New World ponders abandoning Vinexpo

27 August, 2008
Page 6 
All major New World wine countries have begun talks on pulling out of the Vinexpo trade show, in favour of rival wine fairs around the world.

The talks, which Drinks International understands are at a "very embryonic" stage, involve generic wine trade bodies for all big New World countries, including the likes of Australia, California, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand.

A collective walkout from those countries could signal the death knell for Vinexpo's reputation as the world's most important wine trade fair.

Michael Cox, UK director for Wines of Chile, told Drinks International: "Everyone wants to look at opportunities and see how they can be maximised. It's no secret that Vinexpo works very well for some and less well for others."

A perceived bias towards the Old World countries at Vinexpo, which is held biannually in Bordeaux and more recently in Hong Kong in alternate years, is understood to have triggered the talks.

Complaints about Vinexpo have erupted before. But the growth of rival shows, such as Germany's Prowein and the London International Wine Fair, may offer New World countries creditable alternatives that are closer to their target markets.

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