Wood chips openly displayed on stands and Australian and English experts advising how better to make and sell wine - two firsts for this year's Vinitech, the world's biggest wine machinery and products show, which closed in Bordeaux yesterday (30 November).

Stressing the need to make wine that buyers, rather than winemakers, like, Australian oenologue Richard Gibson, said: "We have to do what they want to keep wine as a preferred global beverage."

The other much debated topic was the proposed EU wine sector reforms, which, French, German, Spanish and Italian winemaking representatives agreed, must recognise wine growing as a heritage, not just a business.

This year Vinitech welcomed 38,362 visitors - down on the 45,000 at Vinitech 2004 - and 800 exhibitors.