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Bordeaux goes beyond borders

THE history and culture of Bordeaux, including its famed wines, will be showcased at the World Expo 2010 Shanghai when the city holds a monthlong exhibition in the France Pavilion later in the year.

The 300-square-meter Bordeaux Exhibition will run from September 5 to 30 on the second floor of the pavilion and features wine-appreciation classes and wine-tastings with experts from the region.

A cooperative effort between the Bordeaux Wine Council and Bordeaux City Hall, the exhibition will be launched by Mayor Alain Juppe, the former French prime minister.

"We are delighted to bring this unique Bordeaux exhibition to Shanghai and invite everyone on a sensory journey through our beautiful and historical UNESCO world heritage city, which has recently undergone a deep and spectacular metamorphosis," Juppe says.

"Here, life is art, good friends and wine."

The creative inspiration for the Bordeaux exhibition sprang from the France Pavilion's theme "Sensual City" - a place where the five senses are celebrated.

Visitors will embark on a sensory journey, experiencing one of Europe's 18th-century architectural treasures and its scenic grape-growing areas.

The city's stunning architecture that garnered Bordeaux a UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2007 will also be shown on floor-to-ceiling screens encircling the exhibition.

The centerpiece will be a showcase of wines from a wide range of Bordeaux's 60 appellations.

Not only will visitors be able to taste wines from the region, but they will also get a sense of the rich culture, technology and heritage of a city steeped in the tradition of wine-making.

Bordeaux Wine Council President Alain Vironneau says the exhibition will also offer a chance to reach Chinese consumers who are increasingly enjoying wines from the region.

"Fifteen years ago almost no one was drinking wine in China," Vironneau says. "But today China has surpassed the United States and become the most important non-EU importing country by volume for Bordeaux wines with a turnover of 74 million euros (US$92.5 million)."

Bordeaux Wine Council Director of Marketing Asia Thomas Jullien says while premium Bordeaux wines have gained a reputation in China, the exhibition also will introduce consumers to wines from a range of prices.

"There are a range of good-quality great value wines from Bordeaux in the price range of 100 yuan (US$14.60) to 300 yuan," he says.

"We want to showcase a whole assortment of wines from entry-level to mid-range to some premium classified growth as well."


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