A discount offer made by Vinexpo to New World wine countries has come under scrutiny today (17 April).

The exhibition, which will be held in June in Bordeaux, had told Wines of South Africa (WOSA) that a 20% discount offer had been for a previous Vinexpo event and would not apply to this year's conference.

"Once we signed the contract the discount was refused," said Dalene Steyn, WOSA's European marketing manager. The refusal, issued in February, was based, said Steyn, on the fact that WOSA had already received a 20% discount for the 2004 Vinexpo Chicago show, given to compensate for losses suffered during the infamous air conditioning breakdown during Vinexpo 2003.

Contacted this morning in the US, Vinexpo CEO Robert Beynat said the refusal was a mistake by the accounting department. He said WOSA would receive a further 20% discount for Vinexpo 2007.

Steyn said WOSA would have been at Vinexpo 2007 anyway, as flights and accommodation were booked. "We were just disappointed," she said.

WOSA is yet to hear directly from Vinexpo to clarify the situation, Steyn noted.