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Published:  23 July, 2008

Winefex Bordeaux, which claims to be the world's first wine futures contract, has deferred its launch (see Harpers, 14 September), following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Euronext, the Paris/Amsterdam/Brussels exchange, has re-scheduled the launch for today (21 September) at 9.30am. The first contracts will come to maturity in November 2002 (for the 2000 vintage) and November 2003 (2003 vintage). Further contracts will open in July each year, for maturity twenty-eight and a half months later. There are unconfirmed reports that many of Bordeaux's grandest chteaux are opposed to their wine being traded as a commodity such as coffee or oil. The Bordelais regard their fine wine as "works of art", which should not be traded or speculated on. They are also against the system whereby wines from different vintages and vineyards are grouped into three price bands. No one from the CIVB was available for comment at the time of going to press.