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USA to be Vinexpo ‘special guest’

The US is to be Vinexpo’s first “special guest” at the fair’s exhibition in Bordeaux this June.

During a press conference in London yesterday, Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise announced a new initiative to “emphasise” a single country at the wines and spirits fair, which is held in Bordeaux every two years.

Selected as the inaugural “special guest” will be the US, “because it is the number one consumer market for wines in the world”, stated Deglise.

Continuing he explained, “While there is so much emphasis on the Chinese market [for wine], actually the main market is on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.”

As the partner country for 2015, exhibitors from the US will be located in the centre of the fair’s main space, Hall 1, while Deglise promised a “special tasting of US wines” in association with a “special partner” – which he added, “will be announced later”.

He also said that there would be a market conference on “mastering business in the US” on Tuesday 16 June, at 10.30am.

Speaking to the drinks business after the announcement, Deglise said that the show organiser would not necessarily select a single country to emphasise at its other fairs, which will be held in Hong Kong and Japan next year, although he added that Vinexpo may select one wine region to emphasise for its events in Asia.

When asked by db whether Vinexpo’s new focus on the US was a sign that it might be considering re-launching a fair in America, Deglise said that his focus was on Bordeaux this year and the Hong Kong and Tokyo fairs in 2016.

However, he added, “We would love to have a Vinexpo in America – and we are often asked if we would hold one, but our experiences in the past have not been as successful as we wanted them to be, so if we come back to the US, it needs to be right concept for exhibitors and visitors.”

Indeed, Vinexpo had to cancel its last attempt to hold an event in the US due to a lack of potential stand bookings.

The event, called Rendez-Vous by Vinexpo, was due to be held in New York City from November 16-18 in 2012, but was shelved just over three months before the start date when Vinexpo revealed that 52 tasting areas out of the 150 scheduled had been reserved, which, it said, was a long way short of the minimum number of exhibitors it had hoped to attract.

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