Chinese authorities have agreed to fund construction of the 18,000-square-metre Beijing wine museum, named the ‘Musée Universel du Vin’ and set to open in 2021.
It is expected to cost around €60m (£51m, $66m) to build, said a spokesperson for the foundation behind Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin, which will be effectively twinned with the new museum and has helped to design it.
Lying in the Fangshan district around 40km from the Forbidden City, the Beijing museum will be the centrepiece of a bigger project to create an ‘international wine village’; a sort of wine theme park set to include organic vineyards, a spa hotel and restaurants.
Museum buildings have been drawn up to resemble the village of St-Emilion on Bordeaux’s Right Bank and the structure will be surrounded by vineyards.
Chinese businessman Weixing Tang, who is the president and founder of the international wine village, has also helped to lead the project.
It is hoped the Beijing museum will become the reference-point for wine lovers in the China, said the Foundation for Wine Culture and Civilisation, which is the organisation behind Bordeaux’s Cité du Vin.
Sylvie Cazes, the Foundation’s president, spoke of wine’s importance to world heritage. ‘It has shaped people’s lives and their surroundings for millennia. Our mission with the Musée Universel du Vin in Beijing is to share this great history with Chinese visitors.’
Some of the design teams who worked on Cité du Vin have also been consulted on the Beijing plans.
They include Scarabée, an agency that also worked on the Champagne Experience in Reims and Burgundy’s own ‘Cité des Vins’ in Beaune.
There will be a permanent exhibition space spanning 6,700 square metres, as well as an auditorium, a wine cellar, classroom space and a fine dining restaurant.
While wine from all over the world will be featured, the project will place special emphasis on Chinese and French wines.
Officials hope that the Beijing wine museum can attract 500,000 visitors in its first year.