Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Wednesday 7 October 2009

Pancho Campo MW – timeline

La Rioja and the mountains

Above is the essence what follows is a timeline attempting to tease out the background to these events.

Pancho Campo MW
(full name: Francisco Armando Campo Carrasco)
Date of Birth: 13/09/1961
Santiago, Chile
Son of Francisco Campo Rivera.
Born close to the time of the start of the legendary 1961 Bordeaux vintage.
Moves to Barcelona, Spain when he was 13. His father was an anesthetist at the Hospital Clínico in central Barcelona.   
1992 participant in the Olympic Games of Barcelona
Pancho was a tennis professional with no ITP ranking. He was coach to the Chilean women’s team Paulina Sepúlveda (born 15th September 1968). Beaten in first round 6-2, 6-3 by the Italian Anna-Maria ("Sandra") Cecchini.
1997-2003: Moves to Dubai and sets up an event management company originally called CSS (Connection Sports Services, although it may have initially been called DDS – DSS Sports Management Group) later called CSM (Connections Sports and Music) running sports and music events including concerts by Enrique Iglesias, Tom Jones, Sting and the Vienna Boys’ Choir (26th September 2000)
PC’s CV: ‘Former President and CEO of CSM, event management company with whom he organized and managed Davis Cup, the World Cup of Indoor Trials, the Pro Beach Soccer World Tour and events with Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Emilio and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Eric Cantona, Pink Floyd, Sting, Enrique Iglesias, Tom Jones and Jamiroquai amongst many others.‘
1997: DDS Sports Management Tennis Director and Coach at the Aviation Club and trainer of the Junior Tennis Team in Dubai. (
‘Sports Academy Emirates International School, owned by Al Habtoor Group, is currently hosting the Adidas Sports Academy. In its third year at Emirates International School, the Academy provides youngsters with sports coaching in tennis, basketball, soccer, swimming, karate and gymnastics. The camps are run by Connection Sports Services which is headed by Pancho Campo, a former professional tennis player. "The emphasis at the Adidas Sports Academy is on participation, not just winning" said Campo. The academy, apart from providing coaching, aims to promote fair play among the participants and Campo says it is just as important to take part as win. "Just because a kid is not the best footballer or gymnast, it doesn't mean he or she shouldn't practice that sport," said Campo. All participants receive an award for their performances and coaching is provided by staff qualified in the relevant disciplines. Although there is no set age to take part in the camps, most participants range from 5 to 17 years. The Academy runs throughout the year and is split into 3 terms, September-December, January-March and April-June, plus the summer camp.
If you would like to take part in the Adidas Sports Academy at Emirates International School, contact Connections Sports Services on +971-4-329811.’
Also claimed in the biography released (see end of doc) by the Institute of Masters of Wine when PC became an MW to have coached the Qatari Davis Cup tennis team. (The Qatari team won promotion from their group in 1992 and 1997.) Not mentioned in later CVs.

2000: Jackie Wartanian joins the company injecting $1million into the organisation.
PC’s explanation: ‘In 2000, a former client offered to buy some shares into the company and got involved with us.’
Speculation: did Wartanian bring knowledge of the music industry into the company? Certainly all of the larger concerts appear to have been from 2000. Or was it that the injection of capital from Wartanian allowed CSM to mount more ambitious events. Did company also change its name from Connections Sports Services to Connections Sports & Music when Wartanian became involved. Also did Wartanian become the majority shareholder?

Dates of some concerts arranged
26th September 2000: Vienna Boys’ Choir
1st October 2000 Enrique Iglesias
1st March 2001: Tom Jones
19th-20th April 2001: Sting
PC claims to have held events for Pink Floyd and Jamiroquai.
Comment: I can find no record of Pink Floyd having ever performed in the UAE, although Roger Waters has performed there twice in 15th April 2002 (Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and 21st February 2007 (RW Media City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates). Jamiroquai played in the UAE on 10th October 2002. (This is after PC had been charged and after CSM* went bust.) The current CSM site makes no mention of concerts by Roger Waters or Jamiroquai.

