Vinexpo Americas moves to Chicago

Vinexpo Americas moves to Chicago News Wine News
  • Tuesday 1 July 2003

Vinexpo Americas is moving from New York to Chicago next year – a venue the organisation says is more convenient than the East Coast.

Vinexpo chief Robert Beynat announced the decision in the closing stages of Vinexpo in Bordeaux, which ran for five days last week.

Chicago is the logical choice,' Beynat told decanter.com. 'It is the second market for imported wines in the States, it is close to Canada, and it's more convenient for Californians.'

Some delegates from New York were surprised, as Beynat had previously announced the 2004 show would return to New York. It is understood that Vinexpo found the Jacob K Javits Convention Center, where it was held in October last year, could not accommodate it and eventually looked at bids from Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

'It was impossible to get the right dates for 2004,' Beynat said.

This year's Vinexpo was characterised by extremes of weather and a slight – though welcome – drop in visitors.

On the first day, Sunday, the 48,000 visitors and 2,500 stallholders sweated in 40-degree temperatures. An Australian contingent in one of the halls spoke darkly of an anti-New World conspiracy as their air conditioning failed sending temperatures to tropical levels.

But by Tuesday the weather broke, causing storms that destroyed 5000ha of vines and wrecked a party at St Emilion Chateau La Gaffeliere.

The 11% drop in visitor numbers was welcomed by stallholders, Vinexpo said. 'Feedback clearly showed that exhibitors were more than happy to see fewer visitors of a higher calibre.'

The biggest fall in visitor numbers was from France's neighbours – Germany (down 25%), Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the UK.

There was a sharp increase in numbers from Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Cuba, Turkey, India and China. Visitor numbers from North America were almost unchanged – 1,400 this year as opposed to 1,500 in 2001.

  • Vinexpo Americas will take place in the McCormick Center, Chicago, 24-26 June 2004.

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