Varietals of Capitalism: A Political Economy of the Changing Wine Industry 9781501703737

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Varietals of Capitalism: A Political Economy of the Changing Wine Industry

Table of contents :
List of Figures, Tables, and Text Boxes
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: Wine and the Politics of Economic Change
Part I. The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change
1. Existing Approaches to Change in and beyond the Wine Industry
2. Structured Contingency: Institutions, Fields, and Political Work
Part II. Shaping and Negotiating Deep Reform
3. Knowledge and Power in the Scientific Field
4. When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field
5. Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field
Part III. Implementing Change. Reinstitutionalization or Reproduction?
6. The End of Interventionism?
7. From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?
8. Microeconomic Support: New Instruments in Old Bottles?
Conclusion: A Glass Half Full

Citation preview

Varietals of Capitalism

A volume in the series

Cornell Studies in Political Economy edited by Peter J. Katzenstein A list of titles in this series is available at

Varietals of Capitalism

A Political Economy of the Changing Wine Industry

Xabier Itçaina, Antoine Roger, and Andy Smith

Cornell University Press Ithaca and London

Copyright © 2016 by Cornell University All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, this book, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher. For information, address Cornell University Press, Sage House, 512 East State Street, Ithaca, New York 14850. First published 2016 by Cornell University Press Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Itçaina, Xabier, author.   Varietals of capitalism : a political economy of the changing wine industry / Xabier Itçaina, Antoine Roger, and Andy Smith.    pages cm — (Cornell studies in political economy)   Includes bibliographical references and index.   ISBN 978-1-5017-0043-9 (cloth : alk. paper)   1. Wine industry—Economic aspects—European Union countries. 2. Wine industry—Government policy—European Union countries. I. Roger, Antoine, author. II. Smith, Andy, 1963 July 24– author. III. Title. IV. Series: Cornell studies in political economy.   HD9365.A2I73 2016  338.4'7663200904—dc23   2015032412 Cornell University Press strives to use environmentally responsible suppliers and materials to the fullest extent possible in the publishing of its books. Such materials include vegetable-based, low-VOC inks and acid-free papers that are recycled, totally chlorine-free, or partly composed of nonwood fibers. For further information, visit our website at Cloth printing

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


List of Figures, Tables, and Text Boxes vii Acknowledgmentsix List of Abbreviations xi Introduction: Wine and the Politics of Economic Change


PART I The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change


1. Existing Approaches to Change in and beyond the Wine Industry


2. Structured Contingency: Institutions, Fields, and Political Work


PART II Shaping and Negotiating Deep Reform


3. Knowledge and Power in the Scientific Field


4. When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field


5. Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field


vi  Contents

PART III Implementing Change: Reinstitutionalization or Reproduction?


6. The End of Interventionism?


7. From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?


8. Microeconomic Support: New Instruments in Old Bottles?


Conclusion: A Glass Half Full


References235 Index257

Figures, Tables, and Text Boxes

Figures 1. Institutionalist economics 2. Regulationist economics 3. Sociological institutionalism 4. Actor-network theory 5. An industry as an order of four institutionalized relationships 6. The internal logic of a field 7. An industry as a set of fields and an institutional order Tables 1. The four dominant approaches to socioeconomic change as applied to the wine industry 2. Percent of wine distributed by supermarkets in 2004 by value 3. Distribution of wine in France by volume 4. Top five specialized wine companies in 2005 5. Wine sold by multibeverage corporations in 2005 6. Representatives at the Challenges and Opportunities for European Wines seminar 7. Volume of wine produced and used for crisis distillation by region in 2009 8. Vines grubbed out in France, Spain, and Italy, 2008–2011 9. Number of AOCs and VdPs per select EU member state in 2012

12 14 21 26 36 39 45

30 93 93 95 95 125 140 145 167

viii  Figures, Tables, and Text Boxes

Text Boxes 1. Basic principles of actor-network theory 2. Azpilicueta, Domecq, Pernod Ricard: A story of concentration/deconcentration in La Rioja 3. Grands Chais de France: From outsider to dominant player 4. The history of six Romanian wineries 5. Tuscany: Antinori and Chiantigiane 6. Timeline of the reform 7. The “reflection document” issued to the participants at the February 2006 seminar 8. A comparison of the European Commission’s proposal and the regulation adopted by the European Council and European Parliament

24 96 97 98 99 115 126



The research for this book was financed by the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche within the program Gouvernement européen des industries led by Andy Smith and Bernard Jullien from 2010 to 2014. Along the way, our reflections have been nourished by the following colleagues who all, in ­different but decisive ways, contributed to our work by commenting upon our initial results and papers. We thank in particular Thierry Berthet, Marc Blyth, Caitriona Carter, Clarisse Cazals, Pierre François, Philippe Gorry, ­Colin Hay, Bernard Jullien, Laura Michel, Matthieu Montalban, Tomaso Pardi, Claudio Radaelli, Sigfrido Ramirez, Filippo Randelli, Raphaël Schirmer, Jean-Marc Touzard, and Axel Villareal. Sigfrido even took an active part in some of our fieldwork in Italy and Madrid. We also thank Cornell University Press’s anonymous reviewer and Peter Katzenstein for their perspicacious and ­encouraging comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. Responding to their promptings for more clarity and rigor has been a challenging but rewarding experience. More generally, Peter and Roger Haydon at Cornell have been highly supportive throughout. Notwithstanding all this assistance, we of course take total responsibility for what follows. From a different but equally supportive angle, we also take this opportunity to thank those who have provided us with technical and logistical support where we all work, at Bordeaux University’s Centre Emile Durkheim. Particular thanks go to Myrtille Birghoffer, Dominique Nguyen, and Caroline Sagat. Finally, we thank all the practitioners who gave up their time to be interviewed for this study. Without the input of such people, the political economy we practice would be both impossible and meaningless.




Appellation d’Origine (Designation of Origin) Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (Registered Designation of Origin) Appellation d’Origine Protégée (Protected Designation of Origin) Asociat¸ia Producătorilor şi Exportatorilor de Vinuri din România (Association of Romanian Wine Producers and Exporters) Asociación Agraria de Jóvenes Agricultores–Asociación Riojana de Agricultores y Ganaderos (Agrarian Association of Young Farmers–Association of Farmers and Breeders from La Rioja) Common Agricultural Policy Confederación de Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de España (Confederation of Agrifood Cooperatives of Spain) Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (representative body of the EU industry and trade in wines) Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux (Interprofessional Body of the Bordeaux wines) Common Market Organization (Organisation commune de marché) Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganadores (Coordination of Farmers’ and Breeders’ Organizations) Consulenti per la Gestione Aziendale (Business Management Consultants)

xii  Abbreviations

Confcooperative Confederazione Cooperative Italiane (Italian Confederation of Cooperatives) COPA-COGECA Comité des Organisations Professionnelles Agricoles—Comité général de la coopération agricole de l’Union Européenne (European Farmers’ Organizations Committee—European Agri-cooperatives) DG AGRI Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (European Commission) DOC Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Registered Designation of Origin) (Spain; chapters 4, 8) DOC Denumiri de Origine Controlată (Controlled Designation of Origin) (Romania; chapter 7) DOCG Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Registered and Guaranteed Designation of Origin) DOP Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas (Protected Designations of Origin) ECA European Court of Auditors EP European Parliament FEV Federación Española del Vino (Spanish Wine Federation) GI geographical indication IGP/PGI Indication Géographique Protégée (Protected Geographical Indication) IGT Indicazione Geografica Tipica (Typical Geographical Indication) IR institutionalized relationship OIV Organisation internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (International Organization of Vine and Wine) ONIV Organizat¸ia Nat¸ională Interprofesională Vitivinicolă (National Interprofessional Wine Producers’ Organization) ONIVINS Office national des vins PNVV Patronatul Nat¸ional al Viei şi Vinului (National Association of Vineyard and Wine Production Employers) VdP Vin de Pays VSIG Vin sans IG (wine without geographical indication)

Varietals of Capitalism

Introduction Wine and the Politics of Economic Change

The wines of Europe are often spontaneously associated with traditions and places that are seen as timeless. “Bordeaux” today evokes red wines that can be kept for decades and stone-walled villages such as Saint-Émilion, and Chianti is invariably linked to the “unique” history and landscape of Tuscany. However, even the occasional drinker knows that wine from these areas has changed considerably over the last generation. Moreover, most tourists visiting these regions soon learn that the contemporary production of wine bears little relation to the folkloric imagery of horse-drawn plows and peasants treading grapes. Whether they are practitioners, journalists, or academics, most specialists agree not only that European wine has been changing for centuries but also that this change has accelerated over the last twenty to thirty years. However, there is disagreement about what the drivers of this change are. For many, European wines have changed simply because reductions in domestic consumption in large producer states such as Spain have forced producers to seek new markets abroad. For others, change has been fueled above all by the rise of exports from New World countries such as Australia and South Africa (globalization),1 and then by the realization of European wine producers that they would have to compete directly with them. Yet another interpretation attributes change to alterations in the way public authorities in Europe have intervened in wine markets through public policies and leg-

1.  The category “New World” was in fact invented by American and Australian producers at the beginning of the 1990s to highlight their common interest in taking on their European competitors. It has since been extended to include businesses in South Africa, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina.

2  Introduction

islation. Rather than add another partial explanation of why European wine has changed so fast and so deeply, this book provides a holistic account that draws not only on original empirical research but also, more fundamentally, on a new standpoint in social science debates about economic change. We believe that understanding change in an industry such as the wine industry can be fully captured only by developing a generalizable perspective on its politics. What determines or obstructs such change? What are the scope conditions for its occurring and then “sticking” during implementation? These are fundamental questions raised in various academic disciplines, in particular research that uses concepts and methods taken from the new institutionalism. While we draw on certain institutionalist theories of change, we nevertheless propose a sharper focus on the politics of economic activity that refuses to dodge key conceptual choices in the name of seeking consensus. We believe that it is vitally important to reshape and restate the analytical program of an institutionalism in a way that focuses on both agency and what structures it. Our explanation of how and why European wines have changed therefore illustrates a sustained theoretical proposition that asserts that the cause of economic change relates to structured contingency: actors prepare and make such change in institutional orders that are deeply socially configured and highly constraining. This proposition combines the tools of constructivist approaches to institutionalism (Hay 2006a; Abdelal, Blyth, and Parsons 2010), Bourdieu’s theory of fields (1992, 1993a, 1996, 2013), and a Weberian sociology approach to political work in industries (Jullien and Smith 2011, 2014). The resulting analytical framework has been developed and refined around a major empirical study that focused on the negotiation and implementation of a reform of the European Union’s (EU) wine policy that was formally adopted in 2008. The content of this reform is now generally accepted as radical because it has shifted public support away from measures designed to directly affect the supply of wine, then moved it toward concentrating instead on demand. More precisely, since 2008: • The EU has abandoned direct intervention in wine markets through the

subsidized distillation of surpluses. • A final campaign has used EU funds to grub out 175.000 hectares of vines

across Europe. • Laws that once prevented European producers from making wine using

specific techniques that are permitted elsewhere in the world have been annulled. • New, simplified categories of European wine have been created. • Efforts to better promote European wines in non-EU countries have been partially financed by public authorities. • A range of “modernization” grants have been distributed.

Wine and the Politics of Economic Change  3

The effects of this reform have been both considerable and highly varied. Why was this reform so readily accepted in 2008, after years of bitter resistance at both EU and national scales to parts of its content and much of its underlying rationale? Just as important, why do almost all commentators on the wine industry not even consider these questions? Specifically, why have they consistently reduced explanations to one or more of the following three assertions? 1.  The reform had to happen because globalized wine markets made it necessary for EU producers to align themselves with changes in “demand.”2 2. This globalization was a reaction to interdependent shifts in “consumer demand” on the one hand and corporate ownership and behavior on the other. 3. The EU could no longer sustain an interventionist wine policy because it costs too much and because the World Trade Organization had outlawed it as trade-distorting. Notwithstanding the confidence with which these accounts of the reform have generally been expressed, even our initial research on the reform quickly revealed that none of them actually fit the information we gleaned from documents and interviews. On the contrary, although consumption of wine has clearly changed since the 1970s, it has never sent unambiguous signals to producers that they simply had to change their products and modes of marketing. Markets are actually deeply complex and thus provide uncertain information, a point that seriously undermines the claim that one universal vision of current demands for wines ever existed, let alone affected producer and merchant behavior automatically. Similarly, the companies involved in growing grapes, making wine, and then selling it have clearly also changed considerably in recent years. As in so many other industries, a concentration of ownership and vertical integration has occurred in many wine regions. However, this process is still far from completely dominating the world’s wine industry, especially that of Europe, where relatively small operators continue to predominate. In addition, the concentration of wine companies has not translated automatically into changes in how producers or merchants construct and represent their interests. As we will show, changes have indeed occurred in this direction, but none of them directly affected the construction and implementation of the EU’s 2008 reform. Finally, the budgetary cost of the EU’s wine policy and the influence of the World Trade Organization also

2.  Throughout this book, we use “new consumer,” “supply,” and “demand” not as neutral and descriptive categories but as terms used as a weapon by many of the actors we have studied. They will be enclosed in quotation marks at only the first use in each chapter.

4  Introduction

clearly need to be taken into account in any explanation of policy change. The 2008 reform did not decrease the EU’s costs; instead, it reshaped them. Although EU representatives often invoked the force of World Trade Organization law as a motive for change, in practice such declarations legitimized what they were already seeking instead of being a primary cause of change. In short, very little of the standard explanation of the 2008 reform stood up to the test of even our first few weeks of empirical investigation. The more we strove to answer the questions Why this reform? and Why in 2008?, the more we had to examine closely the expertise that surrounds the making of commercial and political decisions, the shaping of interest groups, the organization of public authorities, and the way a supposedly common EU policy has actually been implemented in the vineyards of Europe. Specifically, as the closing section of chapter 2 sets out in detail, fieldwork in Brussels and national capitals and comparisons of four member states (France, Spain, Italy, and Romania) and major vineyards in those states (Bordeaux, Rioja, Chianti, and Romanian vineyards considered as a whole) provide the empirical evidence on which we base our answers to queries about change in the wine industry. This fieldwork also grounds in empirical evidence our answers to the general social science questions about the politics of economic change that we raise throughout this book. Our starting point for rethinking economic change is a reaffirmation that politics is and always has been an omnipresent driver of the economics of wine. Moreover, this politics is deeply multiscalar (global, EU, national, regional, vineyard), although this multiscalarity is neither new nor specific to wine. However, its shifts over the past twenty to thirty years have contributed considerably to the conditions for the deep change in EU policy and the effects of this reform, which, as will be seen, have varied in revealing ways from country to country and vineyard to vineyard. This book shows that the 2008 reform synthesized a process of change that has spanned more than twenty years. We insist that the changes recounted in this book cannot be reduced simply to the legislative changes adopted in 2008. Instead, a more revealing story about change caused by structured contingency needs to be told to capture what created the conditions for that reform and has since shaped its implementation. To substantiate these claims, we open with theory positioning. A refusal to seriously address the politics and multiscaled structuration of economic activity and the importance of policy implementation is a common failing of much commentary on European wine. Put bluntly, chapter 1 shows that four major theory-driven interpretations of change in the European wine industry are incomplete or wrong. More fundamentally, it identifies why the general assumptions about politics, economics, and change that underlie each of these four approaches—namely institutionalist economics, regulationist economics, sociological institutionalism, and actor-network theory—urgently need replacing. The first two of these approaches are excessively material-

Wine and the Politics of Economic Change  5

istic. Although their claims contrast sharply, they both interpret policy and political change as the consequence of exogenously caused changes in stocks of material resources and power. In contrast, analyses based on sociological institutionalism and actor-network theory are insufficient analytically because they give excessive explanatory weight to the interactions between individuals and groups (or objects). In so doing, and despite their considerable differences, they focus on the positioning and repositioning of firms within networks and underestimate the unintentional resonances between differentiated, historically structured, and partially autonomous spaces. Elements of each of the four theories mentioned above are of course worth retaining, but we maintain that other sources of concepts and questions are needed to build a coherent alternative analytical framework. This is the aim of chapter  2 which, as noted above, is inspired by constructivist approaches to institutionalism, and the sociologies of Max Weber and Pierre Bourdieu. Our generic approach to the causes of economic change, which we call structured contingency, has three key components. The first is a conception of economic activity as structured by institutions that are both highly structuring and fundamentally contingent. Institutions, which we define as stabilized rules, norms, and conventions, are the artifacts around which industries such as wine are regulated. In so doing, they produce an institutional order that provides a certain degree of stability for economic activity but is also fraught with tension and likely to evolve. Following Bourdieu, we consider this relationship between stasis and change to be structured most deeply by the spaces of action we call fields. These spaces reflect both the objective positions of actors and the outcomes of struggles for symbolic hierarchization. Strong differentiation between fields is an initial consequence of this structuration (here we will focus on the economic, scientific, and bureaucratic fields; i.e., those most relevant to our case study). A second consequence is that each field is underpinned by its own logic, organized around specific issues, and driven by a balance of power that is relatively autonomous from other such spaces. Third, fields are also multiscalar: a local field exists within larger ones (e.g. national, European, global) that are built around the same issues but entail a greater number of positions. Furthermore, struggles in several different fields will at times coincide. However, this is rarely because individual actors manage to bring them together through their entrepreneurship. Instead, interfield connections or transfers need to be analyzed in terms of accidental institutional resonance. The third and final part of our analytical framework directly tackles the dynamism of fields and thus institutional orders. Instead of reducing such dynamics to the social skills of individual actors or organizations, we claim that they are the consequence of political work, a process that is conditioned by the contingent coincidence between fields and is consistently threefold. First, it encompasses the activities that define what constitutes the public problems that dominate policymaking over a particular period of time. Sec-

6  Introduction

ond, political work generates the instruments through which public and collective actors seek to regularize the treatment of the aforementioned problems. Finally, both problems and instruments are constantly worked on from the angle of legitimation; that is, how actors seek to justify and normalize them through discourse and symbolic action. Using this analytical framework, Part 2 focuses on the preparation of the EU’s 2008 reform and on the academic struggles that oriented the progressive institutionalization of demand-centered arguments in the wine industry, the work commercial, associative, and public actors did to recycle and diffuse the ideas this new paradigm conveyed, and, finally, the negotiation of the reform in 2006–2008. Chapter  3 focuses on the relationship between knowledge, science, and power that lay behind the 2008 reform. Mobilizing a dynamic conceptualization of fields, we show that the role played by the sciences of vine and wine was a precondition for the production and legitimation of a new approach to the government of this industry. Chapter 4, which focuses on the 2002–2005 period, builds on this analysis. This time span was marked by new challenges to EU policy and an increase in the political work carried out along lines merchants and deviant producers traced in the new paradigm; that is, by actors located in the wine industry’s economic field. During this period, these two sets of actors began to propose a new approach to the EU’s government of the wine industry. By the mid-2000s, the very definition of the problem had already changed for a large number of key actors. Crucially, alternative definitions of the problem had either been stigmatized or were not even opened for discussion. Chapter 5 zeros in on the adoption of new EU legislation over the years 2006–2008. Not surprisingly, bargains were struck and deals were made among actors from the bureaucratic field to get the reform package through. However, debate was no longer about deep issues of policy direction and substance because these had largely been settled previously. Part 3 concentrates on implementation. Our aim here is to analyze the institutionalization of the reform and assess whether the degree of change announced in 2008 has actually taken place. In general, we find that implementation has indeed substantiated the deep change announced at the time of the reform. In particular, it has sustained the contention that only wine that fits with the demand of what is frequently labeled the “new consumer” is economically sustainable and merits EU support. In addition, merchants have gained legitimacy and power in this new version of EU government, to the detriment of the growers. However, the implementation of this reform has been heterogeneous and has led to differentiated institutionalizations. In order to explain both the changes in the industry prompted by the reform and the diversity of forms it has taken, Part 3 addresses the three main types of policy instruments it has affected. Chapter 6 focuses on the drastic reductions in the deeply interventionist dimensions of previous EU policy. These instruments previously sought to control most wine prices by limiting the

Wine and the Politics of Economic Change  7

supply of grapes produced and the supply of wine entering markets. In order to encourage EU wine producers to accept the abandonment of this policy, a second aspect of the 2008 reform concerned the reprograming of markets, the focus of chapter 7. Here the reformers sought to assist European wine producers and merchants by restructuring the range of wines they produced and simplifying how they are presented to the public, a shift in policy and practice that was legitimized by once again evoking the practices of challengers from the New World. In the mid-2000s, initial reaction from producers to the European Commission’s proposals on these issues was often hostile. However, translating them both into action has thus far been a relatively smooth process. Finally, chapter 8 focuses on the EU’s microeconomic measures (subsidies for promotion, restructuring, and investment) that sought to improve the competitiveness of its wine producers and merchants. The 2008 reform placed a great deal of emphasis on regulatory policy tools as a way of reprograming markets, but has not meant that the EU has abandoned all budgetary support for the wine industry. Instead, the reform has transferred much of the money that was previously spent on grubbing out vines and distillation to microeconomic measures aimed at improving the competitiveness of individual firms and regional vineyards. However, our fieldwork shows that in practice, actors differ widely in the economic and social value they attach to these microeconomic measures. Reactions to and interpretations of the reform as a whole have varied, but not simply due to material deter­ minants. Instead, the causal mechanisms our research identified concern the extent to which regional actors located in both the economic and bureaucratic fields have “normalized the policy paradigm” (Hay 2006a, 59) at the heart of the 2008 reform. Overall, and beyond the wine industry, we aim to contribute to two interrelated general academic and political debates. The first relates to understanding the government of the EU as a whole. From our perspective, European policies stem from a complex set of contingent political work conducted in the economic, scientific, and bureaucratic fields. As we shall demonstrate, this stance distinguishes us from the materialistic perspectives that argue that EU governmentalization is nothing more than the reflection of power struggles between economic interest groups. It also rejects an intergovernmentalist perspective that reduces EU policy to the mere output of bargaining between member states. We focus instead on the mechanisms of a complex process of decision making and institutionalization that is specific to the European scale without isolating the bureaucratic field from its economic and scientific counterparts. In addition, our approach seeks to grasp the whole process of an EU-driven policy change—from the premises of the reform through its implementation—to capture the thickness of the institutionalizations in which change or stasis occurs. Secondly, as our conclusion underlines, we not only call for a reassessment of institutional change and reproduction in the European government of

8  Introduction

wine; we also maintain that the structured contingency approach we use to analyze the wine industry could usefully be extended to other parts of social science devoted to economic phenomena and potentially way beyond this area of inquiry. What follows is therefore just as much about studying the politics of change in general as it is about understanding the reorientation of European wine. In this sense, the analytical model we advocate aims first at contributing to the ongoing rich but currently stalled debate about types of institutionalism. Second, and more fundamentally, our approach to politics within structured contingency raises a challenge for and proposes a contribution to the deep scientific debate about the changing relationships between individual actors, social structures, and institutions. Indeed, although this book’s title is partly tongue in cheek, what follows is very much about variations within contemporary capitalism and how they can and should be studied.

Part I

The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

Analyzing the 2008 reform of the EU’s wine policy provides a way of reflecting more generally on the ways that industries (and thus economies) change. Our object of study has already been put to the test by four major theoretical models of empirical inquiry: institutionalist economics, regulationist economics, sociological institutionalism, and actor-network theory. Chapter 1 presents each of these theories and their application to analysis of the contemporary wine industry. However, envisaging economics as the result of individual calculations, interactions, or macrostructural factors, none of these theories provides a sufficiently complete and convincing explanation of economic change. Chapter 2 builds an alternative analytical framework to capture not only the dynamics observed in the case of EU wine policy but also the dynamics we consider to occur recurrently in all economic activity. Although we share a commitment to the institutionalism many colleagues in political science and sociology espouse, the originality of our structured contingency approach lies in its documentation of the role fields play in socioeconomic activity. This approach also seeks to innovate by identifying how coincidences between fields can create space for the political work that, we hypothesize, brings about institutional change or stasis.


Existing Approaches to Change in and beyond the Wine Industry

Wine has inspired a vast literature in the social sciences, particularly in sociology, history, and geography. There is much to be taken from this research. In analyses of recent change, however, most existing publications raise and reflect the deep analytical problems of academics working on this and many other parts of economic life. The following critique of existing literature critically discusses not only the research that specifically concerns wine but also the approaches to economic change that underpin it. To date, several broad theories of change have been used in analyses of the wine industry. The most basic debate is between approaches that emphasize the agency of wine firms and those that give material structures a determining role. Other schools of thought have developed in order to move beyond this opposition. While they have each contributed to knowledge about what determines economic activity in general and the wine industry in particular, they all have analytical limitations which this book seeks to move beyond.

Agency versus Structure: Economics (Still) in Search of Its Actors The opposition between agency and structure has been the subject of a great deal of thought in social science (Lizardo 2010). When it is transposed into analyses of economic exchange, it generally takes the form of a cleavage between institutionalist economics and regulationist economics. The former stresses choices, calculations, and the contracts firms enter into, while the second focuses on the accumulation regimes and social hierarchies that (it claims) constrain choices, calculations, and contracts. However, both provide

12  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

a restricted viewpoint that hinders comprehension of the deep causes and consequences of change.

Institutionalist Economics: Calculation and Contracts Institutionalist economics is the theoretical lens most frequently used, both in general and for the wine industry. According to the originator of its central concept of “transaction costs,” Oliver Williamson (1975), economic actors are above all opportunists whose self-interested and short-term-oriented behavior generates uncertainty that has costs. These costs encourage actors, often aided by the state, to collectively produce institutional safeguards to protect themselves from attacks from their competitors. In their purest form, these measures create an institutionalized hierarchy that is an alternative to pure markets. Those who subscribe to institutionalist economics contend that hybrids of markets and institutions are what structure economic behavior. More precisely, those who defend this theory argue that economic actors put in place explicit or implicit contracts that they rationally follow in order to protect and enhance their material interests. The assumption here is that actors enter into this contractual environment in full knowledge of its constraints and opportunities, as well as what is in their own best interest. Accordingly, institutionalist economists explain the success of New World wine companies as the result of their high capacity to reduce transaction costs by closely aligning the production of grapes with their processing, marketing, and distribution (see figure 1). For example, they depict straightforward and transparent contractual arrangements between grape growers and



F3 F1, F2, F3 Firms REDUCED TRANSACTION COSTS • Grape growing • Winemaking • Marketing • Distribution/exporting

HIERARCHY Figure 1  Institutionalist economics

Tensions Contractualization

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  13

large wineries in the United States and Australia as characterized by strict and verifiable growing and processing norms (Rousset and Traversac 2004; Rousset 2005). This set of institutions flows into another set that involves export strategies whereby New World suppliers commit to long-term supply contracts with supermarket chains backed by enforcement mechanisms that reduce transaction costs still further (Traversac 2011). Proponents of this interpretation of the rise of New World wines have a strong tendency to believe that the 2008 reform of the EU’s wine policy was inspired and promoted by European wine companies who saw policy change as a straightforward adjustment measure. The goal was to facilitate change in the hierarchy of the various actors involved in Europe’s wine industry by encouraging the restructuring of grape farming (through the subsidized grubbing out of vines and the end of plantation rights) and introducing new ways of classifying wines (e.g., by reforming product specifications for wines produced in designated areas) (Cafaggi and Iamiceli 2010). Consequently, institutionalist economists see the EU’s new wine policy as simply the result of pressure exerted by the European companies that were best placed to improve their position in this hierarchy, and thus to compete most efficiently with their opposite numbers in the New World (Corsinovi, Begalli, and Gaeta 2013; Gaeta and Corsinovi 2014). This view resonates with an increasingly popular but deeply ­problematic (Oatley 2011) approach to open-economy politics (Lake 2009) that reduces analysis to making assumptions about the preferences of private actors, mapping how they organize in national settings and only then raising questions about the structuring effects of international institutions. Notwithstanding the apparent coherence of the theories of economic change of institutionalist economics, they have been hotly contested. The first alternative theory incorporates other institutions that are more distant from economic calculation but are seen as central to the regulation of economic activity.

Regulationist Economics: Accumulation Regimes and Social Hierarchies Critiques of the overemphasis on calculation in economics abound, but the most sustained of these originated in this discipline itself around the regulationist school of economics. Founded in France by a group of neo-Marxist scholars (Aglietta 1979; Boyer and Saillard 2002), regulationist theory begins from the premise that economic activity takes place in accumulation regimes that structure the relationship between production and consumption, which themselves are reproduced by types of political and social organizations. Consequently, in contrast to institutionalist economists, regulationists claim that extra-economic norms and historically shaped hierarchies are what explain the stabilization of productive and commercial activity at any given period (Goodwin 2009). This approach has been extended by researchers who think

14  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

in terms of transnational historical materialism, in particular members of the Amsterdam Research Centre for International Political Economy (Overbeek 2000; Van Apeldoorn 2004). These researchers focus on the concepts of control that, they maintain, explain the development and reproduction of capitalism at the global scale. They see these concepts as the mechanisms through which the ideas and practices of the ruling class define the space of possible action for a society. Although for centuries these ideas and practices have been shaped at the national scale, regulationists argue that they have broadened in scope as a transnational ruling class has emerged. Indeed, the latter has come to possess a specific form of class agency that entails operating simultaneously in several national spaces. Regulationists explain this shift as the result of a transformation of the relations between capital and labor and the evolution of different forms of capital (financial or productive). In the context of the study of agri-food industries, the initial aim of research using regulationist economics was to identify food regimes. Using this concept, for example, Harriet Friedman and Philip McMichael identified a mode of relations between farmers and consumers that has stabilized at the global scale as a specific way of accumulating capital. To support this claim, they pointed to a range of materially determinant factors and data, such as modes of imperialist organization, customs tariffs, land rights, and consumption patterns in industrial centers. They explained regime collapses as what happens when a disjunction between these factors precipitates a crisis (Friedman and McMichael 1987). When applied to wine (see figure 2), variants of regulationist theory postulate that a global industry is shaped by numerous structural factors. Change and stability in that industry is attributed to dynamics caused by “the differing








Figure 2  Regulationist economics


Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  15

fortunes of consumers, investors, landowners and workers.” Consequently, the task of researchers is to study the “relationship between capital, class formation and accumulation across and within different scales” (Overton and Murray 2013, 703); that is, “the relationship forged between key buyers (and/or owners) in the core country markets and the producers and suppliers in the countries of the global semi-periphery” (Gwynne 2008b, 98–99; see also Goldfrank, Korzeniewicz, and Korzeniewicz 1995). Regulationists thus see relations between growers and wineries as crucial to the external positioning of products in the “global wine consumption space” (Pritchard 2002, 187). Authors who develop and promote such interpretations highlight increases in the global demand for wine and shifts within that demand (Anderson, Norman, and Wittwer 2003, 2004). Their research often seeks to identify change in consumption habits in states where historically high quantities predominated (e.g., France). They generally attribute such change to exogenous shifts in social hierarchies and ways of life. But such research also closely examines new markets for wine, in particular those linked to the development of a middle class in emerging states such as China (Banks and Overton 2010; Parcero and Villanueva 2011; Overton, Murray, and Banks 2012). The overall conclusion regulationists draw is that companies based in the New World have taken advantage of globalization by adjusting their strategies appropriately. In so doing they have deepened a position of comparative advantage based on the availability of suitable land and technologies that enables them to produce wine of standardized qualities while reducing production costs (Campbell and Guibert 2006; Campbell 2007; Cox and Bridwell 2007; Gwynne 2008a, 95), thereby benefiting mechanically from upscaling (Gwynne 2006; Gwynne 2008b; Overton and Murray 2013). From this angle, regulationists see the reform of the EU’s wine policy as simply an adaptation of European production and processing to a regime change that had already occurred in the global economy of wine (Meloni and Swinnen 2012). Notwithstanding the commitment by regulationists to analyzing economic activity by underlining the importance of a wide range of institutions and social hierarchies, their mechanistic account of change or stasis is deeply problematic. Positing that the structures of the global economy shift as a result of forces that are separate from individual and collective actors has led, for example, to descriptions of national and EU administrations as simply writing up a change that was brought about elsewhere. Such an account is wrong in the case of the wine industry. More fundamentally, it seriously underestimates the role of agency in all economic activity: the class agency that this approach concentrates on is merely the product of autonomous economic forces that leave no room for contingency. More generally, the polarization of debate between institutionalist and regulationist economists has led to a simple and straightforward cleavage between agency and structure. Institutionalists emphasize the strategies individual firms use, while regulationists emphasize macrostructural factors.

16  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

However, two other schools of thought have attempted to overcome this opposition by putting forward new proposals based on an interactionist approach. They themselves clash on a different level and mark out a new set of theoretical divisions that have their own significant omissions.

Beyond Agency and Structure via Networks? The Limits of Interactionism Promoters of sociological institutionalism have attempted to move beyond the division between agency and structure by explaining that the two are inextricable. They emphasize embedded agency and thus contend that the strategic action of economic actors takes place in a partially constraining social context. In contrast, researchers who subscribe to actor-network theory propose a move beyond the distinction between structure and agency and argue that the terms of the structure-agency equation do not make sense. Because they refute all forms of structural analysis, they dismiss the very existence of a social context as being outside of, and therefore anterior to, action, reject classic conceptions of agency, and concentrate on the material arrangements that support actors’ economic thought and make coordination between them possible. The tools these two schools provide have been used to analyze the construction and evolution of the wine economy. Despite their differences, they share the same disadvantage of only explaining how markets evolve in terms of interactions between individuals and groups (or objects). They thus limit analysis to the activities of businesses, without taking into account partially autonomous dynamics at work in other spaces that also cause economic reproduction or change.

Sociological Institutionalism: Organizational Networks and Embedded Agency Sociological institutionalism has positioned itself against institutionalist economics and transaction costs theory without discarding agency (Emirbayer and Mische 1998; Schneiberg and Clemens 2006; Convert and Heilbron 2007; François 2008; Steiner and Vatin 2009; Mische 2011). Indeed, it emerged as a hybrid of two alternative approaches. One of these approaches is social network analysis. Following Harrison White, authors who adopt this approach postulate that actors use information they draw from their networks of relations through monitoring the behavior of others (White 1970; White, Boorman, and Breiger 1976). This approach interprets markets as frameworks actors refer to when they assess and compare themselves against their respective competitors (their “mutual comparability”: White 1981). This approach was extended by the concept of embeddedness, the idea relationships are not the product of utilitarian

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  17

calculations of transaction costs but are instead strongly embedded in social contexts (Granovetter 1985, 482). Social network analysts distinguished these networks from both markets and hierarchies because they feature repeated exchanges that generate mutual expectations and relationships of trust. By interacting with each other, firms develop forms of collaborative learning. Their development is thus embedded in social context, a key element that institutionalist economics does not take into account. Organizational analysis is the second approach that underpins sociological institutionalism. Paul DiMaggio and Walter Powell, its initial main proponents, see institutional organizations as relatively stable social forms that define acceptable actions and place limits on individual expectations. In seeking to clarify the reasons why forms of organization converge, organizational analysts focus on interactions between actors and the relationships between organizations and their environment. The principal argument they put forward is that a quest for legitimacy takes priority over profit seeking. In order to obtain this legitimacy, organizations that are exposed to the same institutional pressures tend to adopt the same visions of reality and the same routines. This concept is referred to as the organizational field. Those who study organizational fields look at “organizations that directly interact or are indirectly oriented to each other, and that in the aggregate, constitute a recognized area of institutional life” (DiMaggio and Powell 1983, 148). An organizational field takes shape when interactions between organizations intensify and when the increasing volume of information exchanged favors the development of a collective rationality (DiMaggio 1988). The structure of the field acts as a filter for preferences and explains why the homogenization of organizational characteristics can occur (DiMaggio and Powell 1991, 11). It did not take long for this hybridization of approaches to make itself felt. The defenders of organizational analysis have gone so far as to use the tools of social network analysis to map organizational fields (DiMaggio 1986; Powell 1990; Powell, White, Koput, and Owen-Smith 2005; Padgett and Powell 2012). Their goal was to enrich research in economic sociology based on the concept of embeddedness. For example, Paul DiMaggio has advocated studying the activities and strategies of institutional entrepreneurs, that is to say, actors who have the ability to modify the rules of a field by convincing other members of the need for change (DiMaggio 1988). DiMaggio explains that economic action is embedded not only in social structure but also in culture, which, in turn, generates phenomena of “cultural entrepreneurship” (DiMaggio 1990, 114; DiMaggio and Louch 1998, 621; see also Mohr 2000; Lounsbury and Ventresca 2003). After several reformulations, this line of reasoning has culminated in the concept of institutional work, defined as “the purposive action of individuals and organizations aimed at creating, maintaining and disrupting institutions” (Lawrence and Suddaby 2006, 215). Emphasis is placed on the discursive procedures through which central actors strive to either maintain shared visions of reality, or change them (Lawrence

18  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

and Suddaby 2006, 248; Lawrence, Suddaby, and Leca 2009; Wry, Lounsbury, and Glynn 2011). Institutional work is not necessarily done by individuals. For example, in cases where there is a highly institutionalized organizational field, it can be undertaken by a professional association. Indeed, professional associations are often seen as being in a good position to initiate theorization, or “the process whereby organizational failings are conceptualized and linked to potential solutions” (Greenwood, Suddaby, and Hinings 2002, 58). Whether individual entrepreneurship or theorization led by trade associations predominates, in both cases embedded agency is highlighted by organizational field analysts (Garud, Hardy, and Maguire 2007). This reasoning was quickly taken up by proponents of social network analysis. Mark Granovetter (1992, 5) has conceptualized institutions as “congealed networks” in which “interactions between people gradually acquire an objective quality, and eventually people take them for granted.” In his later work, Harrison White introduced the concept of “decoupling” to account for the process that leads a stabilized network to transform into an institutionalized organization. He pursued this line of thought by including analysis of discourse and visions of reality within network analysis (White 1992, 2002c). This involves seeing networks as guiding the behavior of actors through “narratives” that build a “network ecology for identities” (White 2002a). White proposed mechanisms through which actors attempt to shape networks by engaging in “control projects” and blocking the action of others. Because of White’s emphasis on narratives, he sees cognitive frames as a factor that explains changes in network structures (White 2000, 2002c; see also Fuhse 2009). The merging of social network analysis with organizational analysis has recently led to the term “organizational social network research” (Kilduff and Brass 2010) or, more simply, “organizational networks” (Ahuja, Soda, and Zaheer 2012). Work to consolidate these ideas has been done by Neil Fligstein, both alone and in association with Doug McAdam.1 They have developed the concept of strategic action fields as a way of synthesizing previous studies. They define strategic action fields as “constructed social orders that define an arena within which a set of consensually defined and mutually attuned actors vie for advantage” (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 64). Such fields are based on intersubjective agreement: each party takes account of the other in order to guide his or her actions (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 216). Research in this vein thus seeks to uncover the “shared understandings that 1.  The stated objective is to draw upon social network analysis and organizational analysis, overcoming the limits of both techniques through cross-fertilization. Fligstein and McAdam explain that organizational analysis provides “a theory of how conformity occurs in already existing fields” but that “it lacks an underlying theory of how fields emerge or are transformed” (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 28; see also Fligstein 2008; Fligstein and Vanderbroeck 2014). They also argue that social network analysis “can be a powerful tool to help map fields” but that it lacks a theory to explain “the dynamics that shape fields” (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 30).

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  19

are critical to field level interactions.” They emphasize “collaborative meaning making” and “the attempt by social actors to create and maintain stable social worlds by securing the cooperation of others” (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 49, 10; see also Fligstein 1997, 398). This orientation has also drawn on symbolic interactionism. Fligstein thus uses the complementary concept of social skill, defined not only as an ability to get others to cooperate with you, but also as the capacity to get others to act with each other by creating collective identities for actors and producing meaning—in other words, by creating a feeling of common belonging (Fligstein and Vanderbroeck 2014). From this perspective, analyzing social skill is a matter of assessing “how individuals or collective actors possess a highly developed cognitive capacity for reading people and environments, framing lines of action, and mobilizing people in the service of these action ‘frames’ ” (Fligstein and McAdam 2011, 3–7; 2012, 16–18, 45–53, 108–112; see also Fligstein 2001b). Those who have social skill are able to “convince others that their view of the problems of the field and the identity they provide for others in solving those problems work for everyone” (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 25, 218). In so doing, they help stabilize the field. This framework is used to characterize the evolving relations between “incumbents” who make the field work to their advantage and “challengers” who seek instead to reorient it by constructing an alternative collective identity. When the field experiences an exogenous shock, challengers are offered new opportunities. A change in a proximate or closely related field may offer new resources, for example by causing an influx of new members and therefore potential allies. But change may also be endogenous if challengers incrementally succeed in reorganizing coalitions and destabilizing established relations between members of the field. When the challengers’ offensive is successful, the field enters a phase of settlement and quickly reestablishes a regular mode of functioning (Fligstein and McAdam 2012, 96–108; see also Fligstein 2013).2 2.  From the same perspective, Jens Beckert holds that “the notion of field refers to a population of actors that constitute a social arena by orienting their actions toward each other.” A field is a “local order” in which “actors develop mutual expectations with regard to each other’s behavior” (Beckert 2010, 609). A “theoretical umbrella” (Beckert 2010, 619) is thus provided that can be used to see the market as a combination of social networks, institutions, and cognitive frames instead of concentrating on one of these dimensions to the detriment of the other two. For Beckert, change within a field can be explained by the friction between these three structuring principles (Beckert 2010, 619–620; see also King and Pearce 2010). Other authors aspire to bring about renewal by extending and hardening the “cultural turn” in sociological institutionalism, starting with the concept of cultural entrepreneurs and the later works of Harrison White. The approach consists of making a bridge between previous work and pragmatic sociology (Pernkopf-Konhäusner 2014). It emphasizes the “institutional logics” that are external to organizations (Thornton, Ocasio, and Lounsbury 2012, 42), which are conceived as action grammars that are publicly available but in limited ways. Institutional logics are not reducible to transactions between individuals any more than they are to internalized values. They are expressed in the form of “vocabularies of practice” that provide support

20  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

Some proponents of sociological institutionalism have striven to characterize developments in the wine economy using these interpretive models. According to their analysis, strategic action fields in the wine sector have successively developed several forms (see figure  3). Their initial structure was shaped by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855; sociological institutionalists describe this as an organizing field–level event. According to this analysis, the social skill of the major landowners of the Bordeaux region enabled them to build alliances and form a broad coalition around their criteria, gradually smothering any challenges. Their aristocratic image of wine underpinned a broad-based mobilization of identity against which small wine growers came to define themselves (Croidieu 2011). Gradually, its effectiveness extended beyond the Bordeaux region. The same principle was repeated in other local strategic action fields and even beyond France. There were only a few challengers to this model, in particular in cases where cooperatives structured identity in the field (Croidieu and Monin 2010). The daily life of the strategic action field of the wine industry has subsequently been analyzed from this point of departure. Sociological institutionalists see long-standing interfirm networks as facilitating interactive and collaborative learning and emphasize the relationships between producers who are constantly observing each other (Chiffoleau and Laporte 2006; Rössel and Beckert 2013). In this analysis, market cultures are constructed around a trade-off between volume and quality (White 2002b). Thus, institutional change is seen as caused by various different factors. The changes such research attributes to the emergence of New World producers have been analyzed using the same tools. They locate the origin of this change in California’s Napa Valley. The difficulty for local producers in that area was to find an identity that would fit both wine businesses conceived as specialized organizations (concentrated on one segment) and generalist organizations (Swaminathan 2001; Zhao 2009). In order to get around these difficulties, Napa Valley wine makers—or rather those with the most social skill—began working institutionally in a targeted way. In the 1990s, they retrospectively constructed their own organizing field–level event; they mobilized the “Judgment of Paris” (a 1976 blind tasting by an international panel of wine experts where American wines outperformed French vintages for the first time). This narrative was used as a form of cultural entrepreneurship to forge a collective memory and mobilize local actors around the same objective (Anand 2011). According to this reading of events, Robert Mondavi

for agency (Thornton, Ocasio, and Lounsbury 2012, 42–44, 59–60). Note also that the reference to pragmatic sociology is shared with some proponents of the economics of conventions and actor-network theory. This leads some researchers to advocate closer links between sociological institutionalism and these two approaches (Mützel 2009; Knoll 2013; Diaz-Bone 2014). However, such appeals for theoretical syncretism should not conceal the major differences between the approaches.

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  21



Longstanding actors New entrants Regular interaction Mobilizations (using social skills) Figure 3  Sociological institutionalism. A typical strategic action field.

emerged as the main cultural entrepreneur because he used his social skills first to organize vertical relationships between wine growers and producers throughout the Napa Valley, and second, to restructure horizontal relationships between businesses (Hira and Swartz 2014). This formed the basis for “interactions amongst specialists in an embryonic and emerging network.” As a first step, there were moves to ensure “information pooling” (Taplin 2011, 127). Once a common identity had been consolidated, a strategic action field was structured that took the form of a “wine cluster.” Sociological institutionalists contend that the strategic action field formed in California demonstrated innovative capacities that depended on particular local constellations of interfirm networks that integrated wineries and multiple actors into the same identity project. This diffusion of skills and knowledge relied on collective resources and coordination (Hira and Swartz 2014). In order to analyze the regular functioning of the new strategic action field of California wine growers, proponents of this approach study how coordinating actors managed collective identity maintenance. They have found that organized events (competitions, wine tastings, etc.) were used to build up “inter-organizational sensemaking” that “enhance[d] organizational members’ self-esteem” and guaranteed them “categorical status recognition” (Zhao and Zhou 2011, 1438). Maintenance was ensured when linkage was achieved between internal recognition and external validation (Zamparini

22  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

and Lurati 2012, 498). The regular functioning of the strategic action field permitted internal divisions, provided they were based on a high level of coordination. The California wine industry thus emphasized the status of each firm (indexed to its affiliation decisions, i.e., to its concrete links with other actors) rather than its reputation (seen as being based instead on previous behavior). High-status producers enjoyed increased returns from their investment in product quality because status increased the positive effect of the quality of products on prices (Benjamin and Podolny 1999). Sociological institutionalists claim that once the effectiveness of this model for the wine industry had been proven in California, it was reproduced elsewhere in the United States, particularly in North Carolina. In this state, “a few large wineries have played a key role in establishing efficiency parameters for small wineries” that produced an “incipient industry identity” and provided “an important benchmark for industry newcomers” (Taplin and Breckenridge 2008, 352). The model quickly spread beyond the United States to other parts of the New World. In Argentina, the wine-making province of Mendoza became a major area for exports in the 1990s by constructing “a new constellation of institutions and networks that support[ed] sustained improvements in processes and products in a wide variety of firms.” The California strategy thus produced an institutional model that could be replicated (McDermott 2005, 12–16 and 21–22; see also McDermott and Corredoira 2011). Indeed, structurings of the same type have been identified in Chile (Giuliani and Bell 2005; Giuliani, Pietrobelli, and Rabellotti 2005), South Africa (Wood and Kaplan 2005), Australia (Aylward and Turpin 2003; Aylward 2004), and New Zealand (Dana and Winstone 2008). According to sociological institutionalists, the success of the approaches adopted in these New World countries had the effect of an external shock on wine-growing strategic action fields in Europe (Aylward and Zanko 2008). It threw into question longstanding relationships between wine quality and quantity, wherein either the latter was sacrificed to achieve the former or vice versa, by emphasizing instead the need for creativity and innovative oenological practices (Aylward 2011). This was accompanied by an “increased codification of knowledge” that devalued the local know-how that had been highly prized up to that point (Giuliani 2007). This generated a horizontal classification principle, in contrast to the vertical one that up to then had been dominant in Europe. Because “classifications confer identities on social actors,” (Zhao 2005, 179) challengers with social skills could use this new model to unsettle the general equilibrium of European strategic action fields. In Italy, for example, established categories were challenged in ways that increased the role of intermediary actors who were positioned between producers and consumers (Odorici and Corrado 2004; Negro, Hannan, and Rao 2011). This can be seen in the workings of a consorzio (trade association) where major changes have taken place, producing a new “organizational story alignment” through “a managerial symbolic use of meta-identities to

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  23

aggregate multiple identities.” Members of the consorzio who wanted to impose new ways of functioning acted as challengers. They “constantly worked to signal narratives internally, thus reminding individual organizations of what they were as a regional cluster, what they are, and what they want to become.” At the same time, they used this collective identity story to construct their external image (Zamparini and Lurati 2012, 498, 500, 502; see also Brunori and Rossi 2007). If we follow the interpretation proposed by sociological institutionalists, the EU’s 2008 wine reform simply gave new support to challengers (or cultural entrepreneurs) and removed obstacles to change that incumbents had previously constructed. This theory thus ascribes a determining role to the social skill of actors who run businesses. No account is taken of the possibility that multiple objects of confrontation—each possessing their own dynamic—may have converged in contingent ways and affected the Common Market Organization reform for different reasons. Nor do they leave open the possibility that change was not the result of an external shock and a straightforward opening up of wine-making organizations. In particular, sociological institutionalists fail to consider the possibility that legitimation of the initiatives launched by some wine businesses may have also been based on bureaucratic changes and processes.

Actor-Network Theory: Affiliations without Structures or Contexts Actor-network theory’s fundamental theoretical proposition is a focus on assemblages of humans and non-humans—actors and actants—“from which action springs” (MacKenzie et  al. 2007, 15). This is because “realities are not real outside the chains of practices that perform them” (Law 1999, 242). There is nothing outside networks—neither structure nor social context. This approach has resulted in the formulation of general explanatory principles (see box 1). Michel Callon and his associates have sought to use these principles to renew the analysis of economic activities. Accordingly, actor-network theory sees markets as “socio-technical arrangements or agencements” (Callon 2007a, 140). The approach analyzes the technical devices whose form and density make lasting economic activity possible (Caliskan and Callon 2010, 9). It emphasizes actor-networks that may “attach” the cognitive operations of a consumer to a particular product and that may involve “detaching” them from another product (Callon, Méadel, and Rabeharisoa 2002, 205). Constructing an attachment requires the mobilization and integration of a series of actors and technologies (such as advertisements, packaging, sales locations, etc.) (Callon and Muniesa 2005). Callon and his associates thus argue that the “struggle for attachment and detachment is at the heart of competition” (Callon, Méadel, and Rabeharisoa 2002, 207). Each market economy consists of a very large number of actor-networks that strive to attach

24  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

BOX 1. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ACTOR-NETWORK THEORY The initial formulations of actor-network theory were used to study scientific activity. The stated objective was “to follow how sciences shape society” and how they define “what it is made of” (Latour 1983, 144). Proponents of actor-network theory reject the influence of social context on scientific research or, conversely, the influence of scientific research on social context. In their view, one should see context as being created by the scientist who succeeds in “translating” the object of his or her research, in other words arousing interest in it in various circles, accepting that “interests, like everything else, can be constructed” (145). On this basis, politics means being “the spokesman of the forces you mold society with and of which you are the only credible and legitimate authority” (157–158), while “strength and success lies in the ability to bind together forces, to make them compatible and equivalent” (Callon and Latour 1981, 292). Success here requires actors and actants to construct and use sociotechnical arrangements—in other words, networks that associate humans and nonhumans. The more actors and actants are included, the more solid and durable the network (Law 1992; Callon 1991, 150). Thus, social scientists should limit themselves to describing these relationships following a simple principle: “follow the actors” (Callon, Law, and Rip 1986, 228). The only appropriate way to conduct research is to trace the strengthening and weakening of horizontal connections without attempting to insert the object of study into a previously structured social space (Latour 2005)

clients to a particular product and detach them from others (Callon 1999, 191). Analyses of economic change that emphasize structural factors or social changes should therefore be abandoned and replaced by a reading of the economy as a web of more or less unstable relations between innumerable units (Muniesa, Millo, and Callon 2007). Actor-network theory has thus positioned itself against sociological institutionalism, in other words, against authors who seek to identify the social context in which economic action is embedded. For proponents of actor-network theory, there is no basis for this approach simply because there is no social context. What is social is merely the result of assemblages observed in the course of action itself (Callon 1998, 253; 2013). Actor-network theorists also criticize sociological institutionalism because it is anchored in social network analysis. They distance themselves from this approach on two levels. First, in contrast to a social network, an actor-network includes nonhumans. Second, the form of an actor-network does not constrain

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  25

the strategies and activities of its members. Instead, it includes “distributed collective action, sometimes incarnated in the figure  of individual agency, at other times by that of a group, but which in all cases is action that is composed, dispersed, recommenced, diverted, re-launched” (Callon and Ferrary 2006, 40, our translation). For Callon, “no point is weak or strong by nature, or has resources or not. There are merely assemblages, arrangements, constructions, and configurations that cause a point to be strong or weak. Power only exists by being exercised and tested out: will the associations hold or will they come undone?” (Callon and Ferrary 2006, 37–38, our translation). This position leads Callon to put forward his own definition of agency. For him, “a calculating homo economicus really does exist” (Callon 1998, 51). More precisely, actors are “in a position to act deliberately” even when there is “imperfect and asymmetrical information” (Callon 1991, 154). Economic cognition is based both on “computational work,” which consists of compiling and handling quantitative data, and on “literary work,” which makes it possible to define what should be counted and evaluate it (Cochoy and Dubuisson-Quellier 2013, 6). Research must therefore concentrate on the “market devices” (IT tools, econometric models, etc.) that “equip” actors’ economic cognition and make their calculations possible (Muniesa, Millo, and Callon 2007, 1–2). For example, a particular price means nothing without an analysis of the work that has gone into describing the product and making it possible for others to recognize its value (Callon 2007b).3 Callon and his associates go so far as to speak of an “economy of qualities” in order to stress the centrality of these dimensions of the functioning of markets (Callon, Méadel, and Rabeharisoa 2002).4 Researchers who have used actor-network theory to analyze the wine industry have focused on the sociotechnical devices of markets (see figure 4). For example, they have notably highlighted the role of the Universal Exhibitions in Paris in 1889 and 1900. They describe these events as a way of staging and presenting French wine and constructing around it an actor-network that brought together the vine (which they see as an actant), production and trade businesses, researchers, journalists, bodies promoting tourism, and politicians. They construe the stands that presented wine products at these 3.  Around these principles and concepts, actor-network theory has been used extensively to analyze food networks, in particular by researchers at Michigan State University (Busch and Juska 1997; Konefal and Hatanaka 2010), who emphasize standards as normative devices that found and stabilize shared judgments. This is not only a matter of standardizing objects but also of bringing together all those who place their faith in the same norms. Standards thus overcome the heterogeneity of actors and objects by producing the conditions for the agreements that hold each network together (Bingen and Siyengo 2002; Hatanaka, Bain, and Busch 2006). 4.  Actor-network theory has strong links with the economy of conventions and pragmatic sociology (see, e.g., Thévenot 2001; Favereau, Biencourt, and Eymard-Duvernay 2002). Many authors use combinations of these three theories to study the building and operation of markets (Guggenheim and Potthast 2012).

