The Universal Wine Museum, a mammoth project between Cité du Vin de Bordeaux and China, is expected to open its doors in Beijing in 2024.
The museum spanning 18,000 m² will be the second largest wine museum in the world upon completion. Designed specifically for the Chinese public, the museum will not be a simple “replica” of its Bordeaux prototype, says up Philippe Massol, General Manager of Cité du Vin, but “adapted for Chinese culture”.
“The two establishments are gateways to discovering that wine is a cultural product, but it won’t be a copy-paste. Rather another approach, adapted to Chinese culture,” explains Massol.
One of the adjustments it has made, according to the museum general manager is its less technical, more straightforward guided routes. The layout and design of the museum, created by Ateliers Adeline Rispal will be less technical and easier to access, in accordance with Chinese visitors’ viewing habits.
The ambitious wine project will be unveiled amid China’s growing interest for French wines particularly after the de facto exit of Australian wines. Demand for premium French wines led by Bordeaux and Burgundy is fueling the country’s high-end wine consumption despite the country’s dwindling wine imports.
According to the museum,3500 m² space will be dedicated to permanent exhibitions under five themes, which are “from vine to the wine”, “history of wine”, “wine in the world”, “wines and essences” and “the art of living wines”.
It will also feature a vast space for wine tasting and retail, with over 1000 references from around the world. The museum will also include a 450-seat auditorium for wine lectures and education.
In addition, visitors will have a chance to experience the adjacent and surrounding vineyards in Beijing, which is one of the biggest wine producing regions in China.
Located in Fangshan district, to the southwest of downtown Beijing, the design’s inspiration came from the historic Saint Emilion village, according to its architecture.
The project was invested by a Chinese investor called Weixing Tang, a Francophile and wine lover, who wanted to develop cultural exchange including wine between China and France.
First started in 2018, the project like many others was delayed by the pandemic, but construction resumed and is expected to finish in December 2023 before it officially opens doors to the public in 2024.