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Bordeaux court fines Italian wine producers for economic parasitism

>> Thursday, February 17, 2011

At the last Vinexpo, the world’s biggest wine fair that took place in Bordeaux in 2009 the Italian wine producers were absent. Instead they had rented a big “party tent” (600 m2) at a hotel nearby the exhibition where they presented their wines. They did not participate in Vinexpo “proper” due to a conflict with the organisers regarding e.g. the placement and the size of the planned Italian stand.

The organiser of Vinexpo were very upset when they discovered the Italian tent, what in French they call an “off” event (not linked to the official fair). The were so upset that they took the Italian tent organisers, Ital Assist, to court. The court has now decided in favour of Vinexpo and fined the Italians 150,000 euro for “economic piracy”.

We can’t help thinking that what Vinexpo has done is not only silly, but also wrong. In reality, all those “off” events at a trade fair bring a lot of value added to the event itself. If the result will be that there will be fewer off events then Vinexpo will be the loser, since the off events certainly make the fair more interesting and bring more visitors. We can only hope that Vinisud, the second biggest French wine fair, who has also been critical of off events, will not try and do the same thing! Read more and

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