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A moving few days at VINEXPO

For us, Vinexpo 2009 will long remain a strong symbol of continuity, with some very moving moments and countless words of sympathy from our importers, colleagues, journalists or just friends of the family.
Following Jean Hugel's recent death, all our visitors were pleased to meet the two "youngsters" of the next - 13th - generation, Jean Frédéric and Marc André Hugel, both aged 20, who took a working break from their studies for a first step up the ladder of our family business.
We were happily almost swamped by visits from our importers - almost 70% of our international contacts attended Vinexpo - not to mention numerous journalists and friends, some bearing excellent news for the future. But we were above all touched by the immense wave of sympathy for our sad loss.
A special mention must be made about the Asian lunch on  Wednesday 24th June. Our friend the journalist Simon TAM flew in specially from Hong Kong, bringing the most delicious dim sum dumplings, deep frozen Xiao Long Bao, a Shanghai speciality impossible to find in Europe, accompanied by succulent fresh mangoes brought over by another friend, our importer for India Sanjay Menon, recently named by Decanter Magazine as one of the 50 most important people in the international wine world.
As usual, our days were fully occupied, but also our evenings, including a dinner at Château Mouton-Rothschild at Philippine's invitation, in the company of all the national presidents of the International Union of Sommeliers. There was also a less formal, relaxed, festive evening at Château Palmer, at the table of its director, our friend Thomas Duroux, with producer colleagues from all over France.
The final day was marked by a moment of emotion, when two great friends of "uncle Johnny" came to pay their respects : John Avery MW, with his daughter Mimi, and Liliane Barton, daughter of Anthony Barton, also accompanied by her daughter.
The world of wine is, without any shadow of a doubt, the warmest and friendliest networking system in existence  ;-)
It was an exceptional Vinexpo for us, from all points of view, despite family sadness and the miserable economic climate.
Please see our Vinexpo 2009 gallery for photo highlights

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