Wine museums provide a strong counterargument to anyone who accuses a day at a museum of being “dry.” At these attractions, visitors can delve into thousands of years of winemaking history, learn about different winemaking regions and toast living history at onsite bars and tasting rooms.
From Australia to Austria, here are nine of the world’s best wine museums.
Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin
Opened in May 2022, the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin in Dijon, France, covers an area of 700,000 square feet.
Some of the highlights include the four-zone interactive exhibition space, where visitors can learn all about Burgundian wines and delve into the region’s Climat winegrowing plots.
From there, head to La Cave de la Cité, a three-level tasting area where you can try 3,000 different wines, including 250 by the glass. The venue also includes the Burgundy Wine School, where tastings take place in rooms with 360-degree video walls.
Elsewhere at the museum, there’s a street of gourmet shops and the La Table des Climats restaurant, which offers wine and food pairings.
World of Wine
Set in a cluster of converted Port wine cellars on the banks of the Douro River, the World of Wine (WOW) opened its doors to the public in the summer of 2020.
There are seven different museums at WOW. But some of the highlights include The Wine Experience, where you can learn about the drink’s history and production. There’s also The Pink Palace, an interactive museum that teaches visitors about rosé through a series of unconventional exhibits like a pink ball pool.
WOW is also home to 12 restaurants, bars and cafes. There’s also the Wine School, which hosts regular workshops and tasting sessions on everything from Portuguese bottles to how to pair wine with chocolate.
The Story of Wine
Franschhoek, South Africa
Located on the Babylonstoren Wine Estate in Franschhoek, South Africa, this museum opened in March 2022 to “celebrate mankind’s love affair with wine” reads the estate’s blog.
Visitors enter the museum through a giant twisted vine sculpture and once inside, they can learn about the cultivation of wines from around the world. Some exhibits are traditional, such as the corkscrew display. Others are more contemporary like the poetry area, where you can pull a barrel over your head and listen to poems inspired by wine in seven languages.
Elsewhere on the Babylonstoren estate, you can take part in guided wine cellar tours, explore eight acres of gardens and dine at two restaurants.
National Wine Centre of Australia
The museum’s Wine Discovery Journey is an interactive exhibition where visitors can delve into Australia’s 65 different wine regions and take part in hands-on activities like virtual blending. Guided tours are available here daily.