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Vinexpo: taking the temperature

Published:  18 January, 2007

For many in the trade, Vinexpo is a test of strength, stamina, bonhomie and their underarm deodorant. For some, it appears to be a macho thing, a passage into maturity: Boy it was tough, but we got through it with a few late nights, ha, ha, ha.' The number of Vinexpos you have attended is the equivalent to Casanova's notches on his bedpost. Whether it's just boy's banter or not, few seem to have much positive to say about it.

Nevertheless, it remains the premier international show, and despite the furore two years ago with faulty air conditioning in the area where most of the New World producers were congregated, and the subsequent scaling down of the representation from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa it shows no sign of terminal decline.

While the show itself seemed, all things considered, in pretty good fettle, the building itself is in need of a mini-renaissance. John McLaren, UK director of the Wine Institute of California, is right in criticising the state of the toilets, for example. And when the Parc des Expositions is an important exhibition venue, why didn't the city fathers see fit to lay the new tramway out to the lake?

The prospect of a southern hemisphere show (see page 3) is certainly going to send Vinexpo and LIWSF organiser Brintex scurrying for their contacts books and calculators. It was a tough call, but, one has to say, Vinexpo pulled it off.