The wine region of Bordeaux, long willfully fusty, is in the midst of a modern tourist boom. Last year saw the opening of the swirling aluminum-and-glass La Cité du Vin, a spectacular high-tech museum devoted to wine and culture. And this July brought a two-hour high-speed train link from Paris.
Now you’ll want to venture beyond town for the real fun: The appellation’s celebrated wine châteaux, whose doors were long shut to tourists, have unveiled dazzling wineries designed by big-name architects. And more than a dozen of them, including billionaire-owned Château Cos d’Estournel, have begun welcoming wine lovers for lunch, dinner, and even overnight stays in opulent rooms overlooking the vines.
In the city of Bordeaux proper, beautiful 18th century buildings have shed their soot to stand gleaming once again as part of a renewal project that helped the municipality gain Unesco World Heritage status in 2007. Jazzy wine bars and inventive chefs have swept in since, upending decades of heavy cuisine doused in buttery sauces. [ . . . ]