Reasons to visit Bordeaux this summer

La Cité du Vin, opening 1 June

La Cité du Vin is a new multi-media complex opening in Bordeaux on 1 June revealing the history of wine all over the world. Housed in a vast glass tower on the banks of the River Garonne, La Cité du Vin will be hard to miss with its futuristic, glass-covered design which is said to evoke wine flowing through a stem glass.

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Labelled the ‘Guggenheim of wine’, the ten-storey building explores the relationship between wine and culture all over the world from ancient times to the present day through an immersive tour. Innovations include a virtual theatre of experts, where wine professionals appear as holograms to advise visitors, and displays that come with ‘magic binoculars’ for wine enthusiasts to gaze out over the region’s famous vineyards.

The permanent tour concludes at the 35-metre-high observation gallery, where visitors have panoramic views over the Bordeaux rooftops and beyond. Other attractions include two temporary exhibitions a year, workshops, a 250-seater auditorium, a restaurant on the seventh floor and a bar offering 50 different wines by the glass. Admission is €20, which includes a glass of wine.

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Bordeaux Fête du Vin, 23-26 June

The biennial Fête du Vin celebrates Bordeaux’s great wine vintages over four days from 23-26 June. Bordeaux Fête le Vin centres on a two-kilometre wine trail along the banks of the River Garonne.

It is here that eight tasting pavilions will allow visitors to sample such famous names as Margaux, Pomerol and Saint-Émilion from around 80 regional appellations. Alongside the great Bordeaux vintages, there is a chance to taste delicious local produce ranging from Bassin d’Arcachon oysters to the Basque Ossau-Iraty cheese.

On all four nights, festivities culminate in a wine-themed son-et-lumière show projected on to the Palais de la Bourse, followed by a fireworks display over the Garonne. Other attractions include guided tours of vineyards, château wine tastings, a wine school and art exhibitions.

UEFA Euro 2016, 10 June – 10 July

Bordeaux will be hosting five Euro 2016 matches this summer at its new stadium, the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux. The stadium was designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architects behind the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. The stadium has sloping tiers and seats 42,000 spectators. To get to the stadium, catch the Line C tram.

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In Place des Quinconces, the largest square in France after Place de la Concorde in Paris, there will be a 50,000-capacity fan zone will a big screen showing all of the Euro 2016 matches.

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Where to stay around Bordeaux …

 

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