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Will French wine militants target Vinexpo?

Thursday June 08 2017 by Alexandre Abellan

A month ago, Languedoc wine growers calling themselves CRAV attempted to target Gironde bottling companies for importing Spanish wines. Although their attempt failed, there is still the threat that they may now turn their sights on Vinexpo.

There is clearly a code of silence surrounding the failed attack. It has become one of the most closely guarded secrets amongst tight-lipped Bordeaux wine merchants, as well as the incensed CRAV group due to its dismal failure. According to concurring sources, a squad of Languedoc wine growers had planned to break into facilities belonging to major Bordeaux bottling firms during the night of May 3-4. After leaving the South of France – some say by car, others by bus – they were stopped at the Saint-Selve toll booths on the A62. After being arrested, they were taken back to their home departments by gendarmes.

Spain, country of honour at Vinexpo

The authorities charged with defusing the May incident, are now preparing protection of Vinexpo which opens in ten days time and runs from June 18 to 21. Fears that Languedoc wine growers may disrupt the show are taken seriously due to the fact that Spain is country of honour.  The choice has disgruntled Southern French wine growers.

Although security at Vinexpo is handled by the prefecture, which is finalising details in the utmost secrecy, the organisers claim that any attack against the show would be senseless. They point to the fact that the trade event does not deal with bulk but with bottled wine sales, and have been stressing this for several weeks. Vinexpo has been broadening its range of foreign wines in order to attract more buyers and therefore does not consider itself to be a target. Any wrongdoings by CRAV would be harmful to the image of the French wine industry as a whole.

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