Today we leave for Bordeaux to discover the Cité du Vin.
With us, Solène Jaboulet Marketing and Communication Director. She offers us the privilege of an outing during the lockdown.
Hello Solène, can you introduce us to La Cité du Vin, its purpose and ambition… in a few lines?
The Cité du Vin is a cultural site, managed by a Foundation of Public Utility (the Foundation for World Culture and Civilizations) whose ambition is to preserve, share and make accessible to the greatest number the culture of wine as a historical, universal and living heritage.
It is a private entity, which depends entirely on its own resources: the ticket sales represent the main part of the revenues, together with those of the shop, the privatization of spaces for companies (seminars, conferences…) and a bit of patronage which supports the exhibitions and the cultural program.
The Cité du Vin is a very beautiful place and a very playful place, who is it for? Wine lovers? For everyone?
The Cité du Vin is for everyone, from beginners to enlightened wine lovers, adults and children alike. Just like gastronomy, wine is a cultural heritage. By cultivating the vine, men and women have shaped the landscape for thousands of years, on every continent. It is an integral part of the history of many civilizations. It is this culture that we have a mission to share. For this reason we have chosen to use mainly digital technologies that allow a large number of experiments. They are fun and easy to access, while being based on scientific content validated by experts. Thanks to an interactive digital guide, the content is accessible in 8 languages. This is why the Cité du Vin welcomes visitors from 180 different countries!
What can we find at the Cité du Vin?
The permanent exhibition
The heart of the Cité du Vin is called the Permanent Exhibition. It is a 3000m² area consisting of 19 interactive sections that allow you to explore different wine-related universes. You have topics like civilisations, geography, economy, arts, gastronomy… and of course winemaking.
At the end of the trail, visitors are invited to go to the belvedere. It is 35 metres high and from there they have a unique view of Bordeaux. This is an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine chosen from among fifteen wines from all over the world. You can also have grape juice, organic and local, for children or anyone who does not wish to taste wine.
Workshops, exhibitions, conferences…
In addition, we offer oenocultural workshops that allow small groups to discover or deepen the art of wine tasting. There is even a workshop for families (without alcohol of course!) in which children can discover all the subtleties of taste, and how our different senses intervene in its constitution.
Every year, the Cité du Vin also presents a major art exhibition that allows other facets to be explored: after bistros, music and glass design, the next one will focus on mythology and the figure of Dionysus.
Finally, many lectures, meetings, debates, screenings or shows are offered throughout the year, making the Cité a real place to live, where you can of course also eat, starting from the ground floor brasserie with its terrace overlooking the gardens, up to the panoramic restaurant on the 7th floor.
And I almost forgot: there is a reading room with free access, a beautiful shop with many objects and books about wine, and a cellar with more than 800 references from 70 different countries!
The Cité du Vin is in the heart of Bordeaux, but Bordeaux is not in the heart of the Cité du Vin why is that?
Within the Permanent Exhibition, 2 units are more focused on Bordeaux (its history with wine, and the surrounding vineyards). We also offer a tasting workshop on Bordeaux wines. But the Foundation’s mission is to share a culture that is universal. This is why it is the history and the vineyards of the world that are put in the spotlight: it is a priceless richness because we all have a lot to learn from each other.
Today and since March 13, the Cité du Vin is closed to the public, but you still do some activities?
Of course, during lockdown, the culture remains open! Many contents (recordings of past events, interviews with personalities from the wine world, interviews with artists or photographers…) are accessible free of charge from our online media library (https://www.laciteduvin.com/fr/mediatheque). We have also made available the audio part of the Table des terroirs, a module of the permanent exhibition in which winegrowers explain how they grow vines and make wine in their country. (https://soundcloud.com/laciteduvin).
And we continue to keep in touch with all wine culture lovers on our social networks with original news, quizzes, or even a drawing competition for children (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
At Aveine, wine is above all about sharing and above all about people. Can you tell us a word or two about yourself? Who are you and how did you get to the Cité du Vin?
After 20 years spent working in strategy, marketing and communication in major CAC 40 groups in Paris and abroad, I had this wonderful opportunity to join the cultural world. It is my great personal passion. Working for a Foundation of public utility that has a real purpose, in the city of France that devotes the largest culture budget per capita and where I only travel by bike, it changes my life! (Yes, many people envy me…).
What’s your “lockdown” wine?
There is not only one, the wine regions of the world have so much wealth to share with us! But in times of lockdown, it’s clear that I prefer to play rather local: the Bordeaux region has more than enough to allow us to escape while staying at home!
Any wine / book / film / … ?
“In the Forest“, a novel by Jean Hegland. A friend had given it to me several months ago, but I hadn’t had time to open it yet. It has a special resonance in this time of crisis. But that’s all I can say…
Thank you Solène for this beautiful discovery of the Cité du Vin, which we invite you to visit and revisit! And don’t forget to stop by the restaurant le 7, one of Aveine’s Ambassadeur. And of course, you will find the Aveine aerator at the Cité du Vin’s shop.