It comes as no surprise that the nation most associated with wine history has a number of museums devoted to the subject. Beaune and Bordeaux are the undisputed kings of wine, and as such, they each have their own museum. However, there is no paucity of off-the-beaten-path locations that pay tribute to wine. However, here are a few to visit if you are traveling to major cities:
A multi-site wine experience encompassing Burgundy’s three main regions is in the works.
In Beaune, housed in the former Hotel of the Dukes of Burgundy, the appropriately named Burgundy Wine Museum is devoted to the region’s distinct viticultural and production heritage, with a particular emphasis on the “Climats,” a concept unique to Burgundy and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
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It was established in 1946 and is the first museum devoted solely to the history of Burgundy. The Cité des Climats and Burgundy Wines, a larger cultural and educational experience that will focus on Chablis, Beaune, and Macon, is currently in development.
The relatively new International City of Gastronomy and Wine of Dijon offers sophisticated art, education, and an immersive experience in the culinary arts for which Dijon is renowned. You can peruse exhibitions, partake in seminars, dine at on-site restaurants, and purchase merchandise.
La Cave de la Cité, a three-level tasting area where you can sample 3,000 different wines, including 250 by the glass, and the Burgundy Wine School, which offers two formats: two-hour lessons (230 euros per person) or two-day sessions (1,999 euros per person), will open in 2022 on 700,000 square feet.
La Cite du Vin opened in 2016 in the Bassins à Flot district of Bordeaux as a “cultural recreation venue,” the result of a collaboration between numerous city and regional stakeholders, including the Bordeaux wine council.
It likely served as a model for destinations opening in Burgundy (as well as the WOW Culture District in Porto, Portugal), with its interactive exhibits that gave the wine a place in contemporary lifestyles while maintaining its historical context.
Participants can partake in tasting seminars. “Via Sensoria” is the museum’s current flagship exhibition, lasting through November 5. There is also a wine cellar, restaurant, and boutique on the premises.
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In a former convent and, more recently, a private residence near the Eiffel Tower, the wine museum in Paris is closed until September 19 for renovations. Formerly owned and administered by the Conseil des Echansons de France, a 1954-founded brotherhood devoted to defending and promoting historic wine appellations and terroirs (as most brotherhoods and fraternities do), it has undergone new management and operations as of earlier this year.
When it reopens, it will be renamed Le M. Musee du Vin and will feature nearly 13,000 square feet of space devoted to wine and gastronomy, including a restaurant, entertainment venue, wine and cocktail bar, store, and tasting courses.
The vaulted ceilings of the former convent of the Paris Wine Museum, which is undergoing renovations and rebranding and will soon be renamed.