The French city of Dijon is set to become an international hub for French wine and gastronomy thanks to a vast development opening in 2019. The site will be home to exhibition spaces, a four-star hotel and an education centre, with cookery courses from the renowned Ecole Ferrandi school.
After its initial announcement in February 2016, the Cité internationale de la gastronomie et du vin — or International Gastronomy Exhibition Centre — in the Eastern city of Dijon is starting to take shape, with key features of the development outlined March 21. The centre hopes to become a major focus of local life and will be fully integrated into its surroundings, thanks to a 540-home eco-neighbourhood and a 13-screen movie theatre also planned for the complex. A 4,500 square metres mall area will feature wine bars and four restaurants, as well as boutiques selling cookery, kitchenware and tableware items.
The development, located on the site of the city’s former General Hospital, hopes to provide a high-quality showcase for France’s renowned culinary culture. The project is reminiscent of the recently opened Cité du vin wine museum and cultural centre in Bordeaux, destined to become an international hot spot for wine lovers.
As the capital of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, Dijon is an ideally situated stop-off point for visitors touring the vineyards of Burgundy. French wine and gastronomy will be celebrated in various ways at this multifaceted complex. For example, the Bureau interprofessionnel des vins de Bourgogne (BIVB) wine school is due to run wine-related courses in the centre, and the renowned Parisian cookery school Ecole Ferrandi will be teaching cooking and pastry-making courses. Students will follow a five-month program, taught in English. Developers expect to welcome 110 international students per year in a specially designed 750 square metres training space.
Accessible by high-speed TGV train and by freeway, Dijon hopes to become a major tourist destination. To anticipate demand, the development integrates a 125-room four-star hotel located in historic buildings dating from the hospital’s extension in the 17th and 18th centuries. The hotel will have a restaurant, a spa and an outdoor pool.
Visitors will be able to explore French gastronomic culture via to a 1,700 square metres exhibition space hosting permanent and temporary exhibitions that celebrate “the gastronomic meal of the French”, as enshrined in UNESCO‘s cultural heritage. Local Burgundy wines will enjoy their own specific showcase in the former hospital chapel, where visitors can find out more about the characteristic wine-growing plots — or ‘climats’ — of the region’s vineyards.
The first sections of Dijon’s Cité de la gastronomie et du vin is scheduled for completion in 2019. One million visitors are expected each year.