I'm not a huge drinker but occasionally I like a nice glass of wine with a meal, especially if I'm eating out at a fancy restaurant. After eating in a nice hotel and being recommended a £9 glass of wine (I didn't realise until the bill) I decided that I wanted to learn more about wine so that this wouldn't happen again and because a night of wine tasting sounded fun!
Being the flakey person that I am, there is always the chance that I will spend lots of money on something to decide a week later than I'm not interested anymore so for this reason decided that a wine tasting course was probably not the best option. I've heard lots of people talk about Vinopolis, a wine tasting experience down near London Bridge so decided to look into it as a taster.
=== Booking Vinopolis ===
I always book online if I'm given the chance as it's much easier than in person or holding on the telephone and it's often cheaper. This is certainly the case with Vinopolis as there is also the option of buying an off peak ticket online which is £5 cheaper than the regular price (the only restriction is that you can't use it on a Saturday). There are four main wine tasting tours available which all include
- "how to taste wine" session
- 6 wine tastings of your choice
- a Bombay Sapphire cocktail
- a tasting notebook to write down any comments.
"Vinopolis Grapevine" £26 (£21 off peak): the basic tour including all of the above.
"Vinopolis Vineyard" £31 (£26 off peak): all of the above plus three extra premium wine tastings.
"Spirit of Vinopolis" £33.50 (£28.50 off peak): all of the above plus two rum tastings, two beer tastings, two whisky tastings and two absinthe tastings.
"Vinopolis Celebration" £38.50 (£33.50 off peak): all of the above plus three extra premium wine tastings, two whisky tastings, two beer tastings and three Champagne tastings.
=== Our experience at Vinopolis ===
As complete novices to the art of wine tasting we decided on the basic Vinopolis Grapevine tour as we knew we would have the option to purchase further wine tasting vouchers on the night. I booked us in for 6.00 p.m. on a Thursday night after work so we turned up on time and walked in to the reception where we handed in our booking form in and were each given a tasting notebook. We were then handed a piece of card which contained our vouchers, including 6 wine tasting tokens, a 'how to taste wine session and free Bombay Sapphire cocktail. The receptionist pointed us towards the very quiet entrance where we could wait for the 'how to taste wine' session with one of their experts. I thought it was a little strange that there didn't seem to be many people around but 6.00 p.m. is possibly quite early for drinking!
As we waited for our tasting session we were able to take in many of the signs and charts around us containing information on the origins of different wines and the countries in which they were produced. There were around six people waiting and as the group ahead finished they immediately ushered us through for our own session. We were given a small glass of white wine as we entered the small theatre type area which in fact was around 6 large steps with cushions to sit on! Our wine tasting expert was very camp and over the top as he took a glass of the same wine and proceeded to talk to us about the colour, smell and taste of the wine. We must have looked hilarious sticking our noses right into the glass and slurping it between our teeth to really take in the aroma and taste. Apparently you need to take a huge sniff with your nose right in to be able to identify wines and to take in the taste fully an unpleasant slurpy noise as you suck the wine between your teeth is necessary! I can just see myself doing that in a nice restaurant next time I'm asked to taste the wine!
From there we made our way into the main wine tasting area which is divided by sections which represent the main wine producing regions of the world. Within these rooms the wines are divided by country and there is a description alongside every wine describing where it comes from, the grapes used to produce it, the year and alcohol volume. The wine tables are set up like a bar with a waiter for each section to advise on wines, answer any questions and pour any that you would like to taste. As I have little to no knowledge of wine other than I order the standard "house white, please" I took the opportunity to ask a few questions and to ask for advice on which to taste. The first table I went to was one of the quieter ones with fewer people stood round where I was recommended an easy drinking Greek wine. It was quite average so I decided that the others in the room probably knew that Greek wine wasn't the best! I wandered into 'Brazil' where I told the bar man that my favourite wine was sparkling wine. He gave me a sparkling Chardonnay which was much nicer than the first but still nothing special. The next wine, an Argentinean Sauvignon Blanc 'Trapiche Broquel Torrontes 2009' was my favourite of the evening ( according to my tasting book I gave it 9 out of 10!)
The amount of wine served per tasting varied depending on the bar person but they were all decent sizes. I started to feel drunk after my third and the notes in my book get slightly less legible and also more brief after this point. There is absolutely no way that I could have tried more than six and my earlier ideas of purchasing more vouchers possibly for the Champagne section were quickly abandoned! Vinopolis was much busier by 7.00-8.00 p.m. and I felt there was much less opportunity to speak to the experts about the wines and instead spent more time waiting to be served while others were choosing their next wines.