Wine critics


Tourism marketing

Figure 4  Actor-network theory

= Translations

= Attachment / detachment

F1 + F2 = Winemaking firms




Material device

Civil servants and politicians



Tasting room hosts

Material device

Rating system



Synthetic yeasts

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  27

exhibitions as “political and economic apparatuses for the stabilization of the wine market” (Tran 2013, 267). This actor-network was then consolidated by the first law on appellations d’origines (geographical indications) adopted in 1905 in order to delimit production areas. Thus, the designated areas and norms used to define terroirs (longstanding wine areas) have been studied as standards that enable actors to cooperate and make it possible for their practices to converge (Fallery et al. 2012; Farmer 2013). From this viewpoint, the French appellations d’origine contrôlées (AOCs) are seen as the basis of a strong actor-network (Callon 1991, 147; Lewis 2008, 106; Russell and Lewis 2013; Teil 2014). The producers who controlled this actor-network managed to keep it going for nearly a century and used it as a mechanism for attaching customers. The actor-network changed when the objective became attaching new customers by detaching them from other beverages. In this process, the actor-network attributed a more central role to wine critics, especially to assessment tools such as Robert Parker’s scoring system, which made it possible for consumers to judge the quality of each wine in a context of uncertainty and “market opacity” (Karpik 2010, 135; see also Teil 2004). According to actor-network theorists, this model worked well until the emergence of a new actor-network controlled by wine companies from the New World. They see the rise of these companies as the result of their capacity to detach wine consumers from existing networks by developing new “value making practices” and “assemblage practices,” in other words, by building new alliances (Le Heron, Le Heron, and Lewis 2013, 222) By “following the socio-technical shaping of problem-solution relationships across the wine production system” research has thus sought to identify the “socio-technical alliance” that has emerged around each wine and “assess its impact” (Pont and Thomas 2012, 629; see also Pont and Thomas 2013). Findings developed from this viewpoint highlight how New World winery managers built and extended networks by enrolling winemakers, marketing specialists, traders, consultants, critics, and public authorities to define best vineyard practices (Pont 2011; Agendijk 2004). As a first step, Napa Valley producers attached customers by devising a simple, easily understood rating system that “standardize[d] the complexities of wine products and wine appreciation.” (Jamerson 2009, 383) This rating system was diffused by effective intermediaries, in particular tasting-room hosts. The scheme was duplicated in Australia, where a number of firms devised the provenance attributes of wines firms and then “strategically deployed [them] to frame the wine as a worthy choice for consumers (focusing on the use of the winemaker as a framing device)” (Maguire 2013, 368). New actants were enlisted: the aim was no longer merely to construct an actor-network around wine but to give a central role to new wine-making techniques, especially synthetic yeasts (Krzywoszynska 2012a). Firms organized wine shows and set up a new system of prizes and marks of distinction as ways to attach customers to Australian wineries (Allen and Germov 2011).

28  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

A sociotechnical alliance of the same type has been identified in Argentina in the Mendoza valley (Pont 2011) and South Africa (Ponte 2009). The definition of quality that wine companies from the New World managed to establish went hand in hand with the construction of a coalition of numerous actors at the global scale. This was achieved by mobilizing the wine-quality conventions of importing states and fitting them strategically to local configurations of quality conventions. Here success was facilitated when the network was built around a convention that was “portable and thus easier to transmit at a distance” (Ponte 2009, 237; see also Ponte and Ewert 2009, 1637). Overall, the global wine economy has been depicted as structured around evolving and recomposing networks, or more specifically around “an assemblage of social and economic relations, political rationales, expertise discourses, institutions, and related agents, through which diverse social forces, projects and organizational capacities are mobilized” (Lewis 2008, 103). According to actor-network theorists, this move was successful because New World firms managed to reshape the market attachments of consumers (Cochoy 2007). They “captured” customers in regions where wine had not previously been consumed, especially in Asia (Rod, Ellis, and Beal 2012; Rod and Beal 2014). But areas where consumption patterns were long established were not immune to this change, because wineries in California, Australia, Argentina and South Africa sought outlets in Europe. They made special efforts to detach consumers from sociotechnical devices formed around geographical provenance (Adinolfi, De Rosa, and Trabalzi 2011). European producers were obliged to react in order to find new ways to attach customers. The actor-network could be reconfigured along these lines by bringing in new actants, such as digital communication tools and supermarket displays. For example, a data matrix linked to a Web site can be used to keep customers loyal. Wine makers have thus used technology to create new forms of attachment by giving the consumer the means to make quality-based rational judgments (Cochoy 2012). Supermarket barcodes have also been used as a means of studying the consumer at work and observing the collective construction of an attachment to a European wine (Cochoy 2014). Taking this interpretation further, actor-network theorists logically see the reform of the EU’s wine policy as nothing more than an administrative endorsement of the outcome of the changes described above. For such authors, nothing was actually at stake during the reform process itself. Instead, the major shift the reform consolidated was the result of a seizure of power by businesses that had constructed and come to control a new actor-network by detaching customers from other networks and inducing them to develop new attachments to their products. This reading of developments in the wine-making economy is open to the general criticisms directed at actor-network theory (Thompson 2003; Fine 2003, 2005; Whittle and Spicer 2008). First, it is ahistorical: analysis moves

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  29

from one point in time to another without rigorously describing any process. Actor-network theorists instead depict change in the wine sector as a series of jumps from one particular moment to another. Their analysis thus disregards the long, gradual, and evolving construction of legitimation procedures by juxtaposing episodes instead of conducting rigorous diachronic process-tracing and comparisons. Second, the reading actor-network theorists propose is asocial: it does not recognize the existence of any social structure outside networks. Accordingly, this framework argues that the success of a wine business is conditioned by its ability to enlist actors and actants and then to attach customers. This approach therefore envisages a world in which actors, actants, and customers are simply “particles in suspension” before actor-networks and the sociotechnical devices that support them are created. However, comparative analysis shows that wine businesses can actually exist only through their integration into vineyards that are themselves structured and structuring social spaces—not merely the fabricated happenings that actor-network theory considers can be remodeled at will. Finally, the explanatory model actor-network theory proposes is apolitical because it restricts itself to describing how a business asserts itself as the spokesperson for an actor-network in order to account for political action. More precisely, actor-network theory research seeks only to identify how an actor-network succeeds in coordinating cognitive operations that combine literary work and computational work without characterizing the differentiated spaces of confrontation and power relationships in which both occur. In summary, notwithstanding their considerable differences, sociological institutionalism and actor-network theory both study changes in wine policy as simply extensions of positions taken up by firms. They ignore the effects of representations of reality that are constructed in other spaces, which are differentiated, structured, and partially autonomous. To reiterate the opening lines of this chapter, many interesting ideas and data have been generated by the four theoretical approaches to economic change that have recently been used to examine the wine industry. However, all four have a number of blind spots or flaws that our structured contingency approach strives to overcome (see chapter  2). The four approaches are laid out in table 1. We find institutionalist economics inadequate because of its reductionist vision of institutions and its dependence on rational choice theory to explain both business choices and public decision making. As we will show, the institutions that structure an industry such as wine extend way beyond those that participate in contracts. Moreover, we are fundamentally at odds with a theory whose starting point is that a universal rationality exists and that one can simply make assumptions about the interests, preferences, and behavior of actors on this basis. As with other constructivists (Abdelal, Blyth, and Parsons 2010), we argue that only through conducting empirical research can one

Hybrid between market and hierarchy

Rules of exchange (contracts)

Unit of analysis

Drivers of action

Higher capacity to reduce transaction costs

Adjustment of measures promoted by EU wine companies

Explanation for success of New World wine growers

Explanation for EU’s wine policy reform

Wine policies

Opportunistic actors

Key premises

General statements

Institutionalist economics

Adaptation to change in accumulation regime

Shifts in global wine demand

Extra-economic norms (political and social organization)

Accumulation regime (food regime)

Social classes

Regulationist economics

TABLE 1 The four dominant approaches to socioeconomic change as applied to the wine industry

Impact of an external shock on the EU’s wine-growing strategic action fields

Field-level event + cultural entrepreneurship + affiliation decisions

Social skill

Strategic action field

Organizations and networks

Sociological institutionalism

Indirect outcome of new actor-networks

New attachment of consumers to products

Sociotechnical devices

Actor-network (food network)

Humans and nonhumans

Actor-network theory

Existing Approaches to Change in the Wine Industry  31

reveal the processes of problem definition, argumentation, and connection making that feed into private, collective, and public choices and decisions. Finally, we are opposed to institutionalist economics because, like rational choice theory, the process of reading interests from balance sheets of material or formal resources is purely utilitarian. We also oppose actor-network theory which, in contrast, invests all its explanatory energy in the role of agency, even going so far as to claim that social structures do not exist. This so-called pragmatic vision of socioeconomics and politics is certainly right to highlight the need to conduct research at the scale of individual firms and administrations and focus on their connections. However, the way that actor-network theory conceptualizes these connections is confusing and disregards the causes of dependencies and asymmetries of power; in other words, the most crucial part of any interaction. Social institutionalists clearly believe that social structures exist and that social scientists should analyze them in depth. Like us, they are therefore firmly opposed to this part of actor-network theory. However, those who dominate contemporary economic sociology and have even borrowed Bourdieu’s concept of fields (notably Neil Fligstein) are more interested in examining actor interactions per se than in subordinating this analysis to an overriding theory that targets differentiated structures of positions that configure  action. For this reason, while we have more in common with sociological institutionalism than with actor-network theory or institutionalist economics, we propose a different way forward that relies on other sources of theoretical support. One of those sources is regulationist economics, a strand of economic theory that has consistently struggled since the 1970s to counter the hegemonic rise of institutionalist economics in its mother discipline. Like its leading author, Robert Boyer, our approach focuses on a wide range of institutions through which an industry such as wine is regulated. There is therefore much to be taken from this form of economics. However, most regulationists remain wedded to a mechanistic model of change and a macroscopic approach to empirical research that we again seek to go beyond.


Structured Contingency Institutions, Fields, and Political Work

Having critiqued the most commonly used approaches to economic change, and to change in the wine industry in particular, this chapter sets out the alternative theoretical and methodological position we have formulated and put to the test in the chapters that follow: structured contingency. In our efforts to overcome the limitations of an ultimately sterile debate about exogenous structure versus endogenous agency, our theoretical investments and empirical fieldwork have led us to develop an analytical framework that centers on institutionalization as a constant structured and structuring process in economic activity. More precisely, we have abandoned the idea that this activity is ever totally balanced, predictable, or open ended; instead, our focus is on the efforts a wide range of socially structured actors make to build, maintain, dismantle, or even destroy the institutions that provide them with varying degrees of order and constraints. The first advantage of this way of deciphering economic activity is that it embraces deep-seated social and political relationships, rules, and norms, while at the same time it can accommodate contingency.1 The second is that it coheres with a systematic approach to qualitative empirical research that gives precedence to the social positions, trajectories, and visions of reality of the actors who live in and shape this world of structured contingency. Because our approach sees economic institutions as socially determined, it argues they can only be studied sociologically. Before setting out this approach as a framework and methodological proposal, we will review the lessons to be learned from the work of those who have largely inspired it.

1.  Our concept of structured contingency is therefore close to what Clint Ballinger calls “deterministic contingency,” that is, one that entails the “interference” of “other systems” (Ballinger 2013, 47–48).

Structured Contingency  33

Historical Institutionalism: Partially Sound Foundations Institutions are the most fundamental objects of study of contemporary social science. However, as we highlighted in chapter  1, institutions can be conceptualized and theorized in ways that often mislead or obstruct analysis of causes and effects. It is thus vital that we turn to strands of institutionalism that are compatible with our own. At least in terms of the quantity of publications and quotations, the most dominant approach today is what is known as historical institutionalism. Many important definitions and claims can and should be borrowed from this literature. However, it also contains a number of blind spots that can be overcome only by turning to other sources of intellectual nourishment. Even historical institutionalism has not overcome the difficulties of the approaches we critiqued in chapter  1; it remains locked into a limiting, dichotomous distinction between structure and agency. Historical institutionalism is a positive source of analysis for at least three reasons. First, because while defining institutions as stabilized sets of rules and norms, it conceptualizes socioeconomic policy making as attempts to change or reproduce institutions (Hall and Taylor 2009). Second, in any social or economic space, such as the wine sector, it rightly considers that institutions not only place constraints on actor behavior but also provide the conditions for such activity to take place in a relatively predictable and therefore stable fashion. From this angle, for example, appellations d’origine contrôlée are not just forms of certification that provide constraining instruction sheets for producers and processors; they also enable such actors to market their products collectively. The third reason for turning to historical institutionalism is that a great deal of work within it has recently been devoted to identifying the causes of institutional change as more than just exogenous shocks. This approach is often referred to as HI.2. Kathleen Thelen in particular highlights instead the cumulative effect of continuous change that occurs under the surface of apparently stable institutional arrangements (2003, 210). She proposes a distinction between two modes of change: (1) institutional layering, or “the partial renegotiation of some elements of a given set of institutions” that occurs “while leaving others in place” (Thelen 2003, 225); and (2) the institutional conversion that occurs when change in the environment raises new problems that actors confront by using existing institutions differently. Such conversion is usually the result of the incorporation of previously excluded actors or groups who modify the aims of existing institutions (Thelen 2003, 228; see also Streeck and Thelen 2005; Hall and Thelen 2009; Mahoney and Thelen 2010). Notwithstanding the value of this variant of historical institutionalism, we seek to go beyond it for empirical and theoretical reasons. In our study of the

34  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

European wine industry we also refute the exogenous shock thesis that reduces change in the European wine industry to a consequence of globalization. However, Thelen’s first alternative hypothesis of institutional sedimentation does not fit with our object of study because instead of a partial negotiation an overall reform took place. Moreover, her second hypothesis of institutional conversion does not tally either since most of the instruments of the EU’s Common Market Organization (CMO) have been replaced rather than converted. More fundamentally, Thelen’s approach to policy change has two problematic features we feel can be addressed only by adopting a different, theory-driven viewpoint. The first of these features is simply the neglect of implementation as a decision-making phase of public policy and institution building (Itçaina, Roger, and Smith 2013). In the standard version of historical neo-institutionalism (e.g., Pierson 1996) governments adopt institutional changes that are quickly followed by a phenomena of “lock in” that, in turn, make institutions self-reinforcing and actor behavior path dependent. We argue instead that full institutionalization of change in an economy or society will occur only when change is accepted as something that fits with actor practices. As François (2011, 51, our translation) persuasively argues, “There are not on the one hand rules with an independent existence that soar above practices and, on the other, practices that are just their more or less imperfect and case-by-case translations. On the contrary, rules can only be grasped by examining practices.” One thus needs to build into accounts of institutional change the diversity of actors in an industry and how their practices relate to institutions (e.g., wine cooperatives historically have had different practices than independent producers and different relationships to the wine CMO). We thus emphasize how the same policy can be constructed and used in different ways, thereby contributing (or not) to its institutionalization in each of the regions and professions it affects. Second, unlike Thelen and Mahoney and others who use the HI.2 framework, we feel it is essential to unpack the social representations of policy change by a range of its implementers in order to grasp the legitimacy and thereby the degree of stability it is accorded. More precisely, we contend that rules or norms have the potential to embed themselves in economic and social practices as institutions because they are represented as legitimate parts of at least one of the four institutionalized relationships (finance, employment, production, and commerce) through which an industry is governed (Jullien and Smith 2008; and see below). Whether new policy instruments become institutions thus depends on the legitimation that, we hypothesize, must accompany the use of any instrument if it is to stabilize and have governing effects over time. Put succinctly, we are concerned not only with the effects of institutions on actor behavior but also on potential shifts in institution and actor legitimacy—what Colin Hay (2006a, 59) calls “the normalization of policy paradigms.” Hay’s “constructivist institutionalism” and similar

Structured Contingency  35

approaches to constructivism (Abdelal, Blyth, and Parsons 2010) will provide us with a means of escaping the analytical traps of contemporary historical institutionalism and address the inextricable link between institutions and legitimation. We feel that institutions are best defined as stable and codified systems of widely shared visions of reality (social representations) and the practices they sustain. Thus, we argue that analysis needs to focus on the socially constructed nature of both institutions and institutional change, and on the ideational preconditions of institutional (de)stabilization (Hay 2006a). Our approach to political economy owes a considerable debt to historical institutionalism and the scholars who have developed it. However, we remain unconvinced that merely tweaking this model with a view to generating an HI.3 is sufficient to overcome its limitations. Instead, more ambitious steps are necessary that incorporate other sources of theoretical inspiration.

Studying Agency alongside Structures: Institutional Orders, Fields, and Political Work To guide research toward uncovering what makes it possible to create, maintain, or reconstruct legitimacy for both institutions and actors in any domain of economic activity, our framework and research strategy includes three interdependent concepts. The first is discovering the institutional order of the domain in question, the second is revealing the fields that are structured by actor positions and orient appropriate knowledge in this order, and the third is focusing on the political work entailed in actually making, preserving, or recreating institutions, together with the institutional orders and fields they are located in.

Industries as Institutional Orders Economic institutions are potentially infinite. However, they are also recurrent and comparable because they can be grouped in terms of four persistent aspects of any economic activity: finance, employment, sourcing, and commerce. In every industry, all four of these aspects are shaped by groups of institutions we label institutionalized relationships that tend to generate relatively stable patterns of actor practice. These institutionalized relationships fit together in an institutional order, sometimes comfortably but most often not (see figure 5). Because our analysis in terms of institutional orders and institutionalized relationships has been extensively explained elsewhere (Jullien and Smith 2008, 2011, 2014), we will keep this presentation of its theoretical underpinnings short. It builds on a long tradition of what one would call today historical institutionalist industrial economics (Commons 1934) and is enriched by contributions from public policy analysts and political

36  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

Employment IR: Labor, human resources and profession institutions

Sourcing IR: Production institutions and processing

The industry as a configuration of the four IRs, which mediates norms on: • The product or service • Professional identities

Financial IR: Access to capital institutions

Commercial IR: “Thick” market access institutions

Figure 5  An industry as an institutional order of four institutionalized relationships. This figure was first developed by Jullien (2004), then refined in Jullien and Smith 2008 and 2014.

sociologists. Beginning analysis of economic activity in terms of its institutional orders has at least three major advantages. The first is that it provides a guide for analysis in terms of understanding an industry as a whole. On the one hand, it takes into account all three recurring activities (finance, production, and commerce), while on the other, it gives equal potential importance to representatives of businesses, interest groups, and public bodies. The approach also precludes a priori assumptions about actor power and legitimacy based on material resources or formal status. Instead, it encourages researchers to study each institutionalized relationship as shaped by provisionally dominant actors. Such actors and their competitors aim to change or reproduce the institutions of the relation­ ship while managing its linkages with the other three institutionalized relationships. In so doing, actors frequently invoke social representations of the industry as an over-arching entity and are constantly working on such representations. This analytical framework goes considerably beyond the language of institutional complementarity that is so often used in historical institutionalism (Hall and Soskice 2001), in order to ground analysis more firmly and clearly by studying the connections between actors and institutions that are mediated within and between institutionalized relationships. The second advantage of our analysis is that it tackles the impact of scale on economic activity. Instead of positing neat distinctions between regulatory regimes at national, European, or global levels and then synthesizing the consequence of these separations as multilevel governance (Hooghe and Marks 2001), we contend that each industry has an institutional order that is constantly traversed by scales. We conceptualize a scale as being simultaneously

Structured Contingency  37

a jurisdiction (law and public policy), a framework for economic strategizing, and a space of social meaning. Each scale impacts each of the institutional order’s four institutionalized relationships in varying ways. For example, it has been shown elsewhere that for most industries, the EU currently is a scale that strongly shapes sourcing and commercial institutionalized relationships but has thus far had comparatively little impact on employment or even financial institutionalized relationships (Jullien and Smith 2014). This approach to scales encourages original research on the precise effects of multiscalarity on industries, especially how actors seek to build or replace frontiers of socioeconomic activity around institutions. A third advantage of our analysis of institutional orders and institutionalized relationships is that it guides the study of how industry-specific institutional orders are also traversed by the horizontal policies that affect an industry, such as those developed in the name of competition or sustainable development. Instead of arguing that such policies simply impose themselves on the institutional order and the institutional relationships of an industry (e.g., the relationship of pesticide laws to the wine industry’s sourcing institutionalized relationship), our framework focuses on understanding how industry-specific actors seek to obtain derogations from the general law or policy at issue. As many historical institutionalists would concur, beginning analysis of an industry around the institutional order–institutionalized relationship framework ensures that the initial stages of any research project are centered on the institutions that structure it and the actors who have made them. However, in order to deepen analysis of the actors, their resources and how they have made or reproduced institutions, two further concepts must be added to our model: fields and political work.

Fields and Institutions We argue that the wine industry’s institutional order has been shaped and recently changed by three fields: the scientific, the economic, and the bureaucratic. Before we define this key concept more rigorously, a starting point is to consider that although each of these three fields have their own structural dynamics, their orientation has coincided at certain times, thereby creating contingencies and space for agency. More concretely, the fact that conjunctions of actors in favor of reforming the EU’s wine policy began to form was not simply the result of actions taken by individuals or their organizations (the viewpoint of sociological institutionalism). We claim instead that shifts in fields and the coincidences between fields are what modified the wine industry’s institutional order. According to Pierre Bourdieu’s classic definition, a field is a space in which agents who have varying types and amounts of “capital” struggle to determine the relative value of this resource (Bourdieu, 1986). Thinking in

38  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

terms of fields thus guides researchers to identify both a “field of forces” that is structured by the objective distribution of different types and amounts of capital and a “field of struggle” that is driven by symbolic confrontations that seek to define the most legitimate capital portfolio and disqualify the portfolios of others (Bourdieu 1993b, 30). Characterization of a field is achieved by means of structural and relational analysis. This method consists of studying the objective distribution of different types and amounts of capital and the position vis-à-vis other actors this distribution determines. In addition, a constructivist reading must simultaneously be undertaken because such positions shape various struggles about the definition of symbolic orders (Bourdieu 1993a). This explanatory framework also provides a means of bolstering the arguments we make against the two major approaches we critiqued in chapter 1 that also aim to go beyond the opposition between agency and structure. First, it provides us with the means to challenge actor-network theory head on. Second, it has led us to redirect arguments inspired by sociological institutionalism. The field analysis we propose deliberately runs counter to actor-network theory. Thinking in terms of fields obliges us to take account of a hierarchy that exists outside economic exchange. We maintain that struggles to modify this hierarchy depend on the positions actors occupy in a structured space, not on strategic alliances actors enter on the basis of actor-network theory’s “sociotechnical arrangements” and “devices.” Instead, the concept of field locates actions and discourses in sets of structured power relationships. Specifically, field analysis differs from actor-network theory in two major ways.2 First, the concept of field refutes the attribution of a determining role to the isolated strategies of individual actors. Like Bourdieu, we reject all explanations that do not take into account the unequal distribution of types and amounts of capital (Bourdieu 2005, 195, 198, 208). Thus, the very concept of a field runs directly counter to an actor-network theory approach that consists of following a person or an object from one circle of activity to another, taking account only of the individual allies they manage to mobilize here or there without taking into consideration the entire spaces of the positions involved. If one analyzes all the power relations and symbolic struggles within such a space of positions, one quickly discovers that connections are not established simply by individual initiative or by direct aggregation around a single object. Instead, they exist only to the extent that structures in fields allow them to (Bourdieu 1996, 258–259; 2004a, 32–33). Nothing in our use of field theory prevents us from focusing on the case of an individual (be it a member of the European Commission, a wine merchant, or a scholar identified 2.  Gil Eyal appeals for a division of labor whereby actor-network theory could be used to study the “spaces between fields” while underlining logics of “fuzzification and hybridity” (Eyal 2013). In our view, this proposal is confusing because it blends theoretical foundations that are fundamentally antagonistic.

Structured Contingency  39

as an expert on the wine business and wine policies). However, this can be done coherently only if we specify the position that the examined actor occupies in a hierarchy and show that this position is “structurally determining” (Bourdieu 1988, 76). In other words, once the structural regularities that affect individual positions in a field are identified, it becomes possible to observe how they function and combine in a particular instance without bringing the methodological biases of actor-network theory into analysis. Second, research that makes explicit use of actor-network theory lacks historical depth. More precisely, it attempts to describe the formation of fluid networks that are bounded only by the moment-linked properties of “nonhuman” elements such as wine rating systems (Tran 2013). By contrast, we see fields as constructed over time. An agent caught up in a field is therefore constrained not only by the field’s space of positions but also by the internal symbolic hierarchy of the field that has emerged and evolved historically (Bourdieu 1993a). Throughout this book we challenge analyses of the wine economy based on actor-network theory and instead draw on analysis based on fields. Moreover, this book distinguishes our conception of fields from that put forward by proponents of sociological institutionalism. The task here is more complex in that such researchers sometimes claim to follow in Bourdieu’s

Structure of objective positions Symbolic divisions / legitimate delimitations (result of a struggle for hierarchization) Dominance over the field Figure 6  The internal logic of a field

40  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

footsteps. Numerous authors seek to bring the two approaches together by claiming they both have a “sufficiently distinct core” (Martin 2003, 3; see also De Nooy 2003; Vaughan 2008; Mische 2011; Mohr 2013).3 Regrettably, however, this assertion is based on misappropriation (Emirbayer and Johnson 2008, 2; see also Swartz 2008; Mangi 2009; Christin and Blanchard 2013; Townley 2014) and on an “interactionist fallacy” (Emirbayer and Johnson 2004, 9).4 Bourdieu’s work stresses relationships, “not between the concrete entities themselves—e.g., the specific organizations at hand—but rather between the nodes those entities happen to occupy” (Emirbayer and Johnson 2008, 6: see also Schinkel 2007; Christoforou and Laine 2014). Although the distribution of forces determines the structure of interactions, this must not be confused with mere contacts between actors. In contrast to analysis that focuses on interpersonal networks, Bourdieu’s work focuses on “relations among organizations that may have no concrete ties to one another but that are, nevertheless, participants in the relations of force and contestation structuring the field as a whole” (Emirbayer and Johnson 2004, 8). Instead of concentrating on the relations between individuals or specific organizations, Bourdieu emphasizes “relations between positions which can be occupied by a variable number of individuals” (Bourdieu 2013, 13, our translation). Consequently, for Bourdieu, fields are “structured spaces of positions (or posts) whose properties depend on their positions within these spaces and which can be analyzed independently of the characteristics of their occupants (which are partly determined by them)” (Bourdieu 1993a, 72; see also Bourdieu 2005, 195, 198). A  distinction must therefore be maintained between “relations of interactions” and “relations of structural force” (Emirbayer and Johnson 2008, 9). The relevant network—the network that constitutes the field—is a network of positions and not a network that is constituted by actual meetings or exchanges between individuals or groups. Bourdieu regretted that proponents of sociological institutionalism who want to study markets “look for the basis of producers’ strategies not in the constraints inherent to their structural position but via their observation and

3.  One also finds references to Bourdieu in research on the wine economy that makes use of sociological institutionalism. For example, one wine-industry specialist claims that there is “a field of discursive battle for implementing quality definitions and criteria for it,” citing Bourdieu, while stressing the adjustments negotiated between actors in order to set out “a flexible typology of cultural logics for economic coordination” (Diaz-Bone 2013, 47–48; see also Beckert, Rössel, and Schenk 2014). 4.  In contrast, some authors criticize Bourdieu for not starting with “concrete interactions,” “interpersonal ties and visible relationships,” or “empirical social relationships” that can be subjected to network analysis (Bottero and Crossley 2011, 104, 111; Crossley 2013). This criticism is unfounded, given that Bourdieu’s arguments explicitly aim to “deny the role of interactions in producing or maintaining social structures” and to show that “the positions and objective relations, as they are configured between positions, help identify the space of a particular field” (Fox 2014, 207).

Structured Contingency  41

deciphering of other producers’ behaviors.” According to Bourdieu, they fail to “subordinate this ‘interactionist’ description of strategies to a structural analysis of the conditions that delimit the space of possible strategies” (Bourdieu 2005, 208). The analysis of strategic action fields Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam (2012) propose suffers from the same problem.5 By placing actors’ social skills—their capacity to establish direct relations with other actors—at the heart of their analysis, these authors prioritize actions that work toward a shared objective instead of a matrix of forces. They do not seek to bring to light “a system of independent forces or determinations capable of configuring action” (Medvetz 2013, 46, our translation; see also Abrutyn 2013, 8; Swartz 2014, 678) As a result, their approach does not show us precisely “how one meaning makes itself the dominant one” (Fuchs 2014, 313).6 In order to avoid such difficulties, we have forged an alternative approach for our analysis of the wine industry that is largely inspired by Bourdieu’s theory of fields but that makes selective use of his propositions.7 We build on the idea that a field is a structured space of positions in order to understand how three fields—economic, scientific, and bureaucratic—have featured strongly in the making of wine policies.

5.  Fligstein and McAdam (2012, xiii, 24–26) claim a “considerable affinity” with Bourdieu’s work. But they argue that their proposals “turn more centrally on coordinated action, which requires actors not to simply focus on their position in a field but to seek cooperation with others by taking the role of the other and framing lines of action that appeal to others in the field.” Both authors claim to emphasize more than Bourdieu did “collective action [that] depends on cooperation” and that requires us to think of “actors being able to convince others that their view of the problems of the field and the identity they provide for others in solving those problems work for everyone” (25). They also explain that their “main reservation” about Bourdieu is that he “tends to remove social skill from the equation” (219). For the reasons indicated above, we side with Bourdieu and therefore will give little sustained importance to the social skills of actors. 6.  For an extension of this judgment to the whole of sociological institutionalism, see Emirbayer and Goodwin (1994) and Pachucki and Breiger (2010). 7.  According to Bourdieu, a correspondence between objective positions and standpoints should be explained by habitus, that is, by a readiness to act that is acquired through an incorporation of the field’s structures. Pierre François notes that such a “compelling mechanism” is not developed in all the texts Bourdieu published, notably not in those that deal with economics (François 2010, 9). Moreover, he underlines that the notion of habitus allows research to alternate between several patterns of argumentation; for him, it is a “black box that one should try to open or give up” (12). We have chosen the second option: in our approach, institutional stasis and change are explained by the coincidences and disjunctions between different fields rather than by the greater or lesser consistency of cognitive and incorporated dispositions developed in a single field. Thus, we endorse Michael Burawoy’s analysis. He argues that the notion of a field can be useful without being locked into the notion of habitus. On the basis his empirical research in several factories (in the United States and in Hungary under the communist regime), he has shown that a space of positions could shape practices over and above any habitus. He thus argues that the focus should be on “institutionally ordered practices” and one that should admit that “social orders are held together by . . . social relations independent of the particular individual” (Burawoy 2012, 190, 192; see also Burawoy and von Holdt 2012, 187–193).

42  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

An economic field is most evidently one of competing forces: the volume and structure of the capital each actor possesses determines his or her position in the field (Bourdieu 2005, 194–195). An economic field is also a field of struggle since the dominant actors are the ones who manage to impose their own model of economic organization (or business model) as the norm. They do this by mobilizing the capital available to them while discrediting the models others promote. Hierarchies are thus the result of the efforts of “groups defending those boundaries which currently prevail, and thus the exclusion principles which underpin them” (Bourdieu 2005, 204). They are never definitive because dominated agents will do their best to modify the prevailing rules of the game to their advantage (Bourdieu 2005; see also Hinde and Dixon 2007; Swedberg 2009). Actors involved in different parts of the economics of the wine industry (growing grapes, processing them into wine, selling and marketing wine) are all thus engaged in struggles to bring about a hierarchy within the economic field that favors them.8 The scientific field is “the locus of competitive struggle, in which the specific issue at stake is the monopoly of scientific authority, defined as technical capacity and social power or, to put it another way, the monopoly of scientific competence in the sense of a particular agent’s socially recognized capacity to speak and act legitimately (i.e., in an authorized and authoritative way) in scientific matters” (Bourdieu 1975, 19). In this field, the agents who dominate are the researchers whose ideas and practices become the yardstick for “all scientific practice[,] the standard most favorable to their personal or institutional capacities” (Bourdieu 1975, 21; see also 2004b). The structures of scientific exchange can be precisely identified, insofar as there exists “an almost perfect equivalence between the space of standpoints, seen as a space of forms, styles, and modes of expression as much as one of expressed contents, and the space of the positions occupied by their authors in the field of production” (Bourdieu 1988, 297; see also Albert and Kleinman 2011). As we will highlight in chapter 3, the sciences that relate to the production and distribution of wine can be studied from this angle. The focus will include agronomy and enology, but it will also include other disciplines—such as law, geography, economics, marketing—that are also part of a space for struggles to obtain dominant positions from which to define legitimate knowledge. The bureaucratic field linked to the making of wine policies is the third dimension of the analysis throughout this book. We follow Bourdieu’s definition of public administrations as the “holder(s) of the monopoly of official naming, correct classification, and the correct order” (Bourdieu 1985, 734).

8.  To comply strictly with the field theory drawn up by Bourdieu, we should focus our attention on agents (whose actions are the result of their position and habitus). To make sure that our theoretical proposals are not obscured by the scholastic opposition between structure and agency, and in order to facilitate dialogue with researchers who defend a different framework, we choose to use the term “actor.”

Structured Contingency  43

Bureaucracies have the power to “impose and inculcate all the fundamental classification principles” (Bourdieu, 1994, 13) and, therefore, to create official classifications that become taken-for-granted understandings of the social order. Because of the many cleavages within administrations, it is highly pertinent to conceptualize bureaucratic space as a field. Such analysis guides researchers to distinguish between several types of bureaucratic capital and the impact of these resources on the positions of actors in the field. For example, in some instances the experience capital that has been acquired over a career spent as a generalist civil servant in an administration can trump the knowledge capital of a technical specialist, such as an economist with a PhD, who may have acquired his or her skills more rapidly (Bourdieu 2005, 109–110). Other divisions characterize departments or ministries, for example between those whose legitimacy is founded on their mastery of administrative procedures (e.g., members of the European Commission’s Legal Service) and those who depend instead on their relations with actors located outside the bureaucratic field (e.g., the interest groups linked to a ministry of agriculture). Analysis in terms of bureaucratic fields enables research to go far beyond intergovernmentalist readings of politics (e.g., France versus Italy) or readings that emphasize interministerial conflicts (e.g., between staff at a ministry of agriculture and staff at a ministry of the environment). When one focuses on the positions of each actor in administrations from the beginning of the research process, his or her goal becomes decoding the power struggles that take place over the (re)institutionalization of key categories of thought and action (Kauppi 2003; Mangenot 2010; Arnholtz and Hammerslev 2013, 56; Dubois 2014a; Dubois 2014b, 29). As we shall see, different administrations, and segments and actors within those administrations, have been involved for years in struggles of this type over what constitutes legitimate wine-producing practices and, consequently, about who should benefit from public policies and why. Each of these three fields (economic, scientific, bureaucratic) has multiple scales because, to varying degrees, each scale (international, European, national, intranational) has its own corresponding set of positions and hierarchies (Roger 2014, 25–26). Indeed, as has become increasingly evident over the last twenty to thirty years, actors obtain their positions at each scale partly through the positions they have obtained at other scales. For example, from the late nineteenth century to the 1980s, the most powerful actors of the French wine industry combined positions at the national and intranational scales. Since the 1960s, however, positions actors hold at the European and international scales have progressively become a type of capital that they have used to bolster their positions at the national and intranational scales (Roger 2010b).9 9. The relationships between fields that we concentrate on are crucial to what we have studied and can thus serve as a basis for comparisons. But this does not mean that elsewhere other fields cannot be important. The field of party politics (or political representation), for example, can play a key role, because it includes politicians, journalists, opinion-survey

44  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

Empirical research to identify a field is based on several complementary operations. The researcher must do as much as possible to (1) “evaluat[e] the degree of autonomy of the field”; (2) “describ[e] the symbolic order”; (3) “reconstitute[e] the structure of positions”; and (4) “articulat[e] the symbolic and the social” (Hilgers and Mangez 2014, 19–21). In the interest of legibility but also because we simply lack all the necessary data, it will not be possible to carry out each of these operations for each of the fields we consider in this book. The three types of field on which we are shedding light (economic, scientific, and bureaucratic) are studied in four different territories (France, Spain, Italy, Romania), each caught up in dynamics not only at the national scale but also—and in nested fashion—at the local, European, and extra-European scales. We therefore restrict ourselves to indicating the general structuring principles of each of the three types of field. Throughout the book, we shed light on specific examples of their effects in terms of institutional change or reproduction. In the remainder of the book we shall thus concentrate on studying relations between fields and the causes and consequences of those relations. We shall explore the hypothesis that institutional orders are the product of contingent relations between fields. Crucially, no industry-specific field is entirely autonomous. Rather, each is in relation with other fields that have been constituted over other issue areas. Indeed, the degree of autonomy (or differentiation) of a field varies considerably between societies and over time because the frontiers of each field are always the subject of tensions and conflicts (Benson and Neveu 2005, 18). For example, over the last twenty years, the wine industry’s scientific field has become increasingly in sync with the economic field. It is thus vital to understand the relationship between fields and how their contingent nature shapes the institutional order of an industry such as the wine industry. What happens in one issue-specific field often affects another. For example, in the early 1990s in the wine industry, struggles in the bureaucratic field related to agriculture as a whole led to the stigmatization of price-support mechanisms. Some years later, this had an impact on the bureaucratic and scientific fields. Just as frequently, a development in one field, for example a change in a narrative or an instrument, can be imported and recycled in another field without necessarily provoking greater interdependence among fields (Bourdieu 1999).

makers, and so forth (Bourdieu 1991, 181). In addition, this field has multiple scales, which means that at different scales its actors are more or less well positioned to exercise power over protagonists in other fields (for example, the economic field) or over other fields (for example, over the bureaucratic field through their authority to create posts and select individuals to fill them, particularly in administrations where party affiliation is important). However, we claim that the field of political representation accompanied the institutional change we study rather than being its cause.

Structured Contingency  45 ECONOMIC FIELD



S1 S2


S1 & S2 = Scales “Accidental resonance”/ structural coincidence

S1 S2

= Most legitimate organizations = The IRs that make up the institutional order of the industry


Figure 7  An industry as a set of fields and an institutional order. This graphical representation should not lead one to see fields as units that are delimited in a material way. Its purpose is heuristic; it is merely intended to clarify the relationships between fields using multiple schemata conceived as “temporary crutches” (Bourdieu 2013, 16). It should also not lead to the idea that fields are part of the natural world or that their limits are physically defined, because the boundaries of fields are themselves the subject of struggles.

It follows that framing relationships between fields as contingent is a crucial methodological starting point. Such relations emerge and evolve only when struggles in the fields concerned coincide and bring about connections or transfers. Given that each field “is governed by its own internal temporality, pace, and rhythm,” one must hypothesize that “the relations among fields are not governed by any overarching logic that guarantees their harmonious coexistence.” Explaining changes thus involves looking for “accidental resonances among autonomous fields that produce unpredictable conjunctural social effects” (Steinmetz 2011, 55). Accidental resonances could also be described as structural coincidences: each field is structured around specific issues, but the entire set of positions in one field may at times coincide with the balance of power in another. In particular, a symbolic weapon developed in the first field for the purpose of struggles for hierarchization could also be used in

46  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

the latter field.10 For this reason, it is important to focus on identifying “conjuncture[s] of separate, contingently intersecting causal chains” (Steinmetz 2011, 59; see also Gorski 2013, 356–357).11 Ultimately, addressing this question of how fields relate to one another brings us back to how one goes beyond the time-honored separation between structure and agency that we criticized in chapter 1. We set out to do so by considering that institutional orders are both structured and contingent. 1. When accidental resonance or coincidence occurs among the struggles

that take place between several fields, a conjunction can emerge that leads representatives of private firms, research centers, or administrative units to advocate a highly similar dominant mode of reasoning. Here it is not necessary to consider, as actor-network theory does, that a negotiated adjustment to previous reasoning has emerged or that networks initiated by individuals or a group have taken control. Instead, our hypothesis is that a similar mode of reasoning can simultaneously take root in the struggles that occur in different fields. 2. Such conjunctions occur frequently at the level of each industry’s four institutionalized relationships of finance, employment, sourcing, and commerce. Each of these institutionalized relationships contains sets of instruments that all derive their impact from the degree to which they are legitimated in each field. Contrary to certain regulationist claims, the orientation of the institutionalized relationships of an industry is not determined automatically or in a standardized way. Instead, it stems from specific investments by actors that we analyze below. 3. How each of an industry’s four institutionalized relationships fit together creates that industry’s institutional order. Even when an institutional order is in place, however, it is always precarious and subject to change.

10.  We could also refer to a structural homology. However, this notion encompasses three meanings in the writings of Bourdieu. First, it refers to a one-to-one correspondence between social positions and standpoints within a field. Second, it designates an isomorphic relation between the structure of producers and the structure of consumers in the economy of symbolic goods. Finally, it characterizes a resonance between two fields that are not in a state of mutual dependence (Roueff 2010). In order to avoid any confusion, when we focus on the third meaning, we refer to structural coincidence or accidental resonance rather than to structural homology. 11.  In certain texts, Bourdieu argued that there was one metafield that he called the field of power that loomed over all the others and influenced relationships between them by defining a general hierarchy of capital (Bourdieu 1996, 215–216; Bourdieu 2011, 127–128). Instead of borrowing the overly general concept of a field of power, we feel it is more salutary to think in terms of what Bourdieu called “an intersection of several partly autonomous series of events arising in several fields pregnant with their own specific determinants” (Bourdieu 1988, 161; see also Bourdieu 1992, 109–110). This formulation can be extended to think in terms of unintended fit between fields or of coincidences between the positions occupied in different fields (Bourdieu 2012, 181).

Structured Contingency  47

Contrary to what many historical institutionalists claim, it is not locked in and therefore at a point of equilibrium until it is hit by an exogenous shock. Instead, change is caused when struggles in the fields that generated actor conjunctions cease to coincide. Such desynchronization is caused by internal struggles that are the product of changing relationships with still other fields. 4. Both institutional orders and fields have multiple scales. In the wine industry’s institutional order, some institutionalized relationships (notably finance, sourcing, and commerce) have recently featured increasingly similar institutions from the global to the local scales. In contrast, the employment institutionalized relationship remains essentially divided at the national scale. In all cases, however, the dynamics of fields is what structures the relationship between scales and political change.

Capturing the Dynamism of Institutions and Fields: Political Work In addition to generating knowledge about the positions and resources actors hold that field analysis requires, our framework also encompasses a final element that takes into account the activities involved in building and maintaining the institutions involved. We shift the focus away from identifying institutions and changes within them that is characteristic of historical institutionalism and instead analyze the ongoing process of institutionalization-deinstitutionalization-reinstitutionalization that structures the life of an industry’s institutionalized relationships and the fields of its institutional order. We label this process political work, thus rejecting both anthropomorphic or formalistic definitions of politics (as what politicians do or the state does) and metaphorical uses of this term (politics as conflict, politics as power). Instead, we concentrate on the drivers of struggles in fields and institutionalized relationships. Building on an approach outlined by Weber (1978, 941–954), we hypothesize that these struggles, which consist of making arguments and jockeying for position, take place around three overlapping processes: problematizing issues, converting collective and public responses into policy instruments, and legitimizing both “problems” and instruments. Research on how issues that are raised in societies are cast as social problems has been at the center of constructivist social science inquiry since Gusfield’s seminal book (1981) on the framing of drunk driving. Positing that social problems never emerge spontaneously but instead are the result of the arguments and jockeying for power of actors, this strand of research has been used to analyze public policy by emphasizing the institutionalization of public problems; that is, problems that require intervention by public officials (Rochefort and Cobb 1994). Our framework imports this concept into analysis of economic activity as a way of discovering how a tension that

48  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

may initially have been defined as an issue in one firm or between several firms may become a problem that collective actors (e.g., the wine guild of Saint-Émilion) and those employed by public authorities (e.g., the French state or the Aquitaine Regional Council) take up. In short, focusing on problematization provides a first step toward understanding who is working to reproduce or change an industry’s institutions and the arguments and other resources they are mobilizing in order to do so.12 The policy instruments that are ostensibly designed to address public problems also have their own dynamics. A range of recent research has emphasized that such instruments are far from being merely technical or ideologically neutral (Lascoumes and Le Galès 2007). On the contrary, whether they are units of measure (e.g., wine production statistics) or mechanisms for intervening in markets (e.g., subsidies for distilling surplus wine), policy instruments always stem from a hierarchy of values in which political choices are constantly being made. It follows that by tracing how an instrument evolves over time, who supports or opposes it, what distributional effects it has, and what meaning is attached to it, research will produce vital information that supplements analysis of the shaping of public problems. Finally, the question of what social meaning is assigned to instruments and problems requires additional research into how actors who participate in institutional relationships and fields legitimate those instruments and problems (Lagroye 1985). A major part of this legitimation is cognitive since it concerns constructing and communicating arguments that support different ways of framing problems or instruments. Arguments either technicize problems and their solutions (often by invoking expertise and efficiency) or politicize them (by emphasizing value choices). However, it is crucial to underline that a second dimension of legitimation is symbolic. As is patently clear in an industry like the wine industry, references to symbols such as Bordeaux’s terroir or those of the cooperative movement in Tuscany continually infiltrate and cut across cognitive arguments. For this reason, our research will take particular note of symbols (Gusfield 1981) as a way of identifying justifications for governing the wine industry in one direction rather than another. We shall see that these legitimation struggles take place in “a bounded social space where only certain arguments acquire legitimacy.” Thus, our analysis must take place at three levels: (1) “the role of classifications” (the political work of group making; for example, New World versus traditional producers; producers versus merchants; national versus European levels); (2) “the organization of arguments into orthodox and heterodox opinions,” a process

12.  On this issue, our analytical framework again differs from the proposals of sociological institutionalism. In our view, political work is not based on social skill. It does not consist of interactions that result in the forming or the reorganization of a field. Quite the contrary: political work and its efficiency depend on the structure of positions in each field and on the structural coincidences between fields.

Structured Contingency  49

that often translates into a “struggle over the meaning of keywords” (e.g., openness, reform, competitiveness); and (3) “the social valuation of particular context and speakers” and thus “the inequalities of symbolic power” (Eagleton-Pierce 2013, 12–13, 63, 63, 70, 63, 73). Overall, then, our analytical framework shifts analysis of institutions from a descriptive account of institutional ordering to an analytical account that embraces the structured character and dynamism of fields, contingency, and the actual work of changing or reproducing institutions.

Methodology and Sources Transnational, National, and Intranational Case Studies Our analytical framework will be tested in the context of what has invariably been presented as a radical reform of the EU’s wine policy. To borrow Peter Hall’s (1993) well-known typology of political change, at the moment of its adoption the 2008 reform appeared to herald a third-order change because it incorporated not only a recalibration of policy instruments (first-order change) and their partial replacement (second-order change), but it also changed the European wine industry’s hierarchy of objectives and the values that had been used to justify that hierarchy. We have thus approached the 2008 reform as a case study for ascertaining the extent to which the new policy instruments that the reform created or recalibrated became institutions. Have the preparation, the deliberative process, and the implementation of the reform led to the normalization of a new policy paradigm (Hay 2006a)? What kind of political work of legitimation has accompanied the application of these policy instruments in order produce governing effects over time? With these questions, we set out to discover the causes and effects of what at first sight heralded both paradigmatic change and the advent of a more complete form of EU-scale government for this industry. Given these objectives, our empirical research was guided by a dual perspective. First, our institutionalism led us to study the entire chronological scope of the reform during all of its stages: the construction of a public problem and the political work that led to the perception that change was necessary, the preparation of the reform instrument, decision-making processes, implementation of the reform, and evaluations of the reform. This comprehensive view of the overall process of a reform has allowed us to locate more precisely distinct phases within the institutionalization, deinstitutionalization, and reinstitutionalization of the European government of wine making. Indeed, we have devoted a great deal of attention to the implementation phase of the reform. We see this phase as constituting not mere legal enforcement but rather a reinstitutionalization and, in some cases, a deinstitutionalization

50  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

of the new set of rules in each territorial context. This is because wine regions—located in this study in France, Italy, Romania, and Spain—are spaces of regulation, interest building, and representation. This was especially the case during the implementation phase, when the hierarchies of values and priorities the reform defined were often considerably revised. This chronological enlargement of the scope of our study was logically supplemented by a geographical one. As a basic methodological assumption, our aim has been to grasp all the institutional scales and spaces of the reform. This has led us to focus on the thickness of negotiation processes in member states and in Brussels and on the implementation phase at the scale of individual vineyards via their national capitals. We selected which vineyards to study in detail using both the principle of smallest difference (Przeworski and Teune 1970; Sartori 1991; della Porta 2008) and the criteria of historical consolidation. The objective of comparing individual vineyards was to understand differences in constructing and implementing the CMO reform in two cases where it challenges forms of regulation and legitimation that had been firmly anchored in history (France and Italy), in another case where the sector had recently been deeply restructured and has yet to stabilize (Romania), and in an intermediary case (Spain). In France and Italy, institutionalized rules and practices dating from the beginning of the twentieth century gave considerable power to producer representatives and had been largely transposed to the EU scale since the 1960s (Smith, de Maillard, and Costa 2007). In Romania, the decollectivization policies of 1991–2000 preceded the country’s accession to the EU in 2007. However, by then, European funding received by major wineries had had great impact on the structuring of wine’s economic field (Roger 2012). Finally, in a third register, Spain’s accession to the European Economic Community in 1986 had considerable effects, but these have never been dominated by one category of actor. The principle of smallest difference prompted us to compare economic spaces that produce roughly equivalent volumes of annual production of wine: the Aquitaine region in France (5.5 million hectoliters), the Tuscany region in Italy (2.5 million), the province (and autonomous community) of La Rioja in Spain (2.7  million), and Romania (6  million). We studied the entire nation of Romania because in that country wine regions are not spaces for regulation or interest representation. In more general terms, the inclusion of an Eastern European case helps us nuance a similar-cases selection strategy (della Porta 2008).

Methodology and Data Data collection was organized along two main lines. First, we assembled statistical and documentary data. In addition to conducting a critical review of the literature on wine economics and wine policy, we compiled and analyzed four bodies of primary bibliographical material. A first set of documents consisted

Structured Contingency  51

of material emanating from professional organizations (wine consortiums, unions, interprofessional bodies, firms, cooperatives, the specialized press). A second set consisted of the policy briefs, reports, and publications issued by the different regulatory bodies involved in wine policy: the European Commission, the European Parliament, national ministries, and state administrations, regional or provincial authorities, and certification agencies. A third group of sources drew upon the scientific literature devoted to the structuring and governing of the wine industry, more precisely with regard to the role academic and expert debates play in the political work surrounding the struggles for legitimation between competing policy paradigms. Finally, we examined the general media and newspapers in order to capture the politicization of certain aspects of the reform that at certain periods have engendered national and even transnational debates (e.g., over planting rights). In addition, from 2008 to 2013 we undertook a campaign of semi-structured interviews. Over this period, we conducted eighty interviews in Brussels, four major wine regions (Bordeaux and Aquitaine, Rioja, Chianti, and Romania) and the respective national capitals of those regions. In Brussels, we conducted twenty interviews with representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, with officials from the permanent representatives of key member states involved in the wine reform, and with representatives of grower and merchant interest groups. We carried out twenty interviews in France at national and regional (Aquitaine) scales with public officials, members of interest groups (members of interprofessions,13 associations of merchants, federations of cooperatives), representatives of firms (cooperative firms and others, merchants), certification agencies, and experts. Even though we concentrated on the Bordeaux area, our fieldwork also took us to other vineyards in Aquitaine, notably in the department of Lot-et-Garonne, the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, and the department of the Landes. In Spain, we conducted eleven interviews. At the national scale, we met with representatives of the ministry of agriculture, the Federación española del vino (the major federation of merchants), the Spanish Observatory of Wine Markets (Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino), the Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos (Coordination of Farmers’ and Breeders’ Organizations; COAG), and the Confederación de Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de España (Confederation of Agrifood Cooperatives of Spain; CCAE). In La Rioja, we conducted in-depth interviews with members of the Consejo Regulador (Regulating Council) of Rioja, representatives of the regional government, representatives of the Federación de cooperativas agrarias de la Rioja (federation of cooperatives of Rioja; FECOAR), representatives of farmers’ unions (the COAG and the Asociación agraria de

13.  In southern European countries, and France in particular, interprofessional bodies are organizations that group together agricultural producers, processors, and merchants.

52  The Analytical Challenge of Economic Change

jóvenes agricultores [Agrarian Association of Young Farmers; ASAJA]), and a university-based expert. In Italy, we carried out more than ten individual and collective interviews. In Rome we met with representatives of the ministry of agriculture and the Legacoop federation of cooperatives. In Tuscany we interviewed several representatives of the regional government in charge of wine policy, the Legacoop regional federation of wine cooperatives, the Chianti consortium, the Chianti Classico consortium, and university experts. In addition, we conducted documentary analysis at the Academia dei Georgofili in Florence. Finally, we conducted fourteen interviews in Romania with public officials, representatives of interest groups or individual firms, and wine scientists. These interviews were nearly always conducted in the native language of the interviewees. Each interview included questions designed to generate descriptive accounts of the role the person’s organization played in the elaboration/deliberation/implementation of the reform; detailed descriptions of the political work related to every policy instrument amended by the 2008 reform; and perceptions of the paradigmatic dimensions of the reform and of the European government of wine held by the interviewee’s organization and/or territory. In this chapter we have set out a sustained, theory-driven analytical proposition and a methodology that fits with our explanatory aims. We refer to this as structured contingency. This approach has enabled us to study the institutions that have structured the European wine industry and, above all, the fields of action and the political work that have caused change or stasis in that industry. Far from being simply a means of redescribing events that have taken place or of delving ever deeper into an account of purely endogenously caused change, our structured contingency approach provides a guide for a systematic causal analysis of structures within agency. In addition, this analysis is consistent with post-positivist ontology, since our comparison concerns generative causal mechanisms rather than empirical-level events. Two interdependent principles provide the basis for this standpoint. First, it is necessary to distinguish between the levels of the empirical and the real. In our view, reality is not located just in observable phenomena but also in underlying causal mechanisms. Second, our research objective has been to identify constellations of mechanisms that have a conjunctural character. We therefore argue that “a multiplicity of mechanisms will combine in conjunctural ways to produce any given event” (Steinmetz 2004, 377 and 392). This approach challenges two positivist orientations that are commonly adopted in comparative research: traditional positivism and positivist realism. Traditional positivism constitutes the most obvious target, since its followers flout the first principle set out above by adopting an actualist form of reasoning: they situate causality at the same level as the observable data, simply seeking to correlate each with the other. No underlying structure is taken into consideration. For such positivists, the only thing research

Structured Contingency  53

needs to ponder is the reliability of observation techniques. Quite logically, traditional positivists also ignore the second principle because the objective of their research is not to shed light on contingent constraints between several mechanisms but instead to conduct research that plots empirical regularities in order to formulate definitive sociological laws. Another difference between our approach and that of researchers who subscribe to positivist realism should be pointed out. In more insidious forms, the latter reproduces an unimaginative causalist way of thinking. Following the first principle, they distinguish underlying mechanisms from observable phenomena. However, they link them back together as mechanisms of causal invariance, therefore diverging from the second principle. The objective of their research is not to identify a constellation but to establish a universal conjunction within a search for general laws: they seek to show that in the presence of mechanism A, event B occurs in all cases. For positive realists, “social processes [are] construed as connections between thing-like ‘variables.’ ” The sole aim of the researcher is to identify “intransitive social realities” (Steinmetz 2004, 377–379). We reject both of these kinds of positivist comparisons. Our ambition is not to identify causal laws but to emphasize “causal constellations” that may vary from case to case (Steinmetz 2004, 383). Following these principles, our theoretical framework provides a means of identifying the structural coincidences between fields—considered as causal constellations—that produced the empirical events we analyze in the following chapters, those that relate to the construction and implementation of the EU’s 2008 wine reform.

