Checking In With Bordeaux’s Cité des Civilisations du Vin

by Paige Donner

It’s always a thrill to watch the development, the progressive, step-by-step development of an ambitious and culturally iconic project. Such is the case with the Cité des Civilisations du Vin gorgeously taking shape along the banks of the Garonne in Bordeaux.

All photos by Paige Donner.  ©2015 Paige Donner.

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According to Sylvie Cazes, the President of the Foundation for the Support of the Cité des Civilisations du Vin, the project, now in its 8th year, took a bit of time to get off the ground because it was a matter of “finding the money.”  Among dozens of generous donors and supporters some of those offering the greatest largesse are Union des Grands Crus de Bordeaux, Pétrus, Domaine Clarence Dillon, Vinexpo, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Bernard Magrez Grands Vignobles and the American Friends of the Center for wine and civilization.

Here in these photos, taken in mid-May, you will see demonstrated the rise of what can only be called audacious architecture.

“The architects Anouk Legendre and Nicolas Desmazières have imagined a structure replete with symbolic echoes: the knotty trunk of a grapevine, the swirl of wine moving in a glass, the ebb and flow of the Garonne…their design captures the spirit of wine and its fluid essence: a seamless curve, weightless and sensual.”

After walking around the site with a team of other journalists, led by the architect, Ms. Legendre herself, my overall (early) impression was as though I’d been floating through a decanter. Whatever you make of the building’s design, its imminent opening, projected for June 2016, is an exciting prospect for wine lovers, enthusiasts, amateurs and connoisseurs the world over. Stay tuned…



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