When we had finished with our tasting it was time for our Bombay Sapphire cocktail in 'Bar Blue' which is conveniently located at the end of the wine tasting area. The bar was very quiet with only two other people in there, but it meant that we could go straight to the bar to choose from one of three cocktails and watch them being made. It was a nice touch at the end of the experience to sit in the bar which had bright blue and white lights - it looked like an ice bar.
=== Special Experiences at Vinopolis ===
Vinopolis would be an amazing place to host a party or go with a huge group and they are very well geared up for this sort of occasion. They offer many different deals for hen parties which are good value starting at £30 per person. The '''Vinopolis Hen Party''' package includes a Prosecco reception for all guests on arrival, a private 'how to taste wine' session, 5 wine tasting vouchers each with an extra blind tasting for the bride-to-be. Also included is a cocktail making session with a Vinopolis cocktail expert and the bride-to-be will receive Suzy Atkins' 'Girls Guide to Wine' as a memento. The experience lasts around 1.5 hours with half of that time accompanied by a wine expert. There is also the option of taking the hen party one step further with a 'Butler in the Buff' during the reception or adding beauty treats to the experience.
Vinopolis also offer celebrity wine tasting experiences including a yearly session with Oz Clarke. For £59 per person you can meet one of the world's leading wine tasting experts (or at least one of the most famous) as he focuses on of the wines he identifies in his top 250 wines for 2011 (I have the book!). His session educates everyone from novices to wine enthusiasts how to tell apart wines by appearance, smell and taste. Oz Clarke also runs a VIP session where he answers questions from the audience and all attendees will leave with an autographed signed copy of his book. The VIP session costs £99 per person.
=== Eating at Vinopolis ===
Vinopolis offer several dining experiences for guests, although I had a reservation at another restaurant later that evening so was unable to take advantage. The Cantina Vinopolis is an award winning restaurant which serves modern dishes with a Mediterranean influence. The food is quite pricey with a la carte starters around £7.95 each and mains from £11.50 to £22.50 with most towards the upper end. Their daily set menu is better value with two courses for £24.95 and three courses £29.95 per person.
Vinopolis also has two bar-restaurants in Brew Wharf and Wine Wharf which serve a huge selection of beer and wines as well as their own extensive menus. One of the offers at Vinopolis at the moment is "Tour and Tapas" where you can break up your wine-tasting experience with a tapas meal. This offer starts at £40 per person with the food served at Wine Wharf. I should also add that both Beer Wharf and Wine Wharf are a few minutes walk from Vinopolis close to Borough Market.
=== Location and details ===
Under a former railway Viaduct near London Bridge, Vinopolis is within easy access of most of London and its major train stations. London Bridge rail and underground station is only five minutes walk away from Vinopolis with Southwark, Borough, Cannon Street, Mansion House, Monument and Bank tube stations also within walking distance. Located on the south bank of the river Thames, Vinopolis is close to many of London's big attractions including Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, The Golden Hindle, London Dungeons and many restaurants and pubs which makes it one of the most vibrant areas of the city. I find that the South Bank is the perfect place to spend the evening in London. I often meet friends for a meal in one of the restaurants and have a drink in one of the pubs along the waterfront so Vinopolis is a great location for a fun night out.
Address: 1 Bank End, City of London, SE1 9BU
Tel: 020 7940 3000
=== Was it any good ===
Vinopolis by far exceeded my expectations. I assumed it would be a more interactive experience like a museum with more information to look at and activities to encourage participation but instead I found it more like an interesting bar which was more to our tastes! It was great to go early before it got busy as it meant that we were able to ask more questions of the bar staff and experts, but next time I think it would be fun to go later with a large group of friends to make it into a fun night out. I had a fantastic time and I came away with a desire to further my knowledge of wines, but am not sure that I'm more of an expert for the experience. I would recommend Vinopolis to anyone over the age of 18 but only as a fun evening out and a taster to wine testing. Anyone who really wants to further their knowledge of wines and alcohol would benefit more from a wine tasting course or a vineyard tour.
A visit to Vinopolis can be expensive, but a couple of weeks after our evening there I got an email offering 2 for 1 for my next visit. I believe offers like this come up regularly so it's worth looking out for them if you are interested!
