If you’ve ever been dragged round Disney World with your kids, you’ll most likely have experienced the following thoughts and sensations:
Firstly, it’s a real thrill to be there. The lights, the colours, the happy look on your children’s faces... Sure, you think. This is going to be fun.
An hour or two passes - your feet are hurting, and you can’t face queuing for another hour to sit in a flying elephant or listen to dolls singing about how wonderful the world is.
Another hour, and all you can think about is leaving your little ones in the care of Donald Duck, and fleeing to the nearest wine bar. Cartoon characters are morphing into bottles of wine before your very eyes. One thought rings out in your head, as clear as the happy-clappy music piped into every corner of the park. Why, why, why don’t they make a theme park centred entirely on wine?
At this point, you can thank your lucky stars for the French, because - of course - the good citizens of the world’s most wine-obsessed nation have only gone and done exactly that. That’s right; heaven really is a place on earth. We’re talking about La Cité du Vin - The City of Wine… and no, this isn’t a dream, and you can stop pinching yourself right now.
Yet Another Reason to Plan That Trip to Bordeaux
La Cité du Vin can be found in the heart of the French wine region of Bordeaux, where arguably the world’s finest and most prized red wines are made. Bordeaux has always been something of a mecca for wine fans - you can’t walk 500 metres through this region without stumbling upon a beautiful chateau sat atop a world-beating cellar - and thanks to La Cité du Vin, its wine paradise status has now been fully cemented for the world to rejoice.
The operation cost a staggering 800 million euros to set up, but it’s been worth every single cent - wine lovers have been flocking there by the thousand, and the reviews left across the internet are effusive and full of praise, to say the very least. Housed inside a vast, glittering, undulating metallic superstructure (supposedly representing wine swirling inside a glass), to say La Cité du Vin is impressive is the understatement of the year.
An Immersive Journey Through the Wines of the World
You won’t get the chance to meet any cartoon characters (well, unless you really overdo it on the Sauternes), and there aren’t any loop-the-loop rides or parades. However, for us wine lovers, such things would fade in comparison to the real delights and thrills on offer. Get this: La Cité du Vin holds 800 different varieties of wine, collected from no less than 70 countries worldwide… and they’re all available for tasting. It’s a veritable library of oenology, a wonderland of viticulture, and one in which you can not only top up your wine knowledge, but also treat your taste buds to a real voyage of discovery.
Fun and Thrills to the Very Last Drop
The fun doesn’t stop there, either. Spread throughout the complex, you’ll also find 20 different wine themed exhibits in which you can explore the history and various wine cultures represented. If you’re hankering for a ride, there’s even a simulated boat trip thrown in on which wine fans can undertake an immersive globe-trotting experience, based on the journeys of a traditional wine merchant.
If you thought it couldn’t get any better, the good news just keeps on coming. The entry price for La Cité du Vin is around $25 - and that includes a free glass of wine on arrival. Mickey who?
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