Seven wine museums to put on your travel bucket list
As we once again begin to carefully consider future travel plans, the experts at Cult Wines are bringing together some of the world’s best wine museums, from state-of-the-art facilities to brilliantly scenic ones.
1. The City of Wine – Bordeaux, France
Opened in 2016, La Cité du Vin is a striking building designed to mimic both the swirl of wine in a glass and the curves of the nearby Garonne. Across 10 floors, you’ll find interactive maps, state-of-the-art exhibit technology, tasting rooms, and a variety of restaurants, including Le 7 restaurant, which offers stunning panoramic views of Bordeaux.
2. WiMu: The Wine Museum in Barolo – Barolo, Italy
Located inside a castle steeped in millennial history, WiMu offers visitors a comprehensive journey through Barolo wines. Start on the panoramic terrace with an exploration of wine in history, myth and tradition, and descend to the cellar, where the region’s first Nebbiolo wines were made in the 19th century. You will find bottles and labels from all the cities that produce Barolo, and the possibility to take some home with you.
3. Vivanco Museum – Rioja, Spain
Boasting an impressive 4,000 square meters of exhibition space, the Vivanco Museum has dedicated its six large rooms to the relationship between man and wine for 8,000 years. Here you’ll find century-old ships and farming implements as well as stunning artwork and audio-visual elements. And outside, the jewel of the museum: the Jardin de Bacchus, which houses a vineyard of more than 220 grape varieties from all over the world.
4. Port Wine Museum – Porto, Portugal
Located in the Cais Novo warehouse – a building that dates back to the 17th century – the Port Wine Museum showcases the history of the Port wine industry and the impact of its trade on the development of Porto. Expect antiques, fine and rare bottles, captivating stories from winemakers and, of course, tasting opportunities.
5. Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum – Santorini, Greece
Nestled in a cave 26 feet underground, the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum is Greece’s only wine museum and offers an in-depth look at the millennial history of Santorini’s wine industry. Explore rare wine artifacts, cultural objects and innovations, then visit the adjacent family winery for demonstrations and tastings.
6. Pleven Wine Museum – Pleven, Bulgaria
Founded in 2008 and nestled in a cave in Kaylaka Park, the Pleven Wine Museum is home to the country’s first vocational school of viticulture – opened in 1890 – and showcases all that Bulgarian wine has to offer. Through five spacious halls, visitors can learn about the history of Bulgarian wine, as well as its current place in the global wine landscape. Its cellars house more than 7,000 bottles from all of Bulgaria’s wine regions, many of which are available for tasting.
7. 1881 – Napa, California
The 1881 Museum in Napa Valley, California has perhaps the most comprehensive exhibit of the valley’s early winemaking history. Learn the stories of Napa’s early pioneers, explore a remarkable collection of winemaking relics, and lose yourself in fascinating documents from California’s earliest wine trade records. Afterwards, visitors can sample more than 50 wines by the glass from Napa’s top producers in the property’s 150-year-old Victorian home.
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