FRANCE: Vinexpo hit by New World boycott
Ineffective air conditioning, poor event organisation and the cost of exhibiting are among the reasons given by a number of wine companies from the New World for pulling out of this year's Vinexpo trade show.
Wines of South Africa, New Zealand Wine Growers, the Australian Wine Export Council and E&J Gallo have all confirmed to just-drinks that they will not be taking stands at the world's largest wine show in June.
Wines of Chile and the California Wine Institute will be attending, however.
At the last show, two years ago, a hall that primarily housed New World producers suffered a broken air conditioning unit that lead to unbearable temperatures for exhibitors and visitors.
"We didn't get the support from wineries this year," said Caroline Parks of New Zealand Wine Growers, when just-drinks contacted the organisation. She added that she felt this was due to the way New World businesses had been treated in 2003. She also referred to the loss of air conditioning two years ago.
"Trying to hold a professional wine tasting in those temperatures when corks were popping out of the bottles was not good," she said. " We had to take a position to pull out."
Another spokesperson for New Zealand said there was a general feeling that Vinexpo was not worth the money. She added that New Zealand's generic body would be taking extra space at the London International Wine & Spirit Fair in May instead.
Meanwhile, Su Birch of Wines of South Africa told just-drinks that WOSA would not be there at all this year, though some individual corporations, such as Distell, would be exhibiting.
Jonathan Scott, general manager, Australian Wine Export Council said: "The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) will be organising an Australian generic stand to meet the demand for this event for new companies looking to enter the continental European markets.
"This year, demand for an AWEC organised stand from our traditional base of small and medium size companies was not sufficient to warrant participation. The Australian wine category will be therefore represented by our successful large brands with their own stands, and the Austrade facilitated new or potential exporters."
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