*: 7.1.2012: It now seems very probable that CSM did not go bankrupt. if this is indeed the case I'm at error in believing this claim that Campo made in September 2009, which he contradicted in an article included in the official programme for the First International Wine Symposium organised by Campo and The Wine Academy Marbella and held in Marbella in June 2004. 
Connections Sports and Music goes bust – date unknown.
PC”s comment: ‘Unfortunately, due to the September 11th attacks on NY, it was impossible to get artists and athletes to travel to the Middle East. Sponsors pulled out and the business ended up closing down in early 2002.’
Complaint filed
Also in 2002 Jackie Wartanian filed a complaint against Pancho Campo which alleged that he had defrauded the company of 640,000€.
5th June: Pancho Campo charged in Dubai Court with breach of trust.
Report (19th September 2009) from The National (an English language newspaper published by the Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC).
‘According to court documents, Campo was charged with breach of trust on June 5, 2002, found guilty on June 1, 2003, and sentenced to one year in jail followed by deportation. The case revolved around a €600,000 (Dh3.2m) claim that Ms Wartanian had brought against Campo over fraudulent business dealings. Ms Wartanian’s lawyer, Amna Jallaf, said a civil case had also been filed against Campo.’
PC comment: This money was used to pay Enrique Iglesias for the concert he played in Dubai.
Vicente Cacho, the Spanish Consul in the United Arab Emirates, says that ‘Pancho Campo left his Chilean passport at a Dubai court as proof he wasn't going to flee the country and then did so with a Spanish passport’.
Speculation and questions
It would seem likely that CSM (Connections Sports and Music went bust before 5th June 2002. Was it also at this time that Pancho surrendered his Chilean passport to a Dubai court? I note that Roger Waters, Deep Purple (22nd September) and Jamiroquai played in Dubai during 2002, although PC claimed that ‘it was impossible to get artists and athletes to travel to the Middle East’. Did the missing 640,000€ contribute to the collapse of the company and, if so, to what extent?
February: Pancho Campo and family leave Dubai
PC in email to WineFuture Rioja09 participants 1.9.09: ‘In February of 2003 my wife, my daughter and I decided to return to Spain because we no longer had a business and the war in Iraq was imminent. ‘Before leaving, we informed the Spanish Embassy that we were moving back to Spain in case I was needed to be contacted.
Vicente Cacho, Spanish Consul in UAE: “Campo at all times hid from the Spanish authorities the difficulties he was in. He also says, "He (Campo) knew perfectly well what he was doing and it is clear to me he had a total lack of intention of resolving the legal problem he had created."
Cacho regrets that the U.A.E. do not inform consulates of nationals who get into trouble with the law, hence they only became aware of the difficulties Campo was in through events as they unfolded. That's the way the police operated out there, he said. If an individual doesn't communicate the problem him or herself, they can only find out subsequently.
PC: ‘I was declared absconding’’ PC email 1.9.09). Given the circumstances ‘absconding’ looks to be the right word.
Speculation and comment
Apparently Campo left UAE using his Spanish passport. What happened to the Chilean passport PC had handed over to a Dubai court? It seems high probable that Campo's Chilean passport contained his UAE visa (presumably work as Campo lived in Dubai from 1997 to 2003), which was why it was surrendered as surety. Did his Spanish passport also contain a visa or did he somehow obtain a visa for this passport after he had surrendered his Chilean one? It is not known how Pancho Campo left the UAE – it is possible that he would have taken a boat to Iran.
On 5th October 2009 the Consul General of Chile in Spain confirmed that Campo has a current Chilean passport. How was a fresh Chilean passport obtained? Another question Pancho Campo MW has declined to answer,
El Mercurio

Domingo 30 de Noviembre de 2008
Article on Pancho Campo, the first Chilean Master of Wine

A pesar de residir en Marbella -en la costa del sol, España-, su marcado acento y su pasaporte español, cuando viene a Chile a ver a parientes y a esquiar utiliza su documento chileno.(Although resident in Marbella, when Pancho comes to Chile he uses his Chilean travel documents.)
1st June: Pancho Campo found guilty in absentia of Breach of Trust, which is the legal equivalent of wilful misappropriation, embezzlement or breach of fiduciary duty, a criminal offence. Sentenced to a year in prison followed by deportation.
PC (email 1.9.09 to speakers at WineFuture Rioja) : ‘However, it has been brought to my attention, approximately two months ago that I have a case pending in Dubai regarding the dissolution of the mentioned company. Apparently, in July 2003 I was due to appear in court in Dubai to answer charges of fraud involving the mentioned partnership that went wrong. Because I was already living in Spain I was never informed of such court hearing and I was declared absconding.'
Speculation and comment
While PC may not have been aware of the date set for the trial hearing, he was in Dubai when the charge was laid in June 2002 and surrendered his Chilean passport. Nor did apparently did he inform the Spanish Embassy in Dubai that he had a criminal charge outstanding.
The Wine Academy of Spain ( founded by Melissa and Pancho Campo. On 4th-5th June 2004 The Wine Academy CIE Marbella held the 1st Simposium InternacionalDel Vino at the Hotel Puente Romano, Marbella. Speakers included Alejandro Fernández (Pesquera), Carlos Falcó, José Penin, Jancis Robinson MW and Miguel Torres.
The second Simposium Internacional del Vino was held in the auditorium of CIE Marbella from 3rd-5th June 2005 and organised by The Wine Academy. Speakers included Alvaro Palacios, Su Birch, Miguel Torres, Peter Sissack, Dr Richard Smart, Michael Cox (Wines of Chile), John Radford and Stéphane Derenoncourt.
The Wine Academy of Spain has subsequently organised a number of conferences including the Climate Change and Wine in Barcelona 15th-16th February 2008 ( and the forthcoming WineFuture Rioja 2009. A further Climate Change & Wine conference is planned for 2010 and the Wine Academy is the organiser of Vinoble 2010. The Academy is a WSET Approved Programme Provider. APPs run courses but they do not issue WSET certificates. This is done by the WSET themselves.

