Tuesday, June 20, 2017
La Cité du Vin
As our ship returned to Bordeaux we saw this strange looking building on the southern end of the city. This is a museum dedicated to wine. The City of Wine.... Bordeaux! We hopped on the tram and went down to experience the museum.
And "experience" is the operative word. The museum designers created numerous ways to engage the visitors in hands-on experiences.
This area was all about detecting odors. Each dome housed something that had a unique odor. Each had a brass bell to sniff the air as you pumped a perfume-like ball. In this manner you could hone your nose for detecting specific odors in a wine, such as floral or citrus. An important aspect of enjoying wine is detecting the "notes" from smelling the wine.
Another display challenged visitors to select the color of a wine based on a description of the wine. The cylinders of different wine colors reacted to one's touch as questions asked you to select the appropriate wine color. Red wines get lighter in color as they age and white wines become more golden.
I was fascinated by this area of the museum. The tables had projected images on them which showed information about different topics. The projection was also touch sensitive. You could select to learn more about a vineyard, a wine, or history of wine making simply by passing your hand through the light beam. Each station had several different options you could select and videos of wine experts would appear. They tell you about an aspect of wine making. Visitors have head phones and they are cued into your language. So... I'd hear the description in English, but the fellow next to me might hear it in Spanish.
This "grape vine" was another interactive area that had iPad-like devices with information about grapes, vines, vineyards, etc. Most of the leaves also had information to share. Visitors point the box of their listening device at the leaf and would then hear a story, a question, or some sort of information.
Each "wine bottle" had additional interactive displays that addressed different sorts of wine in the region.
There were also several cute videos throughout the museum that addressed the history of wine in general, information about the Bordeaux wines and other background information.
And, like all great venues, the exit was through a gift shop. However, this gift shop was like none you've ever seen before. It was wine... all wine! A large circular room with wines from all over the world.
Oh.... and did I neglect to mention your admission includes a taste of wine?! The top floor of the building is a wine tasting room with glass windows and a balcony offering a beautiful view of the Garonne River, the city of Bordeaux and the surrounding countryside.
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