New $81M wine museum opens in Bordeaux

Courtesy of XTU

In the hopes of attracting some new blood — think: millennials — into its historic wine region and getting them drunk on wine culture, the city of Bordeaux poured $81 million into creating a museum on the banks of the river Garonne. Called Cite du Vin, or for those not in the know, City of Wine, it is sure to become the winemaking capital of the world.

The structure itself, designed by Parisian architects XTU, is nicknamed “the Guggenheim of Wine,” and is noteworthy in that it was inspired by a snifter of Burgundy.

The first exhibit features footage shot by a helicopter crew hovering above vineyards across the globe shown across three screens. If that doesn’t have you a bit buzzed, there is also an installation to explain the concept of terroir. An array of vintners from various regions explain how vineyard conditions impact their grapes. For an even more immersive touch, there is a climbing wall — vines climbing, that is — from which dangles an assortment of touch-screens the size of a bunch of ripe grapes. Visitors are encouraged to learn about each grape variety and its characteristics.

Courtesy of XTU
Courtesy of XTU

Various other exhibits include a film about various trade voyages through the centuries, a 10-room exhibit chronicling the most significant moments in wine history over the last 3,000 years and an area where one can sample various vino aromas.

After attendees have binged on all things vino, it is only fitting that there would be a conceptual exhibit dedicated to the inevitable post-booze hangover. “It’s an enormous chair where you sit, alone, while artists and poets who drank too much tell their stories,” exhibit director Robert Mann told Bloomberg.  Only the French!

Sadly, actual wine is prohibited from being included in the exhibition areas, but those who want to immerse themselves in an actual libation can head to the museum restaurants which have bars onsite.