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Winemakers and Wineries in the Evolution of the Italian Wine Industry: 1997-2006

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This work concerns the role of winemakers as independent consultants of wineries with respect to recent changes in the Italian wine industry. Internationalisation and new consumption styles have turned the wine market into a mass market. Furthermore, new actors have emerged that mediate the convergence of supply and demand, and foster the adoption of new winemaking practices. Innovations in winemaking have had to overcome the resistance of the advocates of the traditional conception of quality, institutionalised by the denomination of origin regulations. Independent winemaking consultants and industry media, mainly wine guides, were key actors behind the innovations that fit the new context. We document the growing importance of winemaking consultants, and how they have been complemented by wine guides. We analyse the networks of wineries induced by the multiple affiliations of winemakers, as reported by the oldest Italian guide, I Vini di Veronelli, in the period 1997-2006. In these networks two wineries are tied if a winemaker has an affiliation with both of them. We analyse the evolution of these networks, and assess whether the structural position of a winery is associated with the ratings of its wines.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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