The Wine Academy of Spain was founded soon after PC arrived in Spain. Was any of the 640,000€ over which PC was found in breach of trust used to finance The Wine Academy?
PC’s Email of 1.9.09: ‘my case that was a financial dispute, totally outside of the wine industry and in a country that is becoming known for its judicial abuses’.
2002/2003 (date unknown): Jackie Wartanian founds Center Stage Management with her sister, Lara Teperdjian. Jackie and Lara are Armenians, who have lived in the UAE for 30 years and have apparently organised concerts since 1999. Their father was in the music business. CSM have organised various concerts and other media events including the annual Dessert Rock Festival in Dubai, whose first edition was 2004.
2004 (date unknown) CIE Marbella, University of Costa del Sol is established with Pancho Campo as business manager and Melissa Butler in an undefined role. Campo was described as business manager in the prospectus but his generally used title was director. CIE or the Centre for International Education offered university degrees, MBAs and numerous courses across a range of subjects. The CIE prospectus can be downloaded here Various courses on wine were offered – leading to WSET accreditation, Master en Enología and Christie's Wine Courses (page 9 of prospectus). 'After "O" Levels University Degrees now available in Marbella' was a highlighted claim.
CIE Marbella claimed an affiliation with Middlesex University as this quote from a student explains:
"I want a degree in management because I want to work in my father's business in Marbella. In the end, I have decided upon Middlesex University in the UKbecause it's close to home ...and my parents agreed.
The main factor in my decision making has been that I can begin my studies locally at CIE Marbella...which has an affiliation with Middlesex. At the end of my two years in Marbella, I will transfer into the 2nd year of my Middlesex' Three-Year Honours Degree in Management. This way I can shorten my stay in the UK and reduce my family's expenses.
CIE Marbella also provides all the help required for my Middlesex admission and transfer. Best of all, I don't need A levels to begin my studies."
Middlesex University does not have a degree course called 'Management', although they do they one called Business Administration Degree (honours). This is a three-year and is said to be ‘ideal for students who want to start their own business or work in a family business.’ Its entry requirements are : ‘We normally require 200-280 tariff points for entry onto undergraduate courses. However, some degrees may require additional entry requirements, for example a portfolio or an audition.’ The tarif points refer to the UCAS system used to calculate equivalence between examinations for entry to UK universities. GCSEs, School Certificate and O levels carry no tariff points.
CIE Marbella claimed: 'A University Transfer Program That Works!!
Centre for International Education of Marbella ................Gateway to the world's top universities carried an article on the new institution here with the claim that CIE had links with prestigious universities in the US, England, Canada and Spain. Also claiming more than 30 years educational experience in Spain and elsewhere and more than a 1000 alumni in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and London.
There was also an earlier article (Sur in English) 23rd/24th April 2004 by Joaquina Dueñas about the new educational establishment due to open at the beginning of the new school year. She noted that 'to the surprise of its director, Pancho Campo, 50 per cent of the applicants are Spanish, attracted by the prestige of earning a foreign degree'.

She reported that 'At CIE Marbella, students can do the first two years of a foreign degree course without leaving Spain and then go on to complete the course at a university with which the CIE has an agreement, such as Middlesex University in the UK, or Broward University and Southern New Hampshire University in the US.'

Dueñas also reported that 'The Centre has more than 20 foreign lecturers, most of who have a Master's degree in their specialist subject' and that the cost for a semester was 3600€, intensive English courses at 3200€ and non-university courses at 3000€.

CIE was based in Elvira some 15 minutes from the centre of Marbella and boasted 'brand new facilities including classrooms, library, Internet lab, student and faculty lounges, computerised classrooms and on-line library'.

From the archive of Dr Richard Smart's website there is a mention of Pancho Campo – 'the tour will be accompanied by Dr Smart, and an expert translator Pancho Campo of the Wine Academy, CIE Marbella, University of Costa Del Sol'.

It is not known whether CIE ever opened its doors or whether there were graduates that went on to obtain degrees from major universities. Certainly CIE doesn't appear to exist today. The web domain is up for sale and there is no telephone listed in either Elvira or Marbella. Perhaps CIE shed the other courses and concentrated purely on wine as The Wine Academy of Spain. CIE does not appear to be mentioned in any of Pancho Campo's CV's that I have seen.

I'm hoping that 'Doctor' Campo can enlighten me.

Pancho Campo begins studying for his MW
2004/2005: PC does two Davis Extension on-line courses (distance learning) on oenology.
Unknown date
PC: * Personally trained by Vice-president Al Gore and member of The Climate Project.
Spokesperson for Al Gore: ‘Mr. Campos was one of nearly 200 people trained in Spain at a session hosted by The Climate Project. Former Vice President Gore did conduct the training.’ It is understood that the training session was in Seville.

The Climate Project website ( reports that there are now more than 3000 trained Climate Change Project presenters.

Pancho Campo announces on The Wine Academy site that he is withdrawing from his MW studies:

'After 3 years as a student of the Institute of Masters of Wine and having passed most of his practical and theory exams as well as his dissertation, Pancho Campo has decided to withdraw from the programme.

Pancho Campo has been the Spaniard that has obtained the best results in trying to become a Master of Wine. Last year he obtained a conditional pass after passing all his practical exams and the theory exams on viticulture, oenology and marketing. This year Pancho passed his disseration but failed to pass the only exam that separated him from becomming the first Spanish Master of Wine. The reason behind his decission for withdrawing from the programme lies on the topic of the question that the examiners did not pass. The question asked Pancho´s opinion on the impacts of climate change for the wine industry.

Pancho Campo has become one of the leading experts and one of the most respected professionals in the research of climate change and a pioneer in describing the impacts for the wine industry. Another contradiction by the IMW is the fact that they gave Pancho a pass on his dissertation which had the topic of “The Impacts of Climate Change in the Wine Industry”. The Institutes agrees with Pancho´s dissertation but totally disagrees with the answer he gave to the same question in the only remaining exam. “The examiners have clearly made a mistake when correcting my exam but I have been denied the opportunity of appealing and having my exam reviewed. I have not had the chance to see why and where I went wrong”. “If the topic of the question would have been any other than climate change I could understand and accept their decission, but on this topic I seriously question the examiner´s point of view”. “Their explanation has been poor and as far as I am concerned this shows that the Institute´s views on climate change are not in touch with the reality of the problem and are especulative”.

“Being an MW could have been very important for my career and I believe it is time to have a Spanish MW because our country is about to become the major driving force of the wine producing industry. However, I am not going to go against my principles and the results of my reseach just to have a degree”. “I have lost respect for the way in which the IMW handles the correction of the exams and I seriously question the capacity of the examiners, at least in relation to climate change”.

