Identity Markers for Wine Producers: Terroir and Beyond

Christian Poulsen*, Mette Mønsted

*Corresponding author for this work

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The article investigates how wineries have used different markers as an effort to differentiate themselves from other producers and support their self-identity. The most dominant markers perceived by the respondents are tied to different forms of regional/geographical markers, such as terroir including the AOC, and organic production. They stress the vine and agricultural aspects of winemaking. In addition, some markers also include special wine, such as old vine as a special aspect of identity as quality producers. The empirical basis is 23 face-to-face in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews with owners and winemakers in wineries in New South Wales, Australia, Provence, France and by the river Duero, Spain; and two wine experts in Australia and in Spain. The analytical perspective includes the notion of boundary objects, and the role of technological actors in an Actor-Network theoretical approach. We also make use of the framework of small business identity as production oriented. The main conclusion of the paper is that wine producers in the market of quality wine tie their efforts to differentiate their quality wine to their identity work.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Wine Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)194-217
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • AOC
  • Identity markers
  • Old vine
  • Organic wine
  • Terroir

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