Bordeaux is known for its picturesque locales, and was recently declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The city is a popular tourist destination that hosts over 5 million visitors annually, and is packed with cafés and food trucks, making it a haven for foodies from around the globe. Every year, This famous city in France produces close to 900 million bottles of wine, more than any other city, firmly staking its claim as the wine capital of the world. And every two years, late in the month of June, the city plays host to thousands of wine aficionados who come from the world over to sample its wares in the now world-famous Bordeaux Wine Festival.
This year, the festival takes place between 14th and 17th of June, and is slated to be even larger in scale than its predecessors. Some of the experiences on offer include a wine trail along the Bordeaux quays, guided tours in the vineyards and wine tastings in the elegant châteaux. These are punctuated by daily art exhibitions, concerts, and firework displays as well as a world-class sound and light show each night.
One of the highlights of the festival is the multimedia spectacle dubbed Racines, which aims to set itself up as an extravaganza of mesmerising visuals and immersive audio. The event is spearheaded by a Belgium group called Dirty Monitor, which specializes in visual 3D mapping used in large-scale VFX shows for concerts and events. Designed to be an imaginary trip back in time to tell the story of Bordeaux, Racines plans to use the mammoth 200-meter long and 30-meter tall façade of the Palais de la Bourse by temporarily transforming it into a screen on which will be displayed visuals that are bound to hold your undivided attention for the duration of the show.
Wine lovers cannot pass up on the chance to go on the wine and discovery route—a two kilometre path through the heart of the city, which is set to be packed with wine-tasting workshops and gastronomic gourmet pavilions laden with a range of delicious savoury and sweet treats native to the land of Bordeaux. Don’t forget your wine tasting pass, which assures access to 13 different tastings, along with numerous other privileges. Besides this, the various restaurants and cafes are geared up to serve their signature dishes paired with some of the finest wines the country has to offer.
While the festival promises to be an event to remember, it also provides an excellent excuse to tour the now-transformed city of Bordeaux, the rehabilitation of which is historic at best. Like most heritage cities, Bordeaux is known for its wealth of historical monuments (Paris is the only other French city that can boast having more). However, before the year 1995, the city had earned the nickname Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty), with its abandoned warehouses and black-from-pollution limestone facades. Thanks to efforts from then mayor Alain Juppé, the city saw a massive restoration effort that transformed it into the beautiful masterpiece it is today.