One of the biggest events in the wine trade’s calendar, Vinexpo in Bordeaux, will get a major facelift in 2015, according to its new chief executive, who wants to end perceptions of French bias.

Vinexpo Bordeaux 2015 will be more inclusive than previous versions of the bi-annual, trade-only show, Guillaume Deglise (pictured) told Decanter.com in an interview.

Vinexpo still claims to be the biggest wine expo in the world, but it has seen greater competition from rivals in recent years, notably ProWein in Germany.

Vinexpo Bordeaux has also faced accusations of favouring the French over other nationalities. ‘We need to change that perception,’ said Deglise, who is from Champagne and had his first outing as Vinexpo CEO at the Asia-Pacific sister show last May. ‘Because it’s not really true. We’re going to reposition some of the booths this year.’

He said, ‘There won’t just be a few changes. There will be a major change at Vinexpo.’

In particular, he said South American producers would no longer find themselves bunched together in a corner, but would be reallocated in more central positions.

Deglise also plans to hold networking parties in central Bordeaux every night of the show for those not attending chateaux organised events.

‘There are a lot of chateau parties, which is great, but even exhibitors from other French regions, such as Burgundy or Rhone, don’t get invited,’ he said.

Among the other innovations for 2015, Deglise said he has scrapped the ‘Club du Lac’ concept, introduced by his predecessor in 2007 as an exclusive space away from the main show.

Deglise and his team will replace this with a new premium space called Les Terraces, upstairs in the main hall. ‘Fourteen companies have already agreed to take part,’ he said.

He added that Vinexpo’s restaurants will also step up a gear in 2015. There will be a stronger focus on wine and food matching, he said.

Deglise said it was too early to comment on new countries that would be represented at this year’s show, or on final exhibitor numbers. The last Vinexpo Bordeaux welcomed almost 49,000 visitors from 148 countries.

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Written by Chris Mercer