Wine theme park opens in France (cheers to that!)

Wine theme park opens in France

Get ready for all your prayers to be answered at once - France is opening a wine theme park.

Yep, the shrine to wine - officially called La Cité du Vin - opens its doors on 1 June and is located on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux.

See also: New £200m Calais theme park plans spark row

See also: Theme park 'bans screaming' on new rollercoaster

The 14,000 m2 building, designed by the architects Nicolas Desmazieres and Anouk Legendre, is a sort of museum-meets-theme-park with three tasting areas and a panoramic restaurant on the seventh floor.

There's also workshops, a 250-seater auditorium for performance, concerts, screenings, conferences and debates, and 19 different themed spaces, most of which are interactive, reports CNBC.

The construction is the first of its kind, and took seven years to complete at a cost of 81 million euros.

The City of Wine will also offer tours to the famous wine-growing regions in Bordeaux, visiting beautiful vineyards with, of course, tastings along the way.

The Metro reports that, while there's no roller coasters, there's also a boat ride that "mimics a wine merchant's journey around the world".

Bags packed already? We don't blame you.

Ten fabulous wine holidays
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Wine theme park opens in France (cheers to that!)

Got just a few nights to spare for a boozy break? Grape Escapes offers a flexible long weekend in Portugal for mid-week and weekend holidays from March to November. Stay in Portugal's northern capital Oporto and visit two prestigious wine lodges, cruise the Douro river, enjoy a gala dinner and have a traditional food and wine tasting lunch. In addition, you choose from a tour or tastings at a Vinho Verde winery or a winery in the Douro region. From £279 per person excluding flights. 

New for 2013 from BKWine is a wine and food tour in South Africa. Sarting in Cape Town and taking in classic wine regions Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, you also explore up-and-coming spots Durbanville, Wellington and Swartland. There are also in-depth tastings of the local gastronomy and trips to see attractions like  Table Mountain and Cape Point's wildlife. Add an extra two days to your holiday for a luxury safari at a private game reserve. An eight-night tour is from 1 to 11 March 2013 starts from 2,650 euros. 

The aptly named Vineyard Hotel at Stockcross is a sanctuary for food and wine lovers in the Berkshire countryside. Owner Sir Peter Michael has a winery in Northern California, rated by wine aficionados as being one of the greatest wine estates in the world. A new wine list features 100 fine wines and a taster menu. The Vineyard has also revealed a dazzling new wine vault made of crystal-clear glass encased into the walls and a new glass floor providing a voyeuristic glance into the extensive wine cellar. There are exclusive wine rejuvenation treatments at the spa, which use natural grape-based products known for their anti-ageing properties. Rooms from £125 per person. 

A luxurious wine break in Napa Valley is hard to top. Quintessentially Wine offers a California Wine Tasting Tour in this famous American wine region which pulls out all the stops: you'll be collected from the airport by a chauffeur driven car, stay at the plush Carneros Inn (which is surrounded by vineyards) and take a number of exclusive wine tours of including Plump Jack Vineyard, Auberge de Soleil and Cake Bread cellars. Try up to six current vintages and UK wine expert Matthew Jukes will guide you through the experience. From £880 per person.

Spend a week in Bulgaria visiting the country's significant historical attractions and popular wine regions and wineries. Balkan Holidays has launched Bulgarian Wine Tours for 2013 taking in Nessebar, the Kazanlak region and Plovdiv in May, June and September. You'll visit the Royal Cellar in Banya, dine and stay at the Wine Palace hotel and enjoy tasting local wines. There is also a visit to the House of Wine, which has a selection of the best Bulgarian wines including Melnik and Gamza, plus an afternoon at the Haskovo winery where southern Bulgarian wines are produced. The tour is by coach and starts from £905 per person including flights. 

If you like your champers, why not spend a sparkling long weekend in Champagne, France. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Arblaster & Clarke is holding a weekend party where you can taste wines from ten top champagne houses including Billecart-Salmon, Bollinger, Taittinger and Cattier at a private champagne festival in the medieval meeting rooms of the Counts of Champagne in Reims. There will also be a gourmet dinner and a lunch in the champagne cellars of Vilmart. The weekend takes place between 23 and 25 November 2012 and costs £899 per person. 

Like New World wines? Head to South America for winery visits, city tours and foodie experiences. BKWine's new Chile & Argentina holiday launches in 2013 taking in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, the Pampas, Santiago de Chile and Valparaiso. In addition to exploring the wine and food of the countries, you'll dance tango in Buenos Aires, go on a road trip over the Andes Mountains and enjoy genuine asado barbecues with the famous Argentinean meat. The 13-night tour takes place from 4 to 9 February 2013 and includes 20 winery visits and plenty of gourmet meals. From 4,330 euros per person. 

Go on a scenic drive and indulge in unforgettable wine and food experiences on the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. The 240-mile route is signposted and links three of New Zealand's leading wine regions, Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington, with seven farmers markets, over 230 wineries (100 have a cellar door open to visitors) and events throughout the year, like Martinborough's Toast Martin in November. Download the trail map for free from

Imagine being stuck on a ship with a true wine connoisseur and a vast array of wine. Well, with Celebrity Cruises you can do just that. The company has teamed up with London wine spot Vinopolis to create a fabulous cruise taking in the renowned landscapes of France, Portugal and Spain. With more than 350 selections of wines on board the ship, there are expert-led sessions and masterclasses including a cheese and wine pairing, and you can book a place on a Bordeaux excursion to sample delicate regional wines and enjoy a gourmet lunch. The Vinopolis cruise with Oz Clarke leaves on 13 October 2012 from Southampton and starts from £849 per person for 12 nights' accommodation, meals and wine events. The Bordeaux excursion costs an additional £149 per person. 

Explore the diverse wine-making history of Sicily with Sunvil's new Sicily Wine Trail and you'll be transported back through the centuries over eight nights, staying at four different wine estates and taking cookery courses and tours. The best time to go on this self-drive tour is between September and November, during the vine harvesting season. From £859 per person including flights, eight nights' accommodation at four wine estates and car hire. 


2000 Bordeaux Wine Tasting
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