Dijon’s Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin

On May 6th this year, the former Hôtel Dieu of Dijon, established in 1204, was renamed: Dijon’s Cité Internationale Centre for Gastronomy and Wine. It is one of the four centres (“cities”) of gastronomy in France and a development of the national project entitled ”Gastronomic Meals of the French”. French cuisine was registered as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2015. Dijon is the second to be built, after Lyon, which opened in autumn 2019.


Located in the heart of the historic city, a stone’s throw from the train station, and just one kilometer from the famous ”Route des Grands Cru” which crosses the vineyards of the Côte d’Or, the Cité de Dijon has the particularity of being dedicated to French gastronomy but also to wines. On entering the building, one immediately notices the branch of the Burgundy wine school run by B.I.V.B. One can follow the various courses in French as well as in English. In addition, in the Sainte-Croix de Jérusalem chapel, a magnificent building built in 1459, you can learn all about the ”Climats du vignoble de Bourgogne” (Burgundy single vineyards), which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.

The Burgundians are very chauvinistic, but they absolutely respect the wines from other regions of France and the whole world! In the cellar of the Cité we can discover about 3.000 references. Burgundy wines, on the other hand, have only 1,000.
The cellar offers visitors a personalised tasting of 250 different wines, served by the glass at any time of the day. For the great lovers of Burgundy wines, don’t worry; if you go down to the basement, accompanied by a specialist, you will discover an Alibaba cave with all the Grands Crus and the leading producers of this beautiful region.

The Cité is a real living village. On its 6.5 hectares of land, beautiful buildings have been erected and old buildings restored, allon a surface of 1,750 m2. These buildings are composed of exhibition rooms, culinary and wine schools. They also houseoffices (OIV left Paris to move in), the tourist office, 9 cinema rooms, accommodation, themed and gastronomic shops, 4 restaurants (including one designed by Eric Pras, the chef of Lameloise, three stars in the Michelin guide), as well as a luxury hotel (Curio by Hilton, scheduled to open in 2023) You can walk around free of charge and also visit two pavilions dedicated to the city of Dijon and the Bourgogne Franche Comté region, as well as some workshops on cassis, the famous blackcurrant liqueur, for example. It should be noted that tastings, educational classes, workshops and the three exhibitions have a fee. To inaugurate the Cité, the exhibition ”La pâtisserie, c’est pas du gâteau” (roughly translated as “Pastry is not easy”), under the direction of Pierre Hermé, is the focus of the first temporary exhibition.

The visit is estimated to last about two hours, but if you want to enjoy it to the full, you can spend a whole day there! It’s a great place to understand wines, especially Burgundy wines, before stepping into the vineyards and down into the cellars.

by Yukiko Kumata


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