Part II

Shaping and Negotiating Deep Reform

Part 2 focuses on the preparation of the 2008 CMO reform, the negotiation of the reform in 2006–2008, and its eventual adoption. This phase featured the rise of a new policy paradigm and the institutionalization of demand-centered arguments. The institutionalization of new ideas was the result of political work on contingent issues in the scientific, economic, and bureaucratic fields. In the process, positions and hierarchies were modified within each field. Chapter 3 focuses on the key role played by struggles in the scientific field to legitimate and naturalize the figure  of the new wine consumer, thus preparing the ground for a demand-oriented policy change. Chapter  4 looks at the period 2002–2005, when certain actors (merchants and producers) dissatisfied with the existing institutional order managed to reach more dominant positions in the economic field and to undertake political work in favor of the new policy paradigm. Finally, Chapter 5 concentrates on the negotiation and adoption of the new EU legislation over the years 2006–2008. This is when the paradigm shift that had previously been framed in the scientific and economic fields was institutionalized in the bureaucratic field.


Knowledge and Power in the Scientific Field

Knowledge about wine growing and wine shapes the political work that we seek to characterize here to a great extent. In itself, this knowledge is a realm of struggles and is thus subject to multiple forms of political work. Academic power relationships are embedded in a disciplinary hierarchy characterized by the establishment of and subsequent challenges to monopolies over the production of expertise. In addition, companies and administrative bodies involved in the wine sector can make use of conflicts between researchers and find in them the means of legitimizing their own actions or contesting those of their competitors. Moreover, they may be tempted to exert influence over the focus of research through control of funding or other forms of pressure. Despite this, they are not in a position to exercise total control over the dynamics of the scientific field because most academic struggles remain beyond their reach. The CMO reform adopted in 2008 nevertheless demonstrates how farreaching science’s organizational principles can become: the link between knowledge, science, and power was used very effectively during the statement of the problem and the construction of the rationale behind this deep policy change. A number of simple and clearly articulated ideas contextualized change in a long-term perspective and made it look self-evident. Stress was systematically placed on the “new consumer,”1 an entity that was related to the increasing importance of the New World for international markets.

1.  Throughout this chapter, we do not use “new consumer” as a descriptive category.

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Three main elements of the problem that necessitated reform were repeatedly stated: 1. At the global scale, a demand had spontaneously emerged for more

standardized wines with properties that did not vary from one vintage to another and that could be easily identified through information on labels and in publicity that mentioned the grape variety to the exclusion of all other criteria. 2. New World producers were better able to meet this demand than their European competitors because their production capacity was unfettered by planting rights. This enabled immense vineyards to take advantage of greater mechanization and reductions in production costs. This concentration of supply in the hands of relatively few companies made effective marketing techniques possible that mainly promoted each wine’s grape varietal. In addition, the regulation of wine-making practices in these vineyards was flexible, facilitating total control of the wine-making process and ensuring that products were of a constant quality that was adapted to “consumer preferences.” 3. Reform of European wine making was therefore necessary in order to regain market share. In order to compete with New World producers, Europeans needed to fight on equal terms by doing away with the fragmentation of smallholdings, marketing wines by varietal, and permitting techniques that made it possible to totally control the organoleptic properties of the finished product. The terms of this characterization of the problem indirectly prepared the ground for the EU’s reform, structured its contingent elements, and fueled its subsequent legitimation in the economic and bureaucratic fields. The keystone of this edifice, the new consumer, gradually came to be legitimized as natural. The reality that it designated thus went unexamined, as did the assertion that demand for wine preceded producer supply. However, our uncovering of the role played by the relationships between the principles that support a reform does not mean we consider ideas and discourse to be autonomous forces. The figure of the new consumer did not appear spontaneously. Neither was it appropriated in random fashion. Thus, it is important to reconstruct the genesis of this problematization in historically structured institutional spaces. To move toward this goal, this chapter concentrates first on the role played by scholarly propositions that emerged around wine growing in the 1990s and on the academic struggles that arose around the growing dominance of this form of expertise. Some of the theoretical proposals from which we distanced ourselves in chapter 1 provide accounts of the activities of academics in the wine industry. While economic institutionalism and the regulationist approach largely ignore this question (the former in the name of universal rational

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choice, the latter in the name of hegemonic ideologies), scientific debate has a central place in sociological institutionalism and actor-network theory. Proponents of the former study how firms and specialized research centers interact to control an organizational field or a strategic action field. For example, Walter Powell and his colleagues have examined the new activities linked to biotechnologies and have described the formation of clusters that connect venture capital, universities, and research institutes (Powell, Koput, and Smith-Doerr 1996; Powell 1999). This approach explains the success of a company in terms of its embeddedness in a local scientific milieu (Owen-Smith and Powell 2004; Powell, White, Koput, and Owen-Smith 2005; Powell, Packalen, and Whittington 2012). It emphasizes “reciprocal linkages among co-located organizations” and, more specifically, the “joint effects of geographic propinquity and network position on organizational innovation” (Whittington, Owen-Smith, and Powell 2009, 90). This analytical framework is similar to work that studies recent reshapings of the global wine economy, since it studies innovation strategies, by focusing on the process of technological modernization and product standardization. The academic authority of scientists who work in the service of the wine industry in the New World is explained by their capacity to align the development of technological procedures with the commercial strategies of wineries (Cusmano, Morrison, and Rabellotti 2010). This approach has thus led to identifying the “strong mutual interdependence of trade and scientific knowledge production” (Cassi, Morrison, and Ter Wal 2012, 312). According to this view, the most robust scientific collaboration networks are those whose coordinators maintain relationships with wine-making companies (Cassi, Morrison, and Ter Wal 2012). These scientists have benefited from the fact that the worldwide scientific community today is “more strongly interconnected than ever.” They have also used technological developments and communication tools “which render international collaboration and knowledge transfer easier, cheaper and more feasible” (Cassi, Morrison, and Rabellotti 2011, 47). On this basis, they have managed to connect international science to domestic industry. By developing the right strategies, they have been able to make their mark as bridging researchers and develop a wider network that includes both foreign colleagues and national industries (Giuliani and Rabellotti 2012, 702).2

2.  This argument leads to a frequently made set of recommendations: as they adopt indicators that make it possible to assess the “microeconomic determinants of researchers’ collaborations with industry” (Giuliani, Morrison, Pietrobelli, and Rabellotti 2010, 750), governments—including European ones —ought to selectively distribute their resources to the companies that develop the best production and marketing profiles and then facilitate the development of those companies. In other words, governments need to encourage technological modernization and support actors in the wine research system (in research centers, universities, and agricultural colleges) who demonstrate the greatest capacity to develop an extensive social network and powerful linkages (Morrison and Rabellotti 2007). This approach could be extended to setting up “wine-producing clusters” (Giuliani and Bell 2005, 47) that

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Actor-network theorists also pay great attention to the activity of scientists. Their analysis of the role of plant and equipment and sociotechnical networks in the construction of markets has often been combined with tools from Bruno Latour’s work in the sociology of science.3 This approach analyzes scientific practices as “politics pursued by other means” (Latour 1983, 168). The research of actor-network theorists has thus sought to demonstrate “the importance of technoscience in creating, transforming, and maintaining given commodity linkages between actors surrounding it, and therefore as networks of actors” (Tanaka and Juska 2010, 35–36; see also Juska and Busch 1994). They generally focus on a small number of scientists who engage in a process of innovation and on their capacity to mobilize actants—in other words to use the resources offered by nonhumans—and to enlist numerous actors, especially by recruiting companies and administrative bodies that are part of another network (Tanaka and Juska 2010, 47). This analytic framework has been transposed to research on wine by highlighting interactions between humans and nonhumans through tracing the trajectory of various materials (vines, yeasts, sulfur dioxide, etc.) in order to understand how they imposed order on wine-making practices (Krzywoszynska 2012a, 2012b). According to actor-network theory, the networks that included these scientists are “governed by critical discussion” (Teil 2012, 478). The hybrid character of these networks renders any “authority from which scientists would teach wine-makers to draw the right conclusions from their actions” totally illusory (Teil 2010b, 1). The conventions on which the wine-making economy depended were created in part by scientists who derived their strength from their “capacity to raise doubts and to trigger considerable efforts by their defenders to quieten them” (Teil 2010a, 2). In other words, actor-network theorists interpret debate and regular testing as necessary for maintaining the network as a whole (Teil, Hennion, Barrey, and Floux 2012). In accordance with the theoretical standpoint we developed in the previous chapter, we distance ourselves firmly from empirical findings based on sociological institutionalism or actor-network theory. Over and above what separates them (research seen as a component of a social context or research as a means of extending a sociotechnical network), all the authors we have mentioned highlight direct interactions between firms and research centers and consider that both entities share the same dynamics. In contrast, we have sought to study the role sciences played using a different method that is anchored to the concepts of fields of forces and fields of struggles. For us, re-

favored technological learning and “knowledge-centered interactions” between scientific bodies and businesses (Giuliani and Bell 2005, 47). The most high-powered researchers ought to take advantage of such mechanisms and play the role of brokers between the “intra-cluster knowledge network” and external actors (Bell and Giuliani 2007, 198; see also Beebe et al. 2013). 3. See box 1 in chapter 1.

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searchers do not simply engage in inter-individual relations with firms. Instead, we see them as involved in a historically constituted and strongly hierarchical scientific field (Gingras 1995), whose structure only contingently coincides with other fields and gives rise to mutual support. The developments that we characterize here must therefore be seen as the uncontrolled—and largely contingent—result of an encounter between scientists and representatives of businesses who are both engaged in structured and partially dissociated struggles.4 We do not contest the existence of concrete exchanges between firms and researchers, but we see them as a result of preexisting structures, not the primary cause of such relationships. From this angle, exchanges in themselves do not lead to change. Instead, they are brought about by a similarity of positions and position taking in the economic and scientific fields, each of which is structured by its own logic. In keeping with our theory of structured contingency, we therefore considered it necessary to implement a twin-track research strategy. First, we sought to embrace a historical perspective by examining how the categories used to analyze wine production have been adopted at national scales. Shedding light on the structuring of constraints prior to the emergence of the new consumer model enabled us to evaluate the significance of the changes introduced in 2008 more cautiously. Second, we carefully examined the structural coincidences that have occurred at different times between the economic and scientific fields; that is, the spaces in which companies engaged in the wine economy and scientists were positioned. Here we hypothesized that some companies became dominant in the economic field by making the most of scientific categories that were formulated during the partially autonomous course of academic struggles. In turn, we hypothesized, scientists whose research deals with vine and wine would refer to economic imperatives in order to construct the social value of their work and to assert it against internal hierarchies that disadvantaged them. This theorization of wine politics leads us to analyze the figure of the new consumer as the basis of a new problematization and a common weapon for various actors who were committed—for different reasons—to the overthrow

4.  While it does not fit with actor-network theory, the pattern of relationships that we describe here cannot be analyzed as an epistemic community either. Peter Haas posits four conditions for using this notion: the experts in question must share the same vision of problems, agree on the consequences that may follow from their responses, set out a common procedure for validating the knowledge claimed in their domain, and take part in a unified “policy enterprise” (Haas 1992, 2). The community that is thus constituted may make efforts to persuade authorities of the merits of their case, by establishing interpersonal relations and by using more diffuse methods of communication (drawing up reports, etc.). But the epistemic community may also oust the existing team of administrators and take direct control of public policies by appealing to more modern and efficient concepts (Haas 2001). In the case of wine policy, the connections between scientists never attained this level of coherence. In addition, researchers who developed the figure of the new consumer in the scientific field were engaged in internal hierarchical struggles, not in defense of an integrated political project.

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of a centuries-old system of regulation. In order to analyze this development, we first concentrate on the historical structuring of scientific activities dedicated to vine and wine. We look at the path taken in France first because it culminated in a form of organization that was lauded as exemplary and was subsequently adopted in the other wine-producing states in Europe. In France, beginning in the nineteenth century, organizations of wine growers and those with academic expertise were engaged in a synchronic structuration. The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system itself is the product of this coincidence. Rapidly disseminated throughout France, it imposed the idea of national regulation of the wine trade through rules that defined the quality of “supply.” Its institutionalization was based on a mutuality of interests (as perceived in different fields) and could not simply be overturned if one or another of the parties concerned chose to end their participation. In part 2, we will show that the academic pillar on which this system was based has been shaky since the late 1990s. The construction and legitimation of the category of New World wine producers have been supported by new and specialized forms of knowledge that have emphasized “demand.”5 American, Australian and South African scientists developed representations of wine making that fit with the commercial strategies of wine businesses. They subsequently attracted many European colleagues who had been marginalized by the former structuring of the scientific field and who had found a way of upsetting the established hierarchy by importing foreign models and references. In this way, problematization that emphasized new forms of consumption and the need to reorganize European production took shape. A  new coincidence between fields occurred that rapidly undermined the previous system, now delegitimized as obsolete. The newly dominant scientists and firms managed to impose a belief in the existence of a new consumer and make this figure seem natural.6

5.  Throughout this chapter, we do not use “supply” and “demand” as neutral and descriptive categories. 6.  The analysis in this chapter  is mainly based on in-depth analysis of documents dated from March 1992 to November 2013. We examined the wine sector’s professional press and reports from the European Commission, the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament, and the International Organization of Vine and Wine. We also consulted the minutes of the EU’s Management Committee for Wine (1998–2008), the European Commission’s Advisory Group on Wine Growing (2006–2007), and the Viticulture, tradition, qualité (Wine-growing, Tradition, Quality) Intergroup of the European Parliament (2006–2008) and transcriptions of European Parliament debates on the reform of the CMO (2006–2007). In addition, we closely examined a number of brochures, organigrams, directors’ curriculum vitae, and conference programs of scientific associations and scholarly societies. Finally, we collected brochures and organizational charts of research and higher education bodies that specialized in the study of vine and wine and the presentations of these bodies’ funded projects and reports to governmental authorities.

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Defining “Supply”: A Key Concept of Legitimate Knowledge In the second half of the nineteenth century, several scientific disciplines in France constructed their legitimacy and social authority by associating themselves closely with the development of markets for wine. They partly contributed to modeling this professional demand by imposing a number of evaluation criteria that allowed them to make the most of their expertise. The resulting system developed international ramifications that ensured that it would be reproduced in other states. For a long period, this system stifled any alternative proposals. Governments enshrined it at the national scale and used it in support of their political work both internally and internationally.

Supply as the Product of a Scientific Hierarchy In France, the organization and the development of wine markets went hand in hand with the empowerment of three categories of scholars. Agronomy engineers who specialized in ecophysiology and plant genetics worked to improve grape varieties and protect vines against disease; lawyers inscribed the boundaries of appellations in law; and geographers provided support for defining these frontiers by identifying the distinctive soil science and geoclimatic properties of each production zone. Although these specialties were linked to the structuration of the economy of the wine industry, they all fit first and foremost in an emerging scientific field of vine and wine that had its own logic structured by specific positions and partially autonomous conflicts and struggles. The convergence that occurred at this time between the economic and scientific fields were thus a coincidence. Agronomy engineers whose work related to the wine industry structured their profession by legitimizing a new form of knowledge in the second half of the nineteenth century. Their successful quest for higher status was related to the use of fertilizers. Engineers who specialized in agricultural chemistry legitimized their position by developing a rhetoric that presented peasants as incapable of acting without their help. Professional publications added to and hardened this legitimizing framework during the first half of the twentieth century. From 1927 onward, the newspaper La journée viticole presented agronomists who specialized in ecophysiology and plant genetics as scientists who were able to improve grape varieties by making them more resistant to disease and capable of specifying treatments that would guarantee grape quality, thus enabling wine growers to avoid the risk of ruined grape harvests more effectively (Loubère 1978, 77–117; Paul 1996, 44–64).7 Institutional 7.  The rise in the assertiveness of agronomists did not prevent the emergence of some temporary divisions of secondary importance. For example, the fight against phylloxera gave rise

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support was provided by change in the economic field brought about by the development of wine-growing cooperatives. This method of organization was presented and perceived as a less costly means of gaining access to the most advanced technologies (Warner 1960, 112; Frader 1991, 77–78; Ulin 1996, 94–99). The emphasis on consolidating and applying technical standards opened the way to an association with specialists in law. Indeed, numerous lawyers were at pains to place themselves at the heart of the construction of quality in the wine industry. They gradually asserted their hold over the organization of wine markets after the adoption in 1851 of a law on the counterfeiting of drinks. This law gave rise to a controversy over the addition of potassium sulfate to wine, an operation commonly referred to as plastering. Plastering had long been used to stabilize wines, especially in the south of France, where at the time there were no real wine cellars. But plastering also accelerated fermentation and may often have been done simply because of a desire to turn a quicker profit. Several interests confronted each other in a struggle to enshrine the definition of wine that best suited them in law (Stanziani 2004, 2007). In 1905, the creation of a ministerial department to enforce this definition provided administrative support for the power held by lawyers: the defense of consumer rights became a legal specialty and gave structure to a corpus of autonomous knowledge. Crucially, linkages were made between this public problem constructed around the adulteration of wines and the setting up of a system of appellations d’origine (AOs). Identifying those who falsified the geographical provenance of wine became the responsibility of the state after a law was passed in 1905 with that sought to protect Bordeaux wines, particularly those from Pomerol (Simpson 2005; Simpson 2011, 107–130). This law delimited wine-growing territories. A series of unending conflicts resulted as each new demarcation became the subject of disputes that were often violent. To remedy this confusion, a law dated 6 May 1919 entrusted courts with the responsibility of delimiting AOs, using the criterion of “local, fair, and continuous practices.” It legalized the practice of attributing the name of a given village to wines produced in a neighboring municipality that presented the same characteristics. New struggles ensued that sought to influence the judgments handed down on this basis. Lawyers took on a leading role in expertise during this period (Laferté 2006). However, it was necessary to seek the assistance of geographers to arrive at objective demarcations and put these rulings on appellations on a secure and authoritative basis. In France, the geography of vine and wine became structured during the first half of the twentieth century around the aim of understanding what

to a divide between those who favored exclusively chemical treatments and those who favored an approach that emphasized vine grafting. The latter won the debate when they succeeded in grafting traditional grape varieties onto hybrid American rootstocks that had not been ravaged by the insect pest. Following this episode, a new coordinated inquiry was made into the means of improving grafted grape varieties (Gale 2011).

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gives a vintage its quality. In the rationale geographer Paul Vidal de la Blache established, it sought to study human adaptation to the natural environment. Those who put this rationale into practice produced numerous regional monographs that characterized the natural constraints for wine growers (topography, morphostructural analyses, climatology, and soil science) and outlined the type of economic organization that would enable growers to make the most of these conditions. The legal texts that aimed to delimit production zones by identifying “local, fair, and continuous practices” were saturated with the discourse of these geographers. They presented the work of geographers as essential reference points that should inspire the actions of all experts (Schirmer 2000; Guy 2003, 136–149). By controlling the specialized press, agronomists, lawyers, and geographers were able to produce categories of thought. Their central position also meant that they were systematically consulted by journalists from generalist daily newspapers whenever a question involving wine became newsworthy. This support from the media had the effect of making the definition of legitimate practices even more inescapable. The overall effect was that agronomists, lawyers, and geographers succeeded in acquiring a national monopoly of expertise with regard to the production and marketing of wine. At the international scale, efforts were made to achieve a universalization of the categories that had been developed in France. The scientific expertise formed around vine and wine quickly expanded its base. In 1924, an intergovernmental agreement was concluded between France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and Tunisia. It resulted in the creation of the International Office of Vine and Wine (Office International de la Vigne et du vin, OIV). The French government acted to ensure that the headquarters would be in Paris. In addition, it ensured that five French representatives sat in the new body, while other member states had only two representatives each. The French delegation was made up of experts who were already prominent in national bodies and the ministry of agriculture, in other words, of agronomists and lawyers who were linked directly to the research published by French geographers. The French delegation worked tirelessly in the committees and subcommittees of the OIV to ensure that representatives of the other states accepted and enshrined French classification principles (Jacquet 2004). Here the capacity to draw on knowledge that had already been articulated and had often been published constituted a definite advantage. Each year, the OIV published resolutions that informed governments of the measures that should be adopted to defend the interests of wine growers. For example, it passed resolutions that were intended to protect AOs, guarantee the purity and authenticity of products, and facilitate the suppression of fraud. French scientists thus succeeded in exporting their knowledge and imposing their supremacy beyond national borders. The principle that underpinned the definition of a wine’s quality—strict production criteria labeled around an appellation—was thus all the more effective

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because it circulated at different scales beyond the regional and was taken up in several states. By persuading other experts in other countries to accept their expertise, dominant French researchers succeeded in presenting this principle as natural and logical, thus preventing any resistance. This discourse was further consolidated when governments rallied behind it and used it to support their own political projects.

Political Work on Supply By the 1930s, the problems, instruments, and modes of legitimation associated with appellations had spread to the other major European producers (Italy, Spain, Portugal, and to some extent Germany). Indeed, since World War II and in particular since the early 1970s, the appellations d’origine system has heavily structured the wine industry and its markets throughout Europe and beyond. However, the most important point to retain from the political development of this system is that during this period the social and economic meaning of appellations changed considerably at least twice, thus opening the door to contention, revision, and resistance. In the 1910s and the 1920s, French legislation gave rise not only to numerous localized disputes and court cases concerning the boundaries of each AO but also and more fundamentally to disputes over what basis should be used to distinguish between AOs. For some specialists the geographical provenance of grapes was sufficient, whereas for others, such as the Bordelais politician Joseph Capus, the specificity of each wine area had to be defined and then legally established as a product specification that included production and processing standards. Partisans of the second view eventually won through legislation in 1927 and 1935 that institutionalized the delegation of much of this control to growers at both the local scale (through each AOC’s syndicat d’appellation) and in Paris (via a national organization that in 1947 became the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine [National Institute of Designations of Origin]). In short, the state backed this approach to governing a large part of the wine industry and enshrined in law its own withdrawal in favor of producers and growers (Laferté 2006; Colman 2008; Loubère 1990). Beginning in the 1930s, in France and subsequently in its southern European neighbors, the concept of AOCs began to structure on a long-term basis the production, processing, and consumption of wine. The concept developed in tandem with the organizations and elites that advocated and defended it (Fourcade 2012). Until the 2000s, agreement between these stakeholders also drew strength from backing for AOCs from scientific experts. In the 1970s, French geographers who were still committed to the “Vidalian” rationale (e.g. established by Paul Vidal de la Blache) provided the term terroir (a unit of geographical and sociological space), which, by condensing a range of detailed and documented definitions, became a symbol for and rallying cry of the pro-AOC movement (Roger 2010b). As Laferté has

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shown with precision in the case of the Bourgogne, by increasingly replacing the oenological term cru, terroir constructed a cognitive and symbolic link between AOC wines and the identity of their producers. In so doing, however, terroir—and more widely the first redefinition of geographically indicated wines it symbolizes—also was consciously and unconsciously used to harden the boundary between AOC wines and the rest of the wine produced in Europe (Laferté 2006). At a time when consumption of wine in producer states was falling rapidly, this redefinition of excellence (Garcia-Parpet 2008; Garcia-Parpet 2009, 248) and rehierarchization (Stanziani 2005) led to a significant shift in the practices of wine producers and merchants. Whereas before the late 1960s a major part of the wine produced in countries such as France had simply been sold in bottles or in bulk under the brand of family-owned merchant companies, such products now came to be seen as vins de table that were conceptualized as quite different from AOC wines associated with small producers, wine châteaux, and identity-laden terroirs. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, a great deal of European wine came to be produced, marketed, and distributed around this trio of characteristics. This development had major consequences for the European wine industry. The first impact of the new tripartite standard for AOC wines concerned the status of merchants and their brands. These economic operators had previously been leaders in the industry’s organization of collective action and their brands had been structuring instruments of prescription (e.g., in commentary by journalists; see Hatchuel 1995) for producers and consumers alike. However, in the early 1970s, European merchants, especially French ones, began to experience a period when they were partially disenfranchised both politically and commercially. Their brands became associated with mass-produced wine that was heavily criticized for the uniformity of its taste and its distance from the symbolism of viticulteurs (growers who make their own wine), châteaux, and terroirs. Indeed, this wine now became stigmatized as “industrial.” The second consequence of the rehierarchization that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s around AOCs was that power was redistributed among growers. Whereas the producers of the most prestigious wines, which were sold in low volumes, had previously dominated the representation of vineyards such as Bordeaux, instead, leaders from areas that produced cheaper wine in higher volumes began to come to the fore by using the rhetoric and other resources linked to the notions of vin de château and terroir. In the Bordelais, for example, this shift took the form of a transfer of the presidency of two key collective action organizations (the Fédération des Grands Vins de Bordeaux and the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bordeaux) to representatives of generic Bordeaux wines, who replaced their counterparts from appellations such as Saint-Émilion and Saint-Julien in the Médoc (Smith, De Maillard, and Costa 2007, part 2). The third and most fundamental consequence of rehierarchizing AOCs was the further decline of the vins de table that, until then, had constituted

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more than three-quarters of the volume of European wine produced each year. Already shaken by falls in levels of consumption by their traditional and largely working-class consumers, by 1973 Europe’s producers of vins de table were pushed even more into storing surplus production and seeking public support for the subsidized sale (e.g., to Eastern bloc states) or removal from the market of vins de table through distillation. However, it is important to note that in 1973 steps were also taken to introduce geographically indicated wine in such regions. This began with the French government’s Plan Chirac (named after the minister of agriculture at that time), which introduced the new category of vins de Pays (country wines; VdP). This was designed to add value to wines from the plains of the Midi and encourage growers from its hills to apply for AOCs (Genieys 1998; Laporte and Touzard 1998). The category VdP formally enabled producers to link their wine to a specific terroir without restricting its production through stringent restrictions on grape-growing and -processing practices. This French policy instrument was swiftly adopted in EU law and then was largely copied in other countries. Born of a conjunction between the dynamics of the economic and scientific fields, evaluation categories that emphasized the definition of wine made it possible for effective political work to be done. Significantly, the connections seen here between knowledge, science, and power fall outside the analyses offered by sociological institutionalists and actor-network theorists. Conjunctions between the dynamics of these fields were not based on a localized cluster or on networks formed around a few individuals and objects; rather, they were based on spaces of positions and in hierarchies that developed in the context of historical and partially autonomous dynamics. In addition, the problems these conjunctions helped to define and address were the product of a resonance between structured power relations rather than the result of direct interactions. The definition of legitimate knowledge about vine and wine was thus based on the fact that the structuration of an economic field and the hierarchization of academic disciplines in the scientific field coincided. This coincidence emerged because of simultaneous developments in two different fields and the redefinition of dominant positions in each of them. Over the years, the new definition of legitimate knowledge consolidated, unfolded at multiple scales, and found favor in several European states. Its complex architecture and its roots in differentiated power struggles prevented any isolated individual from contesting its relevance with any chance of success. Over a period of several decades, no debate could find an audience if it did not contribute to the search for the best grape varieties, the best treatments for diseases in the vineyards, the geographical definition of terroirs, or legal enshrinement of terroirs through the delimitation of appellations. Consequently, the experts who were authorized to negotiate wine-growing policy were agronomists and lawyers who drew upon the work done by geographers. These professionals stood in the way of any alternative representation of the interests of wine production and marketing. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, a movement began to emerge that threw into question the definition of quality using criteria

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based on the supply of wine by asserting instead the need to match supply with demand. This shift in the statement of the problem and a later shift in the definition of public problems originated in the scientific field. Specifically, this field witnessed a weakening of the three disciplines that had been dominant in questions related to the wine industry up to that point.

Adapting to “Demand”: A New Principle for Hierarchizing Knowledge In the 1990s, academic power struggles underwent profound changes. New researchers began to assert themselves by imposing the theme of the new consumer on the wine industry, largely because these researchers found in this figure  a way to legitimate their specific competences and at the same time devalue disciplines that had until then been dominant. Agronomy engineers who specialized in biochemistry worked to achieve total control over the wine-making process through complex manipulations (yeasts, filtration, etc.). This enabled them to obtain the constant organoleptic qualities that, according to these researchers, met the expectations of consumers (as opposed to wines whose properties varied from one vintage to another). Meanwhile, econometricians explained that it was possible to define the fair market price of wine on international markets and fight against protectionist lobbies and schemes that, in their view, distorted competition by imposing artificial prices and exchange rates to the detriment of the consumer. Finally, marketing specialists asserted the authoritative nature of their judgments by underlining that their research techniques could identify the expectations and preferences of wine consumers. These new academic spheres of competence were first constructed in the United States, Australia, and South Africa, facilitated by the simultaneous structuration of large wine-making and marketing businesses. Scientific collaborations were set up on an international scale at a time when New World producers were being oriented toward the conquest of wider markets. Many European researchers joined these initiatives to enhance their own prestige and resources so they could shake up their respective academic hierarchies.

Disciplines Revamped around the “New Consumer” From 1990 to 2000, New World businesses doubled their production and increased their exports by more than 200 percent.8 They made use of umbrella brands (E. & J. Gallo in the United States; Jacob’s Creek, McGuigan Simeon,

8.  International Organization of Vine and Wine, Situation Report for the World Vitivinicultural Sector in 2005, 46–47, (Commentaire_Statistiques_2005_EN.pdf).

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and Mildara Blass in Australia, etc.), offering a restricted range of products that was designed to be easily identifiable for consumers. This positioning was the result of carefully thought out development plans. In 1996, the Australian Wine Foundation published a document entitled Strategy 2025, a plan for the conquest of international markets that set intermediary objectives to be attained every five years for the next three decades. South African firms and public authorities launched the Vision 2020 program, which sought to develop a wine-making economy that was “innovation driven and market ­directed.”9 Research institutes were founded with private and public funding to put these ideas into practice. Some scientists got involved in them, but they were not drawn primarily by the new subsidies and opportunities wine companies offered. Instead they were driven by the specific logic of the scientific field. Researchers sought to redefine the criteria used to define the quality of a wine so they could assert their dominance in this field and their control over legitimate expertise. Specifically, they sought to replace a classification principle based on supply and demarcations with a scale of values centered on demand, new wine-making techniques, and commercial strategies to meet “consumer expectations.” Agronomy institutes in the New World used these changes as opportunities to redirect their research toward biochemistry and innovative wine-making techniques. Two subdisciplines were given structure. Physiochemical specialists studied the interactions of phenolic compounds and their effect on the type and sensory properties of wines (e.g. taste and color). They also developed separating techniques to modulate these interactions. Microbiology researchers were encouraged to work on alcoholic fermentation. The traditional procedure consisted of using indigenous yeasts. Starting in the 1990s, however, researchers sought instead to use a range of active dry yeasts that had been developed to better control wine-making. In both of these subdisciplines, the main academic reference points were located in the New World. The Institute for Wine Biotechnology, which was created in 1995 in the Faculty of AgriSciences at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, disseminated its results widely and provided an incentive for scientific collaborations through the annual Symposium on Wine Chemistry. The new International Journal of Food Microbiology also brought the latest innovations to the attention of the public. Supplementing this, the American Society for Enology and Viticulture at the University of California-Davis facilitated the taking up of these developments by stakeholders. With strong support from Mondavi Inc., it published the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, where wine industry operators could learn of applications for the most recent discoveries.

9.  Backed by the South African Wine and Brandy Company, the approach involved cooperation between the South African Wine Industry Trust and various ministries. See Philippus Hendrick Spies, Vision 2020. Strategic Outline for the South African Wine Industry: A Road Map for Future Competitiveness (Stellenbosh: Winetech, 2001).

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Under the society’s aegis, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium began to be held each year in Sacramento. Econometric research on wine markets was carried out in tandem with these developments. Again, a sizeable base for this research emerged in California, this time in the School of Business  & Economics of Sonoma State University, supported by the State Wine Business Institute (which itself was partially funded by the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association and the E.  & J. Gallo Winery).10 Econometricians working there published articles on wine in well-respected academic journals (e.g., American Economic Review; Journal of Economic Perspectives) and succeeded in legitimizing a rationale articulated around a small number of central concepts. Their work focused on “price elasticity” and sought to locate the point when consumers will replace wine with another alcoholic drink. They also correlated “consumer behavior” (age, place of consumption, and frequency of consumption) with the information given on labels (type of wine and assured or hoped-for quality). This “hedonic” pricing method was used to study the “consumer’s inclination” to pay for an increase in quality. They established an implicit price for each characteristic. The implicit objective was to show that the sensory properties of wine are more important than classification or vintage (Giraud-Héraud and Surry 2001). The gradual articulation and consolidation of these approaches was validated in 2006 with the formation of the American Association of Wine Economists, which began to publish the Journal of Wine Economics. The president of the new association, Orley Ashenfelter, was a professor of economics at Princeton and a former editor of the American Economic Review. He made his mark as an emblematic figure  for both wine-market econometricians and journalists. In 1990, he had presented in the New York Times and in televised broadcasts an equation that made it possible to calculate the fair price of a wine from climate data alone, an approach that raised some New World products to the same ranking as the best European vintages.11 By providing its own publication outlet and electing a renowned president, the association made its work highly visible.12 10.  Support for consolidation was later provided by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, which opened in 2008 at the University of California, Davis, thanks to funding from the eponymous business. The institute hosted the Center for Wine Economics, which aimed to bring together the best-known specialists in econometrics and play a role in regulation. 11. The equation is formulated as follows: quality of the wine (determining the just price) = 12,145 + 0,00117 × winter precipitation (in mm) + 0.034111 × average temperatures during the period of growth of the vine − 0.0386 x precipitation during the grape harvests (in mm). “Wine Equation Bends Some Noses Out of Joint,” New York Times, 4 March 1990. 12.  Support for the same message was provided by the Centre for International Economic Studies Wine Economics Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, under the direction of Kym Anderson (who was also vice president of the American Association of Wine Economists). The center published and widely disseminated studies of the development of international markets via wine policy briefs and discussion papers. Researchers at the center also developed an econometric model that they called the World Multisectoral Wine Model, which aimed to “incorporate key features of the global wine market” (Wittwer, Anderson, and Berger 2001).

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The commercial policies developed in the New World also made it possible to establish wine marketing as a full-fledged discipline. This specialty appeared in Australia at the end of the 1960s, but remained embryonic for a long time. Wine marketing did not really begin to be structured until the 1980s at Roseworthy Agricultural College in Adelaide. At the initiative of academics from this College, a specialist magazine—the International Journal of Wine Marketing—was created in 1989. Wine marketing took off during the 1990s, at the School of Marketing of the University of South Australia (founded in 1991). A specialized center—the Wine Marketing Research Group—was set up there, headed by Larry Lockshin. Wine marketing became enshrined as a subject for teaching and research. Its promoters came up with some key concepts that were judged to be accessible to journalists and that rapidly entered the general vocabulary (global marketing, customer advocacy, wine style preferences, etc.) They also devised a method—called sensory descriptive analysis—that they claimed was scientific and that guaranteed them a monopoly over a segment of evaluation expertise. In order to identify the criteria that are supposed to determine the choices consumers make, a costly research protocol had to be implemented. Surveys also provided a more precise understanding of the role brands play in consumers purchasing. Australian researchers organized international wine marketing conferences to disseminate their results and exchange their analyses with foreign colleagues.13 With biochemistry, econometrics, and wine marketing at the service of a marketing policy that had now become extremely powerful, not surprisingly New World producers sought to assert themselves in international organizations. The World Wine Trade Group served this objective. Created in 1998 at the initiative of the United States government, it included both company directors and experts from different states (Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa). Its objectives have changed over time. This body was initially conceived as a way to put pressure on defenders of European wine-making interests and convert them to free-exchange principles. In particular, it enabled New World representatives sitting on the board of the OIV to meet before each of its meetings in order to coordinate common positions. This harmonization of the line to be taken (which was sometimes supported by the publication of position papers) allowed representatives to emphasize with a single voice the need to remove all hindrances to free trade in the wine industry, especially restrictions on wine-making techniques. According to this line of argument, the “new European consumer” should be able to buy the product that best met his or her expectations and that no norms should restrict the choices of this consumer and prevent him or her from purchasing U.S., Australian, or South African wines. During the 2000s, a change occurred 13.  In 2001, wine marketing specialists developed a more generalist publishing outlet, the Journal of Consumer Behaviour, which applies the same methodology to various different products.

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when Kirby Moulton, a professor of economics at Berkeley, became a candidate for the presidency of the OIV and narrowly lost the election after the French delegation actively campaigned against him.14 In response, the U.S. authorities decided to withdraw from the OIV and attempted—in vain—to get their New World counterparts to join them in the walkout. At their instigation, the World Wine Trade Group was transformed into an alternative regulatory body. In order to bypass what they describe as a legal rigidity of the OIV, several of its members met in Toronto in December 2001 to sign the Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of Oenological Practices. Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and the United States were the initial signatories; they were joined by Argentina in 2002. This text had the status of a commercial treaty and was presented as an implementation of the principles espoused by the World Trade Organization. Its stated objective was to remove all obstacles to trade based on differences in wine-making techniques.15 The line taken in the agreement had its effect on the OIV. With a new international agreement signed in April 2001, the International Office of Vine and Wine was transformed into the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (while retaining the OIV acronym). Beyond this change of name, new missions and objectives were adopted: the OIV was “to assist other international organisations, both intergovernmental and non-governmental, especially those which carry out standardization activities . . . to contribute to international harmonization of existing practices and standards and, if necessary, to the preparation of new international standards in order to improve the conditions for producing and marketing vine and wine products, and to help ensure that the interests of consumers are taken into account.”16 This regulation thus incorporated the new expectations that were making themselves felt in markets. In so doing, signatory states were exhorted to make use of experts who specialized in biochemistry, econometricians who could evaluate the commercial impact of wine-making techniques, and marketing specialists who could decipher market segmentation. The figure of the new consumer in all its forms provided a lingua franca.17

14.  U.S. representatives succeeded in convincing their colleagues to adopt the principle that the presidency should always alternate between a New World member and a European member (the term is up to three years). In 2000, the French delegation successfully worked for the election of Felix Roberto Aguinagua of Argentina. Reiner Wittkowski of Germany succeeded him in 2003. 15.  Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of Oenological Practices, December 2001, 1, http:// 16. Article 2.1.b and c, Accord portant création de l’Organisation internationale de la vigne et du vin, 2001, 5, (Accord_03042001 _creation_OIV_FR.pdf). 17.  We distance ourselves here from the interpretation of institutionalist economics that explains the relative influence of OIV and World Trade Organization norms in the wine sector by their respective capacity to achieve a “reduction of transaction costs 1) by homogenizing products and production practices; and 2) by providing greater transparency and reliability of information” (Hannin, Codron, and Thoyer 2006, 74).

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These developments quickly had an effect on the very structure of the OIV. In July 2006, Australian Peter Hayes became president of the organization. He presented his success as the result of a shift in power relationships; he said that European states now “recognize that the world has completely changed since 1924 and that it must continue to change. A  perspective coming from the New World can certainly help move in this direction.” He added that a reorganization of “scientific and technical alliances” could be expected (Decanter, 6 July 2006).18 As they turned to exports, U.S., Australian, and South African producers supported the rise of new scientific disciplines and promoted them in international bodies. New international research agendas were thus formed that had powerful effects in Europe. Researchers who had previously been marginalized thus found a means of legitimizing their claims in their own field.

An Internationalization of Academic Struggles By joining a scientific project controlled by U.S., Australian, or South African researchers, a European wine specialist could display his or her breadth of international understanding or denounce the failure of his or her backward-looking continent to adapt to modernity and the lack of openness of tenured colleagues. In other words, the biochemical engineers, econometricians, and marketing specialists who imported the figure  of the new consumer into Europe found in it a way to overturn power relationships. By casting doubt on the legitimacy of their elders and betters, these researchers were gradually able to achieve a dominant position in wine expertise. European agronomists who specialized in biochemistry first established contacts with their South African colleagues. They made academic visits to Stellenbosch, signed joint publications (Glänzel and Veugelers 2006; Aleixandre-Benavent et  al. 2012) and participated regularly in the Symposium on Wine Chemistry.19 A reorganization thus began that eventually induced institutional changes in European states. The most significant changes

18.  Yves Bénard succeeded Peter Hayes on 3 July 2009. Although he was French, his career profile is revealing: he is an engineer who specialized in oenological practices and has spent a large part of his career in the commercial sector and marketing Champagne wines. Another significant change has taken place: whereas the meetings of committees and subcommittees of the OIV could be in French up to the 1990s, the use of English has since become generalized. Beyond any practical considerations, these linguistic choices are closely bound up with academic battlegrounds and the definition of legitimate forms of expertise. In the disciplines that were dominant at the outset of the twentieth century, mastery of French was a mark of distinction and determined the hierarchy of publication outlets. This has now been turned into a stigma and is associated with a failure to internationalize; the use of English alone is now considered appropriate. 19. The curriculum vitae of agronomy engineers who specialized in wine-making techniques show that many of them have taken courses at and made study visits to Stellenbosch (, consulted 8 September 2008).

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were observable in France, the birthplace of the scientific disciplines that were being thrown into question. An Institut Français de La Vigne et du Vin (French Institute for the Vine and Wine) was set up in 2007 with the aim of coordinating biochemical research. This body has 140 researchers and an annual budget of close to 11 million Euros, supplemented by partnerships with private businesses such as Eurodia (specialists in chromatography, microfiltration, electrodialysis, and filtration procedures) and Buchler Vaslin (who market equipment for the new techniques used in wine making). It has access to experimental sites in all wine-growing regions, which include wine warehouses and analytical laboratories. The institute has launched a common research program titled Innovative Corrective Techniques. A similar orientation is discernable in Spain.20 Under the effect of research dynamics driven from South Africa, the University Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona has restructured its Faculty of Oenology and set up a Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology. To ensure that this approach was taken up more widely, the government of Catalonia has invested in research in microbiology and corrective oenology. In 2002, it funded the creation of the Research Group for Oenological Technologies (Grupo de investigación en Tecnología Enológica, or Tecnenol), which is charged with coordinating an interuniversity doctoral program and piloting thirty research projects in partnership with private businesses (e.g., Sofralab and Mata Casanovas) and bodies that manage wine industry policies (e.g., the Consejo Regulador del Cava). The Spanish system is assisted by the Applied Oenological Biotechnology (Biotecnología Enológica Aplicada) laboratory, which specializes in the microbiology of wine. The members of this unit are paid by the national public

20.  Work in wine biochemistry has been less developed in Italy and Romania because of the particular structuring of these scientific fields at these national scales. Italian research has not been subject to an institutional reshaping equivalent to those observed in France and in Spain. Specialized units of the national body for agronomic research (Consiglio per the Ricerca e the Sperimentazione in Agricoltura) remain under the control of the older disciplines: the Experimental Institute of Viticulture (Istituto Sperimentale Viticoltura) at Conegliano and the Center for Oenological Research (Centro di Ricerca per l’Enologia) at Asti are led by agronomists who mainly publish in Italian and in French and have not developed close ties with laboratories in the New World. Researchers who contest the scientific legitimacy of researchers mentioned above and seek to promote new forms of knowledge are instead scattered in several establishments (notably in universities in Rome, Foggia, and Basilicate), where they hold isolated positions. Their research is funded by private business outside any national coordination framework. In Romania, the wine-making research infrastructure is mainly in the hands of the Vine Production and Winemaking Research Institute (Institutul de Cercetăre-Dezvoltare pentru Viticultura şi Vinificatie) at Valea Călugărească. The body responsible for managing this unit, the Academy of Agricultural and Silvicultural Sciences (Academia de Ştiint¸e Agricole şi Silvice) no longer receives public funding. It has outdated facilities and cannot now train young researchers in biochemistry or offer a stable position to those who have studied abroad. It mainly looks to multinational businesses for possible funding. However, the latter make them concentrate on studies aimed at the commercial licensing of their phytosanitary products and do not look to invest in the local development of technological innovations (Roger 2014).

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research body (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas; National Scientific Research Council) and are located in the Autonomous University of Madrid. They worked to set up the Oenological Research Groups Network (Red de Grupos de Investigación Enológica), which includes Spanish researchers specializing in wine biochemistry and holds conferences every other year. On this basis, close collaborations have been set up with researchers at the University of Stellenbosch in the form of exchanges of invitations and joint publications in the most prestigious English-language journals. Finally, the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences (Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino) was created in 2008 by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, the University of Rioja, and the government of the Autonomous Community of Rioja, with the goal of promoting research in microbiology and biochemistry and ensuring the transfer of technology to wine businesses. Modeled on the Sacramento Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, this body has organized the World Wine Forum (Foro Mundial del Vino) in Logroño each year since 2003.21 Under the banner of the new consumer, European econometricians have specialized in the study of wine markets.22 They have legitimized their claims that they should replace previously established experts by emphasizing their inclusion in international research programs. A  number of them have published in the Journal of Wine Economics, regularly coauthoring articles with English-speaking colleagues, and have joined the American Association of Wine Economists. Using hedonic pricing methodology, they analyze the position of European vintages. Their work aims to show that consumers’ assessment of the quality of a wine is based less on terroir (i.e., soil characteristics or the vineyard’s exposure to sun, wind, and rain) than on techniques of wine making and brands (see, e.g., Ginsburgh and Gergaud 2008). The resulting dynamics have given new momentum to European structures that until recently were modest and discrete. For example, the Vineyards Data Quantification Society, which was created in 1991, has found a new legitimacy; in 2006, it was renamed the European Association of Wine Economists to mark its family resemblance to the American learned society. This association has adopted an unambiguous slogan: “Economists at the service of wine production.” Since 2008, it has published the journal Enometrica, which prides itself on the fact 21. Along the same lines, the Wine Technology Platform (Plataforma Tecnológica del Vino) was launched in December  2011. A  budget of 19.55  million Euros has enabled it to finance seventy-six research and development projects over three years. This funding comes from wineries (Bodegas), but also from a national wine-growing organization (the Federación Española del Vino), local wine-growing organizations (such as Grupo de Empresas Vinícolas de Rioja, the Asociación de Bodegas Centenarias y Tradicionales de la Rioja, and the Asociación de Bodegas Familiares de Rioja), and higher education and research institutions (such as the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Red de Grupos de Investigación Enológica). 22.  As chapter 5 will relate, this development also had an indirect but strong effect on a few economists who have sought to provide expertise on wine policies without resorting to econometrics.

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that Orley Ashenfelter is on its editorial committee. In France, the specialists organized in this way have found academic positions in the Schools of Management at universities in Reims, Dijon, and Bordeaux and at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute (Institut agronomique méditerranéen) in Montpellier. In Spain, econometricians have been recruited by the Faculties of Economic Sciences and Business (Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales) at universities in Castilla la Mancha, Valladolid, Barcelona, and Saragossa. They also take part in the activities of the European Association of Wine Economists, continue to present their work at American Association of Wine Economists conferences, and publish in the Journal of Wine Economics. Researchers at the Aragon Center for Research in Food Technologies (Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón) also coauthor scientific communications and articles on topics such as hedonic price functions and the measurement of preferences with California researchers. In Italy, equivalent research has been carried out by academics at the Faculties of Economics at universities in Bologna, Padua, Perugia, Sienna, Florence, Foggia, and Macerata. The fact that the American Association of Wine Economists conference was held at Bolzano in 2011 encouraged many Italian researchers to present joint papers with American researchers. This dynamic was extended in 2012 by the creation of the University Center for the Strategic Development of the Wine Sector (Centro universitario di ricerca e formazione per lo sviluppo competitivo delle imprese del settore vitivinicolo italiano) at the University of Florence. The journal Wine Economics and Policy was created that same year and is attached to this center. Published by the multinational Elsevier, it aims to give increased visibility to econometricians.23 At the beginning of the 2000s, researchers working on wine marketing also began to make their presence felt. In particular, researchers at Montpellier SupAgro established close links with colleagues at the University of South Australia. Several of the SupAgro’s leading scholars collaborated directly with Larry Lockshin and co-authored specialized articles with him. They also participated in the first two International Wine Marketing Conferences, in Adelaide in 2003 and in Sonoma in 2005. Significantly, in July 2006 this conference was held in Montpellier. At the end of the 2006 conference, the Academy for Wine Business Research was created. It seeks to organize an international network of researchers who study the marketing of wine and to promote exchanges between the New World and Europe. A researcher from Montpellier SupAgro was included on its steering committee. At the same

23.  In Romania, econometric work in the wine-making sector has experienced more limited development. Researchers at the Academy of Economic Studies (Academia de Studii Economice) in Bucharest have made attempts in this direction. However, they struggle to find the funding that would enable them to take part in international scientific conferences. Consequently, they engage in hardly any collaboration with New World researchers and do not publish in the more prestigious international journals.

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time, the International Journal of Wine Marketing was rebranded the International Journal for Wine Business Research. This new publication is associated with the Academy for Wine Business Research and is managed by Emerald, the European leader in management publishing. A  Wine Marketing Database was also created and a number of papers related to the topic of wine marketing were put on line. The University of Adelaide put the final touches to this system in 2010 by launching the Wine2030 Research Network, which offers grants to researchers throughout the world who work on improving knowledge about consumers.24 French institutions have been quick to take this dynamic on board. For example, the Angers High School of Agriculture (Ecole supérieure d’agriculture d’Angers) recruited marketing specialists whose work focuses on descriptive sensory analysis and developed partnerships with grape and wine companies (in particular with the Alliance Loire Ackerman group). Following the same line, in 2007, the Bordeaux School of Management (Bordeaux Ecole de Management) founded a chair of wine management and has each year organized a wine marketing day, both funded by the Castel Group, a wine merchant and producer. Italian researchers have adopted similar lines of inquiry. An outlet was provided in 2002 with the creation of the Italian Sensory Science Society (Società Italiana di Scienze Sensoriali), driven by researchers at the University of Florence who have made research visits to New World institutions. The society seeks to promote descriptive sensory analysis. Italian research on the marketing of wine gained new momentum when the Conference of the Academy of Wine Business Research was organized in Siena in 2008. On this occasion, several researchers from the University of Adelaide (with Larry Lockshin in the forefront) associated Italian academics with their work and invited them to make joint presentations that were written up in joint publications in the International Journal of Wine Business Research.25 The same procedure has been developed in Spain in a more localized way: researchers from the Aragon Center for Research in Food Technologies regularly collaborate with colleagues based in Australia, among whom Larry Lockshin figures prominently.26

24.  The Wine2030 Research Network has been renamed University of Adelaide Wine Future. See University of Adelaide Wine Future,, accessed 20 October 2013. 25.  One individual career trajectory marks the culmination of this dynamic. In 2009, after collaborating with several researchers in Australia, Armando Corsi defended a doctoral thesis at the University of Florence entitled “The Behaviour of Italian Consumers towards Wine: An Application of New Methodologies for Market Segmentation and Loyalty Analysis.” He was immediately recruited as a lecturer at the University of Adelaide. From this job he has played a role as a permanent contact between Australian and Italian research centers. 26.  In Romania, the Center for Studies in Viticulture, Winemaking, and Sensory Analysis (Centrul de Studii Viti-Vinicole şi Analiză Senzorială) was set up in 2008 by the directors of the Chair of Viticulture and Wine Making (Catedra de Viticultură şi Vinifica¸tie) at the University of Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences (Universită t¸ii de Ştiin¸te Agricole şi Medicină

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By taking advantage of the symbolic resources joining English-speaking research networks provided, researchers in biochemistry, econometrics, and wine marketing succeeded in putting the theme of the new consumer at the center of the agenda of the field of vine and wine sciences throughout European states. Even the previously dominant disciplines have become permeable to the discourse that generated the rise of their rivals. Changes in the positions of geographers of the vine and wine testify to this most clearly. In 2004, at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Philadelphia, participants in a panel on wine decided to expand on their discussions by founding a Wine Specialty Group. They immediately began to publish a newsletter. Its first issue gave an account of a debate on the appropriateness of the continued use of the notion of terroir. Some advocated abandoning it, arguing that “modern wine-making techniques make environmental factors less significant.” Others replied that the climate in which the grape variety grows always introduces significant variations.27 Researchers who concentrated solely on the effect of climatic variables abandoned all considerations of how humans adapt to their environment. They thus distanced themselves from a “Vidalian” analysis and followed the line taken by the newly dominant disciplines. The most recent development in the geography of the vine lies in attempts to rethink the scientific foundations of geographical labels used as a mark of quality. Production zones have been delimited in South Africa since 1973 and in Australia since 1993, but they are merely aligned with administrative divisions and are often repeated in the actual name of commercial brands, to the point that a production zone sometimes becomes indistinguishable from a brand. In the United States, viticultural areas have been used since 1980. They are intended as a means of promotion and aim to increase the popularity of brands. But they are based merely on location and are not linked to any restrictive specifications. A number of researchers who have aimed to place the geography of wine and vine on a new basis emphasize the marketing value of particular vineyards. They argue that the new consumer will be able to find the characteristics they are looking for once

Veterinară) in Bucharest. This initiative must be seen in the context of the particular issues in the Romanian scientific field. The implicit objective was to put in make connections with New World researchers; the center is oriented toward English speakers and the supplanting of French-speaking Romanian researchers affiliated with a rival institution, the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, who have sat on the OIV’s committees for many years (Roger 2014). In the absence of significant funding, this initiative did not have far-reaching effects: actual collaboration in international programs of research remained very limited and Romanian researchers have struggled to publish in the most prestigious journals for specialists in wine marketing. The fact that New World researchers remain comparatively indifferent to the approaches of their Romanian colleagues also tends to show the priority given to the diffusion of the theme of new consumer in the states that were first to adopt the appellations principle. 27.  Association of American Geographers, Wine Speciality Group newsletter, 2004, issue 1,, accessed 9 September 2009.

