

The cellar


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6-) Workshops, conferences and EVENTS to go further

Passing through or living in the Bordeaux region, consult the agenda of the Cité du Vin , which is full of conferences, shows, screenings and workshops. A magnificent auditorium regularly hosts diverse and interesting subjects, often free of charge! Discovery workshops allow you to enjoy wine pairings with dishes such as chocolate, cheese… for € 18 or € 14.40 if you have the annual subscription card.


The workshop room

The workshop room

Find out more

Useful information :
  • La Cité du Vin is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., until 7 p.m. on weekends and school holidays.
  • To get there, you can take tram line B, bus Liane 7. By car, it is rather easy to find a place in the surroundings, a large covered (and affordable) paying car park is located at the Halles de Bacalan just opposite.
  • The visit is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
  • The visit is suitable for children, content is intended for them.
  • There are free changing rooms to store bags and coats.
  • The basic price is 20 euros. Other prices are available, including courses and conferences, as well as subscription cards and gift cards.

Did you like our article? Find more on our Blog . Follow us on the Bordeaux Gironde Guide Facebook page and on Instagram @guidebordeauxgironde


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