Burgundy's wine bureau has approved a project to build a network of wine tourism centres in the region, named the 'Cités des Vins de Bourgogne'.
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There will be three sites for the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne: one in Beaune, one in Mâcon; and one in Chablis. They are expected to be ready by 2020.
Burgundy’s wine bureau (BIVB) approved the plan by 72% in December 2016.
It follows the opening of Bordeaux’s 80 million euro wine theme park, the Cité du Vin, in June 2016, and shows how tourism is becoming more important to French wine regions.
Burgundy officials want to ‘encourage tourists to venture further than the Dijon-Beaune axis, and to explore the wider wine region, to stay for longer, and to return,’ the BIVB said.
It also aims to educate about the terroirs, the climats, varietals and winemaking practises of Burgundy, which gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015.
Guests will also be able to taste wines and purchase wine selection packs at each of the new centres.
While the Bordeaux Cité du Vin has information about wines across the world – and it has at least 70 Burgundy wines available to taste – the Cités des Vins de Bourgogne project is specific to Burgundy.
The Beaune site – which will be the largest of the three – will be part of a redevelopment of the area that includes a new five star hotel, a large reception hall, a shopping mall and two restaurants. It will also house the École des Vins de Bourgogne.
‘[This is] a project that will affect an entire generation,’ said Louis-Fabrice Latour, president of the BIVB.
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