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Opening day set for Bordeaux’s ‘Guggenheim of wine’

Bordeaux’s new €81m (£58m) Cité du Vin wine centre will open on June 2 2016, it has been announced.

An artists impression of Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin, which is set to open on June 2 2016. The building has drawn comparisons to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Photo: Cite du Vin)

Dubbed the ‘Guggenheim of wine’ after the similarly avant-garde Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the 13,350m² building has been designed by architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières from the French architecture firm XTU in conjunction with British interior design agency Casson Mann.

Measuring 55m in height, the centre will be dedicated to the culture and civilisation of wine around the world, and aims to provide an “immersive, interactive, multi-sensory experience” for around 450,000 visitors per year.

Twenty-three rooms will offer visitors the opportunity to take “a tour of the vineyards of the world”, with the history of winemaking civilisations revealed through exhibits of 85 winemaking countries.

The Cité du Vin will also feature a wine bar, a wine shop and a panoramic restaurant on the seventh floor, as well as a 600m² wine cellar housing around 10,000 bottles of wine.

The Cité du Vin logo was revealed last month (Photo: Cité du Vin)

Funded by around 80% public and 20% private sources, the complex is expected to cost €81.1m. The drinks business reported in December 2014 how the project had far exceeded its original budget, with the cost originally estimated to be around €63m.

However the complex is expected to contribute €40m to the city’s economy, and is estimated to have created 200 jobs over its three-year construction period.

It is also estimated to create around 250 full-time jobs when it is opened in June next year.

Promoters of the Cité du Vin, which is in the latter stages of construction on the bank of the Garonne river in St-Emilion, have also revealed the brand logo for the wine centre.
The logo is said to represent the architectural skeleton of the building while also evoking the planet, the sun, the beam of a lighthouse and a grape.

The drinks business reported in September how the decision had been taken to rebrand the museum from the ‘Cité des Civilisations du Vin’ to ‘Cité du Vin’ after its original name was deemed “too long and difficult to pronounce”.

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