Lonely Planet Writer

Bordeaux’s La Cité du Vin museum to shine spotlight on Georgian wine

La Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, France will highlight Georgian wine in a brand new temporary exhibition entitled Georgia, cradle of viticulture. Running from 31 July to 5 November 2017, the museum will showcase over 125 ethnographic and archaeological objects alongside photographs and works of art that trace the history of winemaking in the Caucasus country.

The Cité du Vin will highlight Georgian wine in a new exhibition
The Cité du Vin Building in Bordeaux. Image by: GEORGES GOBET/Getty Images

This will be the first time that the €80million development, located on the left bank of the River Garonne, has hosted a temporary exhibition since it opened in June 2016. La Cité du Vin curators have worked with the Georgian National Museum to showcase the roots of modern winegrowing and winemaking, which is believed to have started in Georgia some 9000 years ago.

The exhibition will focus on four major themes: the roots of Georgia’s winemaking; the relationship between wine and the wealthy royalty of the country’s former Iberia and Colchis kingdoms; the importance of wine in religion; and the part plonk plays in the daily life of many Georgians. The museum will also be organising wine-tasting sessions and grape variety discovery workshops alongside a series of concerts, conferences, film showings and other events.

Visitord at the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux
Visitors look at wine at the Cité du Vin wine museum. Image by: MEHDI FEDOUACH/AFP/Getty Images

Among the artefacts going on display will be a partially-reconstructed marani (Georgian wine cellar), which most Georgians will have in their home; 6th-century pottery that was used to store or drink wine; and several kvevri, the large earthenware vessels used to age traditional Georgian wine.

Speaking to the AFP about the display, exhibit commissioner Nino Lordkipanidze said: ‘We’re trying to show how much the phenomenon of wine has been an inseparable part of daily Georgian life and culture since the very beginning.’

Tickets for the Georgia, cradle of viticulture exhibition are priced at 4€ each. The museum’s permanent exhibition, which covers all manner of wine-themed activities from wine tasting to interactive displays, stretches out across 20 rooms on ten levels. Entry for La Cité du Vin is 20€ per person.