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Beyond terroir: territorial construction, hegemonic discourses and French wine culture

Record type: Article

Starting from the anthropological investigation of Burgundian viticulture my paper examines the major issues attached to the territorial construction of the French wine industry around the concept of terroir. It will discuss the diverse strategic deployments of terroir encountered in Burgundian viticulture since the 1990s by arguing that a paradigm shift has occurred from the geological argument to the recognition of the wine grower as the mediator in the expression of terroir. Moreover there is a tendency to use terroir as a local governance tool leading to homogeneity and rootedness, while supplying a means for individuals in localities to respond to globalisation.


À partir de l'étude anthropologique de la viticulture en Bourgogne, l'auteure examine les principales questions liées à la construction territoriale de l'industrie viticole française autour de la notion de terroir. Elle présente les différents déploiements stratégiques de cette notion rencontrés dans la viticulture bourguignonne depuis les années 1990, et avance l'idée d'un changement paradigmatique avec le passage de l'argument géologique à la reconnaissance du viticulteur comme médiateur de l'expression du terroir. On observe en outre une tendance à utiliser le terroir comme outil de gouvernance locale, aboutissant à une homogénéité et à un enracinement tout en donnant aux villageois locaux les moyens de répliquer à la mondialisation.

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Demossier, Marion (2011) Beyond terroir: territorial construction, hegemonic discourses and French wine culture Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 17, (4), pp. 685-705. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9655.2011.01714.x).

More information

Published date: December 2011
Organisations: Modern Languages and Linguistics


Local EPrints ID: 210717
ISSN: 1359-0987
PURE UUID: 3ae8caef-b276-4d4f-9ed3-5d8f319dc912

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Date deposited: 21 Feb 2012 12:47
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 10:45

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