Creating Wine: The Emergence of a World Industry, 1840-1914 (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World)
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Today's wine industry is characterized by regional differences not only in the wines themselves but also in the business models by which these wines are produced, marketed, and distributed. In Old World countries such as France, Spain, and Italy, small family vineyards and cooperative wineries abound. In New World regions like the United States and Australia, the industry is dominated by a handful of very large producers. This is the first book to trace the economic and historical forces that gave rise to very distinctive regional approaches to creating wine.
James Simpson shows how the wine industry was transformed in the decades leading up to the First World War. Population growth, rising wages, and the railways all contributed to soaring European consumption even as many vineyards were decimated by the vine disease phylloxera. At the same time, new technologies led to a major shift in production away from Europe's traditional winemaking regions. Small family producers in Europe developed institutions such as regional appellations and cooperatives to protect their commercial interests as large integrated companies built new markets in America and elsewhere. Simpson examines how Old and New World producers employed diverging strategies to adapt to the changing global wine industry.
Creating Wine includes chapters on Europe's cheap commodity wine industry; the markets for sherry, port, claret, and champagne; and the new wine industries in California, Australia, and Argentina.
merchants blended these wines with those produced in California. By contrast, by 1901 California accounted for nine-tenths of the nation’s wine production, but had just 2.4 million of its 91.2 million inhabitants. Viticulture was introduced into Baja California by the missions, the first of which was founded in San Diego in 1769, although the earliest reference to the planting of grapes dates from 1779, at the San Juan Capistrano mission.2 After the missions were secularized in 1833, the
(or Australia), wine was the national drink, and therefore any suspicion of a Mendoza cartel creating monopoly prices led to politicians in Buenos Aires demanding imports from Chile or elsewhere.49 The low quality of much of the wine also implied that a trust that did not include all the major wineries would suffer from problems associated with free riders—independent producers who did not contribute to the costs of regulating the market but increased their output to take advantage of higher
those facing French exporters. Trade was dominated by two major London houses that specialized in Australian wines: Walter Pownall and, in particular, Peter Burgoyne, who claimed in 1900 to have exported fully 70 percent of the wine sent from Australia to England between 1870 and 1900 and to have invested £300,000 in advertising so that “Burgoyne’s Australian Wine” placards were found “on every railway station in England.” Australian producers resented the control exercised by the two British
French, Franck, Traité sur les vins; Le guide (1825); Paguierre, Classification (1829); Cocks, Bordeaux (1850); and in English, Jullien, The Topography (1824); Henderson, History (1824); Paguierre, Classification (1828); Redding, History and Description (1833); and Cocks, Bordeaux (1846). 16 The 1855 classification was the response of the Bordeaux Commodities Market to a request from the local chamber of commerce. It took only two weeks to compile, although, as noted above, there was a tradition
holdings even larger. At the other extreme 40 percent of the growers (171) owned less than 4.5 hectares, each worked predominantly by family labor, although these accounted for only 11 percent of the albarizas vines (table 8.2). In the first half of the nineteenth century the grapes were crushed and fermented on the farm, but by the second half burned sulfur was used to impregnate the grapes so they could be brought to Jerez for crushing.18 The wine was usually racked off the lees between