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each region is associated with wine-making techniques that make it possible to produce wines of constant quality (Elliott-Fisk 2012, 50). Geographers who have adopted this view have attempted to redefine the notion of terroir by basing it mainly on wine-making techniques. They argue that “many of the tools and methods available to the wine maker are characteristic of a region and become part of the cultural contribution to the terroir.” For them, biochemistry and corrective oenological techniques stamp a “cultural imprint on a wine” that “give[s] a wine a regional characteristic that is readily identifiable” (Dougherty 2012, 25). Thus, these geographers contend that “the most important factor differentiating wines are the skills of the winemaker rather than the environment in which the grapes were grown, or indeed, the skills of the person growing the vines.” They argue that approaches that link the definition of terroirs to restrictive specifications do not make it possible for winemakers and wine merchants to meet the expectations of the new consumer. Indeed, they feel that this approach should be “criticised for limiting the innovation that could lead to even higher quality wines” (Unwin 2012, 43). As for them, references to terroir are part of a strategy used by some producer organizations in order to get a commercial advantage rather than the result of geographical studies with a solid scientific basis (Gade 2004). By detaching the notion of terroir from the criteria that serve to construct supply and by seeking to adapt each terroir to (supposedly spontaneous) developments in demand, vine and wine geographers have renounced the principles that previously allowed them and their older colleagues to occupy a dominant position in the scientific field. This development has created additional opportunities for the newly dominant disciplines.28 The same evolution can be observed among lawyers who have sought to avoid complete marginalization and to develop new expertise in the wine sector. Wine law has turned away from a focus on issues related to the delimitation of appellations; it now concerns itself with the implementation of a multilateral register of geographical indications that accords with World Trade Organization rules and follows the general principles underpinning intellectual property (Mendelson, Gerien, and Resnikoff 2013). The distinction between the rules governing appellation and brand has receded in legal discourse; currently, the only aim of the lawyers vis-à-vis the wine industry is to guarantee the origin of the product, which means placing less emphasis on the more specific criteria laid out in AO specifications. In the same spirit, legal research has been carried out on the links between consumer protection and the harmonization of labeling rules that govern international trade, a debate that mainly focuses on the requirement that labels list additives. The International Vine and Wine Lawyers Association (Association internationale des juristes du droit de la vigne et du vin) is currently working to realign

28.  For a discussion of the political issues involved in a reform of appellations, see chapter 7.

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these rules with international laws and standards. Founded in 1985, the association was the province of French academics and a few French-speaking lawyers for many decades. However, since 2007, its annual conference has included numerous English-speaking participants (several panels are chaired by American and Australian experts). The conference features exchanges about questions raised by involvement of the World Trade Organization in structuring the wine industry. In addition, specialized training courses in France have been revised. The masters in vine and wine law created by University of Bordeaux in 2000 has included courses titled Product Quality Signs and Consumer Protection, Understanding the Structure and Organization of Wine Markets, and Comparative Wine Law: New World Countries since 2008. The teaching team has been opened up to include Australian business lawyers. In the same vein, since 2010 the Faculty of Law at Reims has organized a summer school entitled Wine & Law in the EU, which is funded by the European Commission. Teaching mainly focuses on comparing the legal frameworks of the United States and the European Union. The program manager, Theodore Georgopoulos, has studied at the Jean Monnet Center at New York University as a Fulbright scholar and is a member of the American Association of Wine Economists (which is controlled by experts in econometrics). His self-presentation emphasizes his contacts with colleagues at American universities, including the Harvard Law School, the Stanford Law School, the Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, and the Columbia Law School. Faculty from these universities who are invited to Reims are either World Trade Organization experts or work for business consultants. Their activities all relate to adapting the law to the new dynamics introduced by the new consumer. While lawyers have organized in order to continue to make their voices heard, they have been obliged to address problems and methods imposed by disciplines that contest their authority. Far from recovering the dominant position they previously occupied in the scientific field, wine lawyers have been reduced to offering merely ancillary expertise.29 29.  The environmental norms imposed on vine production, which are based on a specific political agenda and were adopted following struggles in other fields, may cause the power relationship to change noticeably, thus revealing the continuous nature of academic struggles and the relative contingency of the factors that shape their course. At the scale of the European Union, the guidelines contained in the “pesticides package” (adopted in 2009) favor a massive reduction in the use of plant protection treatments. Agronomists who specialize in vine genetics may find in these norms a new source of legitimacy, for example those who promote varietal innovation, i.e., the development of new grape varieties that are more resistant to diseases and insect pests and that thus require fewer treatments. This approach is not compatible with conventional methods of promoting terroirs: specifications for appellations prohibit the use of new varieties. Additional research has thus been carried out with the aim of developing genetically modified rootstocks that are both resistant and compatible with the grafting of traditional grape varieties (Reustle and Buchholz 2009). However, environmental organizations vigorously oppose this strategy, and research on genetically modified rootstocks remains limited (Marris, Joly, and Rip 2008). Environmental standards may also strengthen

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A breakup of the power relations historically constituted around wine production was thus observable by the early 2000s. This, however, was not the result of an initiative that emanated from Brussels. Rather, it was the indirect and uncontrolled result of legitimation struggles in different fields and at different scales. A number of categories of actors, each with their own motives, came to defend the same conception of the wine industry. The failure or the defection of one of these categories would have unbalanced the new definition of the problems of the wine industry and caused disruption at all levels. The new construction of legitimate knowledge proved decisive in all cases. Until the 1990s, convergence could be observed in France between agricultural specialists in ecophysiology and phytogenetics, lawyers interested in the regulation of wine market, and geographers who assessed the characteristics of terroirs. Each of these scientists had succeeded in having his or her skills recognized by defining a problem in the wine industry based on the principle of the appellation. This definition worked because it created a well-articulated discourse that other groups adopted and because it coincided with producer definitions of their economic interests. It spread to other European states and permeated international arenas. As long as it prevailed, wine quality was based on criteria that could be used to structure supply in terms of different market segments. However, in the 1990s the definition of the problems of the wine industry was turned on its head by the structuring of new forms of expertise that coincided with the commercial business policies that developed in the wine industry in the United States, Australia, and South Africa. International scientific collaborations were quickly formed, and European researchers who specialized in econometrics, marketing, and biochemistry found a place in these partnerships. They obtained resources in these new networks that enabled them to challenge the established academic hierarchy and assert themselves as experts in the vine and wine sector. Their discourse frequently referred to a new consumer who was said to determine market prices by creating unprecedented types of demand. The figure of the new consumer thus became the cornerstone of a new definition of the problems of the wine industry. Our analysis of this significant historical development is quite different from research on this issue based on sociological institutionalism or actor-network theory. Once we had characterized the fields involved, we concentrated on key individuals and organizations in order to grasp the

the position of geographers who specialize in Geographic Information Systems. The tools developed for these purposes are put to the service of what is called precision viticulture: they make it possible to carefully monitor weather developments on each vine plot and accordingly economize on preventive treatments against vine diseases related to rainfall and temperature variations (Green 2012). However, the knowledge used here is limited to encoding and digital technologies and does not facilitate the birth of a new general discourse about the lines of development the wine economy should take.

Knowledge and Power in the Scientific Field  83

importance of their specific positions. This approach differs strongly from that of sociological institutionalists because it did not lead us to concentrate on interactions between companies and research centers in clusters. Instead, we focused on reconstituting the dynamics of different fields in which scientific and commercial actors are engaged and then identifying coinciding developments between fields. This approach also departs from the methods actor-network theorists use. Their focus on one actor and on following that actor through a series of alliances prevents a full understanding of the deep trends at work in institutional change, thus obscuring historical dynamics and the institutionalized power relationships in which the individuals under consideration are caught up. Building on the concept of fields, we provide an alternative perspective that maps out the spaces of positions actors occupy and their internal struggles to bring about a hierarchy. The practices we have uncovered were not the result of flexible alliances between scientists and other actors; they were the result of a conjunction between fields that involved specific issues and were characterized by partly autonomous dynamics. This chapter highlights how a symbolic weapon that is used in the power relationships specific to a particular field can be imported into another field and be used in clashes that are governed by a quite different logic: the theme of the new consumer has served both the commercial approaches of New World wine companies in the economic field and the self-affirmation of disciplines challenging the dominant disciplines in the scientific field. In addition, in each case struggles have taken place at several scales. New World companies have sought to expand their exports and to supplant European producers by moving the confrontation into international organizations, such as the OIV and the World Wine Trade Group); and European researchers who specialize in biochemistry, econometrics, and wine marketing have asserted their position in national scientific fields by drawing on the symbolic power that joining international programs of research accorded them. Moreover, the symbolic production whose genesis we have traced here has been applied in other ways in the economic field. It has often been recycled as part of a struggle between different categories of European operators who face competition from New World businesses; wine merchants in particular find in it the means to assert their position against producer organizations. Appropriations have also been observed in the bureaucratic field: the European Commission has found ways to assert itself in bodies that control European wine policies and include representatives of national governments, such as the Council of European Ministers of Agriculture and the working groups responsible for preparing its decisions. With the goal of legitimizing their desire to exercise greater control over wine policies in the European Union, different organizations—none of which necessarily have direct links with the scientific field—have seized on the figure  of the new consumer and included it in a public policy narrative. According to this new definition of the problems within the wine industry, an inexorable historical

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change has occurred that cannot be adapted to unless stakeholders in the EU wine industry align themselves with the organizational patterns used in the New World. As will be seen in the chapters that follow, this new definition gave rise to the adoption and implementation of a reform of the EU’s wine policy in 2008.


When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field

By the beginning of the 2000s, a range of academics and experts in the wine industry’s scientific field had formulated and begun to disseminate a new narrative about the solution to the issues and challenges Europe’s wine industry faced: the winemakers of Europe should switch to producing wine “the new consumer” wants to buy.1 This narrative proposed new corporate, collective, and public policies that challenged the industry’s sourcing institutionalized relationship, such as the liberalization of oenological practices. It also advocated the resegmenting of markets and rebranding, policies that would affect the industry’s commercial institutionalized relationship (Roger 2010b). Although actors in the European Commission began to support some of these proposals in the late 1990s, their wholesale conversion to the new policy paradigm did not take root until the first half of the following decade. During this period, an ever-widening group of representatives of wine merchants and interest group representatives and administrators, together with a smaller but significant set of growers, took up the torch lit by academics and experts. This chapter describes the political work undertaken in and between the industry’s economic and bureaucratic fields around analyses of two processes: constructing problems (problematization) and policy instruments (instrumentation). In so doing, it goes considerably beyond institutionalist economics and actor-network theory explanations of why a consumercentered narrative gathered strength during the period 1995–2005. These two concepts—problematization and instrumentation—help generate a strong

1.  Throughout this chapter, we do not use “new consumer,” “supply,” and “demand” as neutral and descriptive categories.

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causal hypothesis about the actors who came to dominate both these dimensions of political work and what empowered them. A focus on the construction of private, collective, and public problems (Rochefort and Cobb 1994; Campana, Henry, and Rowell 2007) is particularly heuristic in this instance for two reasons. First, it has guided our analysis to a better understanding of how a variety of difficulties individual wine growers and traders faced were reformulated in order to reshape the agendas of both collective action organizations, such the Consejo Regulador (Rioja’s interprofessional body) and the Confédération européenne des entreprises vin (CEEV; the European federation of wine traders), and public administrations at the EU and national scales. In contrast to the key concepts of rational choice theorists (interests and preferences), analysis of change in and between institutionalized relationships in terms of problematization rejects the thesis that markets generate unambiguous facts that spontaneously and automatically impact the behavior of economic and bureaucratic actors. Instead, it obliges research to discover how such data is constructed, interpreted, and mobilized by actors during their work to change or reproduce the institutions that structure and affect their activity. Second, the lens of problem formulation has helped uncover the social mechanisms (in particular trade journals, conferences, and statistical categories) through which the research conclusions and recipes for action that academics and experts formulated in the scientific field came to influence actors from the economic and bureaucratic fields (in production, trading, interest representation, and administration). We also take issue with actor-network theorists because their analysis overlooks how symbolic orders are constructed and renewed within hierarchies. In short, retracing the shaping of policy problems at the scales of farms, companies, interest groups, and bureaucracies provides a solid and stimulating means of countering approaches to political economy that either minimize the importance of argument making and thus the creativity of actors (regulationist economics) or approaches that argue that the scope for agency is limitless and immune to the influences of power structures (institutionalist economics, actor-network theory, and much of sociological institutionalism). That said, an emphasis on problematization at the level of each institutionalized relationship remains incomplete without analysis of the process that is its corollary: the development of policy instruments designed to tackle the problems identified (Lascoumes and Le Galès 2007). Given that actors tend to simultaneously announce diagnoses and propose solutions, instrumentation generally takes place alongside problematization. Nevertheless, distinguishing these two processes is useful in analysis because it encourages researchers to unpack two key phenomena. First, as institutionalists of all types have shown for many years, existing instruments are usually difficult to change precisely because they tend to be owned (Gusfield 1981) by sets of actors deeply committed to defending them. We go a step forward by hypothesizing that the construction and advocacy of an instrument needs to

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  87

be studied as the object of power struggles within and across fields. As for problematization, struggles over instruments in an institutionalized relationship cannot be reduced to disembodied, actor-less conflicts between interests or to the construction and daily life of networks. Instead, they are fueled and shaped by differences of interpretation linked to the deeply rooted symbolic order of fields. Second, it may be the case that the same actors are not involved in both problematization and instrumentation, or at least the hierarchy between them may change when debates slide from problems to instruments (Mangenot and Rowell 2010; Rowell 2012). Using field theory helps one best understand why some actors have more resources during the shaping of problems than they do when making instruments, or vice versa. Ultimately, this point about differences in actor resources and hierarchies leads directly to the key dimension of our explanation of institutional change in this chapter: during the period 2002–2005, proposals for radical change in the EU’s government of the wine industry passed from the scientific field (academia and scientific expertise) to the bureaucratic field through the intermediation of economic actors whose principal activity is the trading of wine. Although of course these traders (often called merchants: négociants) had been involved in the government of European wine for decades, if not centuries (Smith, de Maillard, and Costa 2007), it is only since the year 2000 that they have systematically sought to place themselves at the center of this stage. By converting the diagnoses and recipes developed in universities and consultancy firms into sustained critiques of existing EU and national policies, actors within the wine trade thus not only contributed to the development and legitimation of a new regulatory paradigm, they also legitimized their participation in the European wine industry’s contemporary decision making. This hypothesis is expanded on in two stages. The first analyzes how the processing, trading, and distribution side of Europe’s wine industry experienced both economic and political reorganization during a period of considerable commercial uncertainty. As the second part of the chapter relates, such shifts spilled over into the economic subfield of grape growers. A number of key players among grape growers began to emerge who set in motion a profound destabilization of growers as a profession and social group by engaging in practices that deviated from institutionalized commercial and political practices. Together, but seldom in a deliberately concerted fashion, these traders and growers carried forward a new problematization and instrumentation of the government of Europe’s wine industry.

The Economic and Political Reorganization of Wine Trading Like any other agricultural product, grapes grow more abundantly and have different qualities from one harvest to another. Fluctuations in yields, the

88  Shaping and Negotiating Deep Reform

ease with which wine can be made, and thus the amount and types of wine put on the market can vary considerably from one year to the next. Actors who trade in wine constantly have to cope with deep uncertainty not only about the price at which they buy or sell but also about the volumes they will be selling and the year-to-year consistency of sales volumes. Living with such uncertainty has thus always been a part of the wine trader’s profession and of the business model of wine-trading companies. How can one therefore explain that it is only in the early 2000s that a growing group of European traders sought to exercise more control over this dimension of their industry by reorganizing both economically and politically? Why weren’t traders motivated long before this time to work politically to ensure that their voices were heard in the wine industry? Our overarching answer to these questions is that it was not until this period that traders redefined the problem that faced both their companies and the interest groups to which they belonged, then worked on public officials charged with providing the legal and policy environment for their industry. Specifically, this period was when many traders both repositioned themselves in the industry’s economic field and developed ingredients for new instruments for acting privately, collectively, and publicly. Their new approach to the industry’s sourcing and commercial institutionalized relationships took root and consolidated when traders, individually and then as a group, developed a compelling narrative about the failings of the European wine industry and linked this narrative to new public policy recommendations.

A Narrative of Economic Underachievement Within the profession of wine trading in Europe, many actors experienced the 1990s as a time of both considerable market expansion and considerable upheavals in their working practices and business models. While many traders in Europe were earning increasing profits, the profession as a whole came to be seen, and to see itself, as underachieving and under threat. This narrative about the industry’s commercial institutionalized relationship had two main pillars, one about perceptions of consumption and the other about perceptions of distribution. This period was also characterized by increased takeover and merger activity that led to the emergence of larger trading companies and a new emphasis on vertical integration.

Allegedly New Patterns of Consumption and Transformed Markets The first part of the new narrative within the wine industry stated that demand for wine had changed because consumption patterns inside and outside the EU had rapidly evolved and that supply had changed because of the emergence of wines from the New World. In this chapter, we analyze some

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  89

of the statistics that were used to build and dramatize this narrative, particularly presentations of market data as underlined in two reports that were highly influential in France and Spain: Jacques Berthomeau’s report to the French minister of agriculture, Comment mieux positionner les vins français sur les marchés d’exportation? (2001: How can French wines be better positioned within export markets?), and the Federación Española del Vino’s (Spanish Wine Federation; FEV) El mundo del vino en cifras (2003: The world of wine in figures). These much-cited reports conveyed distinct causal stories while pointedly ignoring alternative accounts. The first part of the dominant narrative that is particularly present in both of these reports emphasized that in terms of volume, consumption of wine in the EU decreased 10  percent between 1983 and 2000. According to this narrative, this change reflected a sharp drop in the consumption of table wines in traditional producer countries such as France (–16  percent between 1992 and 2002) and Italy (–8 percent). But such accounts also note increases in consumption elsewhere, notably an increase of 38 percent in the UK and an increase of 9 percent in Germany during the same period (FEV 2003, 31–34). The reports also noted that consumption of wine increased in non-EU countries during this period, often even more sharply than in EU countries. For example, consumption of table wines in the United States increased by 43 percent and in China by 115 percent. As a result, by 2000, producers and traders from France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal had become more dependent on exports, both within and outside the EU. Between 1991–1993 and 2001–2003, the increase in volume exported was 34 percent for France, 31 percent for Spain, and 21 percent for Italy. In short, according to this narrative, many of the actors engaged in selling EU wine had spent the 1990s attempting to find new buyers for their products (FEV 2003, 60–63). The second part of this narrative, which centered on supply, emphasized that this quest for new drinkers and buyers had become intensely competitive because of the increase in the volume of wines exported from the New World. These actors were now defined as genuine challengers to EU leadership in wine, first because of their high levels of capitalization and their development of new business models. But they were also seen as favored by changes in international relations, in particular the ending of sanctions on South African products after apartheid and, above all, the lowering of import tariffs at the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (in 1994) and the establishment of the World Trade Organization (in 1995). However, this narrative presented the rise of New World wine making as spectacular by focusing on the increases in volume of production in the countries concerned. For example, between 1991–1993 and 2001–2003, South African production increased by 770  percent, Australian production increased by 500  percent, Chilean production increased by 270  percent), and U.S. production increased by 160 percent (FEV 2003, 28). Even though each of these countries had started from a low base, many European

90  Shaping and Negotiating Deep Reform

actors were deeply shaken by the export capacity these figures were said to reflect, especially the capacity of Australia. The Berthomeau report underlined that in 2003, 45 percent of Australian production was exported, amounting to 5.3 million hectoliters, that this was twenty times the volume of Australian exports in 1986–1990, and that between 1999 and 2000 a 20.3% rise had occurred (Berthomeau 2001, 18). Finally, the narrative emphasized that most of the exports from such countries were destined for the EU, and indeed, imports to EU countries increased from 2,315 hectoliters in 1991 to 11,657 in 2004. What was less emphasized was that 45 percent of these imports were sold in the UK (FEV 2003, 58–59). If this development did mean that Australian wines were attracting new consumers or were replacing British consumption of French, Italian, and Spanish wines, this hardly meant that the EU as a whole was being flooded by New World wines. Moreover, contrary to journalistic presentations of a contest of wine versus globalization (Deroudille 2003), many European traders, producers, and administrators did more than stand by and passively watch these shifts in demand and supply. As analyses have shown (Réjalot 2003; Chauvin 2010), changes in the practices of estates, cooperatives, and traders frequently began in the 1990s. Similarly, much effort was made to reproblematize collective and public action and then develop alternative and updated policy instruments. In particular, the most common initial reaction by numerous individual producers and collective bodies was that the best response to challenges from the New World was to improve the quality of EU wines and thereby shift more and more of them into a higher status and price bracket. A second problematization, one that was developed less often but with even more conviction, argued that intensive farming lay at the root of the difficulties EU wine producers were experiencing. This definition of the situation argued that European producers should make less wine with techniques that are more compatible with protecting the environment so they could successfully differentiate their products from the products of other markets. In this way, the argument went, they could retain market share and meet an important societal objective. This problematization can be tracked to two sources. The first is the French environmentalist organization Nature et Progrès. Their position was supported by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. This federation was founded in 1972, but its capacity to formulate strong claims was limited for its first decade. It sought to expand in the 1980s, thus “overcoming its ‘merchantophobia’ and accepting many new processor and trade members” (Paull 2010, 97). The second source of this new definition of the problems of EU wine producers was the Confédération paysanne (founded in 1987). This French farmers’ union established a Wine Commission and emphasized the vigneron (the wine grower) rather than the viticulteur (wine maker) in its campaign, valorizing the peasant (le paysan) over the farmer (l’exploitant agricole). The Confédération paysanne thus denounced the industrialization of the wine sector (Waters 2010, 98). This

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  91

problematization could be found at various scales. At the local level, it was reiterated by unions that specialized in organic wine making (e.g., the Interprofessional Association of Organic Wines of Languedoc-Roussillon [Association interprofessionnelle des vins biologiques du Languedoc-Roussillon] and the Union of Organic Wine Makers of Aquitaine [Syndicat des vignerons bio d’Aquitaine]). At the European scale, this statement of the problem was taken on and publicized first by the Coordination Paysanne Européenne and then by the Coordination européenne-Vía campesina in 2008. However, the position of actors in favor of a more extensive EU wine policy was weakened by splits in this movement symbolized by the growing distance between Coordination européenne-Vía campesina and the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.2 Notwithstanding the existence of these two definitions of the problems of the EU wine industry, especially the popularity of the former in the economic field, the voice of experts who were legitimized in the scientific and bureaucratic fields had largely drowned them out by the early 2000s. A clear causal story began to take hold about the structural nature of the crisis facing the wines of Europe. This story was conveyed in reports containing numerous tables and graphs.3 In France, the “Rapport Berthomeau” played the role of both synthesizer of this causal story and catalyst for policy change in accordance with its conclusions. Commissioned by Minister of Agriculture Jean Glavany and written by a senior French civil servant, Jacques Berthomeau,4 this report featured a surprisingly literary style, colorful language, and a highly personalized tone. This communication strategy strengthened the appeal of the report for many traders and producers. Indeed, the irreverent tone of this report and of its author during public presentations contributed strongly to a reformulation of a policy message that was not in

2. The adoption of a European regulation on the norms and rules concerning organic wine making (Regulation 203/2012) sealed the division between the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and Coordination européenne-Vía campesina. Heated discussions took place before the adoption of the new regulation within and around the EC’s Standing Committee on Organic Farming. The new regulation sought to go beyond the regulatory framework that only allowed the attribution of the term organic to the grapes, which led to the label “wine produced from organic grapes.” IFOAM’s proposals were largely covered by the final document, but competing organizations saw these norms as insufficiently restrictive and constraining. Such an approach, they claimed, was designed to allow traders and large-scale food retailers to invest at low cost in the new market for “organic wine.” 3.  In particular, a 902-page report commissioned by ONIVINS and written by the consultancy firm Ernst & Young, Etude de la position de l’offre française et compétitivié à terme de la filière viti-vinicole (1999). In addition, frequent reference was made to the annual reports published by the Centre français du commerce extérieur (e.g., 2000: les spiritueux battent les records mais les vins souffrent de la concurrence du “nouveau monde,” 2001). 4.  At the time Berthomeau was a senior civil servant (a “contrôleur général des offices”). Previously he had worked for the wine-trading company Société des vins de France, a company he claimed was the only one in France to possess “a genuine portfolio of brands” (Vieux Papes, la Villageoise, le Carré de Vigne; page 4 of the report).

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itself original. The Rapport Berthomeau emphasized that the French wine industry was suffering from • a lack of rigor in controlling product quality (notably for AOCs but also

for Vin de pays); • excessive authorization of new vine plantings in the late 1990s; • too many constraints on production for the lower end of the market (Vin

de Table and Vin de Pays); and • the weakness of French wine brands.

The net result, according to this narrative, was too much undifferentiated mid-level French wine on the market at a time of increasing international competition. As antidotes to this set of problems, Berthomeau advocated that his compatriots should produce wines for different wine segments (du vin voulu) instead of just making wine and hoping it would sell (du vin subi). More precisely, he urged them to operate in terms of market segments rather than in terms of producing either Vin de Table or Vin de Pays. If they made that change, they could then aim to compete strongly in the premium and superpremium market segments. Berthomeau suggested the following strategies for achieving this goal: • Develop five- to ten-year plans for the industry that would guide it toward

developing strong wine brands. • Encourage more discipline among growers by penalizing those who

sought high yields at the expense of quality and by making the granting of AOCs (l’agrément) more restrictive. • Encourage contracts between producers and traders that included tougher product specifications. • Encourage many cooperatives to merge. • Use public funds to support New World–style marketing campaigns. Following the publication, discussion, and mediatization of this report, in 2001–2002 Glavany appointed Berthomeau to head a Groupe stratégique for the French wine industry. This high-level group left little direct trace on the government of the French wine industry. Indeed, while Berthomeau is often seen as a maverick, he himself considers that he ended his career in a cupboard. Nonetheless, since publication of his report, Berthomeau has been repeatedly cited in the wine press as a publicity-friendly advocate of deep change.5

5.  Although he is now retired, Berthomeau continues to be widely read through his blog Vin & Cie, en bonne compagnie et en toute liberté (

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  93

Overall, this first pillar of the narrative about the structural change needed in the European wine industry was built around a series of causal relationships related to demand and supply that quickly came to be seen as the unique reading of the market facts, despite the latter being strongly contested by some actors. This narrative drew strength from its connection to a second, less publicly known pillar: the changing structure of the distribution of wine.

The Distribution Revolution: The Unstoppable Rise of Supermarkets As in most other parts of the agri-food and beverage industries in Europe, since the early 1980s supermarkets have been capturing an increasing large proportion of wine sales and thus have become a source of debate in this industry’s commercial institutionalized relationship in particular. The Office national des vins (ONIVINS), which was responsible until the late 2000s for Vin de Table and Vin de Pays, regularly produced figures on this trend. TABLE 2 Percent of wine distributed by supermarkets in 2004 by value Country




Italy, France, Belgium






Netherlands and Denmark


Source: ONIVINS 2005.

But when ONIVINS removed sales in restaurants and hotels from such figures and focused on data for France only, the importance of supermarkets for the selling of wine became even more evident.

TABLE 3 Distribution of wine in France by volume (excluding restaurants) (%) 2002


2004 81

Hypermarkets and supermarkets



Wine shops








Source: ONIVINS-Stats 2005.

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In addition, ONIVINS highlighted the increased importance of hard-discount supermarkets for the sales of cheaper wines (today estimated at 30 percent of wine sales by volume in France and 40 percent in Germany). Looking back, one can discern a change over time in the relationship between supermarkets and wine. In the 1970s and 80s, supermarkets concentrated on the cheaper end of the market, focusing on vins de table (table wines). In the 1990s, most of the supermarket chains began to sell a broader range of AOC wines, especially wines from individual estates (vins de châteaux). However, this period was short. Since 2000, these corporations have reduced the number of individual wines they sell, frequently by placing more emphasis on branded wines and their own brands in particular (e.g., Pierre Chanau for Auchan and Chantet Blanet for Leclerc). In France today, the supermarket brands are estimated to account for 30 percent of total wine supermarket sales. Indeed, some supermarkets have bought or established wine-trading companies (e.g., Prodis for Carrefour). This trend was reflected in the Berthomeau Report’s emphasis on wine brands mentioned above. More generally, at the beginning of the 2000s, the marketing of wine by brand was rehabilitated in France (using mass ­advertising and publicity campaigns), and this after more than two decades when branded wines had been stigmatized and associated with industrial production and imagery. The new problems raised by competitors from the New World and by the changing distribution of wine fed strongly into this modified social construction. However, it is important to underline that the reinvention of wine branding in France and other European wine-producing states was by no means a spontaneous, market-driven occurrence. In the economic field, the companies that made branded wines were also undergoing change. Recasting wine brands in a positive light was therefore very much a consequence of deep shifts in this field. It was neither a simple reflection of the rational response of individual traders nor a symptom of network-building.

The Concentration of Wine Trading and Vertical Integration Developments related to the distribution of wine raise the issue of the relationship of distribution to makers and traders of wine. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the first response of many traders was to reduce uncertainty by acquiring wine more directly from producers and thus seeking economy and other resources of scale. The second was to modify the industry’s sourcing institutionalized relationship by seeking vertical integration through developing new contractual relations with grape growers. Although economic institutionalists have developed detailed analyses of what they see as contract-linked economic change, we show below that several other social and political aspects need to be added to their overly parsimonious explanation of deep displacements within the wine industry.

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  95

Starting in 1990, wine trading throughout the world became much less of a family-owned, small- and medium enterprise–based industry and increasingly became dominated by large corporations. Some of these continued to specialize in wine: TABLE 4 Top five specialized wine companies in 2005 Sales (millions of euros)


Examples of brands

E. & J. Gallo (United States)


Gallo, Carlo Rossi

Constellation Brands, Inc. (United States and Australia)


Opus One, Robert Mondavi

Fosters Wine Estates (Australia)


Penfolds, Yellow Glan

Castel (France)


Blaissac, Villa Veroni

Val d’Orbieu (France)


Cordier, Vins de pays d’Oc

Sources: Pomarici 2005 and company Web sites.

However, one also needs to take into account the increased involvement of multibeverage corporations in the wine industry: TABLE 5 Wine sold by multibeverage corporations in 2005 Wines and spirits (millions of euros)

Wine sales only

LVMH (France)



Cheval Blanc, Veuve Cliquot, Cloudy Bay

Pernod Ricard (France)



Jacob’s Creek, Campo Viejo, Montana

Diageo (UK and United States)



Piat d’Or, Moët & Chandon, Tanqueray


Examples of brands

Sources: Pomarici 2005 and company websites.

Each merger or acquisition of course had its own history and impact on the industry as a whole. For example, box 2 illustrates how a Spanish family firm became part of the multinational corporation Pernod Ricard. The second type of development in the 1990s in wine-trading business models entailed additional vertical integration, with grape producers in particular but also with logistical and distributional activities in some cases. The former was achieved either by the acquisition of independent wine estates or by contracts with grape growers that obliged the latter to adhere to precise product specifications. Boxes 3, 4, and 5 present the new French giant wine trader Grands Chais de France, the six major trading companies in Romania, and similar firms in Tuscany as illustrations of this shift in business strategy.

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BOX 2. AZPILICUETA, DOMECQ, PERNOD RICARD: A STORY OF CONCENTRATION/DECONCENTRATION IN LA RIOJA Azpilicueta is one of the best known brands in La Rioja. The brand was created by Manuel Azpilicueta in 1881 in partnership with a company based near the railway station of Fuenmayor. More than eight decades later, in 1967, it merged with two other local companies to become AGE (Azpilicueta, García, Entrena). Along with Campo Viejo, AGE was one of the first wineries in La Rioja to attack the mass market by selling through supermarkets. Subsequently, Schenley, a Canadian whisky distiller, bought shares in AGE. After Guinness bought Schenley, the Spanish bank Banesto became one of AG’s biggest shareholders. In the mid-1990s, the group as a whole was bought by Bodegas & Bebidas, which was owned by the Banco de Bilbao. Soon after that, however, the company was taken over by Bodegas Domecq, a Basque-owned corporation that was established in San Sebastián in the late 1950s. Originally a table wine trader, Domecq grew around a profitable distribution network that attracted the Banco Industrial de Bilbao, an affiliate of the Banco de Bilbao. In the process of reinforcing its food and beverage activities, this bank created the company Bodegas y Bebidas, which switched in the 1980s from table wines to AOC wines and acquired wine estates until 1999. At that time, the bank controlled 60 percent of the capital; the rest remained in the hands of the company founders. However, in 2001, a change in the strategy of the Banco de Bilbao led to the group as a whole being sold to Allied Domecq, which in turn was taken over in 2005 by Pernod Ricard as part of the latter’s overall strategy of acquisitions (e.g., Seagram in 2001, Vin&Spirit in 2008). The final twist to this story is that since 2010, Pernod Ricard has sought to sell many of its Spanish wineries and brands. Sources: Web site of Pernod Ricard; “Azpilicueta: A Musical Chairs Brand That’s Stronger than Ever,” Inside Rioja, 17 June 2010, tag/azpilicueta/, accessed 17 June 2010; K. Artea Bilbao and C. G. Bolinches, “Marqués de Arienzo, su primera operación. Pernod Ricard venderá por partes su negocio bodeguero en España,” CincoDí, 1 February 2010; interview with Victor Pascual, president of Consejo Regulador, Logroño, November 2011.

Over and above the strictly commercial aspects of the GCF story, it is important to see how, after having long been considered an outsider that many of the long-established French wine traders stigmatized as price-cutters and parvenus,6 this company has provided a model that is widely embraced by 6. Interview with former president of the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux and Conseil interprofessionnel des vins de Bordeaux (CIVB), Bordeaux, November 2010.

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BOX 3. GRANDS CHAIS DE FRANCE (GCF): FROM OUTSIDER TO DOMINANT PLAYER How did a company founded only in 1979, owned by one man (Joseph Helfrich, 60 percent) and a sleeping partner (40 percent), and headquartered in the Alsatian countryside become in less than three decades not only the biggest wine distributor in France but also a genuine rival for the huge multinationals that dominate the alcoholic beverages markets throughout the world? The most commonly heard explanation attributes this success story to the genius of Helfrich. A more comprehensive explanation stresses how he and his closest colleagues developed an organization during a time of massive uncertainty. Today GCF is a group made up of twenty-three companies that are all engaged in the making and distribution of wine and spirits. Since 1979, the annual revenue it generates has steadily increased through a combination of numerous takeovers and internal expansion, reaching 841 million euros in 2012, more than double that of the group in 2004. Through acquisitions, GCF has consistently extended and diversified the range of wines it produces and distributes. However, this extension has also been accompanied by significant increases in volume through extensive use of contracts with grape producers and cooperatives, on the one hand, and an increased processing capacity, on the other. This expansion has also been achieved through a two-pronged strategy that focused on standardizing the characteristics of each wine’s and developing GCF’s own brands. GCF does not regard quality as something that only experts can discern. Rather, they gauge the quality of a wine by whether consumers buy it. The company’s quest for a regular supply of consistent products dovetails with its emphasis on branding. Its most emblematic and successful brand has been J. P. Chenet. Launched in 1984, the wine sold in a distinctive misshapen bottle has become the best-selling French wine in the world, competing directly with heavyweight brands such as Gallo and Kendall-Jackson (United States) and Jacob’s Creek and Yellow Tail (Australia). Sources: Interviews and site visit in July 2011, company Web site, and the Bordeaux-based newspaper Sud Ouest.

both the profession and the French ministry of agriculture.7 It has steadily moved toward the center of the wine industry’s economic field and upward in the field’s symbolic order and hierarchy. 7.  Here the role played by GCF’s chief buyer, Bruno Kessler should be underlined. In the early 2000s, Kessler became involved in the collective representation of traders at the national scale.

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Murfatlar. In 1953, the communist regime created a state winery near Constant ¸a that featured 2,100 hectares of vines. It was transformed into a public-private company in 1991, then privatized in 2000. In 2004 and 2006, two large grants from the EU’s Special Accession Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development totaling 4 million euros made it possible for Murfatlar to modernize much of its equipment. Meanwhile, through buying up land the vineyard was grown to 2,600 hectares. The company has also taken advantage of the EU’s latest wine reform to replant 200 hectares of vines per year in international varietals; its objective is to convert 60 percent of its vines. In value terms, 20 percent of Murfatlar’s sales are exports. Cotnari. This state winery was created in 1948 near Ias¸i in northeast Romania. From a low initial land base (128 hectares), it grew to 1,156 hectares before it was privatized in 2000 and bought by businessman Constantin Deleanu. Since then, Deleanu has bought land that has increased the size of the vineyard to 1,500 hectares. An EU subsidy obtained in 2006 financed the installation of a modern bottling plant. Today, 90 percent of Cotnari’s sales are domestic, a strategy that fits the company’s policy of using only indigenous varietals. Jidvei. This state winery was set up in 1953 in the Alba area of Transylvania. When it was privatized in 1999 and bought by the entrepreneur Claudiu Necs¸ulescu, the vineyard occupied 470 hectares. Since then Necs¸ulescu has purchased an additional 1,000 hectares, and the company rents 1,160 additional hectares. Using EU subsidies, the company has replanted 620 hectares, and it plans to convert 200 more. Nevertheless, indigenous varietals continue to dominate, as does the domestic market. Vincon. This company owns 2,150 hectares of vines; of that, 850 are in the judet¸ (province) of Vrancea. Its base is an ex-state farm that was founded in 1949 and privatized in 1999. In 2005, the company signed a 25-year contract with the research station where it has 332 additional hectares of vines. In the same year it bought the company SC Vidisamp SA Husi, thereby adding another 556 hectares. Its production is centered on the domestic market, especially supermarkets and restaurant chains. Cramele Recas¸. In 1948, the private wine estate Gostalul Dealul Viilor was nationalized. Twenty years later it was merged with other units of production to form a state winery featuring 714 hectares of vines. When the company was privatized in 2000, it was bought by Philip Cox, a salesman from Bristol who arrived in Romania in 1992 to run Heineken’s distribution. Since then it has concentrated on increasing its exports that today account for 17 percent of Romanian wine exports. The British market is a principal target, and Cox has publicly announced his aim to “make

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Romania the New World in the Old World,” notably by using internationally known “flying winemakers.” Halewood România is the subsidiary of a British group specializing in the wine and spirits trade. The company, which was established in Romania in 1987, was content to play the role of intermediary between local firms and the British market for its first decade of existence. In 1997, it was reorganized so it could produce wines in Romania and export them. It bought up 300 hectares of vineyards that had been restored to their former owners in three regions: Dealu Mare (close to Ploies¸ti, in the southeast Carpathian Mountains), Podis¸ul Transilvaniei (in northwest Romania), and Murfatlar. A complete replanting was programmed, principally involving Italian and French varieties (Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Gris). The business grows 40 percent of the grapes it uses and buys the remainder from small local producers. Winemaking is entrusted to oenologists trained in the New World. Halewood has a 35 percent share of the Romanian export market. Sources: Interviews in July and August 2010; Web sites on Romanian wines (, consulted on 30 July 2010;, consulted on 5 November 2010;, consulted on 20 November 2010); and professional reviews (Viticultori de Top: Podgorii s¸i Vinuri din România from 2010 to 2013 and Via s¸i Vinul from 2010 to 2011).


Marchese Antinori. The history of the family-owned Antinori wine company goes back to the fourteenth century. In the early twentieth century, the Antinori family bought vineyards in the Chianti Classico. In 1924, Niccolò Antinori made a Chianti containing a Bordeaux grape varietal. Further innovation came in 1971 with the launch of Tignanello, a wine from the eponymous vineyard that contained Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which meant that it was ineligible for the Chianti Classico appellation. Since 1975, the blend has contained no white grapes. Tignanello had a strong impact on the Italian wine industry and its rules. However, even though the Chianti Classico DOCG rules were changed in order to accommodate wines such as Tignanello, the Antinoris continue to sell it as a Tuscan IGT wine. Emboldened by the success of the 20 percent Bordeaux blend Tignanello, in 1978 Antinori launched the 80 percent Cabernet Solaia from its neighboring vineyard.

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In the 1980s and 1990s, Antinori developed a consistent program of investment in wineries and vineyards in Italy and abroad. For example, in Tuscany (and Umbria), Antinori’s production covers a broad variety of wine categories, including DOC (Bolgheri), DOCG (Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino), DOCG Riserva (Chianti Classico), IGT Toscana (notably the famous Tignanello and Solaia wines), and IGT Umbria. In 2001, Antinori and several large-scale Tuscan producers initiated a movement to create a Tuscan DOC, thus competing directly with the Chianti Classico appellation: “Antinori claimed it would create a designation system similar to Bordeaux’s. The Chianti Classico consortium, its members and other territories defeated the attempt to create the appellation. They claimed Tuscany already had an IGT and the Tuscan DOC was an attempt to muddle the distinctiveness of its 39 DOCs, five DOCGs, and five IGTs” (Patchell 2011, 144). Nonetheless, in February 2012, Marchese Antinori returned to be a member of the Chianti Classico wine consortium that it had left in 1975. The Chiantigiane cooperative consortium. The Chiantigiane cooperative was founded in the mid-1970s by an association of small cooperatives (cantine sociale) that set up a centralized bottling plant. Soon afterward, Chiantigiane added a trading activity. Its members gradually gave up their individual brands in order to create and supply a collective brand, Chiantigiane. In 2012, the Chiantigiane consortium encompassed 2460 hectares of vineyards, a patrimony owned by 2,000 Tuscan growers who deliver their production first to the cantina sociale of which they are members and then to the Consorzio Chiantigiane. Grape processing takes place in the cooperative plants that are members of Chiantigiane. The production area includes a large part of central Tuscany, where the most important and modernized processing plants are located. Chiantigiane also has two bottling plants, one in Tavernelle Val di Pesa and the other in Madonnino di Braggagni (Grosseto). Both plants annually produce about 20 million bottles, many in the traditional Tuscan fiaschi (bottles with round bellies, long necks, and straw holders). In terms of appellations, Chiantigiane is a member of both the Chianti and (to a much lesser extent in quantitative terms) Chianti Classico consortiums. In order to satisfy the demand, Chiantigiane sometimes sells wine other than that provided by its members. To do so, Chiantigiane buys outside Tuscany, for example in Umbria or Sicily. Sources: “Antinori,”, accessed 22 April 2014; Antinori Web site,, accessed 22 April 2014; Documents provided by Legacoop Toscana; interview with Chiantigiane manager Tavernelle Val di Pesa, June 2012.

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The history of wine trading in Romania is of course quite different from that of its French counterpart. Under the communist regime, small growers had to join a collective farm (a cooperativa agricolă de produc¸tie) in exchange for the right to cultivate a plot of land. In addition, the state established its own collectivized wineries (Intreprinderi Agricole de Stat), one for each of the most renowned areas of production (Murfatlar, Cotnari, etc.), which were both brands and AOCs. Two markets were developed: one for strong red wines sold to the USSR and a domestic market for white wines made from indigenous varietals. After the fall of that regime, the cooperatives were dismantled in favor of myriad tiny private estates (often smaller than 1 hectare). Meanwhile, however, the state’s wineries were transformed into companies that became fully privatized in the early 2000s. Each of the entrepreneurs who bought them has since enlarged their vineyard by buying or renting land or by buying grapes from small growers. Consequently, by 2008, fourteen producers accounted for 69.2  percent of Romanian wine sales when measured by volume and 81.5 percent in value terms.8 A brief examination of the business histories of four of these companies illustrates the extent of change involved and gives an insight into the fledgling economic field of wine in this country. In contrast to the Romanian example, Tuscany has a greater variety of wine producers and merchants. This heterogeneity reflects fragmentation of the wine categories in the Tuscan region, which has thirty-nine Denominazioni di Origine Controllata (Registered Designations of Origin; DOCs), five Denominazioni di Origine Controllata e Garantita (Registered and Guaranteed Designations of Origin; DOCGs), and five Indicazioni Geografiche Tipiche (Typical Geographical Indications; IGTs) (Patchell 2011). This heterogeneity is the result of a relatively recent qualitative change in the region. In less than one generation Tuscany has moved from being seen as a producer of ordinary wines to become one of the leading wine regions in Italy, together with the Piedmont. Most change has occurred for the red wines of the region, notably through now-prestigious DOCGs based on the Sangiovese grape variety (among others, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti, Chianti Classico, Carmignano, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano). However, the increased use of foreign grape varieties in the region has also contributed to the advent of the so-called supertuscans, which, for legal reasons, must be sold as table wines or IGT wines. This dual structure has undoubtedly contributed to the fragmentation of the structure of both wine production and merchant companies. In addition, private-owned companies as well as cooperatives feature strongly in the region. The cooperative nebula is segmented by small cooperatives. In the neighboring

8. Editorial, ABC Agricol, no. 9 (September 2009): 2.

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Emilia-Romagna region, one individual cooperative produces 20 percent of wine supply, but in Tuscany all of the cooperatives, which belong to three federations of cooperatives (Confcooperative, Legacoop, and Associazione delle cooperative), produce only 20–25  percent of the region’s supply.9 In the Chianti region, a good illustration of this variety of business models can be illustrated by two cases: a large and ancient family-owned wine company (Antinori) and a consortium of cooperatives (Chiantigiane). A lot more could of course be said about the modifications in wine-trading practices summarized above. But the key point we wish to highlight is that these changes modified the wine industry’s economic field considerably. All began in the period 1990–2004 and were initially caused by a redefinition of private problems and by instruments that were influenced by debates within the scientific field. Indeed, at the end of this period, new collective and public definitions of industry problems began to emerge from coincident developments in the scientific and economic fields. The dominant diagnoses and antidotes that emerged during this period of uncertainty were not just obvious, automatic responses to unambiguous market forces. Neither did they come about because traders and producers began to network in new ways. Instead, these definitions of the problem and proposals of policy instruments to fix it came to the fore because of sustained work that had been done to build legitimating arguments within the industry’s commercial and sourcing institutionalized relationships. Of course, combinations of actors played a key part in this process, but they did not emerge spontaneously or in random ways. Instead, shifts in the underlying structures of the economic and scientific fields were vital conditions for the emergence and consolidation of these connections in each institutionalized relationship and for the delegitimation of their adversaries that largely made this possible.

A Trader-Driven Program for Collective and Public Policy Replacement The early 2000s was a period when many traders began to renew their proposals for public intervention, at the same time reforming their own interest groups and methods of collective action. This period was when coincident developments in the wine industry’s economic and bureaucratic fields began to deepen in its commercial and sourcing institutionalized relationships. Here our empirical research focused principally on France and Spain. This choice was made because it is in these countries that wine traders have historically organized themselves (Laferté 2006; Simpson 2005). More recently they have

9.  Interview with manager of the cooperative Chiantigiane, Tavernelle Val di Pesa, June  2012.

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reorganized in order to work politically at both the national and European scales and in order to reconnect the economic and bureaucratic fields. Nothing new was proposed in terms of public policy for the wine industry during the remainder of the early 2000s. Instead, three themes were repeatedly invoked by trader representatives. The first concerned the categorization of European wine and thus a key dimension of the industry’s commercial and sourcing institutionalized relationships. Here an increasingly strong desire was expressed to move toward new categories based on price (basic, popular premium, premium, super-premium, ultra-premium, icon) instead of on producer and territory-driven institutions (AOCs or Vins de Pays). In regions such as Bordeaux, this translated into the first isolated challenges to the exclusively AOC model that had been adopted in the mid-1970s. In Spain, this destabilization of existing institutions first led to national legislation in 1973 that consolidated its system of Vinos de la Tierra. It also precipitated a new debate about how to link this category to certain table wines around the term Viñedos de España. The controversial story of the latter will be analyzed in chapters 5 and 7. What matters here is how its emergence on the Spanish national agenda illustrates how existing categories of wine began to be repeatedly challenged by actors from the economic field, in particular traders and their collective representatives. The second theme these actors raised during the early 2000s concerns the role of brands in the industry and their relationship with estate wines. Although in Spain this distinction never hardened into an institutionalized distinction because of the great influence of large corporations on national wine policy, in France it certainly did. The brands developed by traders accounted for the initial growth and consolidation of many French vineyards, but according to the discourses and business models that dominated in the 1980s and 1990s, such brands had become synonymous with vins de table by the early 1970s, while the quality associated with AOC wines had become firmly, and highly symbolically, linked to production in small estates (vins de châteaux). By 2000, however, and before large supermarkets changed their practices regarding this point (see above), a sustained attempt to challenge the stigmatization of branded wine was made in several French wine regions. In Bordeaux, for example, this political work was carried out first in the region’s interprofessional organization (the Conseil interprofessionnel des vins de Bordeaux; CIVB) and then through a series of seminars and press events this body organized and orchestrated.10 Changing the public perception that the European wine industry consisted of small producers and family farms also linked into a third and final theme for policy change that traders promoted throughout the producer states: the need for public subsidies to market their wines. Alarmed by the 10.  For example, Horizon 2010: quels enjeux pour les vins de Bordeaux?, a seminar held in Bordeaux, 14 December 2001.

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volume of capital New World producers had invested in advertising, European traders began to highlight statistics on the paucity of their own marketing budgets.11 This led to calls for more private and collective investment in marketing, many of which had considerable effects (e.g., on the CIVB’s marketing budget). Just as important, however, this emphasis on marketing also generated new demands for public authorities to support this aspect of the wine industry. At this stage, few precise demands for policy instruments were made. Instead, traders began to deliver a politicized message that the states and the EU needed to change their priorities. For example, the president of the CIVB stated in 2002, “I regret that the state prefers to finance wine surpluses rather than help operators—such as those in Bordeaux who know how to regulate their market—to conquer new markets.”12 Over and beyond the content of such discourse and these three policy themes, the beginning of the 2000s was a period when many wine traders began an even more fundamental rethinking of their modes of collective action. This occurred not only at regional and national scales but also at the scales of Europe and the global wine industry. In 2000, traders in Bordeaux not only modernized the name of their organization (from the Syndicat des négociants to the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux) but also clearly sought to link its work more explicitly to the priorities of its larger members, who had experienced a great deal of change in the previous decade. More generally, they sought to revisit the balance of power between themselves and representatives of growers in the CIVB Bordeaux’s interprofessional body, a power relationship that traders believed had been skewed against them since the 1970s. In concrete terms, this shift toward work to recenter traders in the industry’s economic field translated into practice through work that was done to redefine the problem of Bordeaux wines and through the new emphasis placed on collective marketing (Smith, de Maillard, Costa 2007, chapters 5 and 6). In Spain, a similar but even more ambitious exercise in challenging institutionalized norms of interest representation began to be introduced by the Federación Española del Vino, the country’s principal representative of large wine producers and traders, which was dominated by six or seven large vertically integrated companies, each of which had its own well-developed brand. The FEV’s influence on the policies the Spanish government developed and defended is obviously related to the sales volume, profits, and jobs generated by these corporations. However, the FEV’s influence did not flow

11.  See for example the paper “Le prix de la concurrence,” presented by advertising specialist Réné Saal, then working for Carat France, at the seminar cited in the previous footnote. See also figures produced by the French administration ONIVINS in its December 2003 issue of ONIVINS-Info (number 109). 12. Union Girondine (magazine of the Fédération des Grands Vins de Bordeaux), August 2002, 16.

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automatically from impressive statistics related to sales and jobs. Instead it grew steadily through the political work carried out by this organization, in particular by Pau Roca, its secretary general since 1989. Although the presidency of the FEV changes every two to three years, as its permanent head of staff, Roca developed a distinctive role for himself by working consistently at regional, national, and European scales to become a permanent presence in Spanish wine policy debates. On the back of the detailed report published by the FEV in 2003 mentioned above, he pushed for the establishment of an Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino (the Spanish Observatory of the Wine Market): It was the FEV’s creation, alongside a strategic plan that we wrote with the ministry of agriculture. And Joël Castany [a producer, merchant, and interest group representative from the Languedoc] worked with us on this. Half my ideas come from him—I admire him. His idea was an economic observatory of markets at the European scale. We never managed to achieve that. But at least, we tell ourselves, we managed to do this for Spain.13 The 2003 report, rather innocuously entitled El mundo del vino en cifras (The world of wine in figures) and presented essentially through 300 pages of tables and graphs, in fact relates a causal story that starts with a world market for wine, then proceeds to the European market, and only finally moves to the market in Spain. Throughout, the key message was that 1) there was a global surplus of wine; so 2) Spanish wines needed to become more competitive in export markets, which meant that 3) public financial support should be changed to fit with this goal. Since 2003, both the FEV and the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino (which subsequently became formally independent of its creator) have repeatedly conveyed this message. The investments the FEV and other similar bodies made to bring about a European-scale confederation of wine traders—the CEEV—underline how and why this body was reinstitutionalized and redynamized in the early 2000s.14 Although the CEEV (or Comité Vin) was initially established in 1959, until the turn of the century it lived in the shadow of the organization

13.  Interview with Pau Roca, Madrid, February 2011. 14.  In Romania, for example, the collective action of wine traders did not really begin until the early 2000s, when the National Association of Vineyard and Wine Production Employers (Patronatul National al Viei si Vinului, PNVV) was established. For its first three years of activity, no shared policy positions were adopted. However, in July 2002, the biggest shareholder in Murfatlar, Ion Serban Dobronauteanu, proposed a reorganization. The PNVV then began to be run by a board that brought together representatives of the biggest Romanian wineries. It claims to be responsible for 70 percent of the country’s wine sales, and thus that it represents Romania’s wine industry as a whole. This legitimizing argument has been consistently shored up by the fact that the PNVV is a member of the Brussels-based CEEV.