As well as rude staff the whole tour seemed as if it had been pushed to the wayside to cater more for corporate do's where people are only there for free booze rather than for wine-lovers who are there for an informative and fun day. Audio guides were not offered, we received a roll of the eyes when asked to put our coats in and I have never met a team of staff so intent on making you feel unwelcome. I first went to Vinopolis around 6-7 years ago, where it really was a 'tour' instead of two big rooms and sponsored areas - although the gin cocktail was very good. At that time and until 3 days ago I would have recommended Vinopolis to everyone, now I will recommend not to bother and have a walk along the South Bank instead.
My view of Vinopolis, is it was dirty badly managed and the staff were rude and unhelpful and for £17.50 I expected more, we basically brought a glass and a half for this amount. I practically had to beg for an audio guide and was told by the coat attendant to go to another cloakroom when we found it there was nobody there to take our coats so we had to queue up again. In the ladies two doors were broken and they did not have any soap. They suggested you listen to the audio guide whilst the television screen was blasting at you! I would not recommend a visit and I certainly would not be going back.
If youre serious about wine, wine tasting, interested in its background and keen learn more this is a great place to visit.
If youre serious about wine and interested drinking it, this is a great place to visit.
Dont be shy; treat yourself to the Ultimate Vinopolis ticket, £20. This ticket includes a self guided tour, a short How to Taste Wine session, 10 taster tickets, 4 Premium Wine taster tickets, 1 taster ticket for a Bombay Sapphire cocktail in the Bombay Sapphire Experience and 2 Absinth taster tickets.
Ok not all of the wines are great, some of them arent even good but its about the experience. If youre a wine snob you might be disappointed, if you just quite like wine youll have fun and probably learn something about wine other than it gives you a headache the next day.
The 20 minute How to taste wine introduction sets you up from the start with all good intentions of smelling, swirling and swilling. You can spit if you want but Ha! no one does.
As you continue on through exhibits about the origins and culture of wine you will learn about the wine making process, storage and history. Presentation is a little random but the information provided is easy to read and avoids lengthy jargon. The exhibits are often a bit of fun too, like the Ride a Vespa tour of Italy. Not a ride as such, you sit on a Vespa while Italian scenery is projected onto the visor.
When you reach Tasting table 1, you can taste wines from the regions you have read about along the way. Here you can now practice those new wine tasting skills and feel like youre learning something.
The Premium wine table does have some nice wines or they did the day I went and I understand they change daily. You may have by now an idea of what wine tastes you like, the helpful and informed staff will help you find wines suited to your tastes. The staff are not stingy with the tasting measures so be warned.
Before you reach tasting table 2 you can take a change from the wine and have your Bombay Sapphire experience. Here you will learn about what goes into making this gin and you can sample a Bombay Sapphire cocktail prepared by a professional Mixologist (what a great job title). Again not a stingy measure of gin.
Table 2 had a wide selection of wines, too wide for my then reduced attention span. It is definantly worth asking the staff for guidance here.
Table 3 offers a selection of wines from Thailand, China and India. Some of these really are an acquired taste and you may be advised to Imagine you are eating a Thai/ Chinese meal.
So on to the final table for your 2 shots of Absinth. Absinth is very strong, 68% and here it will not be served straight from the bottle because apparently you could pass out. Instead it is prepared in the traditional way with water and sugar.
This tour took approximately 4 hours at a nice relaxed pace and was time and money well spent as it proved educational and very enjoyable. Go with a friend and choose different wines so you can taste each others.
Having read the other reviews I was expecting something better. It has a good location - in the archways underneath a railway line. There are plenty of rooms - all covering a different region and you get an audio guide narrated by a man with a slurred voice. The good points: There were some good wines to be tasted, I likes the Madeira and Port, and the US wines. The short documentary about Australian wine was OK. The problems were: The staff were sullen and not interested. Some things referred to in the audio guide were not working or were absent. Some rooms, e.g. Spain consisted of nothing more than pictures on the walls. I tried the Vespa ride mentioned in some other reviews. On one the audio didn't work, on another the screen was yellow and the other 2 were in use so I gave up. There was a room on Sauternes but there was no Sauternes to be tasted, which I found was a bit cheapskate. Should have been able to taste more expensive wines with 2 tokens. A couple of the wines were foul, e.g. the German Riesling. I got in half price but was still a bit disappointed. If you want to learn about wine, read a book instead.
