All set to impress : Bordeaux Cité des Civilisations du vin - 01/29/2013 at 01:39:25

On Friday 25th January, thick morning fog hung over the Garonne River and the sail-like towers of Bordeaux’s new bridge (named after the city’s former Mayor, Chaban Delmas) were almost totally obscured. This did not dampen the spirits of those who had come to discover the construction site of the future centre devoted to wine culture and civilizations,“La Cité des Civilisations du Vin”. The site is located near Bordeaux’s wet dock, and overlooks the Garonne River. The impressive 10,000m2 building will be a short tram ride from Bordeaux’s city centre, adjacent to the new bridge (which will be inaugurated this March), which will link it to Bordeaux’s right bank. Construction of the foundations is due to start this April. The first stone will be laid during Vinexpo 2013. The actual ‘site-seeing’ was followed by a slideshow presentation of what will be the world’s most ambitious wine-based centre, which will not just be a showcase for Bordeaux wines, but a celebration of the planet’s wine civilizations. The virtual visit was presented and commented by Philippe Massol, director of the future “CCV”, and Sylvie Cazes, Bordeaux city councilor. This gargantuan project (costing an estimated 63 million euros) has won the support of local authorities, the European Union and private patrons from the wine business; the latter have mobilized 13 million euros in donations. Futurist and Theatrical The Cité’s innovative exterior design, inspired by the circular, liquid movement of wine swirling in a carafe and the meanders of the Garonne River, will be an attraction in itself – and an invitation to what could be described as a cross between a wine museum, cultural centre and a theme park for oenophiles. Inside, the interactive world of wine will unfurl with all the high tech. and theatrical trimmings you can imagine; individual ipads, SkyDome projections, 3-D scenes where visitors can experience the world wine trade throughout the centuries or join a banquet of illustrious wine lovers, like Thomas Jefferson or Karl Marx, thanks to talking holograms…Also on the menu; tips on tasting or wine and food pairing from the experts, centuries of wine in art, traditional wine festivals and rituals of the world, aroma and flavor workshops in the “5 senses Buffet” and the great saga of Bordeaux projected on wooden wine cases….This will be “a centre for inter-activity and creativity”, says Sylvie Cazes, who is one of the project’s most fervent pioneers. Finally, the visit will finish with a flourish at the top of the panoramic tower, where enthusiasts can enjoy a tasting (included in the entrance fee), while looking out over all the vineyards of the globe, through special paneled windows and ‘binoculars’… by Maxine.Colas