Monday, June 2, 2014

New “Wine and Identity” Volume Explores Branding, Heritage and Terroir

Post Conference Wine 011The latest publication in the Routledge Studies of Gatronomy, Food and Drink series is fascinating. Wine and Identity: Branding, Heritage, Terroir, Edited by Matt Harvey, Leanne White and Warwick Frost, 2014, Routledge, is a collection of chapters exploring the new world marketing wine.

In today’s age traditional and newer wine regions are fighting to maintain or expand consumer markets. Branding allows consumers to differentiate one product from another. Wineries and wine regions hope that the target markets will associate their brand with positive experiences.

Harvey, White and Frost approach the subject of wine and identity through three themed sections on branding, heritage and terroir. Chapter authors illuminate concepts through profiles of wineries and regions.

“Global wine markets are dynamic, fluctuating and ultra-competitive,” say the editors in the introduction. “This is in part because wine is very different from other agricultural products. Unlike milk, flour, fruit or vegetables, consumers seek information about where, when and how wine was made, and this is a major factor in their purchase decisions… Wine is distinct in having an identity – a combination of brand, heritage and terroir – and that gives certain wines and wine regions a competitive advantage.”

A chapter about Spain’s Andalucia’s Sherry wines shows how winemakers are attempting to adapt to shrinking demands by moving away from bulk wines to boutique production and pairing their wines with modern cuisine. The effort of Central Otago, on the South Island of New Zealand, to establish a distinct regional image as they emerge as a producer of premium Pinot Noir. The chapter, “Crafting Brand Stories for New World Wine looks at a number of Canadian wineries (including favorites Organized Crime, Blasted Church and Megalomaniac) and their labels and brand stories.

Each chapter would make a great seminar at the Wine Bloggers Conference. There are chapters about wine in Slovenia, Georgia, Malaysia, England and Sao Francisco Valley, Brazil. Others look at the Okanagan Valley, South Africa, and Australia’s Barossa.

This book is highly recommended.

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