La Cite Du Vin, Bordeaux

Today’s museum was La Cite Du Vin – a museum all about wine, that is rated as the number two museum (out of 23) in Bordeaux by Trip Advisor.

fullsizeoutput_698b
La Cite Du Vin

I enjoyed my time there and found it to be very educational. But I had no idea that it would cost €20 and that over 80% of the exhibits require you to watch videos.

The €20 admission price was quite a shocker. Fortunately, I was on my own and not with a family group. That admission fee gets you access to the displays on the 2nd level and also access to the 8th level (the top floor belvedere for views and wine tasting).

On entering the 2nd level, visitors are provided with an electronic audio guide, set to the language of your choosing. The guide box hangs around your neck and is attached to a set of headphones. Throughout the exhibits, there are many signs that indicate the presence of an audio narrative. By placing the audio unit next to the sign, it initiates the narration in your selected language (through your headphones). Often, the video installation is interactive, requiring visitors to select specific topics by touching the screen. Once I got the hang of it, I found the audio-guide to be very useful.

fullsizeoutput_698d
Italian wine-making described

The second level is not very large and could be walked through within a few minutes. But almost all of the available information is contained within the video presentations, that each need to be watched one at a time. To get through a fair amount of the information being presented, you need about three hours (most of which is spent standing in front of video screens)!

fullsizeoutput_698f
Learn about wine around the world

Fortunately, I attended on a Wednesday, at the end of November, so it wasn’t crowded. I imagine that this place would be extremely frustrating on a busy day during prime tourist season, because most of the video displays are not designed for mass viewing.

Some of the video displays are small and could only accommodate 2-3 people at the most. So, if you were to find yourself in a crowd behind people who were already viewing the video screens, it could be a long, slow process to get through them. As the museum was sparsely attended during my visit, I was able to access most of the video installations without much waiting. Thankfully!

fullsizeoutput_6990
Each small video screen provides different information

The video installations are certainly educational, including information on wine-growing regions around the world; different wine varieties; how wine is influenced by the different ‘terroirs’; the history of wine making; etc.

About the only exhibit that wasn’t purely video-based was one of the most interesting. The exhibit contains several glass domes (containing video screens) as well as ‘trumpet-like’ pipes and addressed the topic of the aromas from wine. By squeezing little rubber bulbs, scents can be sniffed coming out of the pipes, and visitors are challenged to identify each of the scents. Very interesting.

fullsizeoutput_699d
Sniff test

fullsizeoutput_6997

After completing the exhibits on level 2, I headed up to the top floor to get my one glass of wine that is included in the ticket. The top floor belvedere is a nice space that gives a view over the city and the river. But the design of the building is not conducive to panoramic photography.

fullsizeoutput_6999
The top floor belvedere

In short, the museum is educational but overpriced. Also, I wouldn’t take young children to this venue – they would get bored too quickly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s