The Worldwide vineyards

In its permanent exhibition, the Cité du Vin offers a world tour of vineyards by presenting 20 wine growing regions and 17 countries. To discover the world through its vineyards and its wines is the dream of every enotourist seeking knowledge about the cultures and civilisations of wine.

From the sunny vineyards in the south of Spain to the vineyards which cling to the face of the Andes Mountains or the Swiss Alps, thousands of magnificent landscapes offer themselves to the visitor. Each vineyard offers unique experiences and surprising encounters with the winegrowers who care deeply about sharing their culture, their experience, and their hopeful anticipation of the coming vintage… plus, of course, a gastronomy which is always best appreciated when paired with a glass of the local wine!

That is what Jean-Baptiste Ancelot did, he talks to us here of the maiden journey which took him through 92 countries to follow his passion.

Carte-vignobles-du-monde

Interview of Jean-Baptiste Ancelot, Founder of the Wine Explorers project

The first worldwide census of all wine-producing countries, his unprecedented voyage took him across 92 regions on the five continents.

How did this adventure come about?

J-B A: The project was born out of the frustration of seeing a certain number of vineyards described marvellously, essentially those in Europe, and all the others completely left off the viticultural map of the world. At least 92 countries make up the wine planet. The smallest is Zimbabwe, with a single estate of 12 hectares, but which is worth visiting. We decided to get off the beaten track and explore what wine means in the 21st century.

Jean-Baptiste Ancelot

4 years of travel, 1500 vineyards to visit, was it not repetitive?

J-B A: The only way to understand wine is to go and visit the growers and the terroirs. You need to go there to feel the climate, taste the grapes, meet the people and understand their approach. It is this environment, its influence on the product and even during tasting, that is the richness of this experience. We regularly send samples from all over the world back to Bordeaux, to create a great wine database.

Have you discovered many vineyards that flourish in extreme conditions?

J-B A: We were surprised to taste quality wine in Ethiopia, at an altitude of 2000 metres, to discover that some Nordic countries like Sweden and Denmark could produce white wines, that there is very good Barbera in New Mexico, and that Brazil and Belgium produce magnificent sparkling wines. What unites all these atypical vineyards is the permanent challenge, the sudden whim, and the human passion.