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of growers and cooperatives, the Comité des organisations professionnelles agricoles-Confédération générale de la coopération agricole (COPACOGECA), which was seen as the natural representative of agricultural interests. The first significant change occurred when its twenty-two national federation members were supplemented by members from large multinational beverage companies (Bacardi-Martini, Pernod Ricard, and Moët-Hennessy). A second development was the CEEV’s initiation of joint seminars with the COPA-COGECA in 2003. The first, held in Brussels in February, was titled Assets and Handicaps; a second was held in August in Porto, where representatives of the European Commission’s Directorate General of Agriculture and Rural Development were also present. During this period the CEEV deliberately politicized its discourse around “the need for a competitive European wine industry.” CEEV officials told us that improving the competitiveness of the sector, that was the basis of our reflection. From there we orientated all discussions. . . . We had a very political approach. What we did was to aggregate all the diagnoses made at national and local levels. In August 2003, we held a big meeting in Porto of the CEEV, inviting also the COPA and DG Agri. We did not commission any studies ourselves.15 As we shall see below, actors working for and in the CEEV played important roles in mediating between representatives of traders across Europe and with their opposite numbers from grower organizations. In so doing, and together with the work carried out at the global scale that we analyzed in chapter 3, these actors and this organization participated in a shift in the wine industry’s economic field while opening up new possibilities for coincident developments in the shape of bureaucratic field. This section has sought to explain why and how wine traders and their representatives sought to change the government of their industry as a whole during the period 2000–2004. Part of our explanation lies in modifications in, and sometimes transformations of, the business structures and models of individual traders. Although these impacted redefinitions of collective and public problems, one can fully understand the causal mechanisms of this influence only by retracing the political work that was done to transform individual businesses’ perceptions and preferences into shared and collective ones. During this period, such work occurred largely in the economic field, essentially in and between collective action bodies such as the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, the FEV, and the CEEV. However, connections made with arguments that were being presented in the scientific and bureaucratic

15.  Interviews with CEEV officials, Brussels, December 2009 and April 2010.

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fields provided crucial elements for building and legitimating shifts in the economic field.

Dissatisfied Growers as Supporters of Change The principle interlocutors of the traders who did the political work analyzed above were representatives of grape growers and specialized civil servants within the EU’s and key national administrations. Until the late 1990s, both these sets of actors had been extremely close to each other and relatively distant from traders. Indeed, since at least the 1930s, high levels of interdependence and complicity between growers and bureaucrats was at the heart of corporatist, production-oriented public policies at the national and European scales (Knudsen 2009).16 This proximity strongly favored giving greater importance to the industry’s sourcing institutionalized relationship than to its commercial institutionalized relationship. As of 2000, however, changes among both traders and growers, notably the emergence of “deviants” among prominent growers,17 generated support for wine traders that moved in the direction of change in all of the wine industry’s institutionalized relationships and, more deeply still, change at the level of the industry’s economic and bureaucratic fields. Connections began to be made among numerous actors who sought to reform the government of Europe’s wine industry. Importantly, and contrary to the predictions of theorists of both rational choice and actor-networks, these connections emerged even though these actors did not necessarily share the same goals or consciously develop common strategies. Instead, these connections among fields were prompted by deeper shifts in the symbolic orders and hierarchies of fields. In addition to the changes that emerged in the structures, practices, and discourses of the wine trade that we analyzed above, the beginning of the 2000s was also a period when a less easily discernable shift began to take place among grape producers in several parts of Europe. Although the majority of growers continued to reproduce existing economic and political practices, a minority began to diverge from the status quo and even became dissidents in their respective regional vineyards. In retracing this development first at the scale of firms, then at the scale of collective and public action, the principal

16.  In her history of the CAP, Knudsen goes so far as to conclude that this policy amounted to “the European rescue of the agricultural welfare state” (2009, 315). 17.  Since the founding work of Emile Durkheim (1894), the concept of deviance has generally been used in sociology to denote behavior that violates social norms. Here we use the term essentially in a descriptive manner to encompass economic and political behavior in the wine industry that, during the period under study, transgressed institutionalized patterns of thought and action.

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explanatory hypothesis we develop is that during this period the traditional frontier between their activity and that of traders became blurred, sometimes to the point of complete erasure, for many such producers. They began to define interests and problems differently and look for new policy instruments. However, it is important to stress that we refute deterministic explanations of the causal relationship between the new grower practices related below and the revised collective action strategies they defended through political work. The producers involved were faced with uncertainties, dilemmas, and choices. Despite what they told others and probably themselves, they had options: there was contingency. Consequently, the answer to the question of why many of the most powerful growers dismissed and denigrated alternative problematizations and policy solutions (in particular one that urged European wine to maintain its emphasis on terroir and lack of uniformity) during this period cannot simply be attributed, as rational choice–inspired economic institutionalists would do, to the invisible hand of the market and the need for new contractual arrangements. Instead, this shift in problematization and preferences requires careful explanation using constructivist and sociological tools. Because of the increase in wine consumption in the UK, North America, and certain Asian countries, most European growers saw the 1990s as an opportunity to expand production and seek new export markets. However, for many growers, as these markets began to become more competitive, their stores of unsold wine increased and prices fell. This period also generated new sources of friction with the wine traders and wineries that sold their products. Some individual wine estates reacted by increasing direct sales to customers overseas. But few European growers had the capacity to do that. Instead, many growers chose to work differently either by signing contracts with large wine traders. Those who were members of cooperatives promoted change in their organization. Here we focus on the latter strategy not only because wine cooperatives continue to produce a very high percentage of European wine,18 but also because many of these organizations were changing their business model at the beginning of this century. Examples from the Aquitaine, La Rioja, and the Languedoc-Roussillon will show that the initial proponents of commercial change among growers also argued in favor of reforming collective action and public policies in the name of the new consumer.19

18.  In 2010, 840 cooperatives in France accounted for around 50 percent of that country’s volume of production (Chevet 2004, 10). The corresponding figures for Spain were 559 and around 70 percent (Confederación de cooperativas agrarias de España 2008, 72). 19.  Alongside the Alsace, the Languedoc-Roussillon has the longest history of cooperativism in France. It also features the form of regional cooperativism most often associated with left-wing militance (Lem 1999; Roger 2010a). However, as early as the 1960s, many cooperatives began to merge and develop activities closer to wine trading than to simple production. For example, in the départements of Aude and Hérault, three such organizations have played a key role, all encouraged by the bank Crédit Agricole.

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Although the blurring of lines between cooperatives and wine traders has been a main feature of the recent history of the Languedoc-Roussillon, in Aquitaine this change has been less pronounced. Part of this difference can be ascribed to the power of Bordeaux’s existing wine traders. However, according to representatives of the cooperative movement, passivity on the part of the region’s coopérateurs provides a deeper cause of resistance to change: “For too long we have been restricted to making bulk wines and selling it to traders. We have always hid behind the traders. We had no other ambition than to satisfy the traders. Now we realize that the traders are not as powerful as all that . . . so now we are beginning to sell our own wine in bottles and for export.”20 This ambition has led some cooperatives in the Bordelais to invest in Producta, a company originally founded in 1949 that was relaunched dramatically in recent years. Today, it sells 25 million bottles of wine a year produced by four large cooperatives that have a total of 2,500 members who own 20,000 hectares of vines. In the early 2000s, this strategy was still embryonic and constituted less of a threat to Bordeaux’s established wine traders than it has subsequently become (see chapter  7). The important point for this chapter is that the collective action work carried out in the early 2000s in and around Producta contributed strongly to an initial challenge to the region’s existing business models and instruments. In La Rioja, instead of confronting a powerful profession of wine traders, the cooperative movement has instead had to coexist with a range of vertically integrated wineries that are constantly looking for wine to process and sell. Tellingly, although this region’s thirty-seven cooperatives produced 37 percent of its wine in 2011, they marketed only 8 percent of it; the rest was sold in bulk to the wineries. Although representatives of the government of La Rioja and the Consejo Regulador depict the relationship between the cooperatives and other actors in the wine sector as perfectly harmonious,21 others in the region see them as simply having become subservient to the large wineries. The power of these sizeable processing units was evident as early as 1991 when the Consejo Regulador adopted a rule that forbade the selling of Riojan wine in bulk, thus obliging all actors who wanted to sell the wine of this region to either invest in bottling plants or to access the market via a winery. This is presented today as a decision that was imposed by law: according to this interpretation, the Consejo Regulador did nothing but comply with new legal requirements when it added the word “calificada” (qualified) to the

20.  Interview with the director of the Regional Federation of Wine Cooperatives, Bordeaux, May 2010. 21.  “Here in the Rioja the co-operative model works well. The wineries ensure that the cooperatives get their members to provide quality grapes”; interview with regional minister, Logroño, July 2011. The secretary-general of the Consejo Regulador told us that cooperatives “have integrated perfectly into the Rioja model. . . . They are oriented toward the market. . . . They operate like any other commercial company”; interview, November 2011.

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Denominación de origen.22 Indeed, Rioja was the first Spanish wine region to impose this requirement, through a ministerial decree on 3 April 1991. However, this reading of history glosses over how this legislation put on hold an enduring conflict in the Spanish economic field that had lasted since the 1970s. Actors who prioritized the deregulated production of ordinary wines disagreed with those who prioritized quality and strategies of product differentiation.23 This conflict, which had been dormant for a decade, was reawakened at both the national and European scales in the early 2000s. Further illustrations from these three vineyards and many others could be mobilized to show the extent to which the practices of European grape growers, cooperatives and independent wine estates, and thus the industry’s economic field, were being destabilized in the early 2000s. But in order to understand how this trend had an impact on the government of the industry as a whole, one first needs to understand its effects on collective action and interest representation. During this period, most representatives of growers and producers on independent estates were reluctant to see the crisis in the European wine industry as anything other than temporary. At this stage few among them called for deep change in the institutionalized rules that structured the industry’s sourcing and commercial institutionalized relationships at the scale of the EU, nations, and regions. That being said, it is also true that a great deal of reflection and debate was taking place on the specific subject of how European wine should be categorized and thus how its markets should be segmented. Having first briefly examined this exception to the rule of relative immobility among growers, we will revisit it at different scales of collective action in order to assess how the organizations concerned were preparing (or not) for a more comprehensive change in the government of their industry. As we related earlier in this chapter, criticisms of the three-pronged European approach to wine categories (Vin de Table, Vin de Pays, and AOCs) were first publicly brought to the fore in July 2001 by the French ministry of agriculture’s “Berthomeau Report,” which was subsequently amplified by another report published in July 2002 by Senator Gérard César: L’avenir de la viticulture française (The future of French viticulture) By then, however, less mediatized criticisms of this system were frequently being made in grower organizations. In a nutshell, Vin de Table came to be seen as not only a stigmatizing category but also one that had too many rules regarding the content and labeling of such wines. Vins de Pays were increasingly regarded as rapidly multiplying in number without sufficient controls on quality. In addition, AOCs were depicted as imposing insufficiently stringent and controlled constraints on grower practices. However, in the period 2001–2004, only the

22.  Interview, Consejo Regulador del Rioja, Logroño, November 2011. 23.  Interview with economist Emilio Barco, University of Rioja, Logroño, November 2011.

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  111

category of AOCs was examined systematically in France, and actors in favor of the status quo managed to defeat the proposals that were made and debated in the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (National Institute of Geographical Indications) (Smith, de Maillard, and Costa 2007, chapter 8). At the level of regional vineyards, the case of Bordeaux wines is of particular importance. As a region that since the late 1970s had become 100 percent AOC, representatives of its growers and merchants worked with the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine to prevent any change to this category of wine. During the early 2000s these same actors resisted a new proposal to introduce a Vin de Pays in Aquitaine as a label under which the cheapest (and unsold) Bordeaux wines could be marketed. Instead of seeing this innovation as a way of taking surplus Bordeaux off the AOC market, representatives of this vineyard’s main interest groups and interprofession, especially those who produced the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellations in particular, denigrated the proposal as undermining the system of AOCs that, according to them, had helped their wines attain such commercial success in the past. On this issue, producer and merchant representatives in Rioja behaved in a similar way to their opposite numbers in Bordeaux. This vineyard’s move toward DOCs in 1991 was linked to a strategy of differentiation by quality. At first sight, this decision entailed two types of costs for producers and merchants. Economic restrictions were imposed on the companies involved: the same bodega could not sell wine in bulk and produce DOC Rioja any longer. Until then, Rioja had exported a significant volume of wine in bulk, notably to Switzerland and northern European countries. In the early 1990s, the four major companies from Rioja who controlled 90 percent of bulk exports decided to abandon this practice in order to comply with the new DOC strategy and regulation. When importers from Belgium went to the European courts to challenge this change, the Riojan company AGE lost in the court of Brussels against the Belgian importers Delhaize and Promalvin,24 but eventually won in the European Court of Justice based in Luxembourg.25 Constraints were also of a technical nature, since new controls over the quality of the product were imposed on producers. The quantitative control plan and the control of year of production and varietals, both of which had been set up in 1981, were now frequently seen as insufficient by merchants in particular.

24. Établissements Delhaize frères et Compagnie Le Lion SA contre Promalvin SA et AGE Bodegas Unidas SA.—Demande de décision préjudicielle: Tribunal de commerce de Bruxelles—Belgique.—Exportation de vin en vrac—Interdiction—Appellation d’origine—Articles 34 et 36 du traité, Affaire C-47/90, International Court of Justice, 9 June 1992,!celexplus!prod!CELEX numdoc&numdoc=61990J0047&lg=fr. 25.  Maria del Mar Maroño Gargallo, “La denominacion Rioja ante el TJCE,” v|lex España, 31 2000,, accessed 18 May 2015.

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Therefore, in 1996, new controls over quality and origin were established by the Consejo Regulador. Crucially, when demand for Riojan wine suddenly began to take off, all these constraints were given credit for producing positive effects. The system of local bottling stabilized and the sector experienced a period of strong growth throughout the 1990s. The number of bodegas and sales increased. Of course, seemingly external factors also played a role: the accession of Spain to the European Community in 1986, the arrival of new flows of capital, and a change in the financial structure of the companies (notably a shift from investors from the banking sector to new operators such as Domecq and Pernod Ricard). Despite this multitude of causes, however, success was attributed chiefly to changes in rules that firmly placed Rioja in the European family of AOC wines. In short, by the early 2000s, dominant Riojan producers and merchants perceived the strategy of product differentiation and qualitative improvement as highly legitimate, just as their counterparts in Bordeaux did. In contrast, in the Languedoc-Roussillon, the commitment to the AOC system was less strong, largely due to the importance of Vins de Pays and Vin de Table in this region. In the département of Aude, large cooperatives (Val d’Orbieu-Uccoar and Foncalieu) had not only become powerful commercial actors but had also developed the political resources to obtain significant EU subsidies to help them modernize. However, the département’s independent wine estates (grouped together in the Fédération Départementale des Caves Particulières [Departmental Federation of Particular Cellars]) were more committed to the AOC system. Nevertheless, its president, Xavier de Volontat, was unable and unwilling to openly oppose the aforementioned large cooperatives (“the big three”) by presenting AOCs as an alternative strategy to Vins de Pays and Vin de Table. Indeed, his room for maneuver was reduced by the fact that at the regional level, interprofessional bodies—above all the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (Interprofessional Committee of Wines from Languedoc)—legitimated the strategies of the large cooperatives by presenting them as consensual. This image was facilitated because interprofessional organizations were able to present themselves as both growers and traders. On the one hand, members of such groups successfully strove to become elected officeholders of bodies such as the Fédération Départementale des Caves Coopératives de l’Aude. On the other, they underlined their roles in l’Union des entreprises viticoles de Méditerranée, a confederation of 150 marketers (metteurs en marchés) of wine in the Languedoc. Much more could be said about the debates and conflicts within the collective representation of growers in each of the above-mentioned regions during the early 2000s. But the most important finding here is that all the innovations and resistance to change described above fueled the already difficult challenge of defining the interests of growers at the scale of the EU. This task, which was delegated to the wine committee of the COPA-COGECA,

When Political Work Shifts to the Economic Field  113

was not made any easier by the fact that a number of its representatives, in particular its president from 1996 to 2005—the Audois Joël Castany—were no longer only growers of grapes or producers of wine. Indeed, as we have seen, by then their own cooperatives or companies had also become firmly engaged in wine trading on national, European, and international scales. In short, the economic field as a whole had undergone deep change, but one that at that time was only beginning to destabilize the long-standing overlapping constructions and practices (what we theorize as “coincidental”) its dominant representatives shared with their opposite numbers in the bureaucratic field. Although this desynchronization of the two fields was a source of tension and uncertainty, it also created space for new definitions of the problems of the industry, especially for the EU’s role in such reformulations. This chapter has retraced the processes of problematization and the beginnings of instrumentation that subsequently made the 2008 reform of the EU’s wine possible. By the end of 2004 the definition of the European wine industry’s problem had already changed for a large number of key actors. Many of these actors had already modified important aspects of their economic and political behavior. However, in contrast to the claims of rational choice theorists or economic institutionalists, we maintain that these modifications were not simply rational responses to clearly visible market forces. At that time the so-called message from the markets was by no means clear or straightforward about what was wrong or what should be done to put things right. Nor did interpretations of market forces simply float freely before imposing their effects either in the form of a hegemonic ideology (as theorized by many regulationist economists) or through the network-specific market devices so dear to actor-network theorists. Instead, debate raged in the industry’s sourcing and commercial institutionalized relationships on how market data should be interpreted, the structural or temporary nature of the crisis it revealed, and how collective or public bodies should react. Crucially, during the early 2000s, uncertainties surrounding these questions began to be cut through by a narrative that stressed the need for deep change to embrace the new consumer of wine. This narrative was formulated first in the scientific field, as we saw in the preceding chapter. During this period, possible alternative definitions of the problem were either stigmatized (notably, any problematization that defended the status quo or promoted incremental change to reinforce a terroir logic of action) or not even opened up for discussion (e.g., arguments for much firmer controls of pesticide usage that would reduce yields and production). Instead, convergent trends within and across the economic and bureaucratic fields were beginning to produce considerable effects. The combined impact of all these embryonic changes will now be revisited and assessed over the course of the following chapters, beginning with what happened next in the bureaucratic field, at the EU scale and inside the European Commission in particular.


Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field

The 2008 reform of the EU’s wine policy was formally negotiated remarkably quickly in the autumn of 2007. The initial proposal by the European Commission attracted surprisingly little opposition from the governments of producer states and growers’ organizations. Chapters 3 and 4 have provided partial explanations of how the reform and its paradigm change was enacted so smoothly at the scale of the EU. The prior political work of experts, traders, and some growers in the context of the wine industry’s shifting scientific and economic fields paved the way. The final piece of our analysis thus concerns how proposals for change were translated into administrative and legal texts in terms that were considered appropriate (March and Olsen 1989) for shaping negotiations between the member states in the EU’s Council of Ministers. Our structured contingency approach shows that institutionalist economics explanations based on rational choice that underline the cost of the EU’s pre-2008 wine policy and its ineffectiveness in terms of maintaining sales and prices fail to capture the causes of reform at this scale. Similarly, we refute rationalist conceptions of the EU as structured around principals (the member states) and agents (the Commission). Regulationist economics accounts that point to changes in accumulation regimes and the imposition of a hegemonic (neoliberal) ideology fail to address who actually fought for change at the EU scale and with what resources. The analytical framework we refined during our research has generated a more precise and quite different hypothesis: negotiations at the EU scale were strongly led by representatives of the European Commission who endorsed the demand-focused and “new-consumer” problematization developed by others,1 then strove to

1.  Throughout this chapter, we do not use “new consumer,” “supply,” and “demand” as neutral and descriptive categories.

Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  115

get the European Council of Ministers to adopt it as law. This chapter first shows how a new set of officials in the Wine Unit of the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI) became the scribes of the reform who turned a range of policy proposals into a single package and in so doing moved their unit to the center of the bureaucratic field. Second, what follows reveals how this work and this repositioning cannot be separated from how the hierarchy of the directorate-general, most notably its commissioner, played a central role in the bureaucratic field. Resources drawn from the hierarchical position of the commissioner and her cabinet were clearly mobilized to politicize certain debates, technicize others, control the timeline of the reform (see box 6) and, more generally, legitimize it inside and outside the Commission. Over and above the importance of this analysis for explaining a policy change, the chapter also seeks to contribute to wider debates about how the Commission makes its policies and affects the policies of the EU and the role of this organization in Europe’s singular and much-criticized public space. Georgakakis and Rowell (2013) have recently made considerable progress


Previous reform is adopted Beginnings of formalized reflections by grower and trader representatives and national/DG AGRI officials 2004 External consultants complete an evaluation of the policy 2005 Preparation at DG AGRI intensifies 2006 (February) The informal consultation process is launched at a seminar in Brussels 2006 (June) The formal consultation process begins with the European Commission’s communication “Towards a Sustainable European Wine Sector” 2007 (February) A report adopted by the European Parliament opposes many of the Commission’s proposals 2007–(July) The Commission sends its official proposal to the European Council of Ministers and the European Parliament 2007 (November) Second European Parliament report criticizes the draft reform 2007 (December) The European Council of Ministers adopts a political agreement 2008 Regulation 479/2008 is published

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with this question using field theory. They and their co-authors have systematically mapped different fields of European political activity that, they argue, constitute a space “that is both social and political” (6). Although we are convinced by their approach and are in agreement with most of its findings, we cannot pretend that the variant of field analysis used here has been nourished by the same level of quantitative data on actor positions. Such work still needs to be undertaken for the wine industry. Nevertheless, we have generated considerable qualitative data that we use below. We add to Georgakakis and Rowell’s field-based approach to the EU a supplementary focus on the political work used to change or reproduce the institutions that structure industries (Smith 2014), and in this case those pertaining to the sourcing and the commercial institutionalized relationships in the wine industry. We have thus devoted particular attention to how and why the Commission has increasingly invoked economics in general and competitiveness in particular as a means of problematizing and legitimizing its policy proposals, while at the same time repositioning itself in a bureaucratic field that is deeply multi­ scalar.

The Commission’s Wine Unit as the Scribe of Change The thesis developed in chapter 4 was that in the period 2000–2004, representatives of wine traders in Europe and some deviant producers began to move the practices and problematizations used in their respective private companies into the realm of collective and interprofessional action. In this way they considerably modified the industry’s economic field, but were also modified themselves by underlying shifts in the structure of this space of positions. During this stage, however, in the industry’s bureaucratic field, actors from public administrations at the national and regional scales remained on the sidelines. Indeed, many were largely unaware of the political work being carried out in and between trader and producer interest groups. However, the same cannot be said for a small group of officials in the European Commission’s Wine Unit. Working in but on the margins of DG AGRI, these officials initially observed what they saw happening in wine trading and producing without seeking to orient the changes. As of 2005, however, and while modifying their own team, they took on a more active role and became “scribes” of change: they began to translate calls for change into the language and format of EU legislation. Labeling these actors scribes underlines that they were neither the authors nor the architects of change, a status that would have entailed much more creativity and proactive interventions on their part. Instead, these officials essentially wrote down in the appropriate bureaucratic language the definitions of problems and instruments for change that were largely proposed by others. The crucial political work carried

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out by these scribes nevertheless involved making two series of choices that were to become increasingly important over time. The first concerned the type of external experts with whom the Wine Unit interacted. The second involved the skills, resources, and career trajectories of the civil servants who were selected to work in the Wine Unit. Contrary to convincing accounts of the strategic use of expertise in EU policy making (e.g. Robert 2010), in the early 2000s officials from the Wine Unit spent more time reducing the role accorded to experts from outside the Commission than it did mobilizing outside advisors who would be sympathetic to their cause. An initial explanation of this quest for distance lies in two failures to achieve deep reform in the EU’s wine policy during the 1990s (Maillard 2001). In 1992–1994, DG AGRI had sought to cut the budget of this policy and thus limit the quantitative expansion of European wines. After fierce and politicized resistance by producer groups, this project was eventually abandoned. DG AGRI then returned to the fray in 1999 with a much more modest proposal for changes that met with some legislative success (related to limiting distillation subsidies and labeling) but also some significant failures (particularly related to limiting planting rights and liberalizing oenological practices). By 1999, officials in the Commission’s Wine Unit, including the director,2 Russell Mildon, had become pessimistic about their chances of reforming the EU’s policy instruments using institutionalized methods and their relations with grower representatives. Mildon, an Englishman, had by then been working in DG AGRI for more than twenty years. A renowned neoliberal, he began to move up the formal and informal hierarchy of DG AGRI in the early 1990s during the MacSharry reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) (Fouilleux 2003).3 More precisely, as the head of what was then the Oilseeds Unit, he was reputed to have been the architect of proposals for change that eventually unblocked both the EU’s budget and the negotiations on agriculture of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Joana and Smith 2002, 125–175). The first impact of tensions between Wine Unit officials and the institutionalized relations and procedures of the European Commission concerned the formal procedures of consultation with representatives of producers and traders. Since the early 1960s, the CAP had been regulated largely by involving European federations of producer groups in Commission decision-making through myriad consultative committees (Michel 2007). The Comité consultatif vin dates from the late 1960s and since that time has brought together

2.  Internal commission hierarchies are typically director-general > deputy director-generals > directors > heads of unit > administrators. 3.  In 1992, the Council of Ministers finally adopted a reform of the CAP largely along the lines proposed by the Commission. This reform essentially cut subsidies linked to crop or livestock product production, then replaced them with income support in the form of farm-linked payments.

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on a regular basis officials from the Wine Unit, representatives of growers (COPA-COGECA members), and representatives of traders (CEEV members). By the early 2000s, however, members of the Wine Unit no longer paid this body much attention: It meets two or three times a year. It’s not in this sort of committee that we do much of our work—each meeting lasts a day, we present the policy, there are two or three questions and that’s it. Instead, our work is done well upstream of all this. We consult, we spend time to understand the problematics of the people who work in the industry.4 One of the explanations for this trend lies in the general downgrading of the COPA-COGECA as a body capable of reaching internal agreement over major issues and defining EU-wide policy positions across the agricultural industries. Moreover, COPA-COGECA has struggled to shape and represent the interest of small farmers ever since the mid-1980s, when the EU’s membership began to grow and diversity significantly. This difficulty has been compounded by the fact that European agriculture has become defined less as a problem of simple production and more a problem of reconciling issues related to production, the environment, and food safety (Hrabanski 2010). However, as we will show below, another explanation is that the members of the Wine Unit increasingly preferred to meet with the CEEV outside the Comité consultatif vin, thus excluding grower representatives. Given this delegitimation of COPA-COGECA as a source of expertise, one might have expected the Wine Unit to consult directly with academic researchers, and in particular those whose work came to prominence over the 1990s (see chapter  3). Viewed from today, a rapprochement between the scientific and bureaucratic fields connected to the wine industry would not have been surprising. However, and counterintuitively, given the fit between much of this research and how members of the Wine Unit were now beginning to depict “their” industry and its problems, our research strongly suggests that this interfield connection did not occur. First, analysis of the 184 research projects commissioned by DG AGRI on agriculture between the early 1980s and 2008 reveals only one short report that remotely touched on the political economy of the wine sector.5 Second, our interviews have yielded no reference to this or any other academic research. This finding runs counter to research on other EC directorates, most notably the Directorate-General for Employment (Rowell 2012), which has conclusively shown that the Commission can use academic research to generate policy

4.  Interview with Wine Unit official, Brussels, December 2009. 5.  Cantine Santa Benedetta (Rome), “Project for Improving a Competitive Wine Process in Accordance with the New Economy’s Marketing Tools,” April 2002 (a three-month grant).

Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  119

problem and instrument proposals and to legitimate more generally its work in a policy sector. Our analysis here thus serves as a useful reminder that interfield connections are never the automatic results of “objective conditions” but are rather the product of political work that is undertaken on the basis of structural positions. In this case, such work had clearly not been carried out in DG AGRI, because even the procedures for commissioning a report, in particular the budget to pay for it, were not in place. As a former member of the Wine Unit told us, “The sources of expertise were diffuse because we did not launch any new studies or make any more consultations. Given the time constraints, it was too difficult because the financial procedures are very complex.”6 Another means of generating data that can be used to make policy is commissioning evaluations instead of academic research. Such evaluations became standard practice in many European public administrations during the 1990s and in the Commission by the early 2000s. Indeed, for this reason the Wine Unit was required to commission an evaluation of the EU’s wine policy in October 2002. Following a lengthy selection procedure, a consortium led by the Italian consultancy Innova was chosen. It conducted its research between October 2003 and June 2004. Involving no academics, and no other experts identified in chapter 3, this consortium instead contacted consultants from several EU states.7 Its 203-page report, entitled Ex-Post Evaluation of the Common Market Organization for Wine, was structured in the following way: 1. An overview of the wine market 2. A description of the EU’s wine policy (the CMO) 3. An examination of six of the CMO’s policy instruments 4. Sections on producer income trends and overall market impact 5. Six pages of conclusions and recommendations

The executive summary of the final version of the report took strong positions on certain questions that often spark controversy in the industry. For example, it criticized planting rights as too rigid and unevenly administered (11), it viewed subsidies for grubbing out vines as positive (12), and it recommended that European oenological practices law be aligned with that of the OIV and that constraints on the production of table wines be relaxed to allow more room for innovation. More generally, the main body of the report advocated “a more market-oriented approach” (27) because “there has been

6.  Interview with former member of the Wine Unit, June 2010. 7. INNOVA (Italy), EUROQUALITY (France), FORSCHUNGSANSTALT GEISENHEIM (Germany), FUNDECYT (Spain), SPI SA (Portugal), PHYTOWELT GMBH (Germany) and a “private consultant”: John Malcolm (UK).

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an underlying structural surplus” in the European wine industry since the 1970s and 80s (60). Notwithstanding the liberalizing orientation of this report, however, officials in the Commission’s Wine Unit disagreed strongly about its utility. One official who arrived in the unit a year later found it highly useful: “It provided a good basis for our work. Personally, I read it with great attention, really for my own training needs . . . or sometimes when we needed some statistics we looked at the report.”8 In contrast, a more experienced and long-standing member of the Wine Unit described the report in scathing terms: “It was rather disappointing. There was not much in it. . . . Indeed, we nearly refused to honor the contract. We told them we could not accept it as it was and therefore we gave them a few months to do better. It was really disappointing. Of course we took it into account, but only marginally.”9 Instead of focusing on the report’s methodological shortcomings, which in any case we doubt raised many problems for the Wine Unit,10 our reading of this criticism of the evaluators is first that the initial draft of their report was even more descriptive than the final version and drew too few conclusions about what needed to be changed. Second, if the ideological bias of the evaluation’s final draft, especially its executive summary, was in line with what officials in the Wine Unit wanted to do anyway (cut production subsidies at the very least), the report provided them with few precise ideas about how to state the need for reform and create an instrument to bring it about. In short, we have found no evidence that during 2000–2004 the Wine Unit was busy tooling itself up for a major reform by surrounding itself with new experts such as the ones we analyzed in chapter 3. During this period, certain sources of expertise that had predominated in the past, notably that of representatives of growers, began to become delegitimized and therefore downgraded. Moreover, some of the general principles that the newly dominant academics in the wine industry’s scientific field considered essential, such as ending interventionism and making the constraints on productive practices more flexible (e.g., oenological interventions), resonated clearly

 8.  Interview with wine unit official, Brussels, April 2010.  9.  Interview with wine unit official, Brussels, December 2009. 10.  These shortcomings are indeed numerous. For example, the section on producer incomes is not connected to the rest of the report in any way. More generally, the report was ostensibly based on forty-eight interviews conducted in seven member states, but there is no direct trace of this work in the text. More fundamentally, the assertion of “a structural surplus” is based solely on a calculation of the CMO’s “effectiveness” that conceptualizes market equilibrium solely in terms of volume of wine compared to market prices (implicitly reducing the economics of the industry to supply versus demand). The report actually claims that the “efficiency” of the CMO is too complex a question to address. Consequently, its authors decided instead to look at budget costs and then make a subjective judgment about them as a proxy for “efficiency” (Innova, “Ex-Post Evaluation of the Common Market Organization for Wine,” Rome, 2004, 32).

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with the thinking in a number of bureaucracies, especially the European Commission. However, during this period the major direct source of change in the thinking of personnel in the Wine Unit took place within the confines of its own walls. This aspect of how the Wine Unit developed its relative autonomy in DG AGRI is important in terms of what it tells us about the Commission and its expertise and place in the wine industry’s bureaucratic field. It also reveals the muddling through with statistics that often passes for economics in this organization. The Wine Unit’s initial move toward autonomy was prompted by a general change in the organizational structure of the market’s directorates of the DG at the beginning of 2005. Before that, the principle role of the Wine Unit was to administer the implementation of the CMO, especially its budgets for subsidies, leaving the design and negotiation of the legislative framework to a generalist policy unit (unité de conception) from a different directorate. Now, however, the Wine Unit suddenly found itself given the responsibility of preparing the reform. It realized that the decision had the consequence that the officials from this unit really played a preponderant role in the reform. . . . We had a great deal of autonomy in the reflection about it, in the propositions we made to the commissioner and then in the writing of it, because it was us that “held the pen.” . . . So it was really a team effort by the unit.11 During 2005, this transformation in the unit’s institutionalized logic of action corresponded with a change in personnel that included a new head of unit (E. Jacquin) and the addition of two officials who both had a background in economics (A. Davino and M. Driessen). The value they accorded to that discipline is coincident with a change in the hierarchy of knowledge in the scientific field. Along with another long-standing member of the unit (G. Duren, a former computer scientist), these actors played a key role in compiling the statistics that were considered to justify the reform and writing up a proposal for action. However, when one examines their backgrounds more closely, one begins to better understand the content of their collective work. None of these officials appears to have had any particular training in the economics of industries and markets. Rather, they were simply deemed capable of synthesizing existing statistics in reports and then drawing some policy making conclusions. This they did in three reports—L’économie du secteur, L’OCM, and Le marché du vin: situation et prévisions—that were prepared in late 2005 and published in February 2006. Needless to say, although these reports were presented as neutral assessments of the wine sector, they

11.  Interview with Wine Unit member, Brussels, December 2009.

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were all based on the assumption that European wines were in a state of structural surplus, a contention that was based on an implicit definition of market equilibrium that focused on volume of supply and demand and therefore had no room for more sophisticated analysis of market segments, prices, and profitability. Indeed, far from being a neutral set of statements about different possible diagnoses of the wine sector’s issues and problems, these documents revealed both the presuppositions of their authors and their reluctance to engage in discussions of the perceptions, values, and axioms upon which those presuppositions were based. As one representative of merchants and large producers told us, “As usual in the Commission, there was a system of presenting different possible orientations, but we could all see the preference of those who wrote the document. The guy had written it in bold” (laughs).12 Our analysis of the role of the Commission’s Wine Unit in the shaping of what became the 2008 EU reform underlines that no concerted and planned use of economic expertise occurred at this stage. Instead, a small group of officials trained in various disciplines emerged and cobbled together “economic” arguments for policy change. “Economics” was thus a symbolically powerful resource officials used rather than being in itself a cause of change. The power of this symbol stemmed much more from underlying shifts in the scientific field and the group’s position within the bureaucratic field than it did from the personal resources of the individuals concerned or the group they formed. Indeed, as we show in the next section, the documents produced by this unit contain very little deep economic analysis of the industry’s difficulties or sophisticated econometric forecasting. As has so often happened over the last thirty years (Fourcade 2009), economics as a discipline was used as a weapon drawn from what Lebaron calls “a symbolic order centered on the market.” As Lebaron emphasizes, this order “has so easily become a social reality that ‘goes without saying’—i.e. a quasi-natural vision whose ‘laws’ impose themselves on all social actors, and in particular politicians—because it has been symbolically formalized and promoted by actors from a scientific discipline who have socialized dominant actors and created a stock of references for political, administrative and political organizations” (Lebaron 2009, 286, our translation). More generally, our focus on the dynamics of a unit in an EC directorategeneral has enabled us to go beyond the existing analysis of the Commission as a fragmented multi-organization, which tends to highlight only tensions among directorates (Cram 1994). Although such rivalry clearly does play a role in this organization, we have shown that analytical attention can fruitfully be paid to tensions within each directorate-general and its respective

12. Interview with a representative of merchants and large producers, Brussels, December 2009.

Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  123

directorates and units. In this case, such tensions were fueled by the very structure of the bureaucratic field, which included relationships with actors located in the scientific and economic fields. The next section extends our analysis of intra-unit dynamics in order to show their linkage with the hierarchy of the Commission and those that exist beyond its walls within the rest of the wine industry’s institutional order.

Politicization and the Path to Reform Virtually all studies of the European Commission (Robert 2010), including our own (Smith 2004; Jullien and Smith 2014), consider that this organization nearly always engages in policy making by technicizing issues. This is partly for strategic reasons relating to positioning itself in the multiscale bureaucratic field. Because of the constant questioning of the Commission’s legitimacy, its representatives seek to avoid publicized confrontations with member states and strong interest groups and prefer to focus negotiations on detailed points of policy, notably by referring to supposedly neutral expert opinion (Radaelli 1999). In addition, technicization is the most prominent mode of legitimation the Commission uses because its officials and even its commissioners tend to have initially been trained in law or economics and then have made their careers in environments where ideological clashes are rare (Georgakakis and Rowell 2013). One of the most striking features of the 2008 reform of the wine industry is that instead of relying on technicization to get their proposals onto the statute books, this time representatives of the Commission chose to politicize them; that is, to base much of their activity on explicitly stated values and mediatized position taking. This strategy consolidated and revealed the density of coincident developments in the economic and bureaucratic fields by 2006. In order to explain how and why this atypical mode of legitimation was developed, identify the conditions under which politicization can happen at the EU scale, and thus refute the fatalistic thesis that policy making at the EU scale is always technicized, this section proceeds in two stages. Strongly influenced by the Commission’s overarching Better Regulation Agenda that was designed to modernize its practices and render them more transparent,13 and by memories of politicized criticisms that the Commission had not con-

13.  The Better Regulation Initiative was a response to the European Council’s Lisbon agreement of 2000 and the report of the Mandelkern Group on Better Regulation (published on 13 November  2001). The Commission’s response to this was published one year later: “Towards a Reinforced Culture of Consultation and Dialogue—General Principles and Minimum Standards for Consultation of Interested Parties by the Commission,” COM(2002) 704, final, 11 December 2002. For analyses of its overall impact, see Radaelli (2007) and Radaelli and Meuwese (2010).

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sulted widely in this sector in the early 1990s (Maillard 2001), representatives of DG AGRI organized a seminar to begin the reform process. Immediately after this event, they launched a series of procedures for channeling discussion in their preferred direction. They used this strategy right up to acceptance of the reform by the EU’s agricultural ministers in December 2007.

A Seminar in Brussels The seminar titled Challenges and Opportunities for European Wines, which was held in February 2006, was potentially a moment for open debate. Commission members we interviewed described it as Commissioner Fisher Boel’s “great idea.” In reality, both the distribution of the participants and the biased definition of the topics that were discussed meant that this moment was either lost or had never genuinely been conceived as such in the first place. According to the Commission’s list, ninety-one representatives of national organizations and societies (essentially from the wine industry’s economic field) were present at this conference, together with forty-three representatives of EU institutions (i.e., the European scale of the wine industry’s bureaucratic field).14 The Commission officials who were responsible for choosing the participants claim that the idea was to have “an enlarged advisory committee” to which “the usual suspects” would be invited (i.e., producer and consumer members of this committee), together with representatives of consumers, distributors, and specialists in environmental and health issues. The following quote from one of these “usual suspects” sums up a commonly held view of the intentions of staff members at DG AGRI and their commissioner: The list of invitees to the conference was indeed surprising. We had to fight to get invited. What the Commission wants more and more is to have “open discussion” with as many players as possible. In my view, this allows them to dilute and to drown genuine expertise—instead they just get to hear vague arguments that are easy to counter.15 The final list of participants does reveal a number of unusual invitees. However, as table 6 reveals, the main preoccupation of DG AGRI and its commissioner appears to have been to ensure that producer member states were well represented, thus reproducing the sector’s territorial cleavages. The content of this seminar indicates that Commission representatives did not see it as an occasion for open debate. A  minority of participants

14.  Compiled from preparatory documents available on the Internet. 15.  Interview with a representative of an EU platform for wines with geographical indications, Brussels, December 2009.

Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  125 TABLE 6 Number of representatives from national organizations and societies at the Challenges and Opportunities for European Wines seminar Country


















Member states with one delegate each




OIV Individual experts Total

1 7 91

would disagree with this analysis; for example, the COPA representative told us: “At the time of the seminar in February  2006 things were not already pointing in just one direction. It was still open. There was still room for discussion.” But representatives from DG AGRI emphasize the opposite: “We presented options that were already well structured.”16 Examination of the agenda of this seminar provides support for the latter point of view. Most of the discussions took place in three workshops—“The Competitiveness of Europe’s Wine Sector,” “Sustainable Development,” and “Europe’s Wines and Consumers”—all of which required participants to respond to a “reflection document” issued beforehand by the Commission (see box 7). One can immediately see the biased nature of this exercise and how it discouraged open debate about policy problems and instruments in the European wine industry. Firstly, homilies about the importance of wine to Europe discouraged actual discussion of the ideas and perceptions of different actors. Second, the diagnosis of threats and weaknesses is based on a causal theory drawn from neoclassical economics that was not presented as one interpretation among others but as THE causal story for the sector, which was then transposed directly into the aims for the future. No mention was

16.  Interviews with wine unit officials, Brussels, December 2009.

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BOX 7. THE “REFLECTION DOCUMENT” ISSUED TO PARTICIPANTS AT THE FEBRUARY 2006 SEMINAR This three-page text had four parts: 1. “Strengths and opportunities for the European wine sector”—a list of well-known “factors” that pays homage to the territories in Europe that produce wine. 2.  “Threats and weaknesses of the European wine sector” i. “The currently unbalanced market between supply and demand” ii. Certain Member states are not respecting the existing Common Market Organization iii. There is a need to “refine and update” existing labeling regulations in order to take into account “shrinking and changing consumer demand” 3. Objectives for the EU’s future wine policy Here a list of eight objectives begins with “to meet the needs and preferences of consumers” before introducing apparently benign aims such as “improving the competitiveness of European produced wine” or “reaching a balance between supply and demand.” 4. Possible options i. Maintain the status quo but introduce “limited improvements” ii. Undertake an in-depth reform iii. Adopt a reform that shifts wine policy into the mainstream CAP iv. Completely deregulate the sector v. A combination of ii, iii and iv.

made of the complex issues that shape supply and demand, which range from the structure of wine distribution to the marketing power of multi­ national groups from the New World. Finally, the presentation of options was in fact a negotiating strategy: propose two extremes that will immediately be seen as impossible (options i and iv), one option that no one in the sector wants (iii), then push for option ii—fundamental reform—in full knowledge that if there was too much resistance the commission could always fall back on option (v) during bargaining in the Council. In summary, even at this early stage, the reform was promoted publicly by the Commission using value-laden language that highlighted it as a European imperative in order to end wasteful EU spending but also to revitalize a crucial industry that was being challenged by globalization. This politicization did not invite open debate about the policy options available and the

Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  127

path to be taken. Rather, it sought to legitimize an orientation that had already largely been decided (Georgakakis and Delassale 2012).

“A Consultation” Notwithstanding this patent bias in the February  2006 seminar, using this event for support, Commission representatives moved quickly toward Stage 2 of the move toward the negotiation of a reform. This entailed a formal process of consultation that was opened in June 2006 with the publication of a Green Paper17 and an “Impact Assessment.” Not surprisingly, most representatives of the organizations involved and other observers perceived the content of both as a plan to liberalize (end limits on planting, oenological practices, and subsidies for distillation) and restructure the wine industry (grub out 400,000 ha of vines and provide grants for promotion and retooling). Our analysis will focus on the mode and method of discussion of this proposal. The first point to note is that it was only after publication of the Green Paper that Commission representatives went out to the member states to begin such discussions: After that seminar, we needed to go out to visit wine producers. This we did, making around twenty visits between February 2006 and autumn 2007, when the negotiations really started. We felt we needed to do this because we knew we had a Danish commissioner and we did not want this fact on her back. So we and she had a crash course in wine making—and each time we of course also met representatives of the local wine makers, etc. Each time we heard a lot of explanations. We tried to show that we really had a commissioner who was in the driver’s seat. I was often told “you come from the North, what do you know about wine?” So we tried to show them that we could learn.18 This quote clearly shows that representatives of the Commission felt that they had to build legitimacy for themselves and their proposal in order to anticipate negotiations in the European Council and, when possible, head off actors who would seek to unravel part or all of the reform. Indeed, this approach was what one might call offensive-defensive political communication rather than communication designed to genuinely consult. Accounts

17.  “Towards a Sustainable European Wine Sector,” COM (2006) 319, final, 22 June 2006. 18.  Interview with member of Fisher Boel’s cabinet, Brussels, March 2009.

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of the consultation process by Commission officials provide support for this analysis: We had discussions with the Member States. We went to national capitals several times to understand their problematics, to meet people in the national administrations. Me, I went to Bonn several times, I went to Madrid, to France to discuss. Not necessarily the options, though, because the options were already there, but to construct our own text.19 Similarly, when asked why the communication published in June  2006 was only a Green Paper, another cabinet member replied with the same ­frankness: Well, this was like our visits—we did this because the reform was so sensitive. This sort of communication allowed us to set out four scenarios. It’s always a bit the same in the Commission—one is the status quo, which of course is not possible, one is total liberalization, which of course is not possible either [laughs], then the other two are in the middle. We wanted to have a big process of consultation.20 Not surprisingly, one of the opponents of the reform sees this approach to consultation in a rather different light: “the Commission was thus able to say they had done all their consultation; they could tick the boxes.”21 In contrast, a senior official in DG AGRI went so far as to promote impact assessments as a technique for facilitating an EU negotiation by enabling the Commission to conceal part of its intentions before presenting a text to the Council of Ministers: Question: So for you, impact assessments create occasions for more dialogue with state administrations? Answer: Yes, yes, and I  think it’s a very good thing. The groundwork is prepared much better—both in the member states and in the Commission—and this means acquiring better expertise. So this is absolutely not just a formal or bureaucratic exercise. . . . It also helps to handle the question of secrecy. It’s necessary to avoid the member states getting hold of our proposition before it is published. This impact assessment process helps to lead everyone along at the same speed.22

19.  Interview with official from the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, Brussels, December 2009. 20.  Interview, with member of Fisher Boel’s cabinet, Brussels, March 2009. 21.  Interview with representative of a platform for wines with geographical indications, December 2009. 22.  Interview with wine unit official, Brussels, July 2010.

Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  129

After completing this procedure and making a few relatively minor changes to certain proposals,23 the Commission presented its legislative proposals to the European Council and the European Parliament (EP) in July  2007.24 Partly because the co-decision procedure did not apply to agriculture at that time, and despite the reports produced by the European Parliament’s Commission de l’Agriculture et du Développement Rural, interaction with European parliamentarians was superficial25 and certainly did not involve engaging with the quite different causal theories present in the experts’ report the parliamentarians had commissioned.26 Instead, debates were largely confined to the European Council and, in particular, to the ministerial meeting of December 2007, where concessions and compromises were constructed using the consequentialist language and techniques of classical bargaining: proposal, counterproposal, compromise, and concessions (see box 8). Ultimately, Commission officials considered that they “had to concede” on a number of important points, but most of their initial proposal survived. Despite the publicization of the preparation process presented above, none of this final surge toward a legislative decision entailed open and deep debate about the problem the reform was supposed to address or about the pertinence of the instruments that were ultimately adopted. The decision-making process described above must be analyzed in the light of the European Commission’s need to legitimate its competence with regard to the EU’s Council of Ministers and the national governments that participate in it. From this standpoint, the White Paper on European Governance adopted in 2001 was conceived by Commission representatives as a means to promote deliberative procedures, in contrast to the less transparent debates attributed to traditional methods and devices centered on consultative committees and in-house negotiations. In this document, it was assumed that continuous deliberations between stakeholders would enable actors to arrive at consensual viewpoints that would be much more satisfactory than the compromises achieved after negotiations between representatives of national governments. However, as other research has shown (Michel 2008; Georgakakis 2012), the main purpose of Commission representatives has been to secure acceptance of decisions that have already been made and, consequently, to strengthen the EC’s position in the multiscale bureaucratic field. 23.  Most notably reducing the number of hectares of vines to be grubbed out from 400,000 to 200,000. 24.  “Proposition de règlement du Conseil portant organisation commune du marché vitivinicole,” COM(2007)372, 4 July 2007. 25.  “I am not saying that on certain points we did not take some of their remarks into account. It was a political game so we played the game, but this was of marginal importance. It was important not to put the EP’s back up.” Interview with official from the Commission’s wine unit, December 2009. 26.  E. Montaigne and A.-M. Coelho, “The Reform of the Common Market Organization for Wine,” report to the European Parliament, August 2006, Montpellier, UMR Moisa.

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Regulation 479/2008

Rules concerning production Banning enrichment through the addition of sugar

Not obtained but the maximum level of enrichment will be reduced

Reintroducing a subsidy for grubbing out 200,000 hectares of vines over 5 years

Obtained but the objective is changed to 175,000 ha over three years

Introduction of a single payment for each farm


Ending planting rights as of 1 January 2014

Obtained but delayed until 2015–2018

Transferring the authorization of oenological practices to the commission


Authorization of practices permitted by the OIV


Rules concerning marketing Ending distillation aids

Obtained: distillation to be phased out between 2008–2009 and 2011–2012

Ending export restitutions


Introduction of a new categorization of wine: with or without Geographical Indication (GI)


Authorization of wines without GIs to bear mention of grape varietals and year of harvest


Establishment of a budget of 120 million euros (co-financed 50 percent by the EU) to promote EU wines in third countries

Not obtained

Rules concerning production and marketing Authorization for member states to create “national envelopes” with which to aid the adjustment of their growers and merchants

Obtained (consequently, for example, in 2011 France will receive 280 million euro from the EU as co-financing)

Transfer of wine spending to rural development, e.g., for assisting young farmers, training, marketing aids, etc.


Adopting Reform within the Bureaucratic Field  131

In this contest, the consultation that preceded the 2008 wine reform strongly resembles what happened in the case of the Commission’s recent invitation to participate in the making of EU maritime policy: it was “more a ‘tool to help governability’ than a means of promoting the ideal of participative democracy” (Saliou 2012). As such, this consultation served essentially as a means of consolidating the views of the Wine Unit in the bureaucratic field by drawing support from its alignment with now-dominant actors in the economic field at European, national, and local scales. In contrast to most Commission policy making and input into EU negotiations, the 2008 wine reform was marked more by politicization than by technicization. Commissioner Boel, her cabinet, her spokespersons, and DG AGRI officials made sure that the Commission’s proposals received a considerable amount of publicity and mediatization. In addition, this communication rarely hesitated to use value-driven statements rather than expert-written reports to justify and legitimize deep policy change. However, this type of politicization did not encourage full and open debate of policy options. Instead, its principal role was to put an end to such discussion by drawing heavily on the dominant narrative and policy proposals that had emanated indirectly from the economic and scientific fields. This finding raises a generalizable point for European studies and indeed those of democracy elsewhere: one must not conflate politicization with politics where deliberation predominates. Much as one might like to think that mediatized and value-driven policy making is infinitely preferable to technicized discussions behind closed doors, our case study serves as a useful reminder that politicization can be synonymous with domination and a distinct reluctance to engage in genuine debate. More fundamentally, what on the surface may look like a circumscribed negotiation may very well be just the visible part of deep-seated tensions between and within fields. This chapter thus provides a means of calibrating field theory which supplements other applications of the theory developed using essentially quantitative data on actor positions and resources (e.g., Georgakakis and Rowell 2013). This chapter  emphasizes that the paradigm shift adopted by the EU’s Council of Ministers in December 2007 was not simply, as institutional economists would have it, a rational response to unambiguous market signals and budget overruns. Nor was it a mere administrative translation of neoliberal ideology (the regulationist view) or a set of market devices that supported isolated networks (the actor-network theory view). Rather, this shift was the culmination of political work carried out in the Commission and with its interlocutors—work, as chapters  3 and 4 have highlighted, that was done upstream of these interactions in the industry’s scientific and bureaucratic fields. Both through their role in preparing the reform and because of the Council negotiation’s final result, actors from the Commission (i.e., in the industry’s bureaucratic field) gained considerable power during the period 2005–2008. Indeed, when we began research on the reform in 2009, it

132  Shaping and Negotiating Deep Reform

seemed not only that the Commission had made itself more central to the government of the wine industry as a whole but also that this government had become increasingly influenced by institutions at the EU scale. In short, increased EU governmentalization of the wine industry had taken place. However, in order to test this hypothesis of reinstitutionalization and rescaling, we needed to analyze the effects of the implementation of the reform on institutionalized relationships and practices in Europe’s wine industry. That is the subject we turn to now in part 3 of this book.

Part III

Implementing Change Reinstitutionalization or Reproduction?

Before beginning, let us clarify from the outset that what follows bears little relation to the analyses of national or local “compliance” with EU regulation so frequently championed by many of our colleagues in European studies (Börzel 2001; Falkner 2005; Falkner and Treib 2008). Although the question of compliance might be of interest to bureaucrats and lawyers, in keeping with a lengthy strand of public policy analysis on implementation (Pressman and Wildavsky 1973) and economic sociology (François 2011), we argue that legislation, that of the EU in particular, becomes an institutional norm only when it becomes a prescription for actor behavior (Hatchuel 1995). In other words, legislation changes actor practices only if it leads to a change in “standards of acceptability” (Stanziani 2005, 30). In the case of categorization of European wine, the implementation of EU legislation into practices in the wine industry has partly been differentiated by member state, region, and profession. Overall a deep change has largely taken place, but its roots remain fragile for the moment. To paraphrase a popular metaphor, wine markets have undergone a remake (i.e., a significant readjustment of their look and shape), but they have not been remade from scratch. As our analysis of the end of interventionism (in chapter 6), changes in wine categories (in chapter 7), and an increased emphasis on microeconomic grants (in chapter 8) relates, this differentiated, “post-formative” (Hay 2006a) institutionalization must be traced to the varying types of legitimation and conflict that have been sparked around different dimensions of the CMO’s reform. These modes of legitimizing must be analyzed in light of struggles within and between the economic and bureaucratic fields. Considering, as we do, that full institutionalization does not happen until after conflicts and de-

134  Implementing Change

bates have taken place over values that legitimize change or reproduction (Lagroye 1985), our study confirms the theoretical and empirical validity of studying legitimation as an intrinsic part of analyzing institutional change, rather than treating how change is legitimized as exogenous or of marginal importance.


The End of Interventionism?