Campo changes his mind and is allowed to resit the exam he failed.
April: An Interpol red notice is issued – Wanted: Francisco Armando Campo Carrasco. Arrest warrant issued in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
June: Marbella court case
A civil case brought by Dune Networks Sl, who did work for The Wine Academy of Spain (Pancho Campo) on the ‘Simposium Internacional del Vino’. Dune were hired by the Wine Academy of Spain in June 2006. Dune Networks SL are a subsidiary of VNC-WBC (La Compañía del Vino, Negocio y Comunicación). VNC-WBC filed a civil case against The Wine Academy in Marbella in 2007 seeking to recover an unpaid bill of 8.879,18 €. Judgment was given in VNC-WBC’s favour by a Marbella court on 27th June 2008 ordering the outstanding bill to be paid. Although Pancho Campo has said on that the outstanding sum will be paid, it would appear that this debt may yet to be settled. When VNC-WBC was sold in May 2009 (11 months after the judgment), the debt was still outstanding. It is not known whether it has now been settled.
September: Pancho Campo becomes an MW.
March: Pancho Campo is detained for several hours at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris where he was questioned about the Interpol red notice of the arrest warrant issued by the UAE. (2.10.09): ‘Campo admitted that he had spent two hours in French immigration at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris in March, in a 'routine passport check', during which the Interpol warrant was mentioned.’
PC (email 1.9.09 to speakers at WineFuture Rioja) : ‘However, it has been brought to my attention, approximately two months ago that I have a case pending in Dubai regarding the dissolution of the mentioned company.’ ‘I have put the case in the hands of competent lawyers from Washington and Dubai, and we are liaising closely with the Embassy of Spain in the Emirates.'
The National (19th September 2009) Melissa Campo: “We had no idea there was a court case when we left the UAE,” Mrs Campo said. “We only found out there was an arrest warrant about two months ago. It came as a complete shock. We left Dubai in February 2003 with a valid passport and informed the authorities we were leaving.”
During the summer news of the Interpol red notice begins to circulate amongst Spanish wine journalists and Spanish specialists outside Spain. Nothing is published.
31st August: I receive a call from Harold Heckle of Associated Press and a member of the Circle of Wine Writers telling me about the Interpol red notice. I’m surprised. I have never met Pancho Campo and had no reason to suspect that he has a criminal record. However, given the very high profile WineFuture conference, it is an obvious news story, so I contact Adam Lechmere, editor-at-large of Decanter magazine. I’m commissioned to write a news story on the arrest warrant. I email Pancho Campo a series of questions.
1st: I speak to Pancho on the phone – he is friendly and courteous – and I incorporate his comments into the news story. Essentially he tells he that he only learnt of the arrest warrant and the court case four or six weeks ago and that his lawyers in Spain and in Washington hope to sort this out with the next month or so. He confirms that the sum involved was around 600,000€ and that the money had been used to pay Enrique Ingelias for appearing in Dubai. Pancho tells me that he has the full support of those involved in organizing the WineFuture conference.
I tell Pancho that will be publishing the story today – in the event it was delayed by calls to lawyers etc. until Friday.
I try without success to phone and email Jackie Wartanian.
Pancho starts to email speakers at the WineFuture conference about the case in Dubai and the arrest warrant. (see email in appendices below)
4th: Decanter publishes the story:
Following publication, PC phones me and tells me that his lawyers have warned an unnamed American journalist who has been investigating this story.
12th: I receive an email from Pancho Campo asking me whether 'you could be interested in being one of the guest journalists and speakers attending the 2010 edition' for a a tasting of Loire sweet wines. The Wine Academy of Spain is organising the 2010 edition of Vinoble. Although it would be good to see Loire wines featured at Vinoble, my response is that 'Until the situation has been resolved, unfortunately I'm unable to make a decision about attending Vinoble'.
PC's email includes a PS:
My lawyers in Washington DC are confident that my current situation will be solved in my favour in 3 to 5 weeks. In any case, I want you to be aware that regardless of my situation, The Wine Academy of Spain has a team of 12 people working who have the experience of having organized, for example, the Climate Change Conferences in 2006 and 2008, 4 very large wine festivals (Madwine, Barcelona Wine Festival, Marbella Wine Festival, International Wine Symposium), and the very successful Spanish Wine Education programme ( Although Initially I founded The Academy and I remain as President, I only have a small proportion of shares in the company. The management and administration
are no longer in my hands because I have another very ambitious project that will be announced at Winefuture.

