Embark on a sensory adventure to discover the cultures and civilisations of wine. In an open exhibition space occupying more than 3,000 m², nearly twenty different themed areas invite you to take a voyage of discovery and enjoy a unique experience exploring the many and varied facets of wine across time and space. A visit to the Permanent exhibition also includes the travel companion, a free, innovative tool available in eight languages (French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch) and the access to La Cité du Vin’s Belvedere, where you will discover a 360° view of Bordeaux whilst tasting a glass of world wine.
If you prefer to be guided through the Permanent exhibition, our teams have designed four different themed visits.
“A superb introduction to the history and art of viticulture. Lots to do and see. Lots of interactive activities and a great introduction for visiting local chateaux and learning about individual vineyards.”
28 août 2018, 30sunny, Trip Advisor
The world wine tour
Humans cultivate vines all over the world in a wide variety of natural conditions. Winegrowers have adapted, invented and modelled their landscapes and shaped them through their traditions.
The worlds of wine
Over the millennia, following human displacement and in a variety of climates, vines have established themselves, grape varieties have spread and wines have been traded across the world.
The terroir table
A cloud appears to darken the sky, projecting its moving shadow onto the vast terroir table, depicting a vine landscape with rugged terrain. The scent of wet earth emerges. Life-size silhouettes of men and women stand around the edge.
Wild vines are creepers which produce few grapes. Humans have been domesticating them for millennia, selecting, pruning, tending, harvesting and studying them – and also celebrating and telling tales of them, elevating them to mythical status.
The metamorphoses of wine
For a long time, the transformation of grapes into wine appeared to be a supernatural manifestation brought about by divine beings who violently shook the vessels where turbulent fermentation would take place.
Fresh and fruity wines, rich wines, wines for laying down, everyday or celebration wines... A style to suit everyone! Despite this huge diversity, the wines of the world can be split into six major families: dry white, red, rosé, sparkling, fortified and sweet.
Wine over water
Beginning in the highlands of the Caucasus, vines and wines invaded the ancient Mediterranean world then spread across the whole of Western Europe, before crossing oceans and conquering the planet.
Wine, a trade and commerce product since its creation, has crossed the oceans. It accompanied the crews of this era, gave merchants their wealth, and thus helped to create links between people on different continents.
The gallery of civilisations
By turns food, medicine, sacred object, precious ingredient, and source of wealth or torment, over the course of five centuries of culture, wine has established itself as a fundamental element in the history of societies and human relationships.
The trend wall
During the 20th century, the world changed and with it the image of wine: an object of desire, it has now become a ‘trendy’ product.
The buffet of the five senses
Since birth, we have discovered the world using our five senses. Sight. Hearing. Smell. Taste. Touch. What could be more natural, instinctive or familiar?
The banquet of legends
Wine is a matter of taste and era. Numerous famous men and women have been and still are passionate wine-lovers, keen advocates of the sensations and impressions awakened by tasting.
Bacchus and Venus
Painters, sculptors, poets, novelists, filmmakers, composers... Numerous artists of all eras and origins have depicted the relationship between wine and love, even eroticism.
In the beginning God gave the vine to Noah, Biblical patriarch and prophet from the Koran.
Drinking and the dark side
Wine and humans, friends or foes? In societies where wine traditionally has a presence, whilst happy drunkenness is tolerated, no one is unaware of what uncontrolled intoxication or addiction can lead to.
The art of living
Wine is inextricably linked to the concept of sharing and conviviality, and tasty treats are never far away. From the most modest of picnics to the grandest of tables via the French art of gastronomy, it celebrates a particular art of living.
Meet the experts
Everything you ever wanted to know about wine... How do I choose a vintage? How do I store my bottles? How do I serve my wine and what food do I serve with it? What are the new trends among producing companies and wine consumers?
Bordeaux: the City and its wines
In Bordeaux, city and wine are bound in a strong, almost intimate relationship reflected throughout history. Discover the intersecting trajectories of the city and its landscapes, or how a great commercial port gave birth to a land of mythical wine.
The epic tale of Bordeaux
Bordeaux may now be famed across the world for its wines, but its history has been a series of golden ages and crises.
How long does it take to visit the Permanent Exhibition?
The Permanent Exhibition is very rich in content - prepare your visit and don’t get caught out!
- Short of time? Opt for one of the 4 one-hour themed tours (free brochures available at the entrance to the Exhibition).
- Plenty of time to spare? The average visit to the Permanent Exhibition takes between 2 and 3 hours, to discover the 19 areas at your own pace.
- An absolute fan? Spend a whole day here! The Permanent Exhibition has up to 10 hours of content, so there is never a dull moment!
Don’t forget! Whatever the length of your visit, set some time aside to go the Belvedere (8th floor) and taste a glass of wine while admiring a panoramic view of Bordeaux, included in your ticket.
A personal discovery tour thanks to an innovative tool
- 8 languages available: French, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch
- Interaction in real time
- An experience tailored to each visitor
- Creating a virtual travel log
- Cutting-edge technology and innovative headphones