Implementing the 2008 reform has entailed both legitimizing the new policy instruments and delegitimizing older ones that have either been abandoned or revamped. Here we will present the results of our research on reactions to the demise of three policy instruments: distillation subsidies, grants for grubbing out vines, and plantation rights. In all three cases, the same discourse was used to discredit a previous practice. The argument was that instruments aimed at supporting production through conserving established economic models needed to be replaced by public expenditure that promoted the restructuring of policy instruments and adjustment to the “demands” of the “new consumer.”1 As chapter 5 underlined, launched in June 2006, this discourse began to be used in an explicit way by representatives of the European Commission. In an official communication, “Towards a Sustainable European Wine Sector,” Mariann Fischer Boel, then commissioner for agriculture and rural development, announced a series of measures designed to impose a more industrial and competitive model on the essentially traditional wine sector, which was too dependent on subsidies, in her view (European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development 2006). The communication presented a bleak diagnosis: Europe was producing too much wine that it could not sell, then spending 100 to 130 billion euros each year to subsidize so-called crisis distillation of wine into industrial alcohol. Boel recommended a reorienta-

1.  Throughout this chapter, we do not use “new consumer,” “supply,” and “demand” as neutral and descriptive categories.

136  Implementing Change

tion of spending to address this problem. She advocated three specific measures. 1. EU wine production should be cut through a subsidized grubbing-up

scheme for 400,000 hectares of vines over a period of five years, thereby encouraging “uncompetitive” producers to drop out of wine production “with dignity” (i.e., with subsidies).2 2. The system of plantation rights should be abolished as of 1 January 2014, providing “competitive producers” the possibility of increasing their production in proportion to their export capacities. 3. National support programs should replace the subsidies currently being spent on distilling surplus production. Member states should prioritize a list of budget categories drawn up by the European Commission. Promotion of exports to third countries should be a priority.3 The EU’s reform thus set out to reduce the number of vines in vineyards that yielded low profits and abandon controls on new plantings to encourage expansion in areas favored by the market. Both these attempts at deep policy change met with considerable resistance during the negotiation phase. Many protagonists accused the Commission of Malthusianism and wanting to relocate wine production to a small number of prosperous vineyards. Indeed, the grubbing-up scheme was finally scaled down to 175,000 hectares from an initial proposal of 400,000 hectares after opposition from several national governments. The Commission finally accepted this compromise because it felt that other measures would help reduce the EU’s wine surplus, while a reduced financial allocation for grubbing-out subsidies would translate into a bigger marketing budget and thus (Commission officials hoped) increase sales abroad. All the other proposals remained intact when the Council of Ministers terminated its negotiations in December 2007. This part of the reform does appear to have had considerable impact on production and commercial practices. An institutional order whose cornerstone was previously a sourcing institutionalized relationship dominated by production problems has since become tilted toward a commercial institutionalized relationship in which invoking markets has become the driving force. This specific example of political change can be studied through the lens of two broader research perspectives and controversies. First, it provides a way of revisiting work that analyzes the public policies of the EU as instruments of protectionism, a trait that is often seen as particularly prevalent in the agricultural domain (Swinbank and Daugbjerg 2006).

2.  “How Europe Is Drowning in Wine,” Time, 3 July 2007. 3.  European Commission, “Towards a Sustainable European Wine Sector,” COM (2006) 319, final, 22 June 2006, 319.

The End of Interventionism?   137

Indeed, the reform of the wine industry launched in 2008 is actually more complex and nuanced because interventionist measures have been directly challenged and replaced. Although some were eventually retained because of political work carried out by their principal beneficiaries (e.g., those in AOC-dominated regions who sought to retain a capacity to regulate production through planting rights), others have been abandoned without causing upheaval among producers (i.e., subsidies for removing surplus wine from the market). Comparing different policy instruments in the wine industry’s CMO thus provides a better understanding of what has led to the partial survival of interventionism. As will be highlighted, the institutions involved have been legitimized or delegitimized by varying ranges of growers, merchants, and officials in ways that have accorded markets different degrees of centrality. However, the political work undertaken by these practitioners to delegitimize previous policy instruments has been much more effective in some instances than in others. The approaches we critiqued in chapter 1 do not provide useful conceptual tools with which to grasp these variations. In particular, they are incapable of comparing the impact of various instruments on a territory or assessing the implementation of a similar instrument across different territories. Economic institutionalists and regulationist economists fail to even address these issues because they remain committed to a simple opposition between agency and structure. According to economic institutionalists, all firms in the same category evaluate policy instruments in the same way, without any variation by geographical and sociological area. They praised these instruments only to the extent that they offer a basis for contracts that can be rationally followed. For regulationist economists, policy instruments are encapsulated in macrostructural factors and interpreted in only one way in an accumulation regime. Sociological institutionalists and actor-network theorists do aim to compare but simply do not have the tools to do so. According to proponents of sociological institutionalism, emphasis should be placed on the social skills of actors who are able to use new instruments to reorient interactions and find new allies in a strategic action field. However, they do not answer the question of why, in one and the same territory, those actors captured some policy instruments and rejected others (which might also have disturbed local equilibria). The focus of actor-network theorists on the interactions between human and nonhuman beings means that they consider policy instruments to be mere technical devices. According to this analysis, instruments would be adopted in a vineyard only when they efficiently provide criteria for economic calculus. Otherwise they would be rejected or ignored. But such an approach makes it impossible to explain the differences observed between different territories: why should a same device facilitate the structuring of calculus in one area and not in another? To explain differentiated reactions to the policy instruments created or relaunched by the 2008 reform, we will insist (yet again) on our opposition

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to all these approaches. In pursuing our analysis in terms of fields, our first aim is to compare the relations that have been established between different fields in the various territories studied. As will be highlighted, the dynamics of fields are not completely coincident in any of our case studies and have thus not led to any generalized change. However, more partial coincidences between fields have led actors to accept the abandonment of certain instruments or to reject others. Our second aim is to show that resistance to the reform can be explained by going further than research that explains resistance to new policy instruments simply in terms of gaps between EU and national norms (Börzel and Risse 2003). Institutionalist economics and regulationist economics provide virtually no assistance because they emphasize either the appropriateness of new norms for preexisting strategies or their high level of synchronization with macrostructural constraints, replicating in either case a reasoning based on rightness of fit. The conceptual tools provided by sociological institutionalism and actor-network theory are not more relevant. They would reduce analysis to the relationships between instruments or to just one single local reality (the network constituted between actors in the strategic action field, or, for actor-network theories, the network between human and nonhuman beings). Both of these approaches would reproduce analysis in terms of proximity and distance. A more dynamic reading of rejections of the new policy instruments is therefore necessary, one that reveals the multiscalar effects that are the cumulative product of political work carried out in different and more or less coinciding fields. A partial defense of interventionism occurred in the economic field when grape producers fought to retain planting rights in the name of adding value to their products. Coincidences occurred between this work done by merchants and producers and that occurring in the bureaucratic and scientific fields, despite the changes both fields had recently experienced. Indeed, during the period studied here, a shift occurred in the bureaucratic field as several national administrations moved from supporting the notion of ending planting rights to urging that they be retained. Similar shifts have taken place in the scientific field, as researchers who had recently been marginalized because they did not support analysis in terms of the new consumer found a means of resurrecting their expertise in the defense of planting rights. We will argue that the explanation for reactions to the policy measures that challenged interventionism so deeply lies in the relations between the fields involved and the mode of political work this inter-field coincidence has structured and rendered appropriate. During implementation, the end of subsidized distillation and the subsidizing of grubbing out were accepted without lengthy resistance because the delegitimization of interventionism occurred over a long period of political work that extends back to the 1980s (Smith, de Maillard, and Costa 2007). Consequently, during implementation

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of this part of the 2007 reform, deregulation of wine growing became a reality. During the same period, however, abandoning planting rights sparked controversy that reveals what happens when delegitimization occurs on ground that is less well prepared. The contesting of this measure should be understood as part of a wider movement of political work that has been particularly effective and has directly linked with politicization in key parts of the scientific and bureaucratic fields. This highlights that arguments against the ending of planting rights have been recycled as part of conflicts that have taken place in other fields, often for reasons that have little to do with the issue itself. Specifically, the conjunction of standpoints that emerged around the industry’s sourcing institutionalized relationship has above all been based on an endeavor to retain at least one instrument designed to control the quantity of grape production. Throughout this positioning, the classical definition of terroir has been pushed to the fore and used by different actors. Indeed, this term has recovered considerable symbolic effectiveness.

Delegitimation Accomplished: Supply-Side Subsidies and Norms As has been underlined many times over the preceding pages, the 2008 reform broke with EU instruments centered on managing the quantitative supply of wine that were adopted in 1970 and were present in at least two major producer states (France and Italy) for many decades prior to that. Subsidies for distilling surplus wine and controls on the planting of new vines were to be phased out. Meanwhile, one last campaign of grants was to be launched to encourage producers to grub out unprofitable vines in order to remove the least profitable operators from the market, thus allowing those who were left to increase their competitiveness. Although a few localized and temporary protests were heard, this reorientation of EU policy was rapidly accepted in Europe’s largest vineyards. This acceptance of change was made possible by a sustained campaign of delegitimation of distillation subsidies and planting rights that, although it shared structural features across the continent, also had to contend with differentiated local institutional ordering. In all the cases studied, the scientific and bureaucratic fields were structured in a way that favored the redirection of subsidies. For this reason, dominated actors were unable to find support in either field that was sufficiently solid and loyal or arguments that were considered sufficiently intelligible to defend the previous mode of regulating wine in the EU. In order to demonstrate the extent to which this incapacity structured actor positioning and practices, it is necessary to examine the specifics of each field, especially at the national scale. Indeed, the various shapes of struggles between economic operators is what generated varying levels of support for the new policy measures.

140  Implementing Change TABLE 7 Volume of wine produced and used for crisis distillation by region in 2009 (in thousands of hectoliters) Region

Total production


Wine distilled as a percent of production















Languedoc-Roussillon Aquitaine

Source: COGEA 2012, 90, our translation. COGEA (Consulenti per la Gestione Aziendale S.RL [Consultant in Business Management]), a consulting company based in Italy, was commissioned by the European Commission to write this report.

Abandoning Subsidized Distillation In the 1970s, soon after the introduction of the first CMO, a surplus of table wines emerged. To address the problem, the then European Economic Community (EEC) put in place a series of distillation measures in 1984. The EEC paid subsidies to distill wine that producers could not sell into alcohol that would be used for industrial purposes. Subsidized distillation was conceived as a policy instrument and was designed to control the amount of wine entering the market. This policy tool has generated controversy for decades, both because of its cost and because it indirectly subsidized the production of brandy and other alcoholic drinks. In the 2008 reform, the overall commitment to ending interventionism led to the abandonment of subsidies for distillation, ostensibly for good. In France, and in the Aquitaine in particular, the termination of distillation is the part of the CMO’s reform that is considered the most legitimate in the economic field. Indeed, it is most often seen as inevitable. To quote one interviewee: In terms of principles, it’s very difficult to run against the course of history. . . . Distillation was a measure brought about by recognition of a failure . . . . When one had to go so far as to distill wine, that means that something had fallen off the rails in terms of regulation or that people had simply not done their job at one moment or another.4 One consequence of this definition of the inevitable is that at least two sets of producers we have studied have developed a practice of nonsubsidized self-regulation of volume. The first is at the scale of a single cooperative

4. Interview with a representative of the Irouléguy wine cooperative, Saint-Étiennede-Baïgorry, February 2011.

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that has deliberately limited the level of production to 90,000 hectoliters for the last four years: Before, and regardless of the [market] situation, we never blocked anything. So our maximum potential was 120,000 hl, but we’ve never managed to sell that amount in all our history. . . . Our rule breaks with the golden rule of cooperatives, which is to take everything our members produce. . . . With this sort of measure you put your job on the line.5 We also encountered a second example of reacting to the end of subsidized distillation, this time at the scale of the Bordelais region. The CIVB, as part of a concerted effort to plan for the future, produced a document that includes a section on a project to control the volume of unbottled Bordeaux entering the market. The project accomplishes this with nonpublic stockage rules and mechanisms.6 Finally, at the Bordelais scale, moves have been made to improve knowledge of markets through the creation of an economic observatory whose object is to enable merchants and produces “to project their activities better, not just rely on analysis of the past.”7 In Spain, the abandoning of distillation has had the greatest impact on producers and debates about the legitimacy of this policy change have been—at least temporarily—the most intense. This situation can be explained by the structure of the Spanish economic field. High impact occurred largely because much of the Spanish vineyard, and in particular Castilla la Mancha, was devoted to producing a type of white wine that has become very difficult to sell; by the mid-2000s as much as a quarter of total national production was being distilled each year to make industrial alcohol.8 Not surprisingly, then, during the two transition years the CMO’s reform authorized subsidized distillation continued apace in Spain, where the equivalent of 7.6 million hectoliters was distilled in each year. The COAG sought vainly to defend distillation subsidies as a means of protecting the diversity of Spanish wines. As a representative of this organization told us, “If we don’t subsidize the elimination of 4 million hl per year that is currently distilled, imagine what 4 million hl will do to the wine market! And all this with internal consumption continuing to decline.”9 However, this opinion contrasts strongly with the point of view of the FEV, which has always been intensely critical of the previous CMO on this point:

5.  Interview with a representative of a cooperative in southwest France, Buzet, October 2010. 6.  CIVB, “Plan Bordeaux Demain, la reconquête,” 19 July 2010. 7. Interview with a representative of wine merchants in Bordeaux, June  2011. See also CIVB, “Plan Bordeaux Demain, la reconquête.” 8.  As recently as 1995, two-thirds of Spanish wine was white and one-third was red, despite the fact that consumption patterns were almost exactly the opposite. Since then, the amount of red produced has increased and the amount of white produced has decreased, but the continuing existence of distillation subsidies have often been blamed for slowing the latter trend. 9.  Interview with a COAG official, Madrid, February 2011.

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“In a nutshell, one used to say ‘We need that much, so how much wine do we need to eliminate as alcohol in order to get that figure?’ Classical management. ‘How do we manage this so that people turn wine into alcohol?’ Then you had to get that alcohol into a market—so a second subsidy was needed.”10 The cooperative movement has sought to present a more balanced view, seeing the benefits of distillation aid for the wine market but also that it has discouraged producers from making efforts to improve the quality of their products and their marketing. Indeed, given the improvement in Spanish wine quality that cooperatives feel has taken place over the last twenty years, they have emphasized marketing. This was underlined for us in an interview: “We can say that today there is very little bad wine. There is wine that sells badly. But bad wine, there’s very little of it, not here and not in France.”11 Not surprisingly, the end of subsidized distillation was well received in the Rioja wine region. Its Consejo Regulador, in the name of a classic criticism of proponents of free trade (“subsidies only serve to mask the lack of efficiency”12), saw distillation as a secondary outlet for those who had not managed to match supply and demand. Although such products did not compete directly with Riojan wines, they were nevertheless seen as adding to market surpluses. These representations of distillation, and more generally of contemporary Spanish wine, prevented the emergence of clear-cut opposition to this part of the reform in the economic field in Spain. In the absence of sources of support in the scientific and bureaucratic fields, those who wanted to defend distillation subsidies were rapidly reduced to silence. Indeed, virtually no actors in Spain have attempted to legitimate this policy instrument. In Italy, as in Spain and in France, the end of subsidized distillation resulted in significant regional contrasts. Globally speaking, distillation was rarely used in production zones dominated by appellation wines. However, southern regions used crisis distillation extensively as part of their cost/volume strategy. From 2009 to 2012, the Apulia region received more than half of the Italian budget for distillation aid, Sicily received 22 percent, and Lazio received 12.5 percent.13 For some actors in the economic field, such as the federation of cooperatives Legacoop, the use of distillation aid in southern regions might in the past have led to a shift away from the initial aims of this EU policy instrument: In volume, they produce less under appellations of origin. They sell at lower prices. So, it is clear that they have a vested interest in distilling. During this CMO, we have had to deal with the heritage of the previous

10.  Interview with an FEV official, Madrid, February 2011. 11.  Interview with a CCAE official, Madrid, February 2011. 12.  Interview with the president of the Consejo Regulador Rioja, Logroño, November 2011. 13.  COGEA 2012, 92. COGEA (Consulenti per la Gestione Aziendale S.RL [Consultant in Business Management]) is a consulting company based in Italy.

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CMO during which, and I say this sincerely, a lot of cantine (wineries) from Sicily or Apulia produced to distill because preventive distillation guaranteed a purchase price from the state, which was far more convenient than having to sell it! When there was no demand, this created a perverse system.14 In contrast, the final set of distillation subsidies was weakly implemented in Tuscany (apart from very small sums used for distillation of by-products, distillation for food use, and the enrichment of grape must). The common view here was that “Tuscany doesn’t produce for distillation.”15 Instead, the two CMO measures that were most frequently used in Tuscany were those for restructuring vineyards and marketing grants (see chapter 8). Thus, although maintaining the right to distill concentrated grape must was perceived as a national victory,16 in Tuscany the scheduled termination of subsidized distillation was widely supported. This is reflected in that fact that there was relatively little tension in the bureaucratic field. For example, according to one civil servant in charge of wine at the Tuscan Regional Council, “Concerning the national plan of support, the fact that some measures such as distillation or enrichment are going to die is a source of great satisfaction for us. We have always been in favor of positive measures, rather than funding distillation or enrichment.”17 Indeed, the gradual abolition of distillation was weakly politicized in Italy, particularly in the quality wine regions, which have sought instead to transfer support to marketing, restructuring, and investment. In contrast to the other three national cases studied, in Romania, EU distillation subsidies were not in place before the reform and therefore never were the object of the political work of legitimation. Romanian wine firms were not eager to support such measures because they engaged in other forms of distillation that in terms of marketing were positioned against wine production, provoking a national-scale debate over the definition of real wine (adevăratele vinuri). The issue poses a challenge to the construction of a genuine economic field (Roger 2013). More precisely, two producer organizations—the National Interprofessional Wine Producers’ Organization (Organiza¸tia Natională Interprofesională Vitivinicolă, ONIV) and the Association of Romanian Wine Producers and Exporters (Asocia¸tia producătorilor şi exportatorilor de vinuri  din România, APEV)—launched a crusade against companies that sold surrogate wines (surogatele de vin). Discussions centered on the status of nondistilled fermented still beverages

14.  Interview with an official of Legacoop Agroalimentare, Rome, November 2012. 15.  Interview with an official of Tuscany’s regional government, November 2012, Florence. 16.  “We had the issue of must. The Spanish had distillation for alcohol. The French had compulsory distillation and plantation rights.” Interview with Italian Permanent Representative, Brussels, April 2009. 17.  Interview with an official of Tuscany’s regional government, October 2013, Florence.

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(băuturile fermentate liniştite nedistilate, more commonly referred to as BFLs). These products are composed of water, glucose syrup, starch, ethyl alcohol, synthetic flavoring, coloring agents, baking powder, and other food additives. They offer the aroma, taste, and color of wine but do not contain the slightest trace of grapes. Companies that produce these beverages are licensed by the decentralized offices of the ministry of agriculture. In 2007, 108 such companies produced a total of 4.8 million hectoliters. In order to denounce this practice, the ONIV and the APEV drew a distinction between “honest producers” (producători oneşti) and “wine industry pirates” (pira¸tii vinului). They sought support in the bureaucratic field in order to act on this distinction and sue the “pirates.” Their arguments finally won out. In June 2010, the minister decided to ban all nondistilled fermented drinks except for cider and mead (Ordonan¸ta de urgen¸tă nr. 54). Significantly, once this victory was achieved, no other distillation measure was requested, partly to avoid reopening the intranational debate. Comparatively speaking, then, the factors that prevented a politicized defense of distillation aid differed from one vineyard to another. The key variables are the positions occupied by dominant operators in the economic field and the resources of their opponents in each region. As will be shown below, reactions to the launching of one last campaign of subsidized grubbing out were generally structured by a similar set of causal mechanisms.

Promoting Subsidized Grubbing Out The Commission initially proposed subsidies for the grubbing out of no less than 400,000 hectares of vines, ostensibly to “cleanse” the market of low-quality wines that were dragging down prices. A  less clearly stated objective was to reduce the number of growers in Europe by eliminating the smallest ones, concentrating supply and thereby supporting only the most commercially efficient. After considerable protest in the economic and bureaucratic fields by producer groups and national administrations, the goal of 400,000 was more than halved to 170,000 in the final version of the regulation. As table 8 shows, the implementation of this policy instrument has been considerable, even if a comparatively small proportion of national vineyards have been removed from production. But beyond these figures, it is important to notice intranational differences and, above all, how grubbing out as a politico-economic practice has come to be represented by all the actors concerned. In Spain, demand for aid for grubbing out was high, particularly in certain regions. At one level, the use of this policy instrument seems to vindicate the Commission’s initial proposal on grubbing out. However, our interviews with representatives of growers and cooperatives highlight that the removal of vines may not have had a significant impact on production levels and markets; that is, on positions and struggles in the economic field. First, they ar-

The End of Interventionism?   145 TABLE 8 Vines grubbed out in France, Spain, and Italy, 2008–2011 Country

Area grubbed out (ha)









Source: European Court of Auditors (2012, 24).

gue that much of the land taken out of production was the least productive; this explains why overall supply has not significantly dropped. Second, and more fundamentally still, they argue that too much of the available aid has been given as a social payment to growers leaving the industry altogether instead of to those who seek instead to restructure their vineyards: We in the COAG have positioned ourselves against this measure because this is about a large sum of money, thousands of euros, which is going to people who are leaving the sector. But, you understand, I’m 33 and I want to try to continue to live from this sector. In other words, my objective and that of this organization, was not to obtain money for people who leave the sector, but for those who stay!18 This point was doubtless made with particular force by this actor because he comes from Castilla la Mancha, the region that has accounted for no less than 70 percent of the vines grubbed out in Spain. Meanwhile, grubbing out has had far fewer and sometimes no takers in other regions such as La Rioja, where many producers and investors wish to purchase vines.19 Indeed, in La Rioja, the Consejo Regulador denounced the perverse effects of an instrument that initially aimed to eliminate “nonviable” segments of production. According to its leaders, many recipients of subsidies for grubbing out replanted vines shortly thereafter, thus preventing any decrease in the volume of production. Like its Tuscan counterparts, the Rioja’s Consejo Regulador instead advocated marketing aid and the modernization of vineyards. Tensions between local and national economic fields coincided with similar divisions in the bureaucratic field. According to the Riojan regional government,20 grubbing out would have produced

18. Interview with the president of the wine committee of the COAG, Madrid, February 2011. 19.  There was no grubbing out in La Rioja, Galicia, and the Basque Country. In Navarra, grubbing out was related to the Navarra designation, not the Rioja one. 20.  Interview with an official in the La Rioja regional government, Logroño, July 2011.

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effective results at the EU level if the Commission had maintained its initial objective of 400,000 ha. However, as the Consejo Regulador and the government of La Rioja frequently underline, instead a paradoxical situation often arose for Spanish wine makers outside the region, since those who had benefited most from grubbing out subsidies subsequently received restructuring aid to produce wines that, at the end of the day, would go to distillation. In addition, the Riojan authorities interpreted the commitment of the national ministry to grubbing out as a further signal of implicit state support for table wines, to the detriment of quality wine regions such as La Rioja. Thus, the ASAJA was more than a little dubious about the relevance of grubbing out as a policy instrument. One member told us: “It’s a misappropriation of funds, which doesn’t create productive structures—quite the reverse. That’s very sad. The Commission is constantly in this kind of contradiction.”21 Overall, then, the position of the Spanish government on grubbing out was paradoxical: in general it was seen as a loss of the country’s productive potential but at the same time it was viewed as helping to resolve certain agricultural and even agrarian problems. In France, the most immediately noticeable feature of the implementation of grubbing out was the fact that it was concentrated in one region, the Languedoc-Roussillon, where 16,098 hectares of vines were grubbed out in the period 2008–2011. In contrast, only 1,428 hectares were removed in the Aquitaine. Nonetheless, even in the Aquitaine, the most commonly held view is that grubbing out is a relevant policy tool: I think it’s one of those tools that are useful in certain circumstances . . . . In a difficult year where production has been prolific you have to be able to manage supply and demand. And above all to manage the wines that are not worthy of the name “Bordeaux.” You need to be able to have the right levers so that the client is satisfied.22 As in Spain, there is a deep-seated individual and collective worry among some producers in France that without future recourse to subsidized grubbing out, the volume of production in Europe will not be sufficiently controlled. Even when this measure has not been applied heavily in their own wine areas, for such actors the fact that the EU has given up a means of controlling the volume of supply is an additional source of economic uncertainty. In its 2012 report, COGEA emphasized that Italy, which received 18 percent of the EU’s grubbing-out budget, was in an intermediate situation between that of Spain (which received 58 percent) and France (which received

21.  Interview with an ASAJA official, Aldeanueva de Ebro, November 2011. 22.  Interview with a representative of a wine trading company in Bordeaux, February 2011.

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14 percent). Despite much criticism, the measure was relatively successful in Italy. During the first year of implementation, the Italian ministry of agriculture could accept grubbing-out requests for 11,900 hectares out of the 26,000 hectares applied for by producers (Gaeta and Corsinovi 2009, 64). However, this measure, did not meet the expected result of decreasing production. In addition, grubbing out was slightly more politicized in Italy than distillation. In particular, the Legacoop federation of cooperatives saw the measure as counterproductive. Its criticism was threefold: 1. In order to achieve a decrease in volume, grubbing out should take place

in vineyards with the highest yields, which are precisely those the growers want to keep. 2. The very aim of reducing volume was seen as problematic. A substitution effect would lead the consumer to replace the “missing” European wines with New World ones. 3. The general philosophy of this instrument was interpreted as expressing the economic liberalism of the Commission. It was seen as “a pro-market position, liberal, a philosophy stating that [the] market is the best solution. It’s a more global philosophy held by the European Commission, who have sought to withdraw from the CAP and to renationalize it.”23 In sum, in Italy, those who grubbed out were mostly very small growers who had vineyards located in hilly zones, high production costs, and low production volume. Grubbing out had a limited impact, since the decrease of vineyard areas corresponded with what is often seen as natural loss. Not surprisingly, then, grubbing out was very weakly implemented in Tuscany. At the end of 2011, when implementation of the measure was coming to an end, 163 hectares had been grubbed out in this region, 0.3  percent of the vineyard area. As those who grubbed out were very small producers, the measure did not have any major effect on the structure and potential concentration of wine farms.24 The Chianti Classico consortium25 viewed the measure as “insignificant,” and the Chianti consortium viewed it as “not really relevant.”26 Tuscan actors—like Riojan ones in Spain—stressed their orientation toward the market, unlike their view of Southern Italian regions as essentially oriented toward the capturing of institutional and EU resources. According to a member of the Chianti Consorzio, “Tuscan growers produce to sell. To sell their wine. Other regions, Southern ones, produce to obtain European subsidies. They produce for compulsory distillation. They pro23.  Interview with a member of Legacoop, Rome, November 2012. 24.  COGEA 2012, 212. 25.  Interview with a director of Consorzio Chianti Classico, Tavernelle Val di Pesa, June 2012. 26.  Interview with a director of Consorzio Chianti, Florence, November 2012.

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duce for green harvesting. They produce for the grubbing up premium.”27 As early as November 2006, representatives of the Chianti Classico criticized the grubbing-up instrument, proposing instead that the EU reinforce investment and measures to promote European wines: “Instead of grubbing out our most precious assets, they should work to add value to them and to promote them, knowing that only 1 percent of the [European] Community budget is invested in this aspect.”28 Most of the Italian actors we interviewed remained skeptical about both the quantitative and qualitative results of the grubbing-up instrument. In regions that produce quality wines such as Tuscany, the end of grubbing out was even warmly welcomed. In addition to its economic inefficiency, Italian producers saw grubbing up as a negative incentive and as an obsolete policy instrument. In Romania, grubbing out has again been widely perceived as a legitimate policy tool. Here explanation must be sought in the specific structure of national wine production and the difficulties experienced in building a genuine economic field that involves only commercial operators (Roger 2013). Chairs of some major wineries acknowledge that their national vineyard suffers greatly from the continued importance of artisanal wine. Smallholders who received a vineyard as a result of decollectivization were often able to cultivate “noble” varietals in the most prestigious production areas. In fact, large-scale operators generally supplement their own crops by buying grapes from such local wine growers. When they cannot access these outlets, however, smaller producers have continued to turn to direct-producing hybrid varietals that have a reputation for sturdiness.29 Under the communist regime, these varietals were cultivated on the individual plots allocated to members of cooperatives. The wine that was produced from these varietals was used for private consumption within extended families. Once they became proprietors, former cooperative members continued these practices. Cultivating direct-producing hybrid varieties meant that crops could be grown without recourse to the most costly plant protection treatments. Smallholders distributed the low-cost wine they obtained from these varieties in informal markets. These practices experienced rapid growth: from 1990 to 2008, the total wine-producing surface area shrank from 197,700 hectares to 186,900 hectares, but at the same time the surface area used for direct-producing hybrids 27.  Interview with a director of Consorzio Chianti, Florence, November 2012. 28.  Interview with a member of the Chianti Classico Consortium, Tavernelle Val di Pesa, November 2012; “Incentivi UE a chi estirma i vigneti,” La Repubblica, 18 November 2006. http://, accessed 18 April 2014. 29.  Varietals cultivated in this way (Isabelle, Lidia, Noah, Othello, Jacquez, Herbemont) are the product of crossbreeding between cultivated, productive species (vitis vinfera) and wild species (vitis silvestris) which, in the natural state, produce grapes that are too small and acrid for consumption. These varietals can be used to grow new vines (vine stock branches can be planted directly from roots), in contrast to interspecifc hybrid varietals, which are always the result of a graft.

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increased from 62,000 to 92,000 hectares. (The latter figure made Romania the world leader in this area.) Wines obtained from direct-producing hybrids are banned in the EU because they contain ethyl alcohol and pose a health risk. To facilitate Romania’s candidacy for accession, the country passed Law 244 in October 2002, which banned all new planting of the suspect vine varieties and limited cultivation for own consumption to a maximum surface area of 1,000 square meters per family, “alongside the home” (pe lânga gospodărie). Abandonment premiums were also announced, but the implementing regulations were never adopted because of a lack of budgetary resources. Following long negotiations, the Treaty of Accession to the EU provided for an eight-year transition period that began on 1 January 2007. Romania agreed to organize the grubbing up of direct-producing hybrids. The European Commission made subsidies available.30 The EU has not subsidized the grubbing out that was imposed on Romania in order to improve quality (eradicating direct-producing hybrid varietals). In addition, the actors involved all legitimize grubbing out as being done in the name of concentrating supply, by recycling and repeating a discourse about efficiency they have imported from elsewhere. The Romanian case highlights that across the European wine industry, the instrument of grubbing out has given rise to differentiated legitimations because there is a considerable difference between a qualitative logic (pulling out vines to improve wine quality) and a quantitative logic (ending production to concentrate supply). Overall, for different reasons but always in relation to the specific shape of fields at the national scale, subsidies for grubbing out vines have not encountered any sustained opposition. Instead, controversy about this policy instrument was sparked in the bureaucratic field at the EU scale from an angle that was more technocratic than political. In June 2012, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report that denounced the “weak results” the measure had produced. According to this analysis, grubbing out had led to a 56 percent decrease in surplus wine (10.2 million hectoliters per year as compared to an initial surplus of 18.5  million). But this result was considered too modest for the amount of subsidies that had been paid out.31

30.  Since the reform of the CMO, Romania has received 42.1  million euros  per year to co-fund its “national envelope,” i.e., the part of EU funding that could be spent relatively autonomously by the national government. Specifically, the Romanian government has been free to prioritize the measures it selects from DG AGRI’s list (Article 5 of Regulation 479/2008). It did not subsidize the grubbing out of direct-producing hybrid vines, arguing that the farms concerned were too small and therefore ineligible. 31. “Overall EU-27 wine production decreased in wine year 2010/11 but not in the [member states] that had grubbed up the largest area during the two first campaigns: Spain (64,447has), Italy (20,532ha), France (16,674ha)” (European Court of Auditors 2012, 24).

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The report concluded that it would have made more sense to grub out more and subsidize each application at a lower amount.32 Through its spokesman for agriculture and rural development, the European Commission contested the ECA’s analysis and defended its record. It asserted that grubbing out had enabled the EU to reach equilibrium between supply and demand for EU wines: “Stock declarations at July 2011 do show equilibrium between production and stock levels, which proves that no ‘structural surplus’ exists.”33 In other words, conflict in the bureaucratic field at the EU scale led the Commission to justify a limited set of grubbing out measures and thereby to pre­ sent itself as a force for moderation. More generally, whether it was abandoning aid for distillation or temporarily subsidizing grubbing out, the measures introduced in 2008 did not give rise to sustained resistance at the national scale. The acceptance of these changes is best explained by reconstituting the political work that was done to delegitimate previous policy instruments and by the degrees of coincidence between fields. This angle of analysis reveals how variations in implementation across the EU have been dependent on the structure of positions and positioning in the wine industry’s economic field, which determines relations with other fields. This can be seen also by examining a third measure the 2008 reform sought: the abandonment of planting rights. In this case, the structure of the economic field in different vineyards became a considerable obstacle to those who sought to delegitimize interventionism. Indeed, it sparked sustained movements of opposition to this aspect of the CMO ­reform.

Failed Delegitimation: Opposition to Abandoning Planting Rights In France, growers have had to apply for the right to plant wines since 1953 (Decree 53-977). The French government introduced this measure to control what it considered to be chronic overproduction of wine. Since that time, every time a grower wants to plant new vines he or she must obtain authorization. This process has been made to fit with optimal areas of vines, defined both for each wine area and nationally. Following what was seen as a European crisis of overproduction in the early 1970s, French actors subse-

32.  European Court of Auditors (2012). The same report observed the opposite effect: “It creates the risk of the scheme financing the grubbing-up of vineyards that had already been restructured and were in principle competitive. . . . The Court found such cases of modernized vineyards which were nevertheless grubbed up with EU funds. There is thus an inherent tension between the grubbing up scheme and the restructuring measures leading to inefficiencies in the use of EU aids” (ibid., 24). 33.  Rebecca Gibb, “Report Finds Failings in European Wine Reform,” Wine-Searcher, 13 June  2012,, accessed 10 February 2014.

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quently ensured that this instrument was transposed to the scale of the European Community with the unstated aim of limiting expansion of production in Italy. EC member states were required to establish national and/or regional systems for the management of planting rights. Since the early 1990s, a number of actors engaged in the bureaucratic and economic fields—in particular officials from the Commission’s Wine Unit and representatives of large wine merchants—have sought to abandon this policy measure in the name of decreasing the administrative burden on economic operators, liberalizing markets, and conforming with the rest of the reformed CAP. This problematization was specifically stated in the Commission’s 2006 communication that officially launched the reform process. In this document, Commissioner Boel explicitly delegitimated planting rights as a restriction on the freedom of entrepreneurs. Boel saw these two sets of actors as likely to align their practices with those attributed to the New World and thus be able to respond more efficiently to the demands of the new consumer: Successful wine makers are currently hamstrung by their inability to expand their vineyards—an expansion that would greatly increase their competitiveness by offering economies of scale. . . . Since the EU will no longer buy up surplus wine, growers are expected to be more market orientated when planning their production.34 The Commission proposed that planting rights end by 2013. After a period of negotiation characterized by struggles in bureaucratic fields, the Council of Ministers adopted a regulation in 2008 that postponed this deadline until 2018. However, an intermediate evaluation was scheduled for 2012 and the possibility of revision was left open. As 2012 approached, the issue of planting rights suddenly became highly politicized. Indeed, negative reaction to this part of the CMO’s reform has been considerable in the vineyards studied here. We will show that the explanation of this phenomenon lies in the way the wine industry’s economic field has been structured at regional and national scales. Our analysis has focused on growers’ and merchants’ standpoints. In certain cases, growers have protested against the abandonment of plantation rights because they see this measure as too favorable to merchants. However, even merchants are not always committed to the policy the Commission advocated. Growers from France have consistently taken the lead in delegitimizing the decision to abandon planting rights and in organizing resistance to what is seen as a priority of the Commission and wine merchants. The views expressed by actors from regions with many AOC wines, such as the Aquitaine, reveal the depth of this resistance. In our interviews in this region, every pro-

34.  European Commission, “Towards a Sustainable European Wine Sector,” COM (2006) 319, final, 22 June 2006, 1.

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ducer representative unequivocally stated that they wanted to see planting rights retained. In addition, no merchant in the region spoke against them. Indeed, they all see AOCs as impossible to manage without an accompanying system of planting rights. Of course, some wine merchants in the Aquitaine do not share this unreserved support for plantation rights. Nevertheless, even large companies that operate throughout France tend to see the liberalization of these rights as more a risk than an opportunity. One representative of such a company told us: We don’t have a specific position for or against. But what we do know is that over the past few years a lot of effort has been put into improving the quality of our wines. . . . So everything that today may go against the quality of French wines is to be handled with great care. . . . If one can just plant without any particular constraints, what is that going to produce tomorrow? There will no longer be a handle on this, one will no longer be able to control it.35 In France, planting rights do not appear to have become a symbolic issue that creates (or re-creates) divisions between wine merchants and growers. However, it is important to recall that the age-old distinction between these two professions has been partly blurred over the last twenty years by the fact that many large corporations have emerged that play both roles. As a result, representatives of some of these firms have increased their centrality in the economic field. They have become particularly active in interprofessional bodies because they can now participate as both merchants and growers. The overall result of all this shift is that in the period 2008–2011, a consensus emerged in France that planting rights gave those who govern the industry a degree of control of both the volume and the quality of supply. Although this consensus emerged because many actors supported it for different reasons and it did not mean unanimity had been reached, France nevertheless became a solid base from which EU-wide resistance to abandoning planting rights could be organized. In contrast with the French situation, no consensus existed in Spain, where wine merchants and large wine-producing companies have been very much in favor of liberalizing plantations but representatives of smaller growers, cooperatives, and governments of regions such as La Rioja have sought to resist this policy change. Represented by the increasingly powerful FEV, in 2007, large growers convinced their national government to back this part of the wine CMO’s reform with the following type of argument: “We do need a system for managing planting, but not, as a consequence, limitations or a ban

35.  Interview with a representative of a large French wine merchandising company, Bordeaux, September 2010.

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on them. Because one becomes lazy in AOC zones, in these clusters, and one no longer actually manages potential production.”36 Notwithstanding this support from the FEV and the large wine merchants and wineries it represents, resistance to the abandonment of planting rights from growers has been consistent and has come to coincide with the dominant standpoint in the national bureaucratic field. This was because the Spanish government changed its line of argument because of internal and evolving relations in the regional scale of the bureaucratic field. Although it initially supported the Commission’s proposal, it came to oppose it.37 The Spanish state eventually adopted the position of the COAG, as expressed by a COAG member: We have asked our minister of agriculture to position herself, as [French president Nicolas] Sarkozy and [German chancellor Angela] Merkel have, against the liberalization of planting. Because we do not understand why on one hand subsidies are given to grub out vines, while on the other planting has been liberalized.38 One fear was that entire areas of vines would be relocated to regions whose wines currently are the best sellers. In Spain at least, this threat of delocalization is often linked to actual things that happened in the recent past and that involve the Rioja wine region in particular. As is well known, the region has experienced both a rise in its international profile over the last three decades and an expansion in levels of planting and production. Since the late 1990s La Rioja has benefited more than all the other Spanish regions from new planting rights. Thus, some actors from elsewhere in Spain feared not only that La Rioja would acquire a disproportionate amount of new vines in the future but also that existing individual producers would lose a patrimonial resource for which they had paid large sums of money: In the Rioja as much as 25,000 euros a hectare have been paid for plantation rights. It is obvious that this area now has a value that includes the cost of the right, plus the value of the land, plus the value of the right as applied to the land. But now on the field next door that has yet to be planted, a grower can arrive and say “I’m planting here because nobody can stop me or make me pay for it anymore.”39 In the Rioja wine region, opposition to the abandonment of planting rights has been raised in the economic field by the Consejo Regulador of the

36.  Interview with a member of the FEV, Madrid, February 2011. 37., 16 May  2011, 38.  Interview with the president of the COAG’s wine committee, Madrid, February 2011. 39.  Interview with a member of the CCAE, Madrid, February 2011.

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appellation, again in the name of controlling productive potential. According to the Consejo Regulador’s calculations, full liberalization would more than double the land planted in vines in the region (from 63,000 to 200,000 hectares; i.e., an increase of 213 percent40). This would lead to further surplus in an already saturated market. The Consejo Regulador denounced the lack of dialogue with the central government and the government’s ambiguous position on this issue. The Consejo Regulador did not ask for a ban on planting rights; instead, it asked for production controls that would be managed by interprofessional bodies (and not by administrations). The Federación de las cooperativas agrarias de la Rioja (Federation of Wine Cooperatives of Rioja) supported this position, as did farmers’ unions from the left (the Unión de agricultores y ganaderos de la Rioja [Union of Farmers and Breeders from the Rioja], which is the regional branch of COAG), and the right (the ASAJA). For the Unión de agricultores y ganaderos de la Rioja, liberalization would make the supply surplus worse and lower prices. However, it was not against liberalization in principle if planting rights could be guaranteed to apply only to the Rioja appellation zone. Liberalization also carried an implicit risk for this union, which in the past had played a crucial role as an intermediary in the negotiation of the transfer of planting rights. Among other consequences, a full liberalization of planting rights by the EU would have challenged this position of intermediation. As a result, in La Rioja, very different arguments fed into the standpoints against the liberalization of rights. In Italy, opposition to the abandonment of planting rights was quite consensual in the economic field. Both growers and merchants supported these rights for producers of all wine categories (even when the Commission proposed differentiated liberalization according to wine category) and for all member states (in order to avoid a differentiated CMO). The civil servants in the bureaucratic field at the national and local scales (in the ministry of agriculture and in regional bureaucracies) agreed on this point. At the same time as this coincidence became apparent to these actors, their position was supported by dominant organizations in the economic field: the two major federations of cooperatives (Legacoop and Confcooperative), the Confederazione Nazionale dei Consorti Volontari per la Tutella delle Denominazioni dei Vini Italiani (Italian Federation of Designations of Origin) (Gaeta and Corsinovi 2009, 64), the federation of independent wine growers (Federazione Italiana Vignaioli Indipendenti),41 and eventually even Coldiretti (Confederazione Nazionale Coltivatori Diretti), who were not initially hostile to the liberalization of planting rights.42 40.  Interview with a member of ASAJA Rioja, Aldeanueva de Ebro, November 2011. 41.  Michele Longari, “Liberalizzazione dei diritti di impianto dei vigneti: FIVI dice no,”, 21 September  2012, accessed 16 April 2014. 42. “La questione della liberalizzazione dei diritti di reimpianto, parte 1,” Poggio Argentiera, Vigneti in Maremma, 17 May  2011, la-questione-della-liberalizzazione-dei-diritti-di-reimpianto-parte-i/, accessed 1 May 2013.

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However, while some actors were against any liberalization right from the first stages of the debate, others modified their position during the process, alongside the Commission’s adjustments. This was the case for some unions. Gaeta and Corsinovi (2009, 64) mention that Coldiretti was initially in favor of the liberalization of planting rights, as was the Confederazione Italiana degli Agricoltori (Italian Farmers’ Union), in the name of competitiveness in the marketplace and protecting growers’ incomes. However, in December 2012, Coldiretti instead supported the conclusions of the high-level experts’ report,43 which advocated an intermediary system for the regulation of planting after 2015. Coldiretti now sought “a system that would effectively consent major flexibility and capacity of adaptation to the market, but without running the risk of deregulation, that would end up transforming the European wine sector.”44 However, when EC agriculture commissioner Dacian Cioloş announced that control mechanisms would remain in place after 2015 (at least for some categories of wine), the Confederazione Italiana degli Agricoltori favored a new orientation.45 Moreover, it asked for more flexibility and a more important role for the interprofessional bodies in the promotion of quality wines. The union also agreed with the idea of a gradual transition (until 2019 for Italian growers) toward a system of authorization that would replace the current planting rights system.46 This gradually constructed consensus was even more pronounced in Tuscany. Actors representing AOC appellations were particularly active in that region, given the potential consequences of the measure they saw for their category and market segment. In October 2012, the vice-president of the Chianti Classico consortium, a regional leader of Confcooperative,47 listed the potential risks of liberalization for the Chianti DOCG: an increase in cultivated land (according to estimates, the Chianti’s territory could double, from 17,000 to 35,000 hectares); a loss of product due to an uncontrolled increase in production; a proliferation of new wine growers that would have the effect of lowering the income of individual growers; the appearance of new firms interested in the industrialization of the product; the inevitable disappearance of companies that had acquired prestige over the years thanks to their collective brand or their appellation; and loss of reputation-linked assets for wine growers.

43.  “Report of the High-Level Group on Planting Rights,” European Commission, 21 September 2012. 44.  Liberalizzazione dei diritti di impianto dei vigneti: l’UE fa un passo indietro,” Il Punto Coldiretti, 18 December 2012 nedeidirittideivigneti,lefaunpassoindietro.aspx, accessed18 April 2014. 45. “Diritti d’impianto vigneti: vince l’Europa,” ASA, n.d., min-12vigneti3.html, accessed 18 April 2014. 46.  “Nuove regole sui diritti di reimpianto,” Confederazione Italiana degli Agricoltori Ascoli, Piceno e Fermo, 29 March 2014,, accessed 18 April 2014. 47.  Francesco Colpizzi, “Les droits de plantation représentent un actif essentiel de notre patrimoine,” 10 October 2012,, accessed 16 April 2014.

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Facing the threat of total liberalization, some actors from Tuscany advocated a solution that would allow for the possibility of maintaining the system for the regulation of production in Tuscany (Barzagli 2011). Consultation between regional authorities (i.e., representatives of the local scale of the bureaucratic field), professional organizations, and consortiums of the appellations (which were dominant at the local scale of the economic field) had led to this regulation of the DOCG. The general idea was to ask that the production of some wines be limited because market equilibrium had been reached. The regional administration could thus establish a quota for part of the land that would be harvested under this particular appellation. Thus, a Tuscan front against the liberalization of planting rights was maintained over time. Some denunciations of protectionism occurred, but they remained marginal in the Italian public debate, which was largely dominated by a consensus in favor of planting rights in the economic field. In contrast, in Romania, debates about planting rights took place in the context of confrontations between large commercial operators. Over this particular issue, Romanian companies that target the national market have opposed those who produce wine for export. Since 2002, the former have formed ONIV, while the latter have worked through APEV since 2001. Within this conflict, determining a hierarchy of varietals has been a particular source of contention. ONIV portrays itself as the standard bearer for native wine (vinul autohton), which it argues is authentically Romanian because it is enjoyed by Romanian consumers and comes from grape varieties denominated as native (Fetească albă, Fetească neagră, Grasă de Cotnari, Frâncuşă, etc.). ONIV emphasizes how different native wine is from an undifferentiated international wine (vinul international) produced from varieties designated as international (Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Aligoté). APEV has responded energetically by proclaiming its own delimiting criterion: genuine Romanian wine is what is recognized as such beyond the nation’s borders—the wines that champion the Romanian flag in international competitions, that manage to establish a footing in new markets, and that take into account the expectations of foreign consumers (Roger 2013).48 This deep-seated opposition explains how debates around plantation rights have been structured in this country. Initially, APEV took strength from the CMO reform to argue for an alignment with EU norms as a means of legitimizing the quality criteria their members use and the fact that their good practices were in line with international standards. In so doing, they aimed to reproduce the successful formulae of New World producers: very large hold-

48.  A third professional organization—the National Association of Vineyard and Wine Production Employers (Patronatul National al Viei şi Vinului)—has not taken part directly in the debate between supporters of national wine and defenders of international wine. The companies that control this organization occupy a structurally ambivalent position; they are oriented massively toward international varieties but mainly target the national market.

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ings, the most up-to-date equipment, and quality control through corrective oenological techniques. Subsequently, the protests against abandoning planting rights in other member states provided resources to ONIV. These protests made it possible for ONIV members to link the promotion of indigenous varietals to a wider discourse in which planting rights were legitimated as a means of protecting national appellations against the standardization of Romanian wine. In 2009, this argument gathered strength when representatives of ONIV were invited to join the working groups of the National Office for Vine and Wine Products (Oficiul Nat¸ional al Viei Şi Produselor Vitivinicole), the national body responsible for granting and managing Romania’s planting rights. The way resistance to the abandonment of planting rights gathered momentum should be analyzed through the lens of how the economic field has been configured at each national scale. As the 2012 deadline approached, disparate ranges of protests coincided because of politicization fueled by tensions in the scientific and bureaucratic fields. Symbol-saturated calls to action were taken up in each of these two fields, consolidating protests that economic operators had already begun.

Coinciding Protests: Resonance across Fields The issue of planting rights has been repeatedly discussed within a European platform on the matter. Initiated in 2007 by the French Confédération Nationale des Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (National Confederation of Registered Designations of Origin), this platform sought to aggregate and homogenize all the reactions to the reform on planting rights emanating from vineyards with AOCs.49 In 2009, it organized a series of meetings on the implementation of the reform, inviting leaders from other agricultural interest groups and members of the European Parliament, especially members of the Commission de l’Agriculture et du Développement Rural. For the latter, defending planting rights quickly became a way to challenge the authority of the Commission over agricultural issues and thereby put to the test the increased powers the 2007 Lisbon treaty on institutional reform gave to the EP in this area. With direct support from member states, the platform announced the creation of the European Federation of Origin Wines on 24 March 2010.50 Its first meeting even took place in the EP’s building and

49.  The other members of this platform were from the Associaça¸o Nacional das Denominações de Origem Vitivinícolas and Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto, both of Portugal, and a new Spanish body, the Conferencia Española de Consejos Reguladores Vitivinícolas. 50.  At this point the platform was enlarged to include the Italian Consortium of Wines with GIs (the Confederazione Nazionale dei Consorzi Volontari per la Tutela delle Denominazioni dei Vini Italiani) and that of Hungary (Hegyközségek Nemzeti Tanácsa [National Council of Wine Communities]).

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speakers included the president of the Agriculture and Rural Development Commission (Blancaneaux 2014). Until then, representatives of merchants had not been very involved in the issue of planting rights, largely due to differences of opinion in their ranks at the national scale. However, the political work begun by the European Federation of Origin Wines pushed their EU representative, the CEEV, to harden its position. In a press statement published in May 2011, the CEEV emphasized that “the coherent and balanced deployment of the Wine CMO reform, in accordance with the stages that have been accepted, must be respected in its entirety. It is essential to preserve this new framework and its philosophy, [which was] constructed on the basis of the demand from consumers and markets rather than production and supply.”51 The politicized dynamic producers developed in the economic field quickly had effects in other fields, which, of course, had their own set of issues. Indeed, through coincidence (or accidental resonance), conflicts over planting rights enabled a variety of actors to problematize this policy instrument in order to pursue their own respective goals. This could first be seen in the bureaucratic field. A number of national administrations began to oppose the abandonment of planting rights, each seizing an opportunity to challenge the legitimacy of the Commission. This protest, which was initiated by representatives of the French state, was quickly taken up by many others (Smith 2014). In spring 2011, representatives of twelve member states (France, Spain, Italy, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Portugal, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, and Luxembourg) signed a letter requesting the EU’s central organizations to reconsider the decision to remove planting rights, citing a list of possible risks, including the negative impact on the reputation of appellations and standardization of production. They argued that a preferable option would be to retain mechanisms that had the potential to control production. The Association des régions européennes viticoles (Association of European Wine Regions) backed this initiative. This activity in the economic and bureaucratic fields catalyzed other political work in the scientific field. These protests created a support structure for researchers who were looking to improve their own status. Reciprocally, the fact that academics sympathized with this cause gave it a new aura. This made it possible for actors to politicize matters further by presenting the Commission’s position as particularly outrageous. The role certain researchers played can be explained both in terms of general shifts in the wine industry’s scientific field (see chapter 3), and in terms of conflicts in specific disciplines. Economics had become one of the dominant disciplines claiming a monopoly on 51.  Lamberto V. Gancia (CEEV president), “EU Wines recorded the biggest hike in EU agri-food exports sales,” CEEV press release, 10 May 2011, asp?filename=78642%5CEXT%5C02236A15B0DE9F9A79A4308164A5628075FCB6E5_D0CB 3A274E8D924DF2392B00FFF7E49F3FF636B6.PDF.

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scientific legitimacy with regard to wine issues. However, the economists who led this movement were weakened during the planting rights debate because they tended to use only econometric methodologies linked to theories of pure and perfect competition. Using this methodology, they reduced AOC areas to protectionist mechanisms that obstructed the free play of market forces and the optimal fixing of prices. In contrast, the economists who used more institutionalist reasoning tended to occupy an intermediary position. They sought to develop a line of reasoning that both economic operators and administrations could use to contest the Commission’s approach to planting rights. Several institutionalist economists in France and Italy came to the fore precisely because of their intermediary positioning in the scientific field at the national scale. In each case, they occupied relatively marginal places in economics as a whole, but collaborations with dominant researchers enhanced their status. Two academics in particular merit analysis from this angle.52 The first is Etienne Montaigne, an agronomy engineer with a PhD in economics and a professor at Montpellier’s Agricultural Institute (SupAgro). He has succeeded in becoming a recognized wine expert in France through his role as co-editor of the annual report Bacchus: enjeux, stratégies et pratiques dans la filière viticole. The recognition that derived from this role has led to other prominent roles for Montaigne. For example, he became an authorized commentator on the CMO reform and on the evolutions of world trade in several wine industry magazines (Réussir vigne, La vigne, La revue des œnologues, Le progrès agricole et viticole). He has also occasionally worked with researchers who were part of the new dominant disciplines, in particular marketing specialists from his own institute. A  second example of this type of academic is Roberta Sardone, who has managed to acquire a position very similar to that of Montaigne in the Italian scientific field. The national research organization that employs her, Istituto Nazionale di Economia Agraria, part of the ministry of agriculture, produces reports and regular statistics. Although such publications are not without theoretical content, they do not enable their authors to achieve full academic recognition. In order to compensate for this, Roberta Sardone has regularly co-published articles on the reform of the CMO with Eugenio Pomarici, a senior lecturer at the Federico II University of Naples, a member of American Association of Wine Economists, and the co-editor of the journal Wine Economics and Policy.53

52.  Individual cases can be enlightening provided that they are relocated in the logic of a field and explained in terms of “structurally determining” positions. This approach differs from that of actor-network theory, which would insist instead on “following” a researcher who was carrying out multiple activities, treating each researcher as an isolated individual. 53.  Beyond second-order divisions in this discipline, economists believe they have a shared interest in placing economics at the heart of dominant expertise in the wine industry. In addition, combinations of legitimacy have developed. For example, Eugenio Pomarici has worked with Roberta Sardone to establish a bridge between academic research and public expertise. In 2012, this dual positioning is part of what made it possible for him to be appointed president of the OIV’s Economic Committee.