What I am trying to say is that the company is sound, financially viable and totally independent from Pancho Campo. Since Winefuture, Spanish Wine Education, WSET and Vinoble are under the umbrella of The Wine Academy, my situation could only affect this programmes from an image point of view but so far the effect is the contrary, Winefuture is sold out, with a huge waiting list and it has total support from sponsors and speakers.'
19th: The National, an English language paper published in Dubai, publishes a news story by Charlie Hamilton revealing that PC was convicted of Breach of Trust in his absence, sentenced to a year in jail to be followed by deportation.
PC tells that he knew nothing about the sentence.
‘Campo vehemently denies knowing anything about the sentence. He told the first he heard about it was when it was published in an article in Dubai newspaper The National on 19 September.’ ‘'The case was tried and I was sentenced in my absence without any legal representation,' Campo told
His lawyer in Dubai told him nothing about the sentence, Campo said, and they have since lost touch. He added that he would not be suing the lawyer because he was 'in no mood to do anything like that'.‘
(story published 2nd October 2009)
It is possible that PC knew nothing of the sentence until he was detained at Charles de Gaulle in March 2009. It is, however, difficult to credit that ‘competent’ lawyers in Dubai, Spain and Washington were unable to uncover in the six month period following Charles de Gaulle interview that Campo had been sentenced in June 2003. Something that Charlie Hamilton (The National) found without apparent difficulty in Dubai court papers. Campo must have been well aware of the court case as he was charged on 5th June 2002 and surrendered his Chilean passport.
I understand that, although Melissa and the children have visited, PC has never been back to Dubai, although his wife’s parents own the American College of Dubai and Richard Butler, Melissa's father is the chairman of the board, founder and past president of the College. One has to wonder why PC has not been back with his children to see their maternal grandparents.
Pancho Campo resigns as director of WineFuture-Rioja `09 and also as the director of the Wine Academy of Spain. Kevin Zraly takes over a director of Winefuture-Rioja `09. Rony Bacqué, Campo’s brother-in-law, has been business manager of The Wine Academy of Spain.
Speculation and comment
Following the revelation that PC had a conviction in Dubai, did the wine authorities in Rioja, who are a major sponsor of the conference, demand that he step down? Certainly there are rumours of pressure on PC to resign as they were dissatisfied and unconvinced by his explanations including whether he had been detained by Spanish police in a Madrid hotel earlier on this year, which Pancho has denied.
Zraly was quickly appointed and PC resigned on 1st October. It is not clear how far Pancho Campo will continue to be involved. Will he become the shadow managing-director for WineFuture and The Wine Academy? He and Zraly will moderate Robert Parker’s Grenache tasting. Under current arrangements The Wine Academy is understood to receive any profits made by the conference. Given its profile that may be substantial – some estimate in the region of €1 million.
2nd: publish a second story covering PC’s resignation. Pancho denied that there was any pressure on him to resign: ‘He also insists that no pressure to resign was put on him by the Rioja Consejo Regulador, which is funding one third of the conference.’
The Decanter and The National stories allied with PC’s resignation and the publication of the 18 Grenache wines that Robert Parker is due to taste on 12th November without a single Rioja amongst them has stirred up controversy in Spain.
As Rioja is putting up 35% of the money to fund the conference but getting none of any profit made, the absence of any Riojas in Parker’s tasting of Grenache based wines has made some in Rioja very angry, especially as there are five Spanish reds from other regions included. Opposition politicians, in particular Miguel González de Legarra – spokesman for the Partido Riojano, are asking why is the region putting up all this money if its wines are not going to be promoted. Whether the late addition of two Rioja’s Marqués de Riscal de 1945 and Contador 2007, intriguingly described on the WineFuture website as ‘Last Minute’ will be sufficient to clam things down remains to be seen. Apparently neither of the late additions contain any Grenache – compare and contrast, perhaps?
3rd October: Pancho Campo is interviewed in Jerez:
From an interview in Jerez:

From the second question:

-Pero pesa sobre usted una orden internacional de arresto.
-No, es de localización. Y fíjese lo difícil que le ha sido a usted localizarme. Me ha llamado por teléfono, hemos quedado y aquí estoy.

But there is an international arrest warrant issued against you.

No, it's to find me. And see how difficult it was for you to find me. You called me up by phone, we fixed a date and here I am.

-¿Por qué le buscan?
-Por algo que sucedió en Emiratos Árabes, cuando yo vivía en Dubai. Allí se rigen por la legislación musulmana y cualquier delito,ya sea por no pagar la hipoteca o por un talón sin fondos, se juzga por la vía penal. Aquí, sin embargo, no sería más que una cuestión civil.

Why are they looking for you?

Over something that happened in the UAE, when I lived in Dubai. They live by Muslim legislation there and any offense (the word can also be translated as "crime"), be it for not paying your mortgage or for a bounced cheque, is tried via the penal code.

-¿Qué es lo que pasó para que le reclamen?
-Una ex socia de la empresa que tenía en Dubai puso un dinero en la sociedad, pero ésta quebró y ella reclama ahora el dinero.

What happened for them to be looking for you?

A former partner in a business I had in Dubai put money into the business, but it went bankrupt and she now claims the money.

-¿Ese dinero no le corresponde?
-No, porque era una aportación de capital. En esos casos perdemos todos. Yo, personalmente, perdí bastante más, pero ése es el riesgo que se asume.

Doesn't the money belong to her?

No, because it was a capital injection. In cases like those we all lose everything. Personally, I lost a lot more, but that's the risk you take.

-¿Nunca llegó a celebrarse un juicio por eso?
-Se fijó un juicio, pero yo no me enteré. No pudieron localizarme porque entonces yo ya no vivía en Dubai y me había venido a España. Se ve que la Justicia de Emirato Árabes me reclama ahora por esto y ha recurrido a la Interpol. Eso es todo. Creo que se está cometiendo una tremenda injusticia conmigo, pero, como le dije, estoy tranquilo.

Was there never a court case over that?

A court case was arranged, but I didn't get to hear about it. They weren't able to find me because I didn't live in Dubai anymore and had come to live in Spain. It can be seen that the Justice of the UAE is now looking for me and has gone to Interpol. That's all. I think a tremendous injustice has been committed against me, but as I said to you, I'm calm.
12-13th WineFuture Rioja09
held in Logrono with Robert Parker as main attraction.

Next edition of WineFuture provisionally fixed for 27th and 28th October 2011.

23rd: Pancho Campo MW to Jim Budd: 23.11.09
‘Please don’t feel I am ignoring you. My lawyers in Washington, Dubai and Spain have strongly advised me not no disclose any information.
They are getting close to seeing some light and don’t want to jeopardize their efforts. Also, the authorities involved have asked for silence and discretion until further notice.

Trust me, you will be first one I will contact as soon as I am given permission to speak.

I am innocent and I will prove my innocence. As a member of the wine community who has tried to contribute to the industry, I would appreciate some support and the benefit of the doubt. If Decanter is willing to, when this ordeal gets to an end I will be happy to give you the story.’

