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The new Cité du Vin in Bordeaux

A magnificent new tourist attraction has just opened in Bordeaux, a UNESCO heritage city. It's called the Cité du Vin and is a state-of-the-art visitor centre/museum right by the Garonne, close to the city centre. Here is a text I wrote about it for frenchteacher. The worksheet has attached exercises.

Image: XTU Architects/Wikimedia Commons


Bordeaux vise à devenir la capitale mondiale du vin avec sa nouvelle attraction touristique, la très futuriste Cité du Vin qui a ouvert ses portes en juin 2016. Surnommé le « Guggenheim du vin », l'attraction qui a coûté €83 millions n’est pas seulement un panneau publicitaire colossal pour l'industrie du vin de Bordeaux, qui a une valeur de 4 milliards d'euros par an et qui fait travailler
50 000 employés.

Elle célèbre le vin à travers le monde et 6000 ans de vinification. Le bâtiment de huit étages à côté du pont Chaban-Delmas sur la Garonne est censé ressembler à du vin clapotant autour d'un verre et a été conçu par l'architecte parisien X-Tu. Le bâtiment aux formes arrondies est surmonté d’une tour de 55 mètres recouverte de panneaux de verre et d'aluminium doré pour créer des reflets sur le fleuve.

A l'intérieur, on trouve 3000 mètres carrés d'expositions permanentes créées par une agence de Londres, CassonMann. Les expositions sont sous forme de créations multimédia, avec pratiquement pas d'objets. C’est un genre d’espace que les visiteurs n’auront jamais connu auparavant, selon le concepteur Gary Shelley.

Chaque visiteur dispose d'un guide numérique avec un casque qui traduit beaucoup d'informations audio-visuelles - même les Français en auront besoin car tout n’est pas en français. L'exposition utilise des images en 3D pour une visite du vignoble mondial, des écrans tactiles pour montrer les méthodes vinicoles, la diffusion d'arômes pour décrire les éléments sensoriels du vin et même une « chaise de la gueule de bois » où les auteurs parlent de l'excès!

Sur le fleuve, un ponton permet un accès pour les passagers de navires de croisière et les bateaux partiront de ce même ponton pour faire des visites du vignoble bordelais. La tour, elle, a un restaurant panoramique et le haut, le Belvédère, offre une vue sur la ville de Bordeaux (site Unesco). Le bar est éclairé par le plus grand chandelier du monde, fabriqué à partir de plusieurs milliers de bouteilles. Ceci est la dernière étape de la visite et c’est l'occasion, enfin, de déguster du vin.

Des sponsors ont réuni 19% des fonds et des investisseurs américains ont financé l’auditorium Thomas Jefferson €1 million, nommé d'après le président américain qui a introduit le vin aux Etats-Unis alors qu'il était ambassadeur en France.

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