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Beyond these examples of individual academics, in each case we have observed, the relationships a researcher has developed with dominant economists and marketing specialists has enabled him or her to voice an intermediary position, but such positions have not become central in the scientific field or fully legitimized institutionalist analysis in the wine industry. More precisely, protests against the abandonment of planting rights in the economic field have provided scope for modifying the influence of different analytical approaches. Planting rights have been analyzed as a way of facilitating contracts and thus reducing transaction costs in the industry. In this way, a form of counter-expertise was made available to the organization most opposed to the liberalization of planting which, simultaneously, legitimized institutionalist economics.54 The Assemblée des Régions Européennes Viticoles provided a similar opportunity in 2011 when it commissioned Etienne Montaigne to write a report on the reform of planting rights. In the final version published in 2012, Montaigne contested the theory that wine firms would always benefit from economies of scale when they increase the number of hectares planted in vines. After analyzing the statistics DG AGRI produced in the period 2005–2007 in the Farm Accountancy Data Network, Montaigne concluded that the profits of very large holdings that specialized in table wine production would increase. However, he emphasized that the same could not be said for producers who made AOC wines that were sold at higher prices. According to his calculations, in this category of production, revenue decreased when area under vines increased. His main explanation for this was that AOC wines entail more intermediaries and thus it is difficult for producers of such wines to reduce transaction costs.55 A team led by Roberta Sardone developed the same line of reasoning in a report presented to the European Parliament in April 2012. This report included the recommendation that the EP make “the functioning of the planting rights market” more efficient in order to “reduce the intermediation costs.” She also recommended that it “manag[e] the availability of planting rights through the dimension of the areas within which the rights can be traded and the dimension of the potential inside each area.”56

54.  Institutionalist economists have attributed the success of New World wines to “simple” and “transparent” contractual relations between grape growers, wineries, and supermarket chains. These authors’ criticism of the abandonment of planting rights has not prevented them from supporting the rest of the CMO reform. Instead, they support it, particularly because they see it as deepening a dynamic of contractualization. 55.  E. Montaigne, Alfredo Coelho, Bernard Delord, and Leila Khefifi, “Etude sur les impacts socio-économiques et territoriaux de la libéralisation des droits de plantations viticoles,” Convention d’étude AREV—UMR-Moisa-Montpellier, February 2012, http://umr-moisa.cirad. fr/actualites/etude-sur-les-impacts-socio-economiques-et-territoriaux-de-la-liberalisation-desdroits-de-plantations-viticoles-tome-1-et-2, accessed 5 July 2013. 56.  R. Sardone, Valentina Cardinale, Crescenzo dell’Aquila, Paola Doria, Roberto Solazzo, Alfredo Manuel Coelho, Etienne Montaigne, Vasco Boatto, Andrea Dal Bianco, Luigi Galletto, Luca Rossetto, Luis Miguel Albisu, Rafael Del Rey, Eugenio Pomarici, and Diana Sidlovits, The Liberalisation of Planting Rights in the EU Wine Sector (Brussels: European Parliament, Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies 2012), 31.

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All of these sources of scientific support added legitimacy to those who sought to prevent the abandonment of planting rights. In particular, the EU’s biggest farming federation, the COPA-COGECA, came out strongly in favor of keeping these rights, arguing that without them production would increase and quality would standardize, both of which would lead to a decrease in revenue for the majority of growers.57 Faced with increasing politicization, in April 2012, DG AGRI announced that it was setting up a high-level group to find a consensus solution. The goal was to technicize the issue of planting rights and thus find a way for the Commission to stay out of the firing line by posing as simple bureaucrats. The high-level group was made up of experts proposed by the twenty-seven member states and interest groups working at the EU scale (COPA-COGECA and the European Coordination of Via-Campesina). It also included representatives of the European Federation of Origin Wines, merchants (the European Liaison Committee for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Trade, of which the CEEV is a member), and the agro-food industry (FoodDrinkEurope). In addition, the EP secretariat, the secretariat of the European Council, and the Croatian government (which at the time was negotiating Croatia’s accession) each nominated one member. Four meetings took place in 2012 chaired by Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development José Manuel Silva Rodriguez, meetings which reviewed written submissions from national wine organizations and academics. During the third meeting, on 21 September, the above-mentioned reports commissioned by the Assemblée des Régions Européennes Viticoles and the EP were debated. In December, the high-level group published its final report, which claimed to synthesize a widespread consensus on the need to maintain a system of planting rights in the EU. The report made a number of recommendations that included keeping a system of authorized planting at the national scale and constructing a safeguard mechanism at the EU scale to control the total number of vines in Europe. The proposed solution was that each year, the EU would fix a maximum percentage of new plantings for each member state and make national governments responsible for managing this policy instrument.58 DG AGRI submitted these proposals to the Council of Ministers and the EP. The negotiations that ensued concerned the percentage to be adopted and how long they should remain in place. Early in 2013, a compromise was reached that fixed a maximal annual increase at 1 percent of the total wine area. This system was to remain in place until 2030. The principle of abandoning planting rights that had been a cornerstone of the 2008 reform was thus itself abandoned.

57.  COPA-COGECA, “The Role of Planting Rights for the Future of the European Wine Sector,” 2012,, accessed 3 December 2013. 58.  Report of the High-Level Group on Wine Planting Rights, ture/wine/high-level-group/docs/final-report_en.pdf, accessed 23 May 2015.

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The CMO reform has reduced the magnitude of public intervention by removing instruments aimed principally at controlling wine prices through limiting the supply of grapes produced and the amount of wine that enters markets. However, this overall conclusion hides some significant variations. Differentiated responses to the reorientation of subsidies and to the programmed removal of planting rights cannot be properly explained when analysis emphasizes standardized contractual strategies (economic institutionalists), an accumulation regime that leaves no room for internal differences (regulationist economists), actors who use policy instruments in order to develop interactions in a strategic action field (sociological institutionalism), or instruments that are technical devices for networks of human and nonhuman beings (actor-network theory). In order to grasp the whole range of responses to this part of the reform, one needs to think instead in terms of resonance between fields. The reorientation of subsidies (the removal of distillation subsidies and financial incentives to grubbing out) has been legitimized and accepted relatively easily. In regions such as La Rioja, the Aquitaine, and Tuscany, it has been legitimated by actors from the economic field at the local scale and has thus become institutionalized. This was less the case in regions such as Castilla La Mancha, where debate continued for some time over the social and political meaning of the policy change. Although the measures have been applied, the process of implementation has been less direct and rapid in Castilla La Mancha than it has been in La Rioja, the Aquitaine, and Tuscany. In addition, across the EU the diversity of local situations has divided and desynchronized any contesting of the ending of this form of public intervention. It has also prevented it—beyond limited coincidences—from resonating beyond the economic field into the fields of science and bureaucracy. In contrast, the removal of plantation rights sparked such a high level of resistance in all wine regions and across all professions related to the wine industry that it became impossible to institutionalize it. The creation of a specifically European organization (the European Federation of Origin Wines) was the result of an alignment of protests and made it possible for discourse to become strongly politicized. Coincident positions developed in the economic, scientific, and bureaucratic fields. Indeed, defending planting rights often became a way for weakened actors in each field to reinvigorate their resources and recast their standpoint. Faced with these multi-pronged developments, representatives of the Commission felt constrained to react by trying to reduce planting rights to the realm of technical instrumentation. However, this tactic failed completely, leaving them to concentrate on two other aspects of the reform that we examine in the following chapters: the reprogramming of markets and microeconomic grants.


From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?

As chapter 6 showed, the most publicized part of the 2008 reform involved doing away with long-standing agricultural policies designed to affect supply (plantation rights, subsidies for distillation and grubbing out). However, the reform also sought to change the way European wines were presented to consumers by creating new instruments and revamping old ones. In one example, the long-standing category Vin de Table, now seen as obsolete, was replaced for three publicly stated reasons. First, as marketing specialists in the scientific field had argued for years (see chapter 3), this part of the reform’s instrumentation created a supposedly more consumer-friendly distinction between European wines that have geographical indications (GIs)— that is, those that have the status of an AOC or a Vin de Pays—and those that do not. Second, the reform ostensibly facilitated the marketing, and thereby increased the international competitiveness of European wines that do not have GIs by allowing their labels to feature information about grape varietals and the year of production for the first time. In so doing it sought to go beyond long-standing distinctions between what Fourcade (2012) evocatively calls “The Vile and the Noble.” Finally, using arguments specific to the bureaucratic field, the Commission also legitimized this part of the reform by underlining that it brought the EU’s wine policy into line with both World Trade Organization legislation on GIs and other European law regarding origin labeling for foodstuffs. Commission representatives used these three arguments to successfully conclude the 2007–2008 negotiations in the EU’s Council of Ministers. During these negotiations the issue of wine categorization was hardly debated at all. However, in order to understand why such categories had previously been so highly politicized and, in certain regions and countries, continued

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to cause controversy during implementation of the reform, it is essential to move beyond institutionalist economists’ conceptualizations of wine categories that either reduce them to interference in free markets or envisage them as rationally built ways of protecting economic rents. Similarly, economic regulationist analyses of wine categories as simple manifestations of Keynesian accumulation regimes and economic ideas are not adequate. European GIs are not simply legal codifications of the geographical origin of wines. Each GI (e.g., Médoc or Rioja) has a specification (un cahier de charges) that sets limits on what growers and winemakers can do in terms of choosing grape varietals, planting densities, harvesting, ageing and many other aspects of their daily work. Each wine can be checked at any time by public and collective action organizations to verify that it meets the GI’s standards. Each GI is thus an institution because it not only constrains the behavior of its producers but also specifies some of the conditions under which they can operate their businesses in the medium and long term. At least according to supporters of GIs, this approach reduces the classical economic challenges of coordination (with other local colleagues) and hierarchization (in terms of wines from other regions and categories).1 The aim of each GI is to enable its wines to have consistent access to particular segments of the market and stay within a reasonably predictable and optimal price range. GIs are thus a central instrument in the wine industry’s sourcing institutionalized relationship. Since the early twentieth century, GIs in Europe have coexisted with wines made from grapes that could come from any regional vineyard and that are restricted by fewer rules regarding their mode of production. For decades, these cheap-to-produce and cheaply sold vins de table generally found a market and maintained satisfactory prices in the main producer states. However, since the 1970s, consumption of such wines in southern Europe has fallen dramatically. In response, producers and traders of these wines have sought to either improve their quality so they would qualify for GI status or compete directly (i.e., largely on price) with wines from non-European countries for a share of the international market. Since the mid-1990s, European producers have not generally won this competition, even in the Vin de Table category. Because, they have considered themselves to be hamstrung by more rules and restrictions than their counterparts from other continents, producers of table wines thus worked for the 2008 reform in order to lower EU-imposed constraints on their production, processing, and marketing practices. They did so using arguments in terms of “simplification” and “increased competitiveness.” Not surprisingly, distinctions between categories of wines have fueled tensions in the European wine industry for decades. As chapter  4 recounted,

1.  As Stanziani emphasizes in the case of French AOCs, these entities are “less a corpus of doctrines and more a set of practices which affect actor anticipations and behavior,” especially their “strategies” (2003, 261, 264; see also Stanziani 2005, 17).

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   165

in the economic field they have divided growers (e.g., in the French Midi since the 1980s), growers and traders (e.g., in Bordeaux in the 1970s), and wine regions (e.g., La Rioja and Castilla La Mancha). Meanwhile, representatives of states in the bureaucratic field have also confronted each other over this issue (e.g., France and Italy when the EU’s wine instruments were created in 1970). Since the mid-1990s, battles over the problematization, instrumentation, and legitimation of wine categories have been renewed by the emergence of New World wines and the very different approach to categorization their representatives have sought to standardize at the global scale. Like all categories of economic action (François 2011), those of the wine industry have been developed over time as instruments of collective or public action for combating problems defined in specific ways. Far from being cast in stone, these problems and instruments evolved continuously throughout the twentieth century due to the framing and relational political work undertaken by a variety of actors. However, from the late 1990s until the conclusion of the 2008 reform this work intensified and became increasingly multiscalar, revealing more explicitly controversies and zones of tension in the wine industry that had largely lain dormant up to that point. Indeed, by framing attempts to engender or prevent recategorization as a social process of definition and delimitation based on “classification struggles” (Bourdieu 1988, 483), we will go beyond network-centered theories of economic sociology to show that the politics of wine categories is as much about the redefinition of professional identities, and thus about repositioning in fields, as it is about public policy and markets. Thinking about the issues raised by wine categorization allows us to exemplify and refine our position with respect to the two variants of the network-centered theories of economic sociology we discussed in chapter  1. Unlike actor-network theorists, who would consider this aspect of the CMO reform as the result of the seizure of power by firms that had managed to constitute a new actor-network and that controlled a crucial node in the wine industry, this chapter insists on the importance of the specific dynamics of an ongoing form of institutionalization shaped by the coincidental resonances that emerged between the economic and the bureaucratic fields. In order to avoid the ahistorical, asocial, and apolitical bias of actor-network theory, we focus on the redefinition of wine categorization in the context of hierarchical relations and the spaces of social and institutional struggles within and between the fields. At first sight, our approach would seem closer to sociological institutionalism, and in particular the organizational social network approach to it (Fligstein and McAdam 2012). A reading of this aspect of the CMO reform inspired by this theory would see in the confrontations surrounding wine categorization the expression of struggles between incumbents and challengers, each seeking to orient the field to their advantage. In particular, the debate over the relative merits of Vin sans IG (VSIG) and AOC wines could be read as expressing strategies of control over strategic action fields in the

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respective sectors and territories of these two categories of wine. This theory might interpret the simplification of categories the reform brought about as an answer to the exogenous shock of the increasing power of new competing actors and strategic actions fields from the New World. Debates between the categories surrounding the reform would then have reproduced the endogenous shocks that several vineyards experienced due to producers challenging existing wine classifications within them (for Bordeaux in the 1990s, see Croidieu and Monin 2011). We differ from this approach by rejecting the notion that the CMO reform was the mere bureaucratic translation of the balance of power between challengers and incumbents in the economic field. The way wine categorization was problematized and translated into policy instruments was characterized by strong contingency, the coexistence of multiple spaces of struggles within and between the economic and the bureaucratic fields, and an incomplete and territorially differentiated institutionalization of how wine is categorized. In order to discover the extent to which the 2008 reform has fundamentally changed the paradigm within which European wine operates today, we closely reexamined the causes of these tensions in local variants of fields while producing new data on their contemporary manifestations. The local scale of a field always has its own hierarchy of stakeholder positions, but the positions that define that hierarchy are often related to the positions that dominate other scales. Thus, examination of balance of power at the local level is relevant to understanding the varying effects of the reform, provided that it also takes into account wider hierarchies. This chapter relates our findings by concentrating on examples of change and reproduction in representations and practices of categorization in each of the four vineyards we studied (Bordeaux, Rioja, Chianti, Romania). Although the markets and sociopolitical worlds of GI wines (which accounted for 42 percent of EU production by volume in 2008) and non-GI wines (which accounted for 58 percent) are inextricably linked, it is analytically helpful to retrace the implementation of this part of the 2008 reform around these two poles. Our research has revealed that differentiation in the interpretation and use of these new wine categories has occurred not only among the “usual suspects” of producer states, wine regions, and oppositions between growers and merchants, but also in the scientific, economic, and bureaucratic fields. The differences in the latter are the most revealing and reflect other, deeper cleavages that primarily concern differences of perception, differences in strategy, and differences in practices. Understanding these differences enables us to understand the plurality of logics of action that many operators in the wine industry now juggle. This analysis also reveals a set of differences that collective action organizations and public authorities are often ill-equipped to act upon or even to comprehend. This chapter shows that responses to the changes in GI categories at the EU scale have perpetuated previous practices, especially those related to the targeting of markets. In contrast to the continuity the repro-

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   167

duction of GIs as a policy instrument encouraged, the advent of the category of wines without GIs (VSIGs) has already brought about deeper change in producer and merchant perceptions, strategies, and practices.

The Relaunching of Wines with Geographical Indications: Continuity Assured Much as many growers strive to present and defend wines with GIs as meriting consumer recognition and higher prices, this cannot simply be decreed. The 2008 reform has encouraged each AOC region of VdP territory to focus even more on its rules and standards, but it has not necessarily induced them to update the way they frame the problems of the industry or legitimate solutions. The reform has thus essentially amplified preexisting calls to achieve higher prices by improving wine quality through greater discipline during grape production and processing. The organizational form of and commercial practices related to AOCs and VdPs have thus not therefore been directly affected by this part of the 2008 reform. Where change has happened, it has instead been sparked by the effects of the changes to categorization that have occurred elsewhere in the industry. As table 9 demonstrates, most AOC and VdP wines in Europe come from Italy and France. However, one should not underestimate their importance in other states, notably Spain and Romania. In Spain, the dominant representation of the issue of GI wines is that the Spanish wine industry had already put its house in order well before TABLE 9 Number of AOCs and VdPs per select EU member state in 2012 Number of AOCs

Number of VdPs


Percent of total IGs in EU 27













































  Total for EU 27




Percent of total GIs




Source: DG AGRI,, consulted 25 June 2015.

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the 2008 reform, first with their system of Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas (Protected Designations of Origin; DOPs), which was introduced in the 1930s and has been extensively used in the Rioja wine region since the 1980s and 1990s, and second with the category Vinos de la Tierra (which was implemented in 2003 with the passage of the law titled Sistema de protección del origen y la calidad de los vinos). By 2007, these two categories accounted for 30 percent of Spanish production when measured by volume. Over the last decade, the category Vinos de la Tierra has been used even in Castilla La Mancha to add value to its wines. Vinos de la Tierra were initially designed to improve the marketing of intermediate-level wines, those whose quality was esteemed to be somewhere between table wines and the prestigious denominaciones de origen (DOs) and to provide a stepping-stone to DO status.2 This new category thus had the potential to destabilize categories and their boundaries. In Castilla la Mancha in particular, numerous operators thought this category would improve their export sales. Historically, the development of Vinos de la Tierra really began in 19993 when the cortes of Castilla la Mancha (the regional assembly) decided to launch the GI Vinos de la Tierra de Castilla as a brand.4 In response, one year later the Castilla y León region launched the GI Vinos de la tierra de Castilla y León. Both of these GIs fit with the strategies of each region’s major wine producers by permitting the use of a broad range of local and external grape varietals, freedom with respect to how grapes are processed into wine, and the possibility of bottling outside the production area. The volume of wines marketed under this formula increased significantly: in Castilla la Mancha, 5 million liters were produced during the 1997–1998 campaign, a figure that had reached 97.8 million by 2000–2001. The phenomenon was less pronounced in Castilla y León than in the Mancha, due to the prestige of the existing DOs of that region (e.g., Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro). Some Vinos de la Tierra quickly developed a better image than some DOs, thus destabilizing established hierarchies of categories. Indeed, many Castilian growers began to produce both DO wine and Vinos de la Tierra, thus continuing to promote the legitimacy of the DO while also using the more flexible category Vinos de la Tierra. The most emblematic terroir, economic success story, and political defender of DOPs is Rioja. As Barco Royo (2008) sets out in detail, since the mid-1980s the rules encoded in Rioja’s DOP have enabled this wine region

2.  Unlike table wines, Vinos de la Tierra can indicate the year of production, grape varietals, and the production area on labels. Minimal quality and origin are guaranteed without the rigorous control processes of DOs. Moreover, unlike DOs, geographical limits do not necessarily have to correspond to administrative territories or precise areas. 3.  In 2011, Spain had forty-seven Vinos de la Tierra. 4.  Juan Manuel Ibáñez, “Un fenómeno llamado ‘Vinos de la Tierra,’ ” El Mundo, 14 November 2004.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   169

to emphasize the role of one grape varietal (Tempranillo, the production of which increased in volume 46  percent in 1983 to 67  percent in 2007). The region has introduced an internal classification system (Sin Crianza, Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva) that maps neatly onto quality categories used by New World producers (basic, premium, super-premium) and has forced all production to be processed locally and sold in bottles. Actors in this region, especially the region’s Consejo Regulador, have encouraged five large merchants (who sell 31 percent of the wine produced in the region) to take the lead in developing internal and export markets. One of the key ingredients of Rioja’s success is that although it sells much of its top-quality wine in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain accounts for 70 percent of all sales. One can see why Rioja has acted as a model for other territories in this country looking for ways to access new markets and increase both the volume of production and prices. Since the EU’s 2008 reform, representatives of the Spanish state and its wine regions have acted to maintain continuity related to the GI wine category. This is partly counterintuitive given that the largest part of the Spanish vineyard has traditionally engaged in the mass production of vins de table. However, since the late 1990s, many changes in the boundaries between wine categories had already occurred within the national scale of the economic, scientific, and bureaucratic fields in Spain. Although these changes did not necessarily significantly alter the economic return from former table wines from this country, it contributed to the legitimation of a shift that EU-induced policy modifications were later seen as deepening rather than initiating. In Romania, the recategorization part of the CMO reform is frequently seen in a positive light. This is because it appears to have given more room for the equivalents of Vins de Pays to develop, particularly for the country’s internal market: AOCs involve extra controls, [thus] higher costs that impact on prices. In our country, price is the key factor for consumers, particularly since the latest crisis . . . . Most companies now use the Vin de Pays category rather than the AOC. It’s less constraining and the difference is not recognized. A GI and a brand provides sufficient status. It’s efficient. Compared to that, AOCs lose their efficiency.5 Moreover, the new EU-driven categorization is often seen as a way of overcoming confusion between various categorization schemes: a system of appellations introduced in 2002 (Denumire de origine controlată, DOC), the names of vineyards (Murfatlar, Cotnari, Prahova, etc.), and the names of the state-owned companies and their privatized successors (e.g., Murfat-

5.  Interview with a representative of PNVV, Paris, March 2011.

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lar SRL, Cotnari SA), which have used previous reputations to build and consolidate their respective brands. This situation, which the Romanian wine industry inherited from the communist regime, has given rise to a number of contestations. For example, in December 2008, Cotnari SA used the media to block Vinia SA’s right to sell wine labeled Francuşa de Cotnari through a partnership developed with the supermarket chain Carrefour. Carrefour took Cotnari to court and argued that because its name designated a vineyard according to the law on vine and wine voted in 2002 (Legea 244/2002), any wine of sufficient quality produced in that vineyard could bear this name. The supermarket chain won its case. However, certain growers continue to denounce practices that contravene the spirit of this legislation: Formally, our system of DOCs was a direct copy of French AOCs. But it does not really operate in the same way. The problem is that some companies have taken the name of a DOC and used it as their brand. This is contrary to European law, but things happen like that in Romania. . . . We really need to do away with this. Can you imagine a company in France that could call itself Bourgogne Ltd. and that could prevent other companies from the Bourgogne from using that name?6 Thus, in Romania the category of protected geographical indication is widely seen as a solution for companies that felt penalized by intranational confusion. The ability of such operators to include information identifying the varietal, the year of production, and geographical origin on labeling has enabled them to drop AOCs while continuing to use a recognized designation. The most powerful actors in Romania now support the new categorization established by the 2008 reform. With its 350 AOCs (which account for 45 percent of national production by volume7) and 75 VdPs (which account for 25  percent), the majority of actors in the French wine industry remain strong supporters of GI categories. As we saw in chapter 6 in the context of the planting rights controversy, what some commentators refer to as “the terroirists” are still alive and kicking. Denis Dubourdieu, a grower, consultant, and university researcher in Bordeaux, offered an eloquent example of this commitment to GIs in general and AOCs in particular. Because the aim of all human beings is to avoid boredom, consumers will get fed up with wines that are too simple. Therefore we must offer them 6.  Interview with a manager from a wine-making company, Bucharest, July 2010. 7. FranceAgriMer, “La production de vin en 2012,” filiere-vin-et-cidriculture/Vin/La-filiere-en-bref/La-production-de-vin-en-2012, accessed 8 October 2012.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   171

wines that are more complex. . . . We really must not make “fast wine” in Europe because 1) we won’t be able to do it as well as our competitors in the New World and 2) our vocation is to do something different.8 Although pro-GI actors in France continue to take strength from some parts of the writings of academics (e.g., Patchell 2011), within the French wine industry one cannot underestimate the difference in meaning given to an AOC and to a VdP. This has recently been illustrated most vividly around proposals to introduce a VdP in the Aquitaine region under which Bordeaux producers could sell some of their production. A merchant and former president of the CIVB told us: I am totally opposed to the introduction of a Vin de Pays in this region. It’s a false solution. I am convinced Bordeaux should remain 100 percent AOC, but also sell less than it does today. We need to work with and through the AOC as we always should have done: with rigor, quality, and robust markets.9 National measures were already introduced in 2007–2008 to tighten the AOC certification system. But the EU-scale measures introduced in 2008 concerned Bordeaux in particular because, as one wine merchant put it in an interview: Over the last 20  years production has increased. Produce, produce, produce. But with irregular quality. Consequently products with the same name can be found with prices that can vary by as much as 10 times. . . . The consumer is lost. Then there are overlaps between AOCs as today some generic Bordeaux are better than some Médocs. It’s crazy. The French consumer is lost, so you can imagine what it’s like for foreigners.10 Despite such criticisms, the majority of growers and their representatives still cling to the AOC category. When he was asked if there is internal debate over this issue, one director of a cooperative in Aquitaine admitted that there was. However, he continued, “It’s a question of pride; we would be renouncing the right to be a member of the most noble category of wines.”11 This quote highlights how delicately balanced positions related GIs currently are

 8.  Lecture given in the Bar à vin du CIVB, 13 April 2010.  9.  Interview with a former president of the CIVB, December 2005. 10. Interview with the manager of a wine merchandising company, Bordeaux, September 2010. 11.  Interview with the director of the Irouléguy cooperative, Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, February 2011.

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in the French wine industry: it has become virtually impossible in much of the country to overtly criticize AOCs, yet all the actors privately admit that the category has many problems. As will be shown in the next section, VdPs and some AOCs have been increasingly destabilized by the relabeling and reframing of France’s former Vins de Table. In many instances, AOCs and VdPs have become symbols that have such an emotional charge that questioning the system promotes defensive reactions and accusations of treachery. In other words, the third aspect of the political work done by actors—the legitimation of problems and instruments—has yet to stabilize. This is particularly so because of the contradiction that exists between widespread silent contestation of the commercial efficiency of AOCs and strong identification with their symbolism and supposed links to quality. These are aspects of this issue area that approaches centered on rational choices or “the equipment” of calculations and actor-networks would overlook completely.12 In 2010, two years after the reform was implemented, Italian expert Eugenio Pomarici analyzed the GI aspect of the CMO reform as contributing to a new concept of European quality of wine in what he referred to as a context where the sharp distinction between quality and nonquality wine no longer existed (Pomarici 2012). According to Pomarici, the coexistence of different quality categories meets the expectations of consumers who are looking for quality wines with particular characteristics for different moments of consumption. From this perspective, the European wine sector could add even more value to its products by reinforcing the transparency and efficient linking up of the value chains (the distribution of value between a product’s producers of raw materials, processors, and distributors) of low-cost varietal wines. However, warned Pomarici, such a shift raises serious concerns that varietal wines might “cannibalize” wines with GIs: What is less clear is how the new structure of European wines will be perceived by the public and to what extent it will prove to be convincing. It is in fact impossible to know what the risk of a cannibalization of GI wines by varietal ones is, if the latter are described as wines with greater profitability, as was the case in general for table wines that obtained GIs. These questions are difficult to predict, but they could have considerable impact on the structure of the productive system and of interprofessional relations (Pomarici 2012, 205, our translation from Italian). This expert opinion largely coheres with those we interviewed who indicated that although the general move to simplify wine categories was initially

12. The concept of “equipment” is central to actor-network theory because of this approach’s emphasis on how nonhuman devices, such as wine rating systems, affect actor perceptions and behavior.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   173

welcomed in Italy, the solution the European Commission proposed has raised three sets of serious concerns (Gaeta and Corsinovi 2009, 66), about the risk that reducing the range to two segments (GI and non-GI wines) will flatten the quality pyramid; about the effects of allowing Vin sans IG to bear labels that indicate year of production and grape varietals; and about whether the traceability of table wine content is guaranteed under this system. During the negotiation phase, Italy joined Spain, France and Portugal in opposing this new regulation. The Confederazione Nazionale dei Consorti Volontari per la Tutela delle Denominazioni dei Vini Italiani, in alliance with its Mediterranean equivalents (the Associação Nacional das Denominações de Origem Vitivinícolas, the Confédération Nationale des Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée, and the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto) highlighted the risk of changing to a GI/non-GI dichotomy for quality wines. Federvini, the Confagricoltura union,13 and the federation of cooperatives (Fedagri-Confcooperative) also criticized the plan to reduce the number of categories from three to two and the new labeling norms, which they felt promoted an alignment of practices with those of New World producers (Gaeta and Corsinovi 2009, 67). This pro-DOC front (in Italy AOCs are known as DOCs) should not, however, mask the concrete difficulties experienced and the concerns raised by the DOC system of norms in actual vineyards. Some equivalence to the Bordeaux AOC debate can be found in Tuscany. Randelli and Felici (2009) have shown that in the case of the Chianti Classico, a debate arose not so much about the value of DOCs but rather about the usefulness of the DOC-DOCGIGT categories and their boundaries. Two aspects have been repeatedly underlined: the capacity of the DOC system to genuinely guarantee high-quality standards for its certified wines and the capacity of the DOC to become a collective brand. AOC specifications impose strict protocols on grape-growing and wine-making processes. Criticisms were raised, especially among those who produced high-quality wines, about the severity of the requirements of the DOC system and its slow adaptation to market shifts. Meanwhile, and conversely, Randelli and Felici underline that uncertified wines, including non-EU wines, are easily adapted to consumer tastes and thus have a clear competitive edge. Overall, these shifts have “contributed to the homogenization of Chianti Classico AOC wines and hampered the creativity of growers to produce high quality wines (commonly known as supertuscans) outside the AOC certification, while continuing to produce Chianti Classico wines more for reasons of prestige than to reinforce their competitiveness on international markets” (Randelli and Felice 2009, 14).14

13.  In contrast, the farming unions Coldiretti and Confederazione Italiana degli Agricoltori declared themselves open to change—just as they were over planting rights—even though they feared a degradation of the quality of each DOC (Gaeta and Corsinovi 2009, 68). 14.  See Pomarici (2012, 210) on the system of control in Italy after the change from old categories of DOCG, DOC, and IGT to the two new categories of DOP and IGP.

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The extension of the erga omnes rules the Chianti consortium obtained in September 2012 illustrates both a growing recognition of the consortium and the constant political work this organization deemed necessary to reinforce its legitimacy among growers. Erga omnes (toward all) means that a legal decision has the force of res judicata and is enforceable among all concerned, not just stakeholders, as in a contractual obligation. In the case of Chianti, this meant that the entire sector marketing Chianti wine, including those who were not members of the Chianti consortium, had to pay a share of the cost of the marketing undertaken by the consortium. As a result, the Chianti consortium gained legitimacy and hoped to attract major wine companies that were already marketing part of their production under the Chianti label. The director of the Chianti consortium highlighted the legitimacy this new legal status conferred: The consortium represents 40 percent of producers and 65 percent of the production eligible for the appellation. What does this recognition, in the light of European and national regulations, do? It allows us to tell the region or anyone else: “I  represent the Chianti appellation. Members of the consortium are funding the consortium by a membership fee. These are voluntary contributions.  .  .  . With erga omnes, the expenditures for the promotion of the appellation will affect not only the 2,500 producers who are members of the consortium, but will concern the whole chain. Members and non-members. Antinori, for instance, is not a member of the Chianti consortium—he recently became a member of the Chianti Classico consortium—but since he sells some Chianti, he will have to pay x euros for the promotional activities undertaken by the Chianti consortium. Whether he likes it or not. . . . When we were in China, we spoke about Chianti, we didn’t talk about company A  or B. We promoted Chianti. So Antinori benefited indirectly from the consortium’s work. And the regulation says that because he benefits from it, even indirectly, he has to contribute.15 The difficulties with enlisting big firms to participate in the collective brand strategy have remained considerable. This challenge has been particularly important for branded wines that are currently seen as selling more easily and at a better price as IGP wines, as Tuscan wines, or even as table wines than they would as AOCs.16 In addition to the extension of the legal capacities of the consortiums, one of the solutions that was being considered

15.  Interview with the director of Consorzio Chianti, Florence, 14 November 2012. 16.  E.g., Solaia, one of Antinori brands, which produces neither Chianti Classico nor Chianti. The same applies to Tignanello, which is priced three or four times higher than the average Chianti Classico.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   175

at the time of our fieldwork would consist of the Chianti Classico consortium modifying its own internal rules in order to create a superior category in the AOC, in order to attract major brands. Because the Chianti Classico consortium has an oversupply problem, it has sought to attract individual brands to limit competition with wines that obtain better commercial results outside the appellation. The Chianti case illustrates a contrast between a persistently strong, highly symbolic, and value-related commitment to AOCs and a form of territorial segmentation in which legitimating the AOC is still work in progress, especially for prestigious brands whose owners feel they get better results by going it alone. In contrast to the Bordelais, here contesting the legitimacy of the AOC has been carried out from the top by those who produce and sell the most noble wines of the area. Not surprisingly, this desynchronization between the local economic and bureaucratic fields has made legitimizing the bodies who run the AOC particularly difficult. Continuity with past practices has continued to dominate wine categories, but not without a certain number of significant destabilizations of the economic field in particular. Criticisms clearly remain and have often been exacerbated. For example, the official evaluation carried out by Italian consultants on behalf of the Commission in 2012 expressed regret that the proliferation of small AOCs and VdPs meant that many were not producing a volume sufficient “to tackle demanding segments of the market.”17 The same report emphasized that only in Belgium and Germany did supermarkets present such wines on separate shelves from non-GI wines.18 Nevertheless, as actors in La Rioja, the Chianti region, and the Bordeaux region continue to illustrate, many who believe in GIs, and AOCs in particular, now appear to be more committed than ever to these categories. Partly because not only their economic but also their emotional investments seem to be under threat, these actors have been at the forefront of the classification struggles that have largely kept the world of GIs much as it was before the EU’s 2008 reform.

Reinventing “Table Wines” by Abandoning Le Terroir Since the 1980s, the term table wine has become a stigma in most of Europe and elsewhere. It is potentially produced from grapes that could come from anywhere in the EU, and there are no rules about yield levels (volumes of wine produced per hectare). By the mid-2000s, many experts, merchants,

17.  COGEA 2012, 336. 18. Ibid., 249.

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and even growers felt that table wines had become virtually unmarketable. The solution that was first proposed by experts in the scientific field, much debated in the economic field, and then given bureaucratic shape by European Commission officials was to invent the new administrative category of Vin sans IGs and to encourage the marketing of wines in this category by grape varietal and by year. VSIGs with varietal information on labeling did not enter the market until 2011 when, at 4.6 million hectoliters they accounted for just 2 percent of total EU production (of which 68 percent came from Spain and 20 percent from France).19 Notwithstanding this modest impact, in certain AOC regions such as La Rioja, this change in categorization has caused considerable controversy and resistance. However, even in other AOC vineyards, such as Bordeaux, the new category has found considerable commercial, organizational, and political success. Indeed, although analysis must be made carefully because each harvest size and thus the volume of wine put on the market has affected the translation of VSIGs into grower and merchant behavior, this category appears to be institutionalizing itself across Europe in both the economic and bureaucratic fields. In short, a major plank of the EU’s 2008 reform is now widely viewed as a legitimate part of the industry’s government. Why is this so and how has this come about? Both the simplification of wine categories and the new labeling possibility VSIGs offered were warmly welcomed in the Spanish wine industry. For the president of the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino, prohibiting the indication of varietal names and years of production on table wines was always an absurdity. Large Spanish producers and merchants who saw this as a move toward a more market-oriented approach contributed to legitimizing the Commission’s initiative: We cannot make norms by thinking only about the production aspect. To elaborate norms, you have to think also about consumer markets. World consumption has changed, and world consumption is no longer just about wine-producing countries. . . . [In new consumer countries,] consumption depends more on the indication of grape varietal than on the geographical origin. It’s not a matter of proximity. A  North American consumer finds difficulties in locating where the Languedoc or the Alsace is. They have no idea. Or where Rioja or Navarra are. They know what Cabernet-Sauvignon is, what Chardonnay is. Simplicity. New consuming countries are looking for more simplicity. And we still have this ongoing dispute to determine whether the varietal names

19. “Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council in Accordance with Article 184(8) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 on the Experience Gained with the Implementation of the Wine Reform of 2008,” SWD (2012) 415 final, 10 December 2012, COM (2012) 737 final, 3.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   177

and years of production should be allowed for some wines and not for the others.20 However, drought contributed to a 30  percent decline in overall production of grapes in Spain over the period 2008–2012. This meant that although it was anticipated that Spanish growers would provide a great deal of the grapes for the new wines using the VSIG category and labeling indicating varietal names and year of production, this has yet to happen on a wide scale. Moreover, this issue area has a longer history with twists and turns that tell us a great deal about the organizational and political structure of the Spanish wine industry. Actors from this country had already attempted significant change before the CMO reform in 2006, when they introduced the category Viñedos de España. This category was created by the ministry of agriculture at the request of the FEV on the basis of a project the latter had begun in 1998 and had proposed to a previous Spanish government in 2003. As the FEV’s director-general, Rafael del Rey, emphasized at the time: This is a legal instrument designed to favor the development of our exports. The New World countries have shown that we can develop other segments of the market than just AOC wines. On the world market there is a range of consumers who discover wine and who are not necessarily connoisseurs. This new clientele is looking for wines with regular quality in a price range they can afford and with labels that are legible because they contain three essential points: the varietal, the year, and the geographical origin. This is the market segment we are aiming for with Viñedos de España.21 Despite, and sometimes because of, this support from the FEV, the creation of Viñedos de España provoked intense resistance from certain autonomous communities, in particular La Rioja and Castilla y León. Indeed the latter, or more precisely its Ribera del Duero GI, took the national government to court over this category. After lengthy legal wrangling, the Spanish Audiencia nacional struck down the decree that had created the Viñedos de España category. After modification, it was reintroduced, but it continued to cause controversy, this time at the European scale,22 because the Commission

20.  Interview with Rafael del Rey, president of the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino, Pozuelo de Alarcón, July 2012. 21.  “Espagne: Feu vert pour le vin des Vignobles d’Espagne,” quoted in http://www.viti, 13 Sep­ tember 2006, our translation. 22.  “Bruselas ignora los planes del Gobierno español de resucitar ‘Viñedos de España,’ ” Lo mejor del vino de Rioja, 24 July 2009.

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refused to accept that there was a proven link between the quality of the wine produced and its provenance from anywhere in Spain.23 While this court case rambled on, a range of actors from Spanish regions, including Castilla y Mancha (which many thought would see the Viñedos de España category as a solution for its table wines), put pressure on their national government to abandon the category once and for all. They finally achieved their goal in February 2011. As an interviewee from the government of La Rioja put it, this category was stigmatized as a fraud: “Ultimately Viñedos de España would use a GI for getting rid of no matter what table wine that comes from just anywhere in the country, without any form of control.”24 Similarly, according to an interviewee from one of the largest farmers’ unions in Spain (the Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Agricultores y Ganaderos), opposition to this category was principally fueled by fears about the effect it would have not only on the wine sold with this label but more generally on the image of all wines sold with a country as its main labeling message: Who controls the quality of a wine that wears the label Vin de France? If I buy a bottle of Vin de France and it’s undrinkable I won’t buy French wine anymore. . . . It’s a category that the wine merchants (la industria) looked favorably on because the British consumer, who does not know Bordeaux or other such wine areas, looks for the country, sees Vin de France and says, “Ok, I’ll buy that.” But then “Ah, disgusting, never again.” It’s a risk.25 Significantly, however, as representatives of the Spanish ministry of agriculture underlined in interviews, the new rules for wines without GIs meant that the name Viñedos de España no longer had any justification: the EU now authorizes the practices its supporters wanted without raising issues for the rest of Spanish wine. While the first part of this statement is now accepted throughout the Spanish wine industry, the point made about the issues it raises is certainly not. In particular, actors from DOP regions, and La Rioja in particular, have consistently opposed the putting of varietals and years on labels.26 As the Riojan minister for agriculture underlined to us on interview: We don’t like how the reform tends to eliminate the distinction between quality wines and the rest. . . . We think wines from specific re-

23.  “Bruselas insta a modificar ‘Viñedos de España. La resolución llega tras un recurso presentado por el Gobierno de la Rioja,”, 12 May 2010, https://navactiva2013.wordpress. com/2010/05/12/bruselas-insta-a-modificar-vinedos-de-espana-_50848/, accessed 12 May 2012. 24.  Interview with the regional minister of agriculture and livestock, government of the Rioja Logroño, July 2011. 25.  Interview with a member of COAG, Madrid, February 2011. 26.  This political work has been reinforced by the fact that this region’s president, Pedro Sanz Alonso, became chair of the Assemblée des regions européennes vitivinicoles in 2002. He served until 2004 and has continued to be an honorary president of this body ever since.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   179

gions should be given priority. . . . We were therefore very much against other wines being authorized to put the year and the varietal on their labels . . . and this when there are no controls on its quality in order to protect the consumer.27 The president of this wine region’s Consejo Regulador, Victor Pascual, reiterated this analysis on interview and went further by focusing on issues of market positioning: Ultimately, the problem about the different criteria we had with many Spanish regions and with the central administration concerned the risk of altering the Rioja’s image of quality as compared to other Spanish wines. A further strategic mistake was made on this point. They wanted to reproduce the same system as Vin de France. Vin de France is very well presented. Their image, as a country, is better than the Spanish one.28 The director-general of Rioja’s Consejo Regulador went further into this idea that one needed to be thinking about this issue from a medium to long-term perspective: Fortunately, Rioja as a region benefits today from a favorable situation. Rioja produces 270  million litres, and sells 270  million. As a consequence, there is no need to search for alternatives. But our thinking is that this kind of strategy [Viñedos de España] would end up producing wine that, in our view, competes on the same market. If, in the end, demand is low, if the market is saturated, the fact that these wines prosper means that others are failing. . . . As a consequence, the market does not expand. The mistake consists in thinking that this will multiply the volume of wines that can be sold.29 In conclusion, the irony is that the category of VSIG was largely problematized and instrumented in order to provide new channels through which Spanish wines would access the market and, eventually, obtain increasing prices. Moreover, the Commission in particular had hoped that Spanish actors from across the industry would get behind the new category. In practice, and despite favorable positions taken by national merchant organizations,

27.  Interview with the regional minister of agriculture and livestock, government of the Rioja, Logroño, July 2011. 28. Interview with the president of the Consejo Regulador of Rioja,, Logroño, November 2011. 29.  Interview with the director-general of the Consejo Regulador of Rioja, Logroño, November 2011.

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this has not occurred, partly because supply has been disrupted by other challenges (drought, grubbing out, the end of distillation) and partly because the most strident commentators on this reform have been its opponents. Whereas many such commentators had thought that VSIGs would attract little support in France, a country where 80 percent of its national vineyard is currently eligible for GIs, in practice this new category has encountered some commercial successes, and increased legitimacy in the economic field, while support has also grown in the bureaucratic field. Nevertheless, some deep uncertainties still remain. On the commercial front, there has been an increase of 56  percent in trade of wines sold as VSIGs in bulk over the first two years since this category was introduced (137 million euros’ worth in 2010; 151 million euros’ worth in 2011; 213 million euros’ worth in 2012). In addition, the amount of VSIGs sold with mention of varietals has more than tripled over the same period (300,000 hectoliters in 2009–2010; 750,000 hectoliters in 2010–2011; 1,045,000 hectoliters in 2011–2012).30 Exports of French VSIGs (excluding sparkling wines) have increased an average of 3.1 percent by volume per year and 6.6 percent by value. Finally, for the label Vins de France in general (i.e., with or without varietal and year mentioned), production in 2011–2012 was up 53 percent in 2010–2011 to 3.3 million hectoliters. In 2013, 1.8 million hectoliters of Vin de France were sold.31 This figure is 18 percent less than that for 2012, a drop largely attributed to the fact that a great deal of destocking occurred in the first year that did not occur in the second. Sixty-three percent of this trade occurred without varietals attached to the product. Despite such fluctuations, these figures have been welcomed and used to legitimize the category of VSIGs at the national scale. Here the emergence of a revitalized interprofessional body (the Association Nationale Interprofessionnelle des Vins de France) has emerged around the collective brand Vins de France. Committed to producing wine that does not intimidate the consumer and to the expansion of its production, the association replaced what was formerly the National Association of Vins de Tables. Significantly, its president since spring 2013 has been Bruno Kessler, former director of purchasing of France’s biggest wine merchant (Grands Chais de France) and a longtime advocate of selling French wine in novel, unconventional ways. Meanwhile, at a regional scale it was always anticipated that wines from Languedoc-Roussillon would be the most directly affected by this part of the 30.  Two-thirds of this wine is red and one-third is white. Much of the white is used to make sparkling wines, a market that is continuing to expand. Egmont Labadie, “VSIG et IGP, avec ou sans cépage: les gagnants et les perdants des transformations du marché,”, 2 July 2012,­ lesgagnants-et-les-perdants-des-transformations-du-marche.html, accessed 16 October 2015. 31.  FranceAgriMer, “Note de conjoncture. L’analyse économique de FranceAgriMer Vin,” Février 2014, nco-vin-noteconjoncture-c13-14-s26-m06.pdf.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   181

CMO reform. In this region, change in EU categorization has been experienced as direct competition between VSIG marketed as varietal-centered wines and their sixty-two Vins de Pays (Pays d’Oc wines, which include four département-labeled wines and fifty-seven local ones). These wines were invented in the 1970s and 1980s to encourage growers to move away from mass production of cheap wine. For a number of years, at least in terms of prices and profits for those who remained in business, the latter part of this strategy was successful. Today VSIGs in general and those with varietals on the label in particular are seen in the region either as a threat to what they have achieved or an opportunity to protect their system by going further in the skillful use of a variety of wine categories (VdPs, AOCs, and VSIGs). Reactions have sometimes been combative, particularly when VdP growers have accepted an increase in levies to fund improved quality and marketing; this has provoked opposition to levies. Some growers have even refused to pay them.32 However, a strong tendency remains to at first belittle VSIGs as wines produced in the name of low cost and volume and then to wish that they would somehow fit into the region’s new “pluralist” model of production.33 As seductive as the term pluralist may appear, at the microlevel (the wine farm or the cooperative), coping with the production, processing, and marketing rules that pertain to each category of wine today is a constant challenge. It is thus no surprise that one of the Languedoc-Roussillon’s leading wine economists, Hervé Hanin, concluded in November 2013 that the region is yet again experiencing a historical turning point, the outcome of which is deeply uncertain.34 Meanwhile, in the rest of France the adoption of the VSIG category has surpassed expectations, including in regions previously wedded to the AOC model. The Bordelais alone accounted for 300,000 hectoliters of VSIG wines in 2011–2012. In interview, many actors in the Aquitaine said that the invention of the VSIG category does not directly concern them, but large wine merchants in several French vineyards are clearly on board. The development over time of one such merchant’s approach to the category Vin de France is revealing: Two years ago we would have said “this is nonsense”: it would disrupt everything and create confusion because it is just administrative. It was communautaire, legalistic, but it would not help much at all. However, 32.  Michele Tastavy, “Pays d’Oc: de nouveaux moyens pour faire face à la menace des Vins sans IG,”, 14 December  2011, 33.  Fédération Inter Sud de France, Plan stratégique régional, February 2013. This report can be obtained from the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc (write to dgcivl@ 34.  Presentation given at the Université de la vigne et du vin, Pays Corbières et Minervois, Lézignan, 13 November 2013.

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once we had reflected on this, we said it might be useful in export markets, to help us fight New World wines with the same weapons. So we said “Let’s try to build something here.”35 When asked specifically about Vins de France in an interview, a wine merchant and former president of the CIVB, Bordeaux’s interprofession, declared: “I have always supported this notion. For basic wines this is a very good idea. It’s a simplification of supply—so long as one does not just put crap in it because that would not only destroy other things, it would damage the image of France too.”36 However, due largely to successive low harvests in the south of France, this country’s volume of production has been marked by shortfalls in the supply of VSIG wines that is currently having commercial and political effects. These shortfalls are also partly due to the fact that many other Bordelais producers refused until 2011 to declassify their AOC wines and sell them without Bordeaux’s famous GI. As the following quote from another wine merchant who is closely linked to the cooperative movement reveals, the issue seems highly structured by symbols and identities. For such actors, wines without GIs “belong to another conception of production. What would going in that direction imply? It would mean producing in fields that are of a lesser quality. . . . No, no, there is a beautiful AOC called Bordeaux, and we just need to continue working on our image and the quality of our wines.”37 Despite the persistence of such attitudes, in 2011, 130,000 hectoliters of wine from the Aquitaine’s cooperatives were sold as VSIGs (up from 30,000 in 2010).38 Representatives of producers of Bordeaux wines now see the VSIG category as a way of regulating the market for AOC wines. However, they do not consider this category will play a major long-term role in the future of the Bordelais. A local wine merchant framed the situation by emphasizing that the volume of wine sold as VSIGs in the Bordelais has helped to temporarily balance supply and demand: But in the long term I consider that Bordeaux does not have the right assets to produce VSIGs regularly. Many don’t agree. There are regions that can produce 100 hectoliters per hectare. They say that rather than being at 50 we could be at 80 . . . . But my fear is that we have a climate that is too difficult. If we try to increase yields too much we will have

35.  Interview with a representative of a large wine merchandising company, Blanquefort, September 2010. 36.  Interview with former president of CIVB, Bordeaux, November 2010. 37.  Interview with the director of a wine merchandising company, Bordeaux, February 2011. 38.  FranceAgrimer, “Tableaux mensuels des transactions vrac de vin de France sans IG de la campagne 2010–2011,” FranceAgrimer, 15 February 2012, content/download/12791/90804/file/vsig-2010-2011.pdf, accessed 17 October 2015.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   183

problems with our grapes not being ripe or mature. And that the consumer would not want, not at any price.39 While accepting such arguments, another merchant thinks that things could and should have been tackled more directly and overtly: We have missed out on three years of equilibrium that we could have had if this project had been built in a way that was easier to understand. It was administrative, technical. Instead it should have been presented two or three years ago to growers from an angle that would have highlighted its use on the markets, for competition and commerce. . . . Instead it has been seen as “ah yes, it’s interesting for the merchants because they are going to buy cheaper.” But that is not what has happened at all! . . . . And those who cannot sell their Vins de Pays can sell it as a varietal Vin de France. There don’t have to be losers. . . . But this new hierarchization of wine has been badly sold.40 This question of how VSIGs are politically represented is indeed crucial. A leading actor in the Languedoc-Roussillon, Bernard Devic (the former director of Val d’Orbieu and chair of the group that produced the region’s 2013 strategy), publically proclaimed the need for a national strategy for VSIGs that “puts an end to ‘the waltz of hypocrites’ [le bal des faux-culs] where nobody admits to producing them but produces them nonetheless, particularly in the Bordelais.”41 As this variety of opinions highlights, the VSIG category continues to divide opinion at the French scale of the economic field. Suspicions of fraud linked to these wines do not help matters.42 As the sales of wine in this category testify, productive and commercial practices are beginning to change. But the category itself continues to benefit from relatively little organizational and politically voiced support. Indeed, some bureaucratic actors, including a civil servant from the ministry of agriculture, continue to proclaim that “VSIGs are not a category, they are a rubbish bin for all the wines that one does not know how to sell elsewhere.”43 For the moment at least, the

39.  Interview with a wine merchant, Bordeaux, June 2011. 40.  Interview with a representative of a large wine merchandising company, Blanquefort, September 2010. 41.  Presentation given at the Université de la vigne et du vin, Pays Corbières et Minervois, Lézignan, 13 November 2013. 42. See the media attention given to the government report at “Vins sans indication géographique: la DGCCRF a enquêté,” 25 July  2013, enquete-dgccrf-vins-sans-indication-geographique, accessed 18 May 2015. 43. Interview with a civil servant in the French ministry of agriculture, Paris, November 2013.

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symbols and ties to the values that are so frequently invoked around wine are virtually all on the side of those with GIs, as are most of the resources in the classification struggles that separate GI wines from VSIGs. The future of the VSIG category in France is impossible to predict with any precision, but it clearly depends as much on the dedramatization of AOCs and VdPs as it does on its own legitimation and commercial success. In Italy, the fact that producers of VSIGs can indicate varietal names and year of production on labeling provoked considerable resistance among actors from the economic field, notably among the federations of producers of quality wines, producers’ unions, and cooperatives. In line with the discourse of the European Commission and the CEEV, for representatives of the Legacoop federation of cooperatives, the entire concept of grape varietals is seen as an invention that was designed for the consumer’s benefit and thus as an alternative to a European system of origin wines that is perceived as too complex. However, according to actors from Legacoop, this issue is also one of traceability, which they feel is not as well guaranteed for VSIGs as it is for GI wines. Legacoop thus perceives VSIGs as confirmation of the Commission’s liberal intentions, its market logic, and its goal of boosting the competitiveness of ordinary wines in order to benefit big merchant companies: Who put the pressure on the EU to authorize the mention of years of production and varietal names for these ordinary wines? The northern [countries’] industry. Because it is clear that if I buy a GI wine from a grower at a good price, it is also obvious that if I just buy a varietal wine, I can obtain a less structured price and I can make blends, etc. So the actor who is favored is not the grower, the farmer, the wine maker or his cooperative, but the industry. On this point, the Commission opened the door to “the industry.” Including the Spanish one.44 Italian reluctance with regard to the category of wine without GIs also stems from tensions in the bureaucratic field over the wide variety of grape varietals in this country. This makes the issue of labeling particularly complex. In Italy, varietals are usually related to a territory and an appellation. In fact, many wines are named according to the varietal and the GI (such as Sagrantino di Montefalco). Italian actors did advocacy work to prevent what constituted, in their view, a complete liberalization of variety labeling. As a result, each member state can decide which variety name will be protected. When the variety is not related to a territory, it cannot be used to label an ordinary wine. The Italian ministry of agriculture, food, and forestry decreed on 23 December 2009 that only seven international varieties (Cabernet franc, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon,

44.  Interview with a member of Legacoop Agroalimentare, Rome, November 2012.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   185

Syrah) could be used for Italy’s ordinary VSIG (Vini fermi).45 Contrasting this restrictive Italian model with the way varietal names are used in France and Spain, some observers have criticized the Italian position as too conservative and as leading to lost market opportunities.46 According to the reformed CMO and the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, however, a varietal name can no longer be protected as such except if it refers to one single appellation (such as the Sagrantino di Montefalco in Umbria, or Brunello di Montalcino in Tuscany) (Albisinni 2012, 171). In contrast, grape varietals produced under different appellations could not benefit from EU protection in order to comply with international norms. A representative of the Legacoop federation of cooperatives saw this as a danger:47 Here’s an example, the Verdicchio, which is a typical wine from the Marche. But it is produced under different appellations, Verdicchio di. . . . On this specific point, the Commission said: “I cannot defend you at the international scale. Because they are not exclusive. They are not exclusively linked to the name of the appellation.” As a consequence, the U.S., through the TRIPS agreement [Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights], can claim the right to use the name of this grape varietal. And the Commission says: “Yes, unfortunately, the TRIPS agreement has to be obeyed.” And why is it terrible for us? Of course, if the wine comes from an unknown zone, they will have no interest in planting it in the US. But as soon as it starts becoming attractive on markets . . .—Primitivo and the famous Zinfandel, for instance.48 And the risk is that they will plant this varietal in Australia and compete with us. Because then the wine returns here in a bottle and with a name!49 As a result, the new EU regulatory framework has generated political work to reinstitutionalize wine categories at the local scale. The case of the Prosecco name is emblematic in this respect. Prosecco was the name of a grape varietal used by distinct appellations and GIs in the northeast of Italy.

