While visiting and touring vineyards is a classic and fun way to spend time, where do wine thrill seekers or those seeking more wine knowledge go for a good time? They go to wine amusement parks and wine museums, of course. Wine museums not only educate us, they take us back in time so that we can experience the traditions and culture that have shaped wine and the wine industry into what it is today. From the state of the art exhibits at La Cite du Vin in France to the historic home wine brewing equipment in the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum in Paris Arkansas, we know there’s a wine attraction for everyone.
La Cite du Vin
The City of Wine, located on the banks of the Garonne River in the Bassins à Flot district in Bordeaux, France is a wine lover's paradise. This museum/wine park, features screenings and classes in a 250 seat auditorium, boat rides, restaurants, wine tastings galore and an incredible 10 story museum dedicated to all things wine. It’s a 5 and a half hour drive from Paris, through one of the most scenic and historic wine regions on the planet.
The museum features a permanent exhibit celebrating and exploring the history of wine and has an additional 20 themed areas and exhibits. Visitors can enjoy expert led tastings as well as a multi-sensory tasting experience that features 3-d images and wafting aromas. The space is as much to look at as it is to explore and enjoy; the building was designed to resemble the fall of wine being poured into a flute glass and is made with pale yellow glass, aluminum and gold.
Iziko Museum at Groot Constantia
One of the oldest wine farms in South Africa, Groot Constantia dates back to 1685, when the it was founded by Simon van der Stel. Located in the lush, Constantia Valley Groot Constantia lets visitors learn and experience what life on a Cape vineyard was like during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The Orientation Center features archaeological displays that take visitors on a tour from the past to present with historic photos and artifacts.
On this fully operational vineyard and farm, you can tour the museum, historical wine cellar and tour the 330-year old homestead and manor, which is full of furniture, textiles, paintings, wine storage and drinking vessels from the 18th to 19th century. In addition to the historical parts of the farm, you will also enjoy a tour of the modern wine making facility and of course wine talks and tastings.
Napa Valley Wine Museum
Located in Northern California in downtown Yountville, between Napa and St. Helena, this museum brings together art, wine history, cultural and community influences like no other museum. They offer exhibits and educational programs that explores the connection between the land, the vine, the culture and history of this notoriously artistic and creative wine region. Exhibits at the museum explore the geological features of the region that make it one of the World's most celebrated wine regions as well as the history of the region, from the time of Native American settlement, and looks at how the contribution of settlers influenced and contributed to the Northern California wine industry.
The Wine Museum allows the visitors to get to know the wine culture praxis and wine making by means of its monographic building, an interactive and educational method of understanding wine.
Museo del Vino Valdepenas
Located in the ancient winery Leocadio Morales in the heart of Castilla-La Mancha, south of Madrid, Spain, this museum explores the tradition and history of the wines of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) "Valdepeñas". With 6 different exhibits, each features separate aspects of wine making in the region; visitors can learn about every specific part of the wine making process in depth. The exhibits highlight history, geology/geography of the region, culture, folklore, and modern wine marketing. As well as the exhibits, visitors can tour the ancient winery and the modern facilities, peruse books in the library and taste the phenomenal wines of the region.
Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum
Located on the Island of Santorini, Greece, this incredible wine museum is in an underground cave. Part of the Koutsoyannopoulos Winery, founded in 1870 by the brothers Grigoris and Dimitris Koutsoyannopoulos, the museum is part of a fully operational winery. The exhibits in the museum are presented in a time-line, making it possible for visitors to literally walk through time and see the stages of wine grape growing from ploughing and pruning to stomping and wine making. The exhibits include historical artifacts and equipment that was once used in the winery. After the historical tour, visitors can sip their way back to the future with wines produced by the vineyard today in their state of the art tasting room.
Arkansas Historic Wine Museum
Located in the town of Paris, Arkansas, the Arkansas Historic Wine Museum, explores the history of wine making throughout the state from the time of the first settlers and celebrates the work of Professor Joseph Bachman who received international acclaim for his work in propagating grapes. The museum features artifacts from both home wine makers as well as commercial vineyards and gives visitors a chance to see what winemaking was like for the pioneers as they view handmade barrels, winepresses, pumps and filters, fermentations tanks and diaries of wine makers. At this museum, you’ll be able to see how the whole process of winemaking from grape to bottle was done before modern advancements.
Take a venture to these wine museums and explore wine history and new advancements.