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12/14/2011

A long, hard look at the Spanish cash for access scandal By Felicity Carter, Harold Heckle and Robert Joseph, Meininger's Wine Business International December 12th 2011



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"Pancho Campo MW, president of the Spain-based Wine Academy, has flatly denied allegations he tried to extract money from cash-strapped Spanish wineries in exchange for visits from noted American critic Jay Miller, in violation of The Wine Advocate's much-respected ethical guidelines. Campo has hit out at his critics and threatened legal action against all those who published information he says potentially damaged “the reputation and the honour” of his company and management. Miller, too, has denied all wrongdoing.

The release of Campo's four-page statement came at the end of a tumultuous week for the Chilean-born Master of Wine. He has been at the centre of a media storm ever since it was revealed on Monday, 5 December 2011 that Miller had stepped down from his role at The Wine Advocate, where he was responsible for, among other things, reviewing wines from Spain, Chile and Argentina. Campo told Meininger’s Wine Business International that Miller had not been forced to fall on his sword, and that his resignation had nothing whatsoever to do with the deluge of accusations over the past month.

The Campo-Miller media saga began late October, when an email sent by Juan Antonio Ruiz Jiménez, the secretary of ASEVIN, was posted on Facebook. The email appeared to show ASEVIN asking for money from wineries in exchange for the chance to have Miller taste their wines and visit their wineries. That email also said the total cost of the Miller visit was €29,000. Given that Robert Parker has always set high ethical standards for himself and other writers contributing to The Wine Advocate – which include not accepting gifts and hospitality – the email raised questions about Miller’s judgement. Using that email as the starting point of a long, forensic analysis on his wine blog, Jim's Loire, British wine writer and editor Jim Budd dubbed the saga ‘Jumillagate’."


- - Felicity Carter, Harold Heckle and Robert Joseph, Meininger's Wine Business International 

Read the whole article here.  I believe it is balanced reporting.  
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