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Published:  23 July, 2008

Vinexpo has suffered its first American withdrawal, with the news that Brown Forman Wines will not attend this year. David Cox, managing director, Europe, told Harpers that his decision had nothing whatsoever' to do with the situation in Iraq or concerns for the safety of his staff. However, he said, We were about to spend in excess of $100,000 to be at Vinexpo and I think there are better ways we could use that money in the marketplace'. Cox also questioned Vinexpo's relevance' to the majority of New World producers and even progressive producers in the Old World', stating: Vinexpo has become rather irrelevant as an international wine show. I'm more in favour of wine fairs that service individual markets, like ProWein, the LIWSF, Vinordic, Vinitaly and Vinexpo Japan. Vinexpo does not represent the local market for our brands. What's the point of going to Bordeaux to see your distributors and the major buyers if you talk to them all the time anyway? It would be cheaper for me to fly my overseas agents over to London and put them up at The Ritz than to take a stand at Vinexpo.'

Chadronnier remains bullish Despite the difficult' global political and economic situation, Vinexpo 2003 will be as good as it could be', according to the event's chairman, Jean-Marie Chadronnier. Speaking at the launch of the latest Vinexpo-sponsored research into the UK market in London last week, Chadronnier confessed to being concerned about the June event, but stressed that anticipated numbers were healthy. The economy is not in good shape and we had fears about the effect of the war on Iraq, but we have as many exhibitors as we can accept and a long waiting list that cannot be satisfied.'