Pure Gould on Vinopolis closure

09 March, 2015

I must say it was something of a highlight when Bombay Sapphire climbed on board the Vinopolis bandwagon and the Blue Room was subsequently opened. As a result, gin-based cocktails became the order of the day, which is right up my street. 

But it was not difficult to understand Bombay’s strategy – a London Dry Gin needed to be at the heart of London and Vinopolis, with its ideal location, fitted the bill. Furthermore, at the time the big gin producers were leaving London for cheaper options outside the capital.

By 2012 – the London Olympic Year – it was time for a “multi-million pound” refurbishment. The revamp included a new ‘winery’ which formed the core of the educational zone, where visitors were “encouraged” to browse through interactive screens to explore the different techniques and be taken on a journey from grape to bottle. 

A new geography zone was also unveiled, which demonstrated the impact the weather has on flavours and grape varieties and showed visitors how to understand what to expect from wine in different climates.  

But clearly these ongoing add-ons have not been enough to keep this London-based wine attraction afloat. I for one think it’s a miracle it lasted as long as it did – 15 years is no mean feat at all. 

And, if it came to a vote between Vinopolis or a retail park, I would certainly go for Vinopolis – provided, that is, I don’t have to have lunch there. However as one pundit said: “The only obvious solution is for Waitrose to move in” – well now you’re talking...

Keywords: Vinopolis

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