Context and aims
A natural choice
The identity of the Bourgogne region is deeply linked to its tradition of wine production over millennia. The landscape we admire today has been shaped by the demands of the vines and the hard work of local men and women. The monuments and buildings found here are themselves a reflection of a society organized around winegrowing. And now, this part of France, known around the world for the wines it produces, is about to launch a major project, the creation of the Cité des Vins de Bourgogne. Better still, it is creating a whole network of Cité des Vins, key destinations for everyone and anyone seeking to discover and understand the infinite riches of this winegrowing region.
Visitors will discover all the aspects of the world of vines and wines in the Bourgogne winegrowing region, covering a range of themes including history, culture, appellations, and Climats. Although the soul of a winegrowing region can perhaps only really be captured in the atmosphere of a cellar or a stroll in the vines in the company of a winegrower, modern, vibrant sites like the Cité des Vins network are fully responding to the new demands of cultural tourism.
A raft of opportunities
The project for the Cité des Vins network in the Bourgogne winegrowing region is part of the overall development of wine tourism. The growing appeal of wine and winegrowing comes hand-in-hand with new demands from visitors, such as the desire for authenticity. We want to help visitors connect with reality, meet artisans and producers, discover their worlds, and taste pleasure at its source. But visitors are also attracted by major modern tourism structures offering immersive, interactive, and fun experiences.
In terms of authenticity, the Bourgogne winegrowing region is a dream destination. Its vineyards are home to a huge community that visitors can meet in just about every village. But the region is yet to have a highly visible site with impactful content to help promote it.
Wine, gastronomy, heritage, and ecotourism have always been key factors in the tourist industry in the Bourgogne winegrowing region. Moreover, finding out more about vines and wine is a primary motivation for visitors to the region, and the Cité des Vins project fits perfectly with the expectations of today’s tourist.
On 4 July 2015, the Climats of the Bourgogne winegrowing region were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To achieve this honor, candidate sites must demonstrate their “exceptional universal value”, in other words, a cultural import that goes beyond frontiers and generations, and deserves to be recognized on a global scale. This inscription on the World Heritage List is an unrivalled tool for boosting the profile of this destination. It will generate fresh interest for the Climats, which are the emblematic cornerstone of the Bourgogne model of winegrowing. It is now crucial to educate and explain what the Climats represent – a description that goes far beyond the geographical boundaries described by UNESCO.
The network of Cité des Vins sites in the Bourgogne winegrowing region will be the key places for visiting tourists who wish to deepen their knowledge of Bourgogne wines and get to grops with the notion of the Climats.
Over the last two decades, those involved in tourism and winegrowing in the Bourgogne region have been enhancing their tourism offers, becoming both more professional and more creative. From the north to the south of the region, the tourism offer has evolved considerably. There isn’t a single village in the region where visitors cannot find a wine cellar when they can discover the art of tasting, a quality restaurant, or a charming place to stay. And it is this regional dynamic that the Cité des Vins project aims to relay, promote, and strengthen. In Beaune, Chablis, and Mâcon, the Cité des Vins will be a showcase for the Bourgogne winegrowing region.
Moreover, at the same time as the Cité des Vins project is coming to fruition, our regional capital, Dijon, has become one of four French cities selected to be home to a Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie. Such a structure will provide Dijon – and the rest of the Bourgogne region – with exceptional visibility. It will also underline to the world the link between this region and the art of living well. And for the winegrowing industry, this context offers a wonderful opportunity.