21st July 2010
Pancho Campo MW name is removed from the list of wanted fugitives on the Interpol internet site. Unclear what is now the status of his conviction and sentence from June 2003 in Dubai.

(I’m very grateful for the assistance of number of people in putting this timeline together in particular Harold Heckle of Associated Press in Madrid.)
Pancho Campo CV on Institute of Masters of Wine site
* First Spanish Master of Wine.
* President and founder of The Wine Academy of Spain.
* Recommended Tutor for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
* Studied winemaking at the University of California at Davis.
* Founder World Conference on Climate Change & Wine.
* Founder of the Spanish Wine Education certification program.
* Personally trained by Vice-president Al Gore and member of The Climate Project.
* Founder of WineFuture 2009.
* Attended Medical School.
* Former President and CEO of CSM, event management company with whom he organized and managed Davis Cup, the World Cup of Indoor Trials, the Pro Beach Soccer World Tour and events with Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Emilio and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Eric Cantona, Pink Floyd, Sting, Enrique Iglesias, Tom Jones and Jamiroquai amongst many others.
* Former tennis professional and participant in the Olympic Games of Barcelona 92.
Biography released when PC became an MW (September 2008)
Francisco (Pancho) Campo Carrasco, 48. Born in Chile and brought up in Barcelona from the age of 13, Pancho has had an exciting career. He began as a tennis pro and trained as a doctor, before turning to event management, which he combined with coaching the Qatari Davis Cup tennis team. He has had a longstanding love of wine, which eventually became a career in 2003 when he started the Wine Academy of Spain, having studied winemaking and marketing at UC Davis. Pancho is a passionate speaker on climate change, and has done much to raise the global wine industry’s awareness of the problem, working closely with former US Vice President Al Gore as a member of the Climate Project. Pancho is married to Melissa, and has two children. His hobbies include skiing, body building and restaurants.
Email 1st September from PC to speakers at WineFuture Rioja 09
I want to inform you personally about a delicate issue that is affecting me and my family. Because you are a participant in WineFuture-Rioja `09 I believe it is important for me that you become aware of this situation, directly from me and not through a 3rd party. It is the minimum I can do after all the trust you have put in me and in The Wine Academy of Spain.
Between 1997 and 2002 I lived in Dubai where my wife, her family and I had an event management company specialized in musical and sporting events. In 2000, a former client offered to buy some shares into the company and got involved with us. Unfortunately, due to the September 11th attacks on NY, it was impossible to get artists and athletes to travel to the Middle East. Sponsors pulled out and the business ended up closing down in early 2002.
In February of 2003 my wife, my daughter and I decided to return to Spain because we no longer had a business and the war in Iraq was imminent. Before leaving, we informed the Spanish Embassy that we were moving back to Spain in case I was needed to be contacted. Since then, I have been living in Marbella, working at The Wine Academy of Spain and traveling around the world promoting Spanish wines and helping create awareness about climate change, as you may know.

However, it has been brought to my attention, approximately two months ago that I have a case pending in Dubai regarding the dissolution of the mentioned company. Apparently, in July 2003 I was due to appear in court in Dubai to answer charges of fraud involving the mentioned partnership that went wrong. Because I was already living in Spain I was never informed of such court hearing and I was declared absconding. At the same time an Interpol notice was requested. I have put the case in the hands of competent lawyers from Washington and Dubai, and we are liaising closely with the Embassy of Spain in the Emirates. My family, who also owns the American College of Dubai is also assisting in the matter.
I was not aware also that there are hundreds of cases such as this in Dubai that are constantly being exposed by British and American media about people who carried out business in this part of the world and have been issued Interpol notices.
Since I am convinced that sooner or later this issue will become public I wanted to inform you personally of the situation. My lawyers, both in the US and in Dubai are confident that it will be resolved very soon in my favor and my name cleared. I am contacting all the speakers and sponsors of Winefuture to let them know about my case that was a financial dispute, totally outside of the wine industry and in a country that is becoming known for its judicial abuses. I also want to emphasize that this issue is personal and has no relationship with The Wine Academy or WineFuture.
So far I have received the total support from all our sponsors and speakers towards me and my family to help us deal with this unjust and unfair situation. I would like to ask you for your support and I thank you in advance for your understanding.
Feel free to phone me is you need further information (+34 609348287).

See you in Rioja!
Pancho Campo MW.

