These cathedrals of stories, people and grapes that grace the earth are home to some of the most cherished relics in the world of wine. Wine drinking predates most of history, and in some ways ties us all together. These are the wine museums you must visit, see and experience for yourself. From gorgeous sculpture to inspiring innovation, lustrous marvels of a bygone era. There is much to see, many stories to hear and of course, wines to taste.
If you like trying new things, check out these 7 Weird Wine Destinations for Adventurous People.
These are a few Wine Museums you Must Visit
Pack your bags, grab your boarding passes and set sail into the marvelous world of wine and the people who make it. (Don’t forget your phrasebooks!)
Man and wine, that’s the theme of our first destination. 6 exhibition halls featuring decades of history, artistic innovation and experiences befitting the most seasoned wine aficionado. The region of La Rioja rests in a valley which hosts a diverse selection of grapes and growing conditions.
A serene garden, and man and wine as one. Living art, the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture hosts 220 different varieties of grapes just in it’s outdoor exhibition. Book a flight to Spain to experience this marvelous journey into the romantic through the culture and spectacle that is wine and the people who live it.
Pleven, Bulgaria calls itself home to the Museum of Wine. Pleven itself is the wine-making spirit of the Bulgarian people, calling itself home to the National Institute of Wine. The wine-making, drinking and cultural significance of the glorious nectar are on full display for guests to experience. However that is not all that brought the Museum of Wine to this list.
The museum, and all of its exhibits are housed within a cave. Yes, that’s right a cave. Kaylaka Park to be exact. Guests will enter through ingeniously designed corridors across an elegantly designed floor plan consisting of planks which lay over the caverns floors. Over 6,000 bottles of wine are kept and curated here. But before you check your passport expiration date that’s not all! Wine-making equipment such as barrels and salvaged drinking vessels can be observed as well!
Tradition and technology. Blended experiences for something unique that can be found only in the rich history of the Italian wine-making culture. Blends are not exclusive to wine, the exist in the world of art. The way we experience stories and history in particular changes dramatically in the way it’s presented. The Castello Di Barolo is a fully immersive wine experience. Blending different mediums, it utilizes interactive displays throughout what can only be described at, and is, an Italian castle. Celebrating the landscape, people and tradition that brought about decades of Barolo wine-making, visitors will find themselves enthralled by the museums layout and presentation.
This one makes our list out of innovation. Born from a love and pride for its region, a very Italian trait, the Castello Di Barolo is an experience to be had. Guests can also explore the castle’s ancient wine cellars, which trace the origins of Barolo wine and wine-making traditional quite literally to its roots. Tastings and guided tours are also available.
The entrepreneurial spirit and rich history of British Columbia’s Kelowna region is on full display at the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum. A part of the greater Kelowna Museums organization, this destination has a lot to share about the people of Western Canada’s most famous wine region, and the stories of how it became so. Our most family friendly location, this place has a lot to offer for everyone on the trip!
Kids can find a wealth of knowledge and fun activities in the adjoining Okanagan Orchard Museum. Tracing the rich history of BC’s fruit growing and packing industry, there is a small treasure trove of turn of the century equipment and artifacts to immerse oneself in. For North Americans specifically, this destination is well within reach and could be the Northern tip of your West coast wine travel diary!
A post-modern buffet for the eyes. La Cite Du Vin is hands down the most impressive one of them all. With a snaking behemoth of a structure this museum looks like a hulking steel fortress out of one’s imagination. Venture into its belly to discover a world class permanent exhibit which, while dedicated specifically to vin, is just as much a story of man. Wine throughout history, the grapevine, the role of wine in cultural transmission, an exhibit on the human senses, important wine drinking figures, the gods of wine themselves! This folks, really is the holy grail of wine as we know it.
Bordeaux, none other than, calls itself the home of this chromatic masterpiece. A building so modern it leaves one frantically searching for a word more innovative than well, innovative. I couldn’t imagine a better way to share the experience of wine with someone, through dazzling presentation and such precise detail. The museum prides itself on presenting itself to the largest audience, through its many acclaimed mediums it achieves just that. Accessible and thoughtful, fun and extraordinary. It’s everything from a wine lover’s dreams, and appealing to almost anyone with even the slightest inclination towards experiencing the human story. This is the kind of place that really makes us realize that wine, the culture that surrounds it and its story, is transcendent.
If you’ve enjoyed our tour through a mere 5 of the greatest wine museums in the world, consider sharing your thoughts. Have you visited a wine museum and if so where was it? There’s plenty to explore and as we know wine is so much more than a drink, it’s a story. Stay tuned for more adventure and fun.
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