Wine, a cultural, universal and living heritage

Wine is inextricably linked to our country’s culture and living heritage, but also to those of various other countries across five continents.

Wine has been central to human life since 5500 BC. It sculpts our landscapes, accompanies our beliefs, lifestyles, traditions and social practices, and invades our imaginations.

Universal and plural as it is, it crosses borders and centuries, leaving its tangible and intangible mark everywhere. It is constantly being reinvented in new forms and for multiple purposes.

Bordeaux, cultural and global capital of wine

Throughout its history, Bordeaux has helped to spread wine culture across the world thanks to its port and its development, inextricably linked to wine. Enjoying an international reputation and an exceptional image thanks to the precious nectar with which it is associated, Bordeaux is in a state of radical transformation and has consistently featured among the ranks of the major European tourist destinations for more than a decade.

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and European Best Destination in 2015, this Gironde city is attracting an increasing number of investors, tourists and new residents.

Where better than Bordeaux to host such an iconic venue as Cité du Vin?

fondation cité du vin

Project genesis

The concept of a cultural tourist centre for wine began to really take shape in 2009. It was proposed by Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux, during his election campaign in 2008.

A pre-launch association was created in 2009 to coordinate feasibility studies in conjunction with the City of Bordeaux, which would be the future owner and contracting authority for the Cité du Vin building. The president was initially Alain Juppé who was then succeeded by Sylvie Cazes, and the Director is Philippe Massol.

The founding members of the association were the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Metropolis of Bordeaux, City of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) and the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry. An endowment fund was set up in 2011 to receive patronage donations to help fund the construction of La Cité du Vin. In January 2015, the association handed over to the Fondation pour la Culture et les Civilisations du Vin which has operated Cité du Vin and ensured its development and promotion since it opened in June 2016.

Located in the Bassins à Flot district, this cultural recreation venue nearly 14,000 m2 in size represents a major, unique draw for the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and France as a whole.

fondation cite du vin


Cité du Vin was constructed thanks to an original public-private partnership combining public and private funding with patronage. This funding model is virtually unique in France.

Represented by 80 corporate patrons (primarily from the local wine industry), the private sector thus played a major role, funding 19% of the cost of construction (or €15 million ex. VAT).

To raise the remaining 81% of the total of €81 million ex. VAT, the City of Bordeaux managed to rally all the local authorities and institutional structures around the project:

  • City of Bordeaux 38%
  • Europe 15%
  • Metropolis of Bordeaux 10%
  • Aquitaine Region 7%
  • Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB) 7%
  • State 2%
  • CCIB 1%
  • Gironde département 1%
fondation cité du vin

Scientific and Cultural Committee

Cité du Vin draws on expertise from numerous partners and is a member of various national and international networks for cultural and scientific exchange. Whilst the venue prioritises experience, sharing and accessibility for as many people as possible, the content distributed and offered to all visitors as part of the permanent tour is built on a solid scientific base.

The philosophy and architecture of the permanent tour were established in conjunction with a committee of some thirty people from the worlds of science and culture. This committee includes researchers and university academics, as well as representatives from the publishing and media sectors. Various experts from a variety of disciplines, as well as professionals in France and abroad, also provided input in setting up these scientific assets.

Members of the Scientific and Cultural Committee:

  • Françoise Argod-Dutard: Professor of French language and literature – Bordeaux Montaigne University
  • Bruno Boidron: director of Editions Féret
  • Robert Coustet: art historian, professor emeritus – Bordeaux Montaigne University
  • Jacques Fanet: agricultural engineer, former deputy director of INAO, former director of the Syndicat des Coteaux du Languedoc
  • Michel Guillard: doctor of odontological science, co-founder and former director of the journal Amateur de Bordeaux, coordinator of wine-producing Champagne’s application to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Sandrine Lavaud: university lecturer in medieval history - Bordeaux Montaigne University, president of the Centre d’Etude et de Recherche sur la Vigne et le Vin
  • Jean-Marc Orgogozo: doctor of medicine & professor - CHU Pellegrin Bordeaux
  • Joël Rochard: agricultural engineer, director of the IFVV’s Champagne regional division
  • Hubert Sacy: Director General of the Canadian association Educ'Alcool
  • Marie-Christine Tarby-Maire: president of the association Vin & Société
  • Hélène Velasco: professor of geography – Bordeaux Montaigne University
  • Jérôme Baudouin: journalist at La Revue du Vin de France
  • Jean-Pierre Corbeau: professor of sociology and head of the ‘Wine Marketing’ course – University of Tours
  • Nicolas de Baillencourt: Grand Chancelier of the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux
  • Michel Figeac: professor of modern history – Bordeaux Montaigne University, director of the Centre d'Etude des Mondes Moderne et Contemporain
  • Yves Harte: journalist, writer, editor in chief of ‘Sud-Ouest’
  • James Lawther: Master of Wine, independent consultant, writer and journalist
  • Jocelyne Perard: professor of climatology, holder of the UNESCO chair in Culture and Tradition of Wine - University of Burgundy
  • Xavier Rosan: founder and editorial director of the journal ‘Le Festin’
  • Jacques Sargos: art historian, writer, editor in Bordeaux
  • André Tchernia: archaeologist, director of studies – School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
  • Jean-Didier Vincent: doctor of neurobiology, member of the Institute, professor emeritus at Paris-Sud University, president of the ISVV scientific committee
  • Jean-Claude Berrouet: oenologist, ampelographer, former cellar master at Etablissements Moueix
  • Christian Coulon: anthropologist, professor of political science, IEP Bordeaux
  • Denis Dubourdieu (1949-2016): agricultural engineer, professor of oenology, director of ISVV
  • Gilbert Garrier: professor emeritus of contemporary history, Université Lumière-Lyon 2
  • Jean-Paul Kaufmann: journalist, writer, former editor in chief of ‘L’Amateur de Bordeaux’ and founder of ‘L’Amateur de Cigare’
  • Patrick McLeod: doctor of medicine, president of the Institut Français du Goût
  • Jean-Robert Pitte: professor of geography, honorary president of Paris-Sorbonne University, member of the Institut Français du Goût, president of the Société de Géographie
  • Philippe Roudie: professor emeritus of geography at Bordeaux Montaigne University
  • Jean Saric: doctor of medicine, professor at CHU Bordeaux
  • Amancio Tenaguillo y Cortazar: university lecturer in modern literature, founder and president of CEPDIVIN