On Tuesday, May 31, 2016, the Cité du Vin hosted the President of the French Republic, Mr. Francois Holland; Mayor of the City of Bordeaux, Mr. Alain Juppé; Mr. Thomas Wolf from the United States Consulate; and His Royal Highness, Prince Robert of Luxembourg; among many dignitaries for its inauguration. Members of the American Friends of La Cité du Vin (AFCV) were also in attendance.
Mr. George P. Sape, President of AFCV, was honored to open the doors of the Thomas Jefferson Auditorium as he was one of the integral members responsible for a successful patronage campaign for the naming rights to the auditorium.
More than 1,000 guests in total, including the patrons of La Cité du Vin and 200 journalists and influencers, followed one another throughout the day. The program for the day included a guided tour of the permanent museum exhibition, visits to the Belvedere, the temporary exhibition and the reading room. The tour was followed by official speeches in the Thomas Jefferson auditorium, followed by the rise of the curtain on the inaugural plaque.
Sylvie Cazes, President of the Fondation Pour la Culture et les Civilizations du Vin, said, “Today is a culmination but above all a birth: thanks to the permanent course, but also to the many events and exhibitions that La Cité will offer, this new place will allow us to enhance, share and transmit the cultural, historical, intellectual and artistic dimensions of wine. “
Mr. François Hollande spoke about the symbolic cultural dimension of La Cité du Vin “If I am here (…) it is because it is a national and international event (…) La Cité du Vin is a success for France (…) La Cité du Vin is a very original, singular, unique facility (…). It is also a space for the transmission of knowledge, it is a tool available to all generations, but it is above all an emblem of excellence, and it is also a symbol of coming together. “
The arrival and departure of the guests was on river ships provided by Bordeaux River Cruise and Marco Polo. The day ended in style with a nice surprise: the first lighting of La Cité du Vin.