Lucky me. I got into Vinopolis on a cheeky two for one deal the other week. The single ticket price is £11.50, so that's quite a saving. In case you were wondering, it's a wine museum with a restaurant and bar attached, but entirely separate to the museum. To begin with I was disappointed. I had expected a wine tour and tasting extravaganza, and got a headset and audio guide. BUT as it turned out, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I have poor concentration at the best of times, so a whiff of wine and it's all over for me. We were able to take the tour at our own pace, listening to the bits that were of interest and bypassing the bits that weren't. The tour takes you through a series of cave-like rooms, each with a different theme. Take in the history of the wine region or the grape types. Learn about the origins of wine and the uses through time. It's great! Of course the best part is the tasting - but they do make you wait a little while before you reach this section. Don't worry though, you can't miss it when you do get there. The most important word of advice I would say is use your wine tokens carefully. You are issued with five tasting vouchers to use at up to five tables. You can buy more at £2.50 for five if you need but you may find you don't need to if you pay atention! Some servers give you a centimetre of wine whilst others give you half a glass! Stand back for a second before launching into your order. See what kind of measures the others are getting and don't use up your vouchers on the meaner stalls! I found one chap was new and poured a good three times the ammounts that the others had! Obviously you want to try a good and wide selection so don't go crazy and try the same types five times - save one for the end perhaps - you can always go back on your tracks. The tour has a nice little section for
champagne production which is worth a listen and some great quirky attractions - like a plane interior to take you on a video trip around Australia and some mopeds to guide you through the streets of France! Allow plenty of time. We gave it two hours and dawdled a lot thinking we'd have timeto spare. Near the end we were racing through and glugging back the vino like there was no tomorrow! We had to get a pace on to get somewhere else and missed out on a few details at the end of the tour that might have been nice to take in at leisure. My favourite part was in fact a tiny corridor full of posters and cartoons about wine. All of them, no matter what the theme showed wine to be a fabulous and essential part of life. Did you know it is thought to be more healthy to drink red wine every day - in moderation, than not to drink at all? It helps keep cholesterol down and maintain a healthy heart. (Well, I mean, if it's good enough for the church, it can't be wrong!) So, I'm convinced, it's a life of wining and dining for me. If you need any more incentive to drink your way to a long and healthy life, pop down to Vinopolis and be converted!
I have always been pretty intrigued by the concept of Vinopolis- a "City of Wine" smackdab in the middle of Tuscany, I can imagine. But London? So it was with a slight bit of skepticism that I entered those grand white pillars and through the glass doors into a wine tasting and private tour. The wine tasting was a selection of 6 Contemporary wines- 3 from the Old World (Spain, France) and 3 from the New World (California, New Zealand and Australia). A nice mixture of flavours and led by a wine expert who made sure we all first assessed its colour, its nose, and its flavour. Interesting and well worth the £15 it cost. The private tour (we booked in advance and did not realise you could go through the wine museum by yourself using an audio guide) but it was interesting. Our guide offered lots of interesting facts about wine production and history and answered questions. Walls divided the huge warehouse into different countries- about 30 in all, from the origins of wine production in Georgia to Australia in the New World. Short films were also shown through particular areas. 4 tasting tables were interspersed throughout the tour, offering people the chance to obtain tastings in exchange for their 5 free vouchers. Crackers were also available at the tables. The final stop on the tour is of course the shop- where you can buy t-shirts, wine paraphernalia, and wine. Be careful with this one- after having quite a lot of wine, you may find yourself buying a lot of stuff that you wouldn't normally buy! Our guide mentioned that there is a common misconception with Vinopolis- that it is a wild and wooly place to get pissed. Apparently there are quite a lot of hen nights scheduled here. However, it is not that sort of place. It is a place for people who like wine and who want to expand their knowledge of wine.
