Disneyland, Disneyworld, Universal Studios, Six Flags, Legoland, etc… what do they all have in common? They are theme parks geared towards fun and family-friendly rides, attractions and various forms of entertainment.
So… what does this have to with wine, you might ask? Believe it or not, there are also wine-themed theme parks. Though any wine-tasting experiences are for adults only, each of these attractions is family-friendly, with something for everyone! Read on to learn more about three wine “theme parks,” located in France and in China.
La Cité du Vin
Most recenty, La Cité du Vin (The City of Wine), opened in June of 2016, boasting a huge 3.3 acre, $92 million development. This one-of-a-kind experience is filled with museum-like seasonal and rotating exhibits, with over 270,000 paying visitors since its opening. The permanent tour takes around 2-3 hours, and is a self-exploration into the many aspects of wine. The visual design of the 19 permanent exhibits showcases the latest in technology innovations, with polysensory experiences that utilize not only sight, but smell and taste as well.
There is also a rotating temporary exhibition based on a new theme each year, as well as a featured wine region for visitors to learn about. There are oenocultural workshops for visitors to enjoy, such as the 360 multi-sensory experience A Glass of Wine in the Markets of the World. Of course, you can’t have a wine city without wine, and there is a restaurant, wine bar/cellar and boutique for guests to enjoy.
Hameau Duboeuf is known for being the first wine theme part, which was founded in 1993 by Georges Duboeuf, the famed Beaujolais wine producer. Located in the Beaujolais region of France, the site map resembles that of an entertainment theme park, now with over seven acres and four separated themed locations within. This attraction has more than enough to keep a visitor busy for several hours, from museum exhibits and outdoor attractions, to 3D theater animations and interactive automatons.
The multisensory experience here begins in the vineyards, where visitors can take a ride and smell their way through the grapevines. A train tours visitors to the wine cellar, where you can learn about the winemaking process in the wine cellars. The museum exhibits onsite exposes visitors to thousands of objects throughout winemaking history. In the 3D theater, visitors can virtually experience flying over the wine regions of southern Rhone.
Chateau Changyu Rena
With the surge of wine consumption in recent years, there have been increasing wineries and vineyards popping up in the rural areas of China. Now, China also has a wine theme park of its own, located in Xi’an, in the Shanxi province. Opened in 2013, Chateau Changyu Rena is a ~$90 million development comprising a partnership with Changyu Pioneer Wine Company and the Verna Family from Italy. The site is inspired by Italian-style chateau, or castles, providing a multitude of interactive exhibits and attractions that cater to multisensory experiences. Chateau Changyu Rena is one of several Changyu Pioneer Wine Co.’s chateaus located in various locations throughout China.
Along with the elaborate castles onsite, there are other outdoor attractions and innovative attractions. There is a “Dark Ride-Cellar Adventure,” which simulates a railcar going through a cellar adventure, while being exposed to multisensory experiences using visual, olfactory and tactile effects to entertain the audience. In addition, there is a 4D-ring screen theater showing the film “Legend of Winemaking,” which takes viewers through the process of fermentation. What makes this theater unique is the 4D experience, which uses sensory effects to give viewers a virtual and multisensory experience similar to virtual rides you would see at Disneyland or Universal Studios.
Looks like there’s something for everyone all around the world, even in the world of wine. Hope to see you at one of these attractions in the future!
Until next month, Cheers~!