Bordeaux in the spotlight this year and next, huge new wine centre to open
Celine Boute of Comite Regional de Tourisme d'Aquitaine and Sophie Gaillard-Mairal, Communication Manager Office de Tourisme de Bourdeaux promote the region at a travel trade event in Toronto.

Bordeaux in the spotlight this year and next, huge new wine centre to open

TORONTO — The world’s largest museum-like centre devoted to wine will open in Bordeaux, France in June of 2016.

At a travel trade event in Toronto last night hosted by the Bordeaux and Aquitaine tourist offices and their partners, agents learned the 10-storey high Cite des Civilisations du Vin will be an interactive, multi-sensory experience that includes 20 themed areas incorporating over 120 audio-visual creations.

“It will introduce to the widest audience the wines of the world from 80 wine-producing countries,” said the attraction’s director Olivier Kollek.

The centre, which will have three tasting rooms, a wine bar, a viewing gallery and panoramic restaurant, also promises a rich program of cultural events. These include two international exhibitions every year, a celebration of a specific winemaking country, an international wine boutique, and an auditorium for film screenings, live shows and conferences.

Coinciding with the centre’s opening will be the Bordeaux Wine Festival (June 23-26, 2016) that takes place once every two years.

This year, meanwhile, Bordeaux is basking in the spotlight after having been named Best European Destination 2015 by the Brussels-based European Best Destination Association. Bordeaux is a city for lovers and dreamers, explained Sophie Gaillard-Mairal, Communication Manager Office de Tourisme de Bordeaux.

She said wine is everywhere in this UNESCO city, which is a popular stop for 40 cruise ships and five different river cruise companies including Viking River Cruises which has an eight-day Chateaux, Rivers & Wine itinerary. There are also opportunities here for visitors to blend and bottle their own wine, and add a personalized label during a three-hour class (for details check BWinemaker.com).

Bordeaux the regional capital of Aquitaine is in southwest France, one hour by air, three hours by train, or five hours by road from Paris. Just outside the city are wine regions such as Medoc, Sauternes and Saint Emilion, which this year is offering horse riding in the vineyards. Also new, just outside Saint Emilion, is a five-star golf course opening May 1.

Elsewhere in Aquitaine is the glamourous seaside resort of Biarritz with surfing and nearby Basque villages; and the Dordogne area known for its prehistoric Lascaux caves and medieval castles.