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Wine, Networks and Scales

Intermediation in the production, distribution and consumption of wine


Edited By Stéphanie Lachaud-Martin, Corinne Marache, Julie McIntyre and Mikaël Pierre

Wine as a product arises from human connections in know-how and trade as much as from the natural environment in which grapes are grown. At each stage of decision-making about growing grapes, making wine, selling and drinking it, people with different roles are networked together into systems of production and distribution. The authors in this collection offer new studies of the individuals and groups who act as connectors in these networked systems, intermediating in the delivery of wine from growers’ vines to consumers’ glasses. These actors operate at multi-layered scales of geography or within multiple regimes of governance, all the while taking account of arbitrations of quality and taste. This collection highlights how intermediators in many different wine countries and periods of history are, and have been, significant agents of continuity and change in the wine industry.

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Intermediation and the Making of Cirò Marina Wine Markets in Calabria (Italy)



Wines from Calabria are not well known nor are they sought on the international scale. But there is an exception: the town of Cirò Marina where the Cirò DOC wine is produced. There are eleven other Denominazione di Origine Controlatta (DOC) in Calabria, but their production is small in comparison with what we find in Cirò Marina. This town is responsible for 75 % of all the DOC wine produced in Calabria. In addition, no other Denominazione di origine controllatta in Calabria possesses as much recognition on foreign markets. Mostly exported to Germany and Switzerland, the Cirò wine can also be found in Great Britain, Japan, the United States and Canada. In that respect, on the scale of Calabria, the Cirò wine seems unique. We can wonder how such a place has emerged as a leading wine producing and exporting region. The aim of this chapter is to understand how the commercial networks for this wine were formed historically and who the makers and intermediaries were.

If by definition an intermediary is a person situated between two places or two realities, we can challenge the assumption regarding the existence of such a figure in the wine trade. Through the analysis of the historical development of the different markets for the wine of Cirò, the focus of this paper will be on identifying the categories of individuals involved in the wine trade and on investigating their roles as intermediaries. I will begin by describing the...

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