It’s funny how as you get older your appreciation for certain things changes. This cannot be moreso than with Wine. Just 5 years ago, I would not have dreamt of entertaining myself by going Wine tasting, or learning about it’s production all in a day. But last week, when a friend invited me on a tour of Vinopolis (city of wine), I strangely jumped at the chance, keen to “Try something different”. The whole experience is extremely well polished. You enter with your little ticket containing the vouchers necessary for your 5 “free” wine tastes, and start with a demonstration of how to actually appreciate wine and get the fullest flavour from the drink. Suddenly Jilly Gouldham does not seem quite so mad! We started with a rather acidic young wine wine, rather dry in flavour, followed by a video “A year in the life of a vine”. The “Interactive tour” began in the “Cradle of wine” – depicting the earliest recorded consumption of wine, from the Romans, Mesapetanians, Greeks, Egyptians, and even the Georgians.. We then were brought through each region of the world renowned for it’s winemaking, beginning with France, and Bordeaux, and ending with Australia, Africa, and the Middle East. The exhibits consist of various reconstructions, including a Champaign factory, a model depicting the port making process, a South African Dutch villa, Californian fermentation vats, and even a roman Amphitheatre from the south of France! As you meander round the cavernous arches in which the museum is located, you have to look for numbered plaques that indicate what code to dial into your little audio box, thus initiating the pre-recorded tour-guide. You start with an essential introduction to each region, then it’s up to you, depending on what takes your interest. For example – if you want to find out why Champaign makers put the bottles upended in a rack – simpl
y dial the number into your box, and up comes the commentary. Likewise, interested in what a picture on the wall is depciting? Dial the number of course! At regular intervals round the tour, you have certain pieces you can interact with. These include iMac computers dotted around with a Vinopolis wine guide, metallic “Plants” that contain odours specific to winemaking in a certain region (the good with the bad!), and a Vespa replica that you can sit on, with a video of you driving down a country lane in Italy! Of course, the bit that everyone is most interested in, and the most interactive portion of the whole tour is, naturally, the tasting of wine! Apart from your initial slurp of a fairly cheap and acidic wine at the start, you get to choose from a variety of wines, of which there are quite a few, to taste. Each tasting is a half glass, but the originating bottles only cost £6 or less. You wont get the most expensive varieties that they discuss during the tour, so don’t get your hopes up! If you really want to try all the wines you can, I/d recommend the £2.50 supplemental vouchers. All in all, it’s a thoroughly educational, and interesting way to find out about Wine and it’s history, Absolutely fascinating. In terms of time, I’d recommend at least 3 hours to get around, along with tasting, looking at every exhibit, etc. We arrived around 5:30pm, and didn’t get out until 8pm – and we’d not seen a good 3rd of the exhibits, having been rushed out in the last 20 minutes or so. Also, if you loose your vouchers, they wont be too keen to replace them! I managed to drop mine somewhere along the way, and of course, anyone with half a braincell would realise that lost vouchers = free tasting for someone else! I luckily had a partner to share a glass with, and I was allowed one free glass on the house (very kind considering my stupidity!). For the blind and par
tially sighted amongst you, the whole museum is excellent. The audio commentary is well done, very descriptive, and ensures your attention is on the correct item when talking you through what something exactly is. They have even included Braille numbers on the side of the unit so that the totally blind can use the audio commentary too. Although they will need someone to tell them what to dial in, in the first place. As a whole, I will re-iterate my thorough recommendation of this museum to anyone interested in their drink and it’s origins, or even for a fun day tasting wine!
Vinopolis is not for wine experts - in fact, it's probably best suited to those of us with relatively little knowledge. This "museum of wine" offers a fairly comprehensive overview of the history, production, varieties and geography of wine-making. Vinopolis is housed in beautifully converted railway arches near London Bridge, and the building certainly enhances the experience. The attraction itself makes good use of technology, providing films, audio guide, models and pictures as well as objects in glass cases. There are some fun touches: sit in an "aeroplane" for the film about Australia, take a virtual trip through Italian vineyards sat on a scooter, and look into a movie camera viewfinder to find out about the Californian wine industry. After an introductory film (I'm not sure what the point of this is, as it conveys very little information), the first room gives the history of wine. After that, each room is devoted to a different wine-producing region and is decorated appropriately. The audio guide activates automatically at the beginning of each room and when you stand in front of a video; otherwise you enter an item's number to hear the commentary. This guide is interesting and lively, but the automatic sections don't always work properly, which is frustrating. There is a lot of information available, although I suspect that little of it would be new to those who are knowledgeable about wine. Some of the explanations can be annoying: I found the "characters" given to different grape varieties (complete with illustrations of grapes with faces, hats, moustaches etc, rather like Mr Potato Head) irritating rather than helpful. However, overall I found the commentary very good. Probably the highlight of the visit is the wine sampling. Your ticket entitles you to taste 5 wines; for £2.50 you can buy another five samples. They are quite generous, so you certa
inly won't need more than 10! There is a big range of wines, although they are scattered around the museum which makes planning your tasting difficult. (Originally there were tasting halls at the end of the tour, but these now house a restaurant). Lots of the wines are good quality, and there are also ports and sherries. If you like any of them, you can buy them in the Majestic shop at the end of the tour. You can counteract the effects of all these wines in the Italian section, which has a coffee stall (although you have to pay for the coffee). Overall, this is a fun way to spend half a day, and I felt it was good value. It's especially nice if you go with friends, as you can taste each others' samples to really appreciate a wide range of wines. However, don't bother if you're a wine expert already.
