Leading end-of-year French wine grower fairs cancelled

Tuesday October 13 2020 by Vitisphere

 Although exhibitors get a refund in the event of a cancellation, this is not the main issue: “There is a huge problem of loss of earnings”, points out Pierre-Antoine Giovannoni. Although exhibitors get a refund in the event of a cancellation, this is not the main issue: “There is a huge problem of loss of earnings”, points out Pierre-Antoine Giovannoni. - Photo credit : VIF

The Portes de Versailles wine trade fair, the leading European, and even world, direct sales event for wine, will not be held from 3 to 7 December in Paris. Like the fairs in Lyon (29 October-2 November), Reims (6-9 November) and Brive (11-13 December), it has been cancelled by its organisers, the French independent wine growers’ organisation.

We feel as if we’ve hit a wall and don’t have any alternative, even though we have developed strict health rules to maximise safety for our winegrowers and visitors”, says Pierre-Antoine Giovannoni, the organisation’s vice-president in charge of exhibitions.

Only the Clermont-Ferrand fair (23-25 October) is currently going ahead because the event has a capacity of the authorised 1,000 visitors, compared with 140,000 visitors and 1,000 winegrowers in Paris; 60,000 visitors and 550 winegrowers in Lyon; and 40,000 visitors and 340 exhibitors in Reims.

The fate of the prominent Lille fair (20-23 November, 45,000 visitors and 600 visitors) remains in the balance, as the prefecture has yet to reach a decision. “In these turbulent times, we rely on the decisions of the prefectures. Some of them won’t say one way or the other at the moment, telling us that they will reach a final decision three days before the event, which is impossible for us to manage”, explains Giovannoni.

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