Thread on a discussion forum covering Marbella court case
Un juzgado de Marbella condena por impago a The Wine Academy of Spain, cuyo administrador único es Pancho Campo
Un juzgado de Marbella condena por impago a The Wine Academy of Spain, cuyo administrador único es Pancho Campo. Se trata de una demanda por reclamación de cantidad interpuesta por Dune Networks, S.L. (VNC-WBC) en 2006
El juzgado de Primera Instancia nº 1 de Marbella (Málaga) ha condenado a The Wine Academy of Spain S.L. —cuyo administrador único es Pancho Campo (Francisco Campo)— a pagar 8.879,18 €, más los intereses de demora, así como a satisfacer las costas del proceso judicial, a VNC-WBC (La Compañía del Vino, Negocio y Comunicación), por el impago de la prestación de una serie de servicios, entre ellos los relativos a la elaboración, edición e impresión de la revista oficial, el catálogo, diversas creatividades publicitarias y plan de medios del ‘Barcelona Wine Festival’, evento organizado por la empresa condenada.
La historia se remonta a Junio de 2006, cuando The Wine Academy of Spain S.L. encargó a VNC-WBC la elaboración de la revista oficial del ‘Simposium Internacional del Vino’, cuya nueva denominación pasó a ser ‘Barcelona Wine Festival’. Junto a la revista, que se distribuyó entre todos los asistentes al evento, se elaboraron también un tríptico informativo y un anexo con la relación de las bodegas expositoras. Asimismo, se contrató una cuña publicitaria en una emisora de radio barcelonesa.
Aunque esas labores fueron llevadas a cabo con total corrección —tanto en su ejecución como en el cumplimiento de los plazos establecidos— y obtuvieron la aprobación de Pancho Campo (algo que la sentencia refleja textualmente: “los trabajos encargados fueron realizados por el demandante [VNC-WBC] puntualmente y a entera satisfacción del demandado [The Wine Academy of Spain]”), el pago de las correspondientes facturas nunca llegó a hacerse.
La argumentación de la titular del Juzgado de 1ª Instancia nº 1 de Marbella es de una lógica aplastante: si la propia demandada admite la efectiva y satisfactoria prestación de los servicios cuyo pago se reclama, procede estimar la demanda, independientemente de cualquier otra cuestión surgida a posteriori entre las partes y sin que exista base jurídica alguna para considerar una supuesta compensación solicitada por la demandada. La justicia da así plena razón a VNC-WBC, estimando íntegramente su reclamación.
Contra esta sentencia cabe interponer recurso de apelación ante la Audiencia Provincial de Málaga, que ha sido anunciado, si bien la argumentación del fallo deja muy poco margen para que el mismo prospere.
[Más información en el documento público: “Sentencia nº 694 del Juzgado de 1ª Instancia de Marbella (Málaga) de 27 de Junio de 2008, correspondiente al juicio ordinario nº 567/2007” ]
An example of support for Pancho Campo MW
Siobhan Turner Says:
I am relieved and pleased to see such balanced and fair reporting on this matter. Pancho Campo MW is a leader in his field, and has been open about this matter with all those who have dealings with him. It is a very difficult time for him and his family, and it is good to see the wine community supporting him as he has supported it for many years. Siobhan Turner Executive Director Institute of Masters of Wine
From: Indian Wine Academy blog: Did Decanter Canter on de Campo News
Posted @ September 11, 2009 17:18
From 7 days another version of the story. (NB Photos of PC were added to the Interpol site on morning of 4th September 2009. Previously there were no photos on PC's wanted page.)
One of Europe’s best-known wine experts has said he will fight extradition to Dubai following a dispute over a dhs3.2 million payment to popstar Enrique Iglesias.
Pancho Campo, director of the prestigious Wine Academy in Barcelona, is wanted for the alleged fraud involving payments to Iglesias for an appearance in Dubai.
“A friend happened to see my wanted poster on the Interpol web site. I could not believe it,” he told 7DAYS from his home in Madrid, Spain.
Campo, who attracted Andre Agassi, Eric Cantona, Sting and many other major celebs to the emirate, says he had a bitter row with his former Dubai business partner. He says she paid dhs3.2 million to Inglesias for a concert at Dubai’s Aviation Club in exchange for a 40 per cent stake in Campo’s promotion company. But Campo claims the company went bust and he left the UAE for a new life in Spain.
Dubai police contacted international police agency, Interpol, after receiving a complaint about the matter.
Campo said he was shocked to see his wanted photo, which shows him posing outside a London vintner’s school after receiving one of the world’s highest awards for wine appreciation. “It was one of the happiest days of my life. To see my photo used on a wanted poster is really shocking,” he said.
Campo said he will not voluntarily return to the UAE to face the fraud charge. Campo, known for his dapper style, is now running wine schools and wine conferences for the rich and famous.
Al Gore spoke at one recent conference, while some of the biggest names in the wine business come to Campo’s yearly Spanish shows. “It’s embarrassing for me personally but I have nothing to hide. I’ll talk to anyone about this,” he said.
He has hired a high-powered team of Washington DC lawyers to deal with the case. His former business partner now runs a Dubai-based events company.
She did not respond to requests for comment.
12th November 2009
The list of the Grenache based wines that Robert Parker Jr. will be tasting at Winefuture-Rioja `09 are:

Châteuneauf-du-Pape – Francia/France
1. Domaine Charvin 2007
2. Marcoux Vieilles Vignes 2007
3. Mont Olivet - La Cuvee du Papet 2007
4. Chapoutier Barbe Rac 2007
5. Barroche Pure 2007
6. Vieille Julienne 2007
7. Pierre Usseglio-Mon Aieul 2007

8. Atteca Armas 2007 – DO Campo de Borja*
9. Mancuso 2005 – Vino de la Tierra de Valdejalón
10. Espectacle 2006 – DO Montsant
11. Clos Erasmus 2005 – DOCa. Priorat
12. Aquilon 2006 – DO Campo de Borja

13. Pandora – Alban 2006
14. Sine Qua Non Atlantis 2005

15. Killikanoon Duke 2006
16. Greenock Creek Cornerstone 2006
17. Clarendon Hills Old Vines Romas 2006
18. Torbreck Les Amis 2005

Rioja (‘last minute’ Tempranillo additions containing no Grenache)
19. Marqués de Riscal de 1945
20. Contador 2007
* Paco Higón has kindly pointed out that the 2007 Atteca Armas Bodegas Ateca / Zabrin comes from DO Calatayud and not DO Campo de Borja as listed above. The error is from the WineFuture Rioja09 site from where I copied the list of wines.
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Anonymous said...


Excellent articles on Pancho Campo. You forgot to mention that the two Rioja wines included at the last minute do not contain Grenache in their blend.

Jim's Loire said...

Many thanks – I have added that detail.

Anonymous said...


Forgot to mention on my previous post that there was an exclusive interview that Pancho Campo did just after he resigned on the
following link.