My partner treated me to a day at Vinopolis, a couple of minutes from London Bridge Station. I had never heard of it before and was ovewhelmed by the place when I got there. For the cost of ten pounds you get to spend four hours walking around one of the most interesting 'museums' you are likely to go to. The layout of the building is amazing - it is like a series of huge wine vaults. Each room is split between countries/regions and the audio tour welcomes you to each area, and then lets you choose which displays you wish to find out more about by entering a handy code. There are some nice displays, I particularly like the scooters with the videos on the windscreen in Italy. The fact that you get 5 free tastings included in your entry fee is a bonus. And if you run out of vouchers, it only costs another £2.50 for a further 5. They were very generous with their pouring the day I went. The other useful thing you can pick up from the tasting table are the fact sheets on the wine you are trying. If you like it, you pick up a card, it tells you where it's from, what it is etc, and how much you can buy for on your way out from the enormous Majestics that is attached to Vinopolis. We also ate in the Cantina, and had some beautiful food. It was quite pricey for what was our lunch, but you wouldn't hesitate on spending that amount if it were an evening meal. So don't hesitate! Apart from our rather smug waiter in the cantina, the customer service was excellent. When we realised we had 2 minutes to get to our table for lunch and were only half way round, the guy from behind the tasting table whizzed us through all the staff shortcuts, handed in our audio tours for us, and made sure the supervisor knew who we were so that we could get back in without any trouble and continue the tour. This was cheap, informative, tasty and incredibly enjoyable day out. Worth every penny. The gift
shop is expensive, but there are some bargains if you look hard. It sells everything from books on wine, wine accessories (bottle openers, cuffs etc), expensive cigars, and food from around the worls in nice jars. Be prepared to buy unusual cheese before you leave! Or atleast ask to taste some if you're short on cash like we were - they do let you sample it if you ask. You can also hire the building out for groups - they have small rooms for the smaller office do and a huge room which seats something like 500 for a sit-down meal. I highly recommend you go here if your stuck for something to do. They recommend an hour and a half - that's nonsense, allow yourself atleast half a day, and then you can pop up to the Tate Modern which is about a ten-fifteen minute walk away.
On a visit to "Vinopolis. The City of Wine", on the South Bank, near London Bridge I came upon the "Hess Collection purpose built exhibition space" in a series of rooms connected to Vinopolis' exhibition of the history of wine. About half way round the wine exhibition we had something of a surprise as there was an entrance to an Art gallery showing the pictures of Franz Gertsch a Swiss artist who appeared to work in "woodcut" and acrylic paint on a grand scale. One of Gertsch's early successes greet the visitor as you pass over the gallery's threshold, an acrylic about 1.5 metres by 2 metres of a group of American medics trying to help casualties of the Vietnam War. Dropping down a number of stairs finds the visitor in a large open space with a number of large paintings and prints of wood cuts. The wood cuts are for the most part either views of nature or of the head and shoulders of two female subjects. Standing back from the works of art give you a feeling of realism bordering on photographic given away only by the fact that the pictures are all monochrome. Closer examination revels minute textures in the paint which almost chaotic. Analogous to real life? Moving on round one is confronted by two Large and naturalistic pictures of first a blonde female subject and then a young boy. Looking at these pictures one cannot help but marvel at the realism the two individuals look absolutely real and the effect of their size and the effect that the spartan and spacious gallery offer to the observer's experience is a*lost overwhelming. I am not clear on whether it is possible to visit the Hess gallery separately from Vinopolis but as an addition to the Vinopolis visit it certainly makes Vinopolis worth the money. I get the impression that it is the Hess' intention to show different artists periodically making it worth keeping an eye on.