The new wine museum that transforms the historic warehouse district of Porto


The first one came The City of Bordeaux Wine in 2016: a 10-storey wine temple on the banks of the Garonne. This year, Portugal did better; why have a city when you can have the world? After five years of development, and at a cost of € 105m (£ 95m), World of Wine (WoW) open in July in Porto, housed in 55,000 m² of restored Port wine cellars. It is one of the biggest tourism projects launched in Europe this year: six immersive museum experiences, five restaurants, plus bars, cafes, event and exhibition spaces, boutiques and, to top it off, a wine school offering one and several one-day courses focusing on Portuguese viticulture and gastronomy. There are also virtual tours of Portuguese wine production through the ages and a comprehensive guide to cork, another of the country’s main exports.

Located in Vila Nova de Gaia, the hub of the European wine industry since the 1700s, WoW revolves around a central open-air plaza with views of Porto’s terracotta rooftops and the Douro River. And, as in Bordeaux, this ambitious new opening hopes to offer the city a fresh new cultural district, and the company identifies itself in this way (the “New Cultural Quarter” of Porto). Scheduled to join WoW later this year is the Porto Fashion and Fabric Museum, housed in an 18ecentury building which includes a chapel designed by the famous Italian artist and architect Nicolau Nasoni, with restored frescoes.

Did you know? According to the World Factbook, Portugal was the world’s ninth largest exporter of wine in 2019, shipping for $ 920 million (£ 706.5 million). The UK was 10th, with exports totaling $ 837 million (£ 642.8 million).

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Jean H. Vannatta

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