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Be The Grape
Be The Grape
A museum in Austria takes the wine experience to a new level.
Have you ever imagined you were a grape in a vineyard, waiting to be made into wine? We hadn't either until last week, when we visited Austria. There we found the Loisium, a gorgeous, slightly trippy wine museum--that happens to be one of the coolest museums, of any kind, that we've ever visited. It's a museum that provides a rare look at the artistic--as well as the avant-garde--sides of the wine world, one that merits a special trip.
In addition to being a museum, the Loisium is a working winery that offers education and experience involving all five senses. The best exhibit is a simulated journey of a grape from the vineyard to the bottle--with you as the grape. You start in the vineyards surrounding the Loisium and, from there, you're picked, pressed and poured into tanks to await bottling. The pressing and pouring stages of the installation boast a light show that rivals a Lady Gaga concert and water effects that would impress Shamu.
Interactive art installations throughout the 900-year-old cellars, bottles of Grüner Veltliner from the 1930s and a glimpse into sparkling wine production are welcome, extra touches. The visitors' center, an aluminum cube, is a work of art in itself, designed by the U.S. architect Steven Holl.
A perfect blend of history, modernity and nature, the Loisium is not to be missed. It's a perfect way to discover the Lower Austria wine region--but gain a better understanding and higher appreciation of wine in general, all while being thoroughly entertained.
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