Pancho Campo answers are quite "interesting" and do not gel with some of the incidents. The best part is on the comments section where Antonio Gil, a journalist from Rioja, exposes some of the statements Pancho made as inaccurate based on an interview he had with him a few nights before he resigned. He also provides a few links on articles he wrote on Pancho Campo from a prominent Rioja newspaper website.

Anonymous said...


It may be nothing to do with the Loire, but an excellent piece of journalism. I frequently feel that wine journalism can get worryingly close to promotion. No danger of that with Mr Budd! - congratulations on the piece and do keep up the good work,


Jim's Loire said...

Graham. Many thanks for your kind comment. Jim's Loire is indeed essentially about the Loire but not exclusively allowing me to post about other areas and other subjects. These, however, will always be a small part of the blog's content.

Jim's Loire said...

Anon – thanks. Have added the exclusive interview link to the end of the piece.

Alcabalista said...

Just a "marginal" comment (and probably is also wrong at the Wine Future website)... the wine Atteca Armas is not from DO Campo de Borja but from DO Calatayud....

Jim's Loire said...

Paco. Many thanks for this detail. I copied the list of wines from the WineFuture site, so the error in one sense is theirs.

However, in another sense it is mine. I had assumed foolishly and apparently mistakenly that The Wine Academy of Spain headed then by an MW and charging 450 people 217€ to attend the tasting plus the obligatory fee of 783€ (1000€ total)would have got the details of the list of wines at the Grand Tasting with Robert Parker correct, especially as the two DOs are not even in the same Spanish region.

My apologies.

Minor details are often indicative of a wider truth.

Alcabalista said...

Dear Jim, for me this uncorrected mistake is also surprising... Anyway, just an extra comment, in fact both DO, Campo de Borja and Calatayud are in the same Spanish region: Aragón.

Jim's Loire said...

Paco: sorry confusing it with Cataluña.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Jim,
Thank you for your thorough investigation on Mr. Pancho Campo. I've also experienced an unpleasant situation with Mr. Campo when attending one of his WSET Level 3 courses in Oporto (Portugal) in 2006. The course was supposed to last five days and was shortened to four days after Mr. Campo suggested we could use last day for practising for the wine tasting exam. This seemed a good idea, since at this level candidates must pass a wine tasting exam where WSET compares the candidates’ tasting notes with the examiner’s (in this case, Mr. Campo). Therefore, we’ve agreed to quickly go through the rest of the Units in order to practice wine tasting the next day (or so we thought). However, Mr. Campo did not even appear on the last day of the course and instead was replaced by one of his associates of the Wine Academy of Spain, which gave us the exam. We only found out later that Mr. Campo had another course scheduled to start in Lisbon that same day (i.e. the two WSET courses were scheduled on overlapping dates). I cannot say I was surprised when I first read the news about his lack of scruples. I only regret not having filed a complaint to WSET back then. Cheers.

Jim's Loire said...

Thanks Anon. I note that nine months after Pancho Campo resigned to clear his name, he remains a wanted fugitive.

Anonymous said...

Re: WSET Level 3 courses in Oporto

It is important to distinguish between an individual giving a course and an institution.

Who was the "replacement"?

But if it was implied that Pancho Campo was giving the full 5 day course and not turning up because he was double booked for the last day then that is quite unethical.

Clearly PC is trying to build a training business with more than himself so it is reasonable for others to share the delivery.

But it is important to manage expectations. and there should have been clarity and transparency.

Anonymous said...

Re: Re: WSET Level 3 courses in Oporto

I do not wish to extend this discussion but here is my opinion about this subject:

The WSET Level 3 course in Oporto was, indeed, organised by the Wine Academy of Spain in partnership with the Portuguese “Academia do Vinho”, and not by Mr. Pancho Campo alone. However, he was the tutor for most of the course and because in order to pass the Unit Two examination (which consists of a blind tasting) you have to learn how the examiner assesses wines in order to obtain a matching result during the exam.

However, because the course was shortened to four days, the training sessions were also shorter and, consequently, most wine tastings were rushed and did not follow the complete WSET Advanced Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine (SATW). As a result, I felt that, like myself, most students were not conveniently prepared to use this tasting approach in the Unit Two examination since there was not enough time to get acquainted with the tutor’s tasting scale (i.e. the way the tutor rates the various attributes for each wine, especially those with more ambiguous scales, such as acidity, tannin, alcohol, body, flavour intensity and palate length). Consequently, most of the students failed or had poor marks on the Unit Two tasting exam.

I don’t remember who replaced Pancho on the day of the exam(I think it was a man named Javier) but I was told Pancho had tasted the same wine that morning (or the previous day, I am not sure) before he left to Lisbon. Mind you, I am not suggesting he did not taste the wine used for the exam. I am simply saying that the students were not conveniently prepared for the exam because he had to rush things. Also, as I’ve described in my previous post, we were expecting to have Pancho taste with us that morning to prepare ourselves for the exam.

Furthermore, I had the opportunity to compare the “official documentation” in Spanish that was provided to the students with the original textbook in English from WSET (“Exploring the World of Wines and Spirits”). I was very frustrated to see that the Spanish version had many translation errors (some of which radically changed the meaning of the original sentences) and lacked the quality of the original book, having no figures, maps or glossary at all. The same can be said about the Spanish translation of the corresponding Study Guide.

Therefore, though my respect for WSET has not diminished, I will not recommend anyone to attend courses provided by the Wine Academy of Spain (or “Academia do Vinho”) to anyone.

Anonymous said...

The current scandal involving Mr. Campo and Dr.Jay Miller in Spain - known as Murciagate and/ or about charging for visits of the 2 men to wineries in Madrid - certainly seems to "add fuel the fire" regarding specualtion about Mr. Campos' ethics?