Raphaël Gross, director of Vinea since October 2018, is leaving the wine association that organizes the Vinea early September wine fair in Sierre as well as three wine competitions. One of these is the national Grand Prix du Vin Suisse (GPVS) which it runs jointly with Vinum wine magazine.
The organization Friday morning informed its members and others that Gross and Vinea have agreed that their vision and expectations linked to the director’s job are not the same.
President of the Association David Genolet will take over Gross’s duties for the time being, working with the Vinea team, including Emeline Zufferey as technical director. The letter sent out this morning notes that “activities and projects will for the most part continue normally and with serenity”. Given that the next big event is the GPVS, with scores of judges coming to Sierre 24-29 June to judge hundreds of wine, and that the deadline for entering wines is midnight tonight, the small team will have a considerable challenge.
Vinea also organizes the Mondial du Merlot, whose results were issued earlier this week, and the Mondial des Pinots, which takes place in August.
Vinea on Tour has taken the wine fair, with smaller groups of producers, to cities around Switzerland in the past couple of years, as competition from a growing number of events saw a decline in the number of visitors to the annual fair in Sierre, which at one point reportedly pulled in 20,000 visitors.
Local press report (Fr): Le Nouvelliste, Canal 9 TV