By Steve Charters
Wine and Society: the cultural and social context of wine construction and intake seems to be on the courting among wine construction and advertising and marketing, focussing in buyer behaviour and cultural attitudes. Divided into 4 elements, it examines the context of wine construction, the wine client and the social context of wine.
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Additional resources for Wine and Society
This was modified slightly in the 1970s with the introduction of the category known as vin de pays (country wines) in France, quickly copied in other EU countries. They are also, however, subject to controls on yields, although these are not as strict as those for QWPSR. The other issue that was crucial in the post-war period was the rapid acceleration of technological advance (Charters, 2003). This could be seen in viticulture – with the growth of vine crossings, sprays and fertilizers, and later the development of scientific canopy management systems – and also in wine production.
Over the next 40 years the insect spread through the country and beyond and had devastated most of Europe’s wine regions by 1914. Phylloxera has a complex lifecycle but, critically, the larvae of the insect burrow into the soil and gnaw at the roots of the vine, extracting sap. Its natural habitat was the roots of American vine species but these plants had developed resistance to the insect and their roots merely calloused over when damaged, so that the plant remained healthy. The roots of Vitis vinifera vines have no such resistance and after a period the vine dies.
For wine this had a number of effects. First, the need to gain valuable foreign currency meant that some of the defeated nations – notably Germany and Italy – put a lot of effort into producing cheap, affordable wines. In places like the Rhine valley and Valpolicella this resulted in planting vines away from traditional high-quality vineyards and into more fertile valleys. Yields were high but quality declined. Some of these wines – especially liebfraumilch in the English market – became widely popular, but in the longer term they reduced the reputation of the country or region in which they were produced because of the focus on making them as cheap as possible.
Wine and Society by Steve Charters