45.  The choice was slightly broader for sparkling wines (spumanti). 46.  Flamini Carlo, “Varietali italiani: un bel favore a Francia e Spagna,” Corriere Vinicolo 28 (2010): 1, quoted in Pomarici (2012, 211). 47.  Legacoop is a federation of cooperatives that, initially at least, were run by actors close to communist or socialist parties. It has always competed with the Confcooperative, a federation historically linked to the Christian Democrat party. 48.  See A. Rose, “The Zinfandel and Primitivo Controversy,” The Independent (London), 19 April 2003,, accessed 24 May 2015. 49.  Interview with a member of Legacoop Agroalimentare, Rome, November 2012.

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According to the 2008 regulation, it was impossible to protect this name, and given the success of this sparkling wine, Prosecco began to be produced in Germany and Australia. As a reaction to their new competitors, Veneto actors applied for a GI for a small territory called Prosecco in the Friul region and managed to obtain at the national level an official label, DOC Prosecco, in 2009. From being the name of a grape varietal, Prosecco became a geographical name, thus gaining protection according to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. This example illustrates well both the new institutional constraints that apply even to wine without GIs and the room for strategic and political maneuvering that remains. Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto region and a member of the Northern League, played a decisive role in the recategorization of Prosecco. According to one expert: In Veneto, this former councilor of agriculture, then minister, used the Prosecco for political reasons, for his electoral machine. And it worked out fairly well. He obtained a lot of votes. He achieved an extension of the Prosecco zone, which had never been done before in Italy. Prosecco was a small territory; he made it a region. And nowadays, it’s one of the few wines that are selling well.50 Recategorization has thus proved to be highly politicized in Italy, where the defense of terroir wines has engendered political work to associate some local names and varietals more closely in order to create or update existing GIs. At the same time, as seen in the case of Bordeaux, the VSIG category has created a profitable commercial outlet for many actors, including those who operate in DOC zones. In the Chianti, production of Vin sans IG has enabled certain growers to pursue a two-sided strategy, one centered on the DOC and the other based on using the more flexible conditions of production. These growers are better able to adapt to consumer demand, as the president of the Chianti Consorzio: I have to say that our growers, apart from Chianti, also produce IGP, IGT and even table wines. So, in the end . . . the fact that this wine is produced “freely,” without the discipline, the constraints on yields per hectare, the color, etc., makes it much easier to manage. There is an enormous flexibility with regard to the market. From this perspective, it’s an opportunity. An example: we went to China, we ate Chinese food, etc. and we brought some wine with us. Chianti. Chianti Rufina, etc. Major wines. But when we showed our Chianti to the Chinese, it irritated their taste buds. They did not appreciate it. So for this market

50.  Interview with an Italian wine expert, Tavernella Val di Pesa, June 2012.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   187

we need a sweeter wine. But I have a discipline, a regulation that says that for the Chianti I cannot have more than 4 grams of sugar per liter. [But] if I go there with a varietal wine, I don’t have any limitation. I can do the sweet wine for the Chinese. And another type of wine for the Japanese.51 In sum, as in Bordeaux, the official representatives of Chianti continue to underline the superiority of DOP wines in global and Italian hierarchies of symbols and values. However, at the same time VSIGs are also being used in this region as pragmatic commercial outlets because of their greater flexibility. As elsewhere, the economic field is currently out of sync with its bureaucratic counterpart over categorization. Classification struggles have of course taken place. However, for the moment at least, these struggles have produced considerable confusion, and the degree of legitimacy of this aspect of the EU’s 2008 reform is not yet clear in Italy. In Romania, the creation of the VSIG category has reignited a preexisting intranational debate. More precisely, major wineries oriented toward the internal market see it as a way to limit competition for market share. At the heart of this controversy is the fact that small producers in this country have persisted in using the category table wine (Vinul de masa) to sell a wine whose only requirement is that it contain at least 8.5 percent alcohol and indicate the level of sugar on its label at low prices. These norms have not always been applied to the letter but, when Romania began the pre-accession process for entering the EU in 2006, it removed unauthorized products that had previously been sold as wine from the market. Since the 2008 CMO reform replaced table wines with VSIGs, the waters have been muddied in the Romanian wine industry, especially because the ability to indicate varietals on table wines has sparked considerable resistance. Powerful supporters of this way of presenting wine have come to the fore in the shape of two interest groups that have supporters in the bureaucratic field—the PNVV and the ONIV—both of which are strongly backed by large wine-producing companies. These actors do not feel that the new EU legislation imposes excessive constraints on them or forces them to raise their prices. On the contrary, they maintain that this legislation helps them compete with the small producers who currently have captured a significant part of the internal market: Those small producers cannot engage in strong distribution networks. Yes, there is room for some small producers, for restaurants, for specialized shops, for consumers looking for bizarre wines, I mean wines that

51.  Interview with a member of Consorzio Chianti, Florence, November 2012.

188  Implementing Change

don’t taste like any others. But this is a very small part of the market. In an economy that functions normally, there is not room for all these small producers.52 These actors also feel that adopting the VSIG category and its requirements is a means of eliminating competitors whose practices they denounce as unfair. In particular, they target Romanian firms who import VSIG in bulk from Spain and Italy to mix it with local wines and sell it very cheaply. Because it is more expensive to grow and process grapes in Romania than it is to import foreign wine in bulk (Roger 2008, 2012), the PNVV and the ONIV have sought to stigmatize such practices: At the moment, the consumer’s priority is to find the cheapest wine. When they go to the supermarket, they choose the cheapest. So they take products from firms that mix Spanish wine. What happens in Spain? They sell wine that can be imported here at 20 centimes a liter. Container loads arrive in the ports of Giurgiu and Constan¸ta. This wine is bought by Romanian companies who then make mixtures. OK, this is not good wine, but at the price it is sold at we cannot compete.53 The category “table wine” is not playing its economic role. It is much too broad. Within it one can find just about anything, including wines sold by firms who are not doing the honest thing. One finds very suspicious wines next to genuine ones. This category needs to be removed and we need more selective criteria that enable the consumer to find trustworthy products. We can do this without raising prices. But we need to sort the wheat from the chaff and get rid of those who mix wines.54 As these quotes underline, the VSIG category has frequently been used to legitimize mention of varietals on labels as a necessity not just for commercial reasons but because it allows producers to meet the expectations of “new consumers”:55 Studies show that young consumers are having trouble understanding the complexity of wine. They are looking for varietal wines that are easier to understand. Young consumers say “I prefer Merlots” or “I prefer the Grasa de Cotnari.” . . . We don’t have the culture of terroirs, or of

52.  Interview with a representative of PNVV, Bucharest, July 2010. 53. Ibid. 54.  Interview with a representative of PNVV, Bucharest, August 2010. 55.  We use “new consumer” not as neutral and descriptive category but as a term used as a weapon by many of the actors we have studied.

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   189

touristic routes du vin. We are just starting to develop this. But the best way of giving information to the consumer is through the varietal.56 The PNVV and the ONIV have managed to convince key actors in the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of economy and trade of the merits of their positions. In December  2013, the government sent a bill on wine policy to Parliament that aimed to put an end to wine mixing. Although the bill has yet to become law, this political work reveals how coincidences between the economic and bureaucratic fields have adopted the categories proposed by the 2008 reform as a means of removing commercial and political competitors from markets and from public decision making. In summary, at the scale of the EU’s wine-producing areas as a whole, rigorous, EU-wide information still needs to be generated about the commercial and practical effects of the introduction of wine without GIs. Representatives of the Commission place the blame for relatively low levels of adoption on actors in the wine professions. Many operators have not awakened to the changes and the opportunities they offer. . . . The danger at the moment is that AOC regions, notably Bordeaux, will use this category to sell the low-quality AOC wine. But this category was deliberately created . . . for wines expressly made for the varietal wine market. It is a problem of grower short-termism. And this problem is strong in the south of France too. Yes, they’ve reduced the number of their GIs but they still have as much trouble reaching agreement among themselves.57 Nevertheless, as a category, wines without GIs appears to have developed some legitimacy among producers and merchants in the economic field. New voices in both of these professions have supported this category. Indeed, studying their work in classification struggles will be highly revealing over the years to come because it will enable researchers to ascertain whether durable shifts between and within the categories of European wine have occurred. Have the changes in wine categories introduced by the 2008 reform simplified how European wines are structured and presented? Have they resegmented markets? More fundamentally, has the reform shifted the meanings attached to different types of wines for growers and merchants and for consumers? For the moment, because of the blind faith that for so long has led actors to remain invested in AOCs as a category, one can be skeptical about

56.  Interview with a representative of ONIV, Bucharest, August 2010. 57.  Interview with a representative of the European Commission, Brussels, December 2012.

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each of these issues. While GIs continue to be problematized and legitimized as instruments of collective and public action, the case for wines without GIs has yet to be made. For many growers, the latter continue to bear the stigma of vins de table. Ironically, however, VSIGs have met with some commercial success, thus underlining a gap in the main preoccupations of this industry’s economic and bureaucratic fields in Europe. History tells us that when economics and politics—more precisely, the economic and bureaucratic fields linked to an industry—find more compatible alignments, this is a key part of the institutionalization of policy instruments. Contrary to common opinion, conflict is often the only means by which alignments can happen because it helps convince actors to make compromises and accept change. From this angle, our comparison of four wine regions provides revealing similarities and differences. On the one hand, actors in the Rioja and Romania remain as strongly wedded to European categorizations of wine as they were before the 2008 reform. On the other, actors from Bordeaux and Chianti have loosened up their previous certainties and appear ready for both economic and political change. As so often happens, the road to EU-wide legitimation seems long and sinuous. That road will have to pass through each wine region before the new wine categorizations are fully legitimated. These uncertainties illustrate well that the process of institutionalization of this aspect of the 2008 reform is still unfolding. The debate over the categorization of wines shows the added value of our approach to economic and political change. Debates over wine categorizations are classification struggles that require study that delves deeply into the internal struggles that structure the economic and bureaucratic fields in particular. Indeed, such debates are expressions of struggles between hierarchies and positions in the economic and bureaucratic fields. Far from being simple, fluid networks, as supporters of actor-network theory would have it, fields have been built, consolidated historically, and continue to rely heavily on the symbolic ordering this history has bequeathed. Every change in wine categorization is thus an expression of institutional change because it implies shifts in the meanings, symbols, and values at stake. Challenging the order of wine classifications amounts to redefining what the actors involved perceive as just and unjust (Jullien and Smith 2014; Fourcade 2012). These value judgments have not necessarily coincided across the economic and bureaucratic fields. In addition, these struggles vary according to each territory. As we have seen, in Bordeaux, actors have recently striven to escape from the established hierarchies between “noble” and “vile” classifications but are having great difficulty doing so. In this case, purely rationalist accounts (as proposed by institutionalist economists) or analysis in terms of “equipping calculations” (as supporters of actor-network theory propose) fail to provide satisfying explanations because they overlook hierarchical, symbolic, and value-based elements of explanation. In contrast, analysis that

From New Wine Categories to Resegmented Markets?   191

uses the lens of structured contingency embraces hierarchy, symbols, and values by integrating them firmly within the objects studied using our concept of political work—work that is closely linked to shifts within and between fields and thus institutional change. Crucially, the political work that has been undertaken at the level of territories and provinces regarding changes in categorization has given birth to different degrees of legitimation. Although wines without GIs have begun to acquire some legitimacy among some producers and many merchants in the economic field as a consequence of the reform, this legitimacy is far from fully fledged. Contrary to what sociological institutionalism would claim, the recategorization of wines imposed by the EU’s reform has not played the role of an exogenous shock that has disrupted internal equilibria. Rather, the ground for change was laid by internal struggles in the scientific, economic, and bureaucratic fields that frequently anticipated the EU’s reform. The debate in Spain over the Viñedos de España category is one example, while in Italy considerable confusion resulted from the classification and categorization struggles in the economic and the bureaucratic fields that weakened the legitimacy of this aspect of the EU reform. In Romania, the creation of the VSIG category reactivated a preexisting intranational debate and was seen by certain producers as means of limiting competition for market share. Ultimately, then, the difficult and differentiated process of building legitimacy for this aspect of the 2008 reform reveals most clearly that institutional orders are the product of relations in fields and of the resonances that may or may not accidently arise between them.


Microeconomic Support New Instruments in Old Bottles?

Although the 2008 reform placed a great deal of emphasis on regulatory policy tools as a means of reprogramming markets, the EU has not abandoned all budgetary support for the wine industry. Instead, from the time of the Commission’s initial proposal, one objective of the reform was to transfer much of the money previously spent on distilling surplus wine and grubbing out vines to microeconomic measures aimed at improving the competitiveness of individual firms and regional vineyards. During the negotiation in the Council of Ministers, this goal was strengthened by the invention of the notion of national envelopes that authorized member state governments to give differing levels of support to their growers and merchants through two types of subsidies: one to support marketing of EU wines in non-EU countries and the other for investments to improve a firm’s production or processing capacity. These subsidies were designed to promote a better balance between “supply” and “demand” in the market and improve the status of EU wines.1 The fact that the 2008 reform included microeconomic measures in the 2008 reform weakens any analysis of it as simply and totally neoliberal. Regulationist explanations that focus on changes in accumulation regimes that led to full liberalization of previous EU policy instruments fail to explain the substantial role microeconomic support played in the reform. Far from constituting a remnant of a former interventionism that was conceded to pressure groups from the economic field, this aid was the heart of the reform agenda. Bureaucratic interventions of this type aim to support the competi-

1.  Throughout this chapter, we do not use “new consumer,” “supply,” and “demand” as neutral and descriptive categories.

Microeconomic Support  193

tiveness and modernization of firms. Studying the implementation phase of this measure is a key means of grasping the institutionalization of the reform. The differentiated implementation of microeconomic aid reveals the complex interactions, resonances, and dissonances between the economic and bureaucratic fields that cannot be seen as merely the result of opportunistic behavior by firms seeking to control their transaction costs, as institutionalist economics would emphasize. Rather, the processes of legitimization/delegitimization that have taken place across the economic and the bureaucratic fields has been driven by other issues, including symbolic and value-related ones, that require an alternative theoretical explanation. Although far from original in an industry in Europe where types of governmental aid for investment and marketing have existed for decades, these measures were nonetheless presented as a new start for EU intervention in the wine industry. The actors we studied and interviewed differ widely over whether a new and European microeconomic policy has actually begun. Commercial operators and their representatives, but also bureaucrats and politicians, have made a variety of choices about which measures would be included in their national envelopes and how these measures should be interpreted at the scale of each vineyard. For example, although marketing and restructuration or reconversion grants have been used throughout the countries studied here, this has not been the case for grants for investment within a firm (frequently used in France but rarely in Spain, Italy, and Romania). Analysis of the implementation of these microeconomic measures illustrates that the ongoing process of institutionalization of the reform was more intense than ever while these measures were being implemented. The political work of problematization, instrumentation, and legitimization has deepened during this phase, going far beyond mere enforcement of rules and procedures. These findings confirm this book’s central hypothesis that full institutionalization of institutional change will only occur when its content is accepted as fitting with actor practices. Synchronization between the economic and bureaucratic fields is a precondition for this level of institutionalization. Policy specialists have emphasized for years that analysis of implementation and its varied outcomes must take into account the features of the policy program, the aggregated behavior of formal implementers, and the reactions of targeted groups (Pressman and Wildavsky 1973; Mény and Thoenig 1989). We have refined this broad approach with our focus on institutional orders, fields, and political work. This avoids an unhelpful distinction between formal policy makers and policy recipients. The microeconomic intervention studied here has had an impact on a wide range of actors involved in the wine industry’s commercial institutional relationship (essentially related to grants for marketing) and financial institutional relationship (related to grants for within-firm investment, restructuring, and reconversion). Struggles around each of these two relationships have been shaped by the

194  Implementing Change

changing structure of the economic and bureaucratic fields, thus creating contingency and space for agency. This space has been occupied by actors who have problematized what the EU’s Council of Ministers defined as legitimate microeconomic aid and shaped its policy instruments. These actors have sought to confer legitimacy on both processes through cognitive, discursive, and symbolic action. Although classical policy analysis (and indeed institutionalist economics) has shown that public intervention of the type analyzed here often produces movement away from initial goals and has hypothesized correctly that such measures can produce discrimination among the targeted groups (Mény and Thoenig 1989, 243), our analysis goes further by interpreting the meaning assigned to these measures. Although analysis of actor behavior is often reduced to observations of budgetary spending (which, in this case, led here to globally positive evaluations of the implementation of microeconomic grants), even the EU’s apparently most consensual measures (such as subsidies for marketing) have generated controversy about the distribution of funds or the procedures for allocating funds, all of which shed light on the internal and territorial fragmentation of the wine industry. These controversies have not necessarily amounted to disruptive political work that, according to sociological institutionalists (Lawrence and Suddaby 2006), could have altered the course of the reform as a whole. Rather, they remind us of the capacity of actors in the economic field to reflect on and react to the European policies that affect them and their national intermediaries. More than a top-down institutional framework, the microeconomic dimension of the CMO reform constitutes a new selective set of contingencies (Hay 2002, 131). These have allowed certain actors to reshape parts of the institutional order of the wine industry, notably by developing their multi­ scalar resources. Overall, EU subsidies for marketing and investment, which growers and merchants generally perceived as positive incentives for modernization and development, have contributed to the legitimation of the 2008 reform as a whole. But whether this has actually made the European wine industry more competitive remains open to question. Not surprisingly, Commission representatives firmly believe they have. For example, in 2012 they attributed many promising statistics to the reform (notably a drop in the oversupply of EU wines, an increase in exports, and a stabilization of demand).2 But such trends can also be traced to a succession of bad harvests and the increase in demand for a small range of European wines in China. In contrast, a 2012

2.  See “Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council in Accordance with Article 184(8) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 on the Experience Gained with the Implementation of the Wine Reform of 2008,” SWD(2012) 415 final, 10 December 2012, COM(2012) 737 final.

Microeconomic Support  195

COGEA evaluation report, which the European Commission itself commissioned, was cautious in its conclusions about the impact of the marketing measures on competitiveness.3 The report emphasized the difficulties many small firms had in accessing subsidies, especially in the recent times of economic crisis that have been particularly acute in southern European countries. The evaluation concludes that more significant results were obtained from restructuration/reconversion measures because they encouraged growers to modernize their vines.4 The report provides little evidence that a wider cross-section of European vineyards drew strength from the microeconomic aid the reform provided and underwent structural change in the direction the Commission has been seeking since the mid-2000s. Many of our research results resonate with these conclusions. However, in keeping with our theoretical approach, this chapter will insist on the plurality of interpretations linked to positions in fields that these measures generated during their implementation. We will also focus on why the meaning of these microeconomic measures has not necessarily stabilized in the territories studied by highlighting the conflicts over procedures, norms, and values that this part of the reform has fueled. This chapter provides a further illustration of our effort to explain institutional change or the reproduction of institutions by referring to the struggles within fields (here essentially the economic and the bureaucratic fields) and the accidental resonances between these fields that conflicts have sometimes brought about. In particular, analysis of the microeconomic support from the EU will illustrate our constructivist-institutionalist position by stressing the potential shifts in legitimacy that this part of the reform opened up. We aim to go further than the standard version of historical institutionalism by highlighting the ongoing political work related to rules and practices during the implementation phase of this public policy. Unlike the debate over planting rights, the microeconomic aspect of the CMO reform has not been highly politicized. However, it would be misleading to limit analysis of this observation to the apparent consensus that this set of instruments generated in the economic and bureaucratic fields during the negotiation of the reform in 2007–2008. Instead, during the implementation of the reform, conflicts and struggles within and resonances between fields emerged, engendering doubts about the efficiency of its policy instruments. Even though these struggles have been more confined and less publicized (Gilbert and Henry 2012) than other issues linked to the reform, the implementation of microeconomic aid has also generated substantial political work, especially by mobilizing values at the scales of vineyards, states, and the EU.

3.  COGEA 2012, 200. 4. Ibid., 153.

196  Implementing Change

Subsidies for Promotion: Helping Who to Do What? Based on the postulate that Europe’s growers and merchants needed assistance to open up or further penetrate third-country markets, the 2008 reform placed considerable emphasis on providing subsidies for marketing campaigns. The EU has financed 50 percent of the cost of such projects, the other 50  percent being provided by the project holder (either individual companies or a regional interprofessional body). Of course, because not all such projects can be financed, selection procedures and criteria have been established that have tended either to change existing collective marketing practices or to reproduce previous ones. It is precisely in these rules and their interpretation that differences in national and local practices can be observed and the cleavages that underlie them can be revealed. This is particularly so because at the regional scale support from the EU for the marketing of wines has already had an impact on ongoing practices of collective marketing. For example, Smith, de Maillard, and Costa (2007) have traced the different phases of the marketing strategy of the interprofessional body (the CIVB) in Bordeaux since the early 1980s. They have shown that during this period, marketing in this wine region that used Bordeaux as a collective brand has been highly structured by institutions such as self-imposed rules regarding labeling. In particular, attempts to establish Bordeaux as a collective label have led to conflicts and compromises, and the vineyard’s interprofessional body has had great difficulty convincing growers and merchants, especially those from prestigious AOCs such as Saint-Émilion, to adopt their collective approach. Similar tensions exist in the other major vineyards studied here. In Tuscany, difficulties in mobilizing the region’s different wines within a collective brand have been particularly evident because of the fragmentation of its appellations. In contrast, collective action on this issue has been more effective in La Rioja. With these histories of collective action in mind, it is thus not surprising that increased EU funding for marketing has been welcomed as much by individual brands as by interprofessional organizations, all of which have been only too happy to receive more material and symbolic resources. From 2009 to 2013, marketing funds from the CMO were used more extensively in the Aquitaine than in wine regions that had previously depended heavily on such support, such as Languedoc-Roussillon or the Rhône Valley and Provence.5 However, the actual impact of these grants on the volume of exports European wines is difficult to assess. For the COGEA report, improvements in exports of quality wines from EU countries (with 5.  Pierre Labruyère, Chef du Service FranceAgriMer à la DRAAF, “Mesures d’aide de l’OCM vin. Enjeux nationaux et régionaux,” presentation at the Vinseo conference, 9 April  2013,ère.pdf

Microeconomic Support  197

the exception of France and Slovenia) could be partly attributed to the marketing measure.6 But the report is careful in its conclusions about the measure’s impact: In all the top ten non-EU buyer countries and for all new markets, exports of EU wines increased. However, the dynamics between GI and non-GI wines, as well as exports in volume and exports by value, are heterogeneous. In addition, most of this growth was concentrated in a limited number of third countries [that were] undergoing economic expansion (Brazil, China, Hong Kong). As a consequence, it is not possible to say if the implementation of the reform, and in particular the marketing measures on GI wines, encouraged this increase.7 In each case, spending this money generated or reignited dilemmas about collective and public action that are highly revealing of the institutional ordering of the industry in each territory and of the shape the bureaucratic and economic fields took in those territories. In its qualitative analysis, the COGEA report underlined both the potential for positive effects that grants for promoting individuals brands opened up and the difficulties of gaining access to the marketing measure, especially for small companies.8 Analyzing the way this measure was implemented by territory reveals even deeper reactions and impacts. In France there is clearly an industry-wide consensus that this money has been useful. European producers are seen universally as needing to do a better job of exporting their wines. This measure at least enables us to widen our horizons. . . . Promotion in third countries requires considerable investment for which this aid has been like a blast of oxygen.9 In a changing world you need to be able to improve your quality and make this known. It’s simply not enough to produce something, you have to make it known. It’s important to communicate and to make people dream. To educate as well. So we will try to benefit from this measure.10

 6.  COGEA 2012, 200.  7.  Ibid., our translation. According to FranceAgriMer, at the EU scale, the marketing aid for third countries supported the increase of AOP and IGP wine exports. From 2007 to 2011, the increase was 37 by volume and 36 percent by value. In that same period, the trade balance increased by 80 percent by volume and 76 percent by value. However, the real impact on markets remains difficult to estimate. According to Pierre Labruyère, head of FranceAgriMer, the measure still lacks administrative efficiency and is difficult for the beneficiaries to obtain then to administer. Labruyère, “Mesures d’aide de l’OCM vin.”  8.  Unlike other measures, such as the EU regulation 3/2008, which banned actions that promoted the brands of individual producer. COGEA 2012, 256n110 and 275.  9.  Interview with the manager of a large wine merchandising company, Blanquefort, September 2010. 10.  Interview with the director of a wine merchandising company, Bordeaux, February 2011.

198  Implementing Change

The measure was particularly well received by wine merchants, who saw it as a further illustration of the general orientation of the reform: That is very, very welcome. Once again, Europe did well by saying: “We have to change the state of mind, the responsibility must evolve.” We stop funding distillation and this money goes to promotion. The discourse could not be clearer. The measures implemented were good ones.11 However, other actors spoke of the difficulty of transforming this public aid into useful concrete measures that actually support commercial strategies. The fact that aid for marketing could be accessed by individual firms as well as by collective organizations opened a debate about the capacity of the organizations to handle these funds and to co-fund them. A member of one small cooperative told us: It’s not easy for us as a company to manage. For an interprofession it’s easier because they are much more into institutional communication, so drawing up a budget for them is not a problem. Me, I don’t know. It depends on my clients. I’m not going to advertise in Moscow if I don’t sell a bottle in Moscow anymore because the client has dropped us.12 In the Bordelais, most of our interviewees knew that the majority of marketing funding was captured by the CIVB instead of by merchant companies. This aid enabled the CIVB to reinforce its marketing strategy for Bordeaux wines, products that the elites at the center of the economic field consider to be under-marketed due to the highly atomized production structure of their vineyard. Non-elites viewed the prominent role of the CIVB as allowing small firms to benefit from collective action oriented toward exports. Yet the CIVB’s role also raised once again the debate about whether to market Bordeaux collectively or whether to focus on the strategies of and investments made by individual brands. For example, according to one merchant from a large company, there was ambiguity at the local and European scales about the financing of “pure” sales actions: For the EU, wine tasting, store activities, showrooms are not part of promotion. That means that brands should not be put to the fore. Because who says brand says firm, and it’s against the EU’s priorities. But firms market products, not state structures, the CIVB, and so on. Except that they are the ones who over the last few years have managed to mobilize

11.  Interview with the director of a wine merchandising company who was president of the UMB, Bordeaux, June 2011. 12.  Interview with the director of a cooperative in the Lot-et-Garonne, October 2010.

Microeconomic Support  199

resources for the marketing of all of our wines. But they do not sell anything themselves. And when we tell them about our problems. . . . One example: we have been selected to be the stand that will represent Bordeaux wines at the France stand in Shanghai. Good thing. We provided samples, they tasted them, they said OK we will work with X [name of the firm]. The CIVB developed presentation material with a Chinese designer in order to have appropriate stuff for Bordeaux wines. Technically we managed to organize things very quickly with the suppliers. In one month, we were ready, we had bottled. I tried to negotiate a little bit. Can we put a minimum of synergy, of communication, can we put on our website that X had been selected? No. Simply no. Because that would mean putting forward one company while the CIVB works for the whole lot.13 Other actors see marketing measures as potentially useful but deeply insufficient in terms of their definition of the needs of the industry: What is certain is that our industry needs regulating.  .  .  . We need regulatory bodies that ensure that transitions are made smoothly in the name of restructuring. But today such instruments no longer exist. It’s true that grants to individual companies are part of the response. But that’s not enough. It does not make up for not having the regulatory tools that can orient the industry at a regional scale, which for me would be the most appropriate method.14 As is the case elsewhere, many actors from the Aquitaine regret that marketing grants cannot be used to work within the domestic European market. However, even if this is the majority position, it is not held by all. For one major actor of the French cooperative movement whom we interviewed in 2011, the extension of aid within the EU might have a perverse and unintended effect by exacerbating interfirm competition that is already intense. Furthermore, according to this actor, it is more legitimate to support those who make efforts to access distant markets than it is to fund small and disjointed operations. For one merchant we interviewed, who at the time was the president of this profession’s interest group, the Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, limiting the measure to non-EU countries allowed decision makers to hierarchize certain destinations, thus helping to create wealth in the EU by being more present abroad. More generally, many French actors have been particularly concerned that funds earmarked for marketing are insufficiently concentrated in projects of sufficient size to actually have an impact in third-country markets. They fear 13.  Interview with a representative of a large wine merchandising company, Blanquefort, September 2010. 14.  Interview with the director of the Irouléguy cooperative, Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, February 2011.

200  Implementing Change

instead that the French national administration has spread the budget too thin in order to give at least something to a large number of projects. On this point, the COGEA’s evaluation of the reform disagreed; it praised the French experience as an example of virtuous management when compared with other European cases (COGEA 2012, 273). Unlike the more decentralized management model in Italy, for example, in France, the EU co-funded only the marketing initiatives that were coherent, were supported by marketing studies, and were in keeping with national goals. The structure of the bureaucratic field—here related to the different degrees of national decentralization—has conditioned its potential relations to the economic field, as illustrated by differences in the administrative management of marketing grants. In Spain, a country where internal consumption of wine has recently decreased to the extent experienced by its neighbors some years earlier and where exports have been emphasized for some time, aid for marketing in third countries has also been seen in a positive light. This is particularly the case for the merchants and large producers’ organization, the FEV, which was highly active in pushing for the policy measure at the scale of the EU: I was very committed to this idea to have strong promotion of our wines in countries where there is no or little consumption, in order to rebalance consumption with production. . . . It’s a proactive trade policy.15 Similarly, the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino (Spanish Wine Market Observatory)—an offshoot of the FEV—saw this measure as positive, even calling it the big revolution wrought by the CMO reform. The director of the observatory saw microeconomic grants for marketing as confirmation of the EU’s market-driven orientation: Aid for promotion in non-EU countries was the big novelty; it had never existed before. Until then, the aid went to the maintaining of rents and to production. This is a measure that aims at improving sales, which is completely different. . . . We agreed with this measure because we saw that it coincided, in terms of time, with the high necessity of internationalizing Spanish wines. This is something we needed. Because the bodegas needed to do it if they wanted to maintain their production. . . . They are becoming more professional, more international, they have commercial and management teams, they are more dynamic. The aid arrived perfectly in such a process. This policy measure has had an extraordinarily positive impact, and we are in favor of maintaining it.16

15.  Interview with the general secretary of the FEV, Madrid, February 2011. 16.  Interview with director of the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino, Pozuelo de Alarcón, July 2012.

Microeconomic Support  201

Data from the observatory appears to confirm the success of this measure in Spain. In 2012, marketing funds broke records in terms of both grant applications and completed actions, while Spanish actors have gradually adapted to rules of implementation that are universally seen as strict. In 2009, the first year the EU offered microeconomic grants for marketing, 7 million euros were allocated to 161 projects. In 2010–2011, 30 million euros were allocated to 485 projects, and in 2011–2012, 50 million euros were allocated for 806 projects (Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino 2012, 98). During 2010–2011, 17.5 percent of recipients mounted marketing campaigns in the United States, 5.5 percent in China, 4.7 percent in Switzerland, 3.9 percent in Japan, and 3 percent in Mexico (ibid., 99). An overwhelming majority of applicants were individual firms, which received 73 percent of the total EU grants awarded in Spain for marketing in 2010–2011, followed by management bodies for GI and DO wines (12 percent), sectoral associations (10 percent), interprofessional organizations (3 percent), and consortiums and other export-oriented associations (2 percent). However, the report also mentions some of the problems of implementation. Many grantees did not actually launch their marketing campaign once funds had been allocated to them or did not fulfill the program that had proposed and/or had difficulties justifying their expenditures (ibid., 100). The FEV considers that this part of the reform went halfway toward meeting its objective regarding marketing and say that it has helped its members penetrate markets such as India. The Spanish national administration also sees this measure positively, no doubt partly because it actually manages some of the funds.17 National civil servants, like many other actors, would have liked the measure to apply to internal EU markets too and would have liked to have been able to conduct longer-term campaigns, for instance in the United States.18 However, other actors are more critical of how this measure has been implemented in Spain. First, sets of applications from companies have been grouped together at the scale of each Autonomous Community. The Confederación de cooperativas agroalimentarias de España, for example, feels that this procedure has tended to accentuate differences between regions. According to this organization, Catalonia, La Rioja, and Galicia have benefited most from the marketing budget because obtaining this subsidy has

17.  Each autonomous community made the first selection of applications and sent a short list to the ministry of agriculture. The final selection was made by a National Commission of Selection composed of representatives of the ministry and of the autonomous communities. The Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino and the Instituto Español del Comercio Exterior also played key roles in monitoring and evaluating marketing aid. Ayudas-OCM (Telcomedia S.L.), “¿Que son las ayudas de la OCM para la promoción de productos vinícolas en mercados de terceros países?” OCM-vino,, accessed 23 October 2014. 18.  Interview with an official at the Spanish ministry of agriculture, Madrid, February 2011.

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resulted more from a region’s entrepreneurial capacity to conduct marketing campaigns than from fundamental political decisions about who needs and deserves this money the most.19 Similarly, the COAG criticizes the matching funding requirements because it feels that this is difficult for many cooperatives and smaller companies to work with, in particular with regard to meeting requirements for matching funds. Concerning territorial distribution, even if all Spanish regions benefited from this measure, aid for marketing was granted particularly in the northern regions, which had not received much of the other economic subsidies the CMO provided (unlike the southern and central regions). Logically, La Rioja, home of the DOC Rioja, the highest level in the Spanish quality system, gave high priority to marketing. In 2008, when the reform was adopted, DOC Rioja wineries exported 80  million liters of wine, nearly 50  percent more than in 2000. In 2011, Rioja was clearly the leader among Spanish wines internationally; its share of total sales of premium wines was over 40 percent (Fernández Olmos 2011, 385). This is why international marketing was a high priority for the regulatory body of the DOC. Indeed, according to the Consejo Regulador for the region, Rioja was the first Spanish DO to use this aid. According to Consejo Regulador representatives, grants for marketing were the part of the CMO reform that was best implemented in the Rioja wine region, and this partly because the consejo supported the funding applications from its firms. These funds were used for the marketing of Riojan wines in China, the United States, Mexico, and Switzerland, and were seen as helpful in enabling the region to better confront its Chilean, Argentinian, and Australian competitors. Significantly, the Consejo Regulador presented this aid as co-funding, not as a subsidy. The president of the Consejo Regulador told us: “We never use subsidies, we use co-funding.”20 This discourse was thus used to legitimize EU marketing grants as a normal instrument of commercial practice. Moroever, the high capacity to co-fund in this region and the active role the Consejo Regulador played as an organization well positioned to mediate between its firms and public administrations rendered this strategy successful. Representatives of the regional government also highlighted the discourse that presented La Rioja as an entrepreneurial region that was associated with a territory-specific ethic of business and efficiency. La Rioja found support for its political initiatives vis-à-vis the EU in other European regions, notably among those studied in this book. In October 2006, during the preparation of the CMO reform, regional authorities from La Rioja, Tuscany, the Aquitaine, and Hessen reacted jointly to the draft proposal of the Commis-

19.  Interview with a member of Confederación de cooperativas agroalimentarias de España, Madrid, February 2011; Confederación de cooperativas agroalimentarias de España Web site. 20.  Interview with the president of the Consejo Regulador, Logroño, November 2011.

Microeconomic Support  203

sion. They asked it to reduce the budget dedicated to grubbing out and to redirect those funds to microeconomic measures related to investment, restructuring, reconversion, and marketing (Gaeta and Corsinovi 2009, 57). Support for the marketing measure was considerable in La Rioja. However, because the main outlets for Rioja are domestic and EU markets, the Consejo Regulador, together with producers’ unions and the regional government, asked the Commission to extend the marketing measure to intra-EU countries. This request was presented in the European Parliament by members from La Rioja with some success. In 2013, Esther Herranz, a member for the Spanish Partido Popular (People’s Party), spoke publicly about the need for the European Commission to accept the EP’s proposal that the marketing measure be expanded to include EU countries, arguing that wine should be treated like other agri-food products.21 In addition, as Fernández Olmos has contended, the positive effect of advertising on the export of Rioja’s wines confirms that wineries in this region can benefit from the collective brand Qualified Denomination of Origin. This is especially clear when Riojan wineries are compared with those in other wine-producing regions that are not able to do so. This category and brand has also helped minimize the potential collective action dilemmas (between individual brands and collective umbrellas) that we have observed in France. According to Fernández Olmos, “Since consumers have beliefs regarding the quality value of wineries belonging to a denomination depending on the reputation of the denomination itself, wineries should be interested in developing their individual brand under the collective umbrella brand ‘Qualified Denomination of Origin’ ” (2011, 396). Overall, the implementation of microeconomic grants in Spain has given more resources to state representatives in the bureaucratic field and bolstered their influence in the economic field. However, the interregional and interbureaucratic mediations this has entailed have not necessarily changed the shape of the wine industry’s commercial institutional relationship at the national scale. In Italy, EU grants for marketing have also generally been seen in a positive light and have been extensively used. The particularity of the Italian case, however, is that 30 percent of these funds are managed at the state level in order to support projects located in areas that operate in several regions. In effect, this has meant that the country’s largest firms have received almost one-third of the available subsidies for marketing. The remaining 70 percent of the budgetary envelope was distributed among twenty regions according to different criteria, such as number of firms or area under vines. 21.  Alberto Gil, “La Comisión Europea acepta destinar fondos a la promoción del vino dentro de la UE,” 17 May 2013,, accessed 10 May 2014; “Esther Herranz aplaude la propuesta que aumentan las ayudas para la promoción del vino,” Europa Press, 19 December 2013.

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In Tuscany, as elsewhere, limiting EU funding to 50 percent of each investment in marketing gave de facto priority to the region’s bigger firms and to the collective strategies of smaller firms grouped under an umbrella organization such as a DO consortium. Regional authorities were authorized to top up EU grants with additional funding equivalent to 20 percent of the project’s total budget.22 However, this regional assistance could only be directed toward marketing DOs and not marketing for individual brands. However, individual brands could apply for CMO funds for marketing without benefiting from regional co-funding, thereby constituting a novelty introduced with regard to the EU’s more general 2008 regulation on the marketing of agro-food products (which only authorized grants for the marketing of GIs and DOs). Although it was mostly DOCG consortiums that applied for co-funding for marketing in the early stages of the implementation of this measure, individual brands often applied, mostly by forming temporary associations of companies so they could access new markets.23 As in Spain, the implementation of this measure featured territorial contrasts. In Tuscany, the funds for promotion, together with the monies for restructuring, were among the main CMO policy instruments that were implemented. During the first campaign, 3.6 million euros passed through the region. In 2011–2012, the region received 5 million euros, and in 2012–2013, it received 10 million euros.24 As in La Rioja, this market-oriented measure fit well with a discourse that characterized the local wine industry as entrepreneurial. The number of applications for marketing grants was high in the Chianti, where both consortia (Chianti and Chianti Classico) used this policy instrument extensively. Consorzio Chianti Classico participated at all three territorial scales of the measure (EU, national, and regional). The consortium gained access to the EU level through Federdoc, the Italian federation of origin wines. At the regional and national level, the consortium participated in marketing projects either alone or along with other consortiums, such as Brunello and Nobile from Montepulciano (also from Tuscany), or Prosecco in Veneto. As a whole, the consortium was satisfied with the marketing measure because it allowed it to reinforce its presence in the United States, Canada, China, and Japan. The Chianti consortium also used this measure extensively with support from the Tuscany region. To give one significant example, in autumn 2012,

22.  As, for instance, the Tuscany region did in 2010 for all twenty-four projects selected for EU funding; IRPET, Rapporto sul sistema rurale toscano. Economia, politiche, filiere e produzioni di qualità (Pisa: Ospedaletto, 2012), Rappagric_2011.pdf, accessed 25 May 2015. 23.  Interview with head of the wine department, Tuscany’s regional authority (2), Florence, October 2013. 24.  Interview, official from Tuscany’s regional authority, Florence, November 2012.

Microeconomic Support  205

it began a marketing campaign in Beijing, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Half of the 1.3-million-euro project was covered by the CMO. The region granted co-funding corresponding to 20  percent of the cost. The remaining costs were covered by the firms that belonged to the consortium. The consortium’s policy consisted of bringing small and medium wine companies together who otherwise would have lacked the capacity to promote their wines abroad. The marketing measure was used intensely in Tuscany and in Italy as a whole. The highly decentralized distribution of the national envelope via regional authorities gave these bodies a crucial role, but it also generated a certain dispersal of aid. Indeed, according to the COGEA’s official evaluation, distribution within Italy also had a perverse effect: it prevented the marketing of Italian wines as a whole at the national level because many regional budgets were thinly spread among many microprojects (COGEA 2012, 273). Nevertheless, despite the fact that the strong fragmentation of brands and DOs in Tuscany produced a less integrated marketing strategy than was in place in La Rioja, both the Chianti and Chianti Classico consortiums managed to develop and apply common strategies under their collective umbrellas. In Romania, only 1 percent of the national envelope was used for marketing. This is due to sharp divisions among economic operators in this country’s wine industry and the different levels of support for different types of operators in Romania’s bureaucratic field. However, although the distribution of grants for marketing has been managed by the ministry of agriculture, those who do not have the “right” position to be heard in this administration have often been able to find support in other segments of the state. The Romanian interest groups whose member firms essentially target national markets (PNVV and ONIV) have logically been frustrated by an EU measure that appears to be focused on exports to non-EU countries: Marketing operations are important for us. But what interested us is the Romanian consumer. It’s important to work to convince national consumers to drink wine rather than beer or something else.25 China and the Middle East don’t concern us. We can’t sell our wines there, even if we make a huge effort in terms of promotion. Instead, it must focus on rising markets, ones where we have the possibility of selling. It’s in Romania that promotion must be done. The CMO does not finance this, so let’s use European money for doing other things.26 Not surprisingly, the organization that defends operators who export wine (APEV) has sought to ensure that all grants for marketing target third

25.  Interview with a representative of PNVV, Bucharest, August 2010. 26.  Interview with a representative of ONIV, Bucharest, August 2010.

206  Implementing Change

countries. Heads of businesses who are members of this association claim that they have reproduced the successful formulas of New World producers and regularly hire winemakers trained in Australia and South Africa. They participate in international competitions and brandish the medals their best vintages have won in London or Dusseldorf. Two companies stand out in this respect and play a role as benchmarks: Halewood Romania and Cramele Recaş (see box  4 in chapter  4). The other members of APEV are mostly foreign companies that have the benefit of a high degree of international socialization (their managers have worked for New World producers and have a full command of the English language). APEV calls for the creation of a national brand (brandul de ţara) that would make Romanian wines identifiable throughout the world. According to its leaders, the right policy would be to take account of the foreign consumer’s expectations and promote the best-known varieties, at the same time building up a distinctive image by means of targeted marketing: You know if you want to represent Romanian wines effectively you have to know what to expect from Romanian wines, and what one can do with Romanian wines given the trends we have succeeded in identifying.27 What needs promoting is the image of Romanian wine, the image of the wines of Romania. This is the way to differentiate our products. If we do nothing, what will the comparative advantage of Romanian wines be? The only way for us to survive is through promotion. Marketing is what can differentiate Romanian wines.28 Divisions between firms at the national scale are reflected in the bureaucratic field. PNVV and ONIV are supported by the ministry of agriculture, which distributes the national envelope, a situation that largely explains the low amount of grants given to support marketing in third countries. However, APEV has found other support in the bureaucratic field by recycling the discourse that accompanied the CMO reform about the need to take inspiration from the commercial practices of New World wine makers. It has sought to present itself as able to represent national products abroad by enabling its members to set common goals and coordinate their marketing investments: Our organization provides a means of presenting a unified image of its members in countries we export to. It can promote the image of Romanian wines. It can also be a forum for exchanging opinions and

27.  Interview with a representative of APEV, Bucharest, July 2010. 28.  Interview with a representative of APEV, Bucharest, July 2010 (a different representative than in the previous note).

Microeconomic Support  207

information. The key criterion though is the good quality of the wines involved. What I mean by that is that we have to produce wines that are adapted to export markets.29 Representatives of APEV stress that public grants are necessary if it is to make the most of its capacities. This idea has been well received in the ministry of economy and trade, particularly because it enables officials to get a foothold in an industry that was previously monopolized by the ministry of agriculture. Although the ministry of economy and trade is not able to manage the CMO in Romania, it has legitimized itself using the spirit of the reform and looks to influence future negotiations. In addition, under its authority the Romanian Center for the Promotion of Trade and Foreign Investment (Centrul Român pentru promovarea comer¸tului şi investi¸tiilor străine) has given APEV subsidies to enable it to present the wines of its members in international wine fairs in North America and Asia. For example, in June 2010, a stand at the Universal Exhibition in Shanghai presented a Romanian wine week that was financed by the state and organized by APEV. APEV also used these resources to create a Web site entitled Romanian Winegrowers—Taste a New Romania, where APEV members can publicize their products and medals.30 Ultimately, just like the Chianti and Chianti Classico consortiums in Italy, exporters of Romanian wines have worked politically in the context of a divided bureaucratic field that has not enabled then to use large amounts of CMO funding in the form of marketing grants. In contrast to their opposite numbers in other member states, however, the specificity of the case of Romanian exporters stems from the centralization of their country’s bureaucratic field. This has meant that any compensatory sources of political support have had to be found in the state administration itself. Overall, the use of marketing grants as a policy instrument has been variable throughout the EU and in the regions under study, revealing deeper attitudes toward the CMO reform as a whole, in particular its underlying logic. As welcome as the grants for marketing have been throughout the areas studied, public intervention in the wine industry’s commercial institutional relationship remains relatively weak and marginalized. Although certain civil servants have certainly increased their resources in the bureaucratic field, the same cannot be said for an economic field composed of growers and merchants that remains relatively unaffected by the marketing grants now funded by the EU.

29.  Interview with a representative of APEV, Bucharest, July 2010 (a different representative than in the previous two notes). 30.  Romanian Winegrowers, “Taste a New Romania,” http://www.romanian-winegrowers. com/, accessed 23 June 2010.

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Subsidizing Intrafirm Investment: A Divide between Individual and Collective Action Because the European wine industry has been built on and remains quantitatively dominated by small and medium enterprises, it is no surprise that producer states and the EU have subsidized the modernization of such companies for decades. The 2008 reform gave renewed impetus to this institutionalized policy instrument by labeling it investment aid and allocating a sizeable European budget that could be topped up by national and regional funding. Given the late implementation of this instrument in two of the countries under examination here (Italy and Spain), it is extremely difficult, and beyond the scope of this book, to seriously evaluate its economic impact Indeed, given the methodological challenges this would entail, such evaluations are not likely ever to be completed on a large scale. Much can be learned, however, by analyzing and comparing the representations of this policy instrument and the displacements in fields they have fueled in relation to the sourcing institutional relationship. As will be seen, a basic cleavage between individual producers and collective producers (particularly cooperatives) has been deepened around the issue of intrafirm investment grants in all the areas under study. Analyzing how such grants are implemented provides a means of examining how the individual firm is now envisaged and hierarchized in the institutional order of the wine industry. From 2009 to 2012, subsidies for investment were distributed in France to individual wine farms (57 percent), cooperatives (29 percent), and merchants (14 percent). These funds were intended for the repair or modernization buildings (10 percent), the purchase of equipment (44 percent), or both (46 percent). The first declared objective in successful grant applications was improving quality (33  percent).31 Intriguingly, judged in quantitative terms, these subsidies were accessed more or less equally in France’s three largest wine regions (Languedoc-Roussillon, the Aquitaine, and the Rhône Valley and Provence).32 The take-up of this measure was rapid throughout the territories concerned, leading not only to oversubscription and criticisms of bureaucracy,33 but also to a politicized controversy over what type and size of company should be financed. A significant public statement on this point was made in

31.  Data from Richard Jarry, “OCM, 1,4 Md € . . . Qu’en faire?,” presentation at the Vinseo conference, 9 April 2013. 32.  Labruyère, “Mesures d’aide de l’OCM vin.” 33.  “In terms of implementation, in France we have reached the state of the art in creating problems . . . a real pile of knots (usine à gaz) was set up to spend this money and companies have felt lost in this process.” Interview with the director of wine merchant interest group, Bordeaux, February 2010.

Microeconomic Support  209

May 2011 by Denis Verdier, president of the Confédération des coopératives viticoles de France: The aid from the [French] national envelope of the CMO has been distributed in an anarchical fashion. And investment aid has been scattered widely with the sole aim of spending the envelope as soon as possible. Funds planned for five years were consumed in just one. It’s a catastrophe.34 For Verdier and the cooperative movement, investment aid should instead have focused on companies with export-driven strategies. Other actors have also expressed disappointment over the fact that this money was distributed too widely and not concentrated sufficiently on actions designed to have a structural effect. A representative of a cooperative in Aquitaine put it this way: “That’s Europe: it helps SMEs [small and medium enterprises]. It helps the bloody mess (le bordel). We’ve already got 12,000 châteaux—all the SMEs in Bordeaux. So you give them even more means to go to the wall. Instead of structuring them.”35 The Confédération des coopératives viticoles de France has subsequently pursued this line of criticism; in May  2012 it denounced the scattering of investment aid among independent growers, cooperatives, and merchants.36 For this confederation, the pattern of distribution raised three concerns. The first concerned the priority given to individual growers over cooperatives. Naturally, this organization felt that collective organizations of producers have more holistic approaches to investment. Moreover, its representatives consider that projects that do not have high priority and are not market oriented (such as prestige investments and individual or cooperative wineries that are already in poor condition) have been supported and that this has contributed to the unintended consequence of increased grower indebtedness.37 Representatives of cooperatives felt that the minimum grant (8,000 euros per firm, i.e., 3,200 euros of public assistance) was too low to produce significant improvements at the scale of the firm. In addition, cooperatives felt that selection criterion should have been stricter and that firms that had the capacity to generate added value and exports should have been given priority. Grants for restructuring vineyards were also widely implemented in France. They accounted for 42 percent of the total budget of this country’s national envelope in the period 2009–2012, followed by investments in farm

34.  Denis Verdier, speech in La Grande Motte, 27 May 2011, as reported in, 1 June 2011. 35.  Interview with a member of a cooperative in the Gers, October 2010. 36.  “Aides. Les coopératives veulent un rééquilibrage en leur faveur,” La vigne, 23 May 2012. 37.  Interview with a member of the Confédération des coopératives viticoles de France, Paris, May 2011.

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or processing infrastructure (22  percent), aid for producing by-products (16 percent), aid for marketing in third countries (11 percent), aid for producing concentrated must (6 percent), and aid for crisis distillation (4 percent). The Languedoc was the largest consumer of the restructuring measure (it received 36 percent of payments), while the Aquitaine only accounted for 16 percent. Languedoc also ranked first in terms of the percentage of vineyards that were restructured, while the Aquitaine ranked fifth.38 In its evaluation of the measure, the Établissement national des produits de l’agriculture et de la mer (National Institute of Products of Agriculture and the Sea, also known as FranceAgriMer) emphasized that at the EU level, the restructuring of vineyards had increased the competitiveness of growers, improved wine quality, brought production into better alignment with market demand, and reduced production costs. However, it also emphasized that certain aspects of subsidies for investment lacked relevance. Our interviewees shared this globally positive evaluation of the restructuring measure. Helping growers renew their grape varieties and improve wine making was perceived as fitting well with other parts of the reform. However, incentives to restructure also generated a number of criticisms related to the fact that applicants for grant aid did not need to demonstrate the ecological soundness of their investment plans, the fact that there was a risk that only one variety would be replanted in some territories, and concerns about the medium-term future of rejuvenated vineyards and their relationships with future markets. Indeed, a representative of the Aquitaine federation of cooperatives called the policy a time bomb, expressing a fear that subsidies for investment would reproduce the situation generated by excess planting in the 1990s: We are concerned about the restructuring aid. Our members go for it, cooperators go for it, but it frightens us. It frightens us in general, not in every case . . . because restructuring is going rather well. There are applications, we are replanting a vineyard that will be relatively young, with a high density and, as a consequence, higher production costs. And not necessarily produce better quality wine. That has not been shown. Our fear is that, with the specifications [cahier des charges] that go with it, we will have a vineyard that is likely to cost more to run. And we are not at all certain that the market will come back to a level of pricing that enables us to live. We are asking ourselves if we are not making a time bomb.39 In sum, France, the country where the investment measure has been implemented to the greatest extent, is also the country where there have been

38.  Labruyère, “Mesures d’aide de l’OCM vin. 39.  Interview with the director of the Federation of Aquitaine wine cooperatives, Bordeaux, May 2010.

Microeconomic Support  211

many politicized debates about the criteria for distributing this aid. Uncertainties have concerned not only the decisions made during implementation of investment subsidies but also the likely outcomes in terms of sales and market access. In Spain, controversy about the distribution of investment aid has been even more virulent. It has provoked a sharp cleavage between the COAG and the cooperative movement that initially led to a freezing of the policy instrument in this member state. Arguing that the modernization of cooperatives should be funded by the EU and national policies for rural development, the COAG felt that priority for investment aid should be given to individual growers. Its argument is based on the needs of growers: “In order to stay on the land many growers simply must mechanize their vineyards. . . . many still have ‘goblet-trained’ [en vaso] vines that require a lot of labor. The possibility of transformation through mechanization has become indispensable.”40 But the COAG has also pushed for direct aid to producers because they fear that in many Spanish regions rural development money can and will be captured by actors from other sectors. Moreover, they emphasize that rural development always entails complex and uncertain national and regional co-funding. While the CCAE shares the fear that the wine industry will end up with decreased levels of public support, leaders of the cooperative movement have argued strongly against giving investment aid directly to individual producers: We believe it is essential that at least a part of this money goes to producer organizations.  .  .  . The struggle has been between single payments pushed for by the farm unions . . . and us, who think that this would be money wasted . . . because there would be not much to distribute between a large number of growers.41 Instead, this organization, like its French and Italian equivalents, has been in favor of distributing investment aid to collective and entrepreneurial organizations. At the time of our initial Spanish fieldwork (November 2011), the CCAE was seeking to unblock investment aid by negotiating with the national administration over a list of what type of expenses should be eligible for this subsidy. An absence of stable agreements on this point, however, tended to support the conclusion that a dominant problematization of investment aid in Spain had yet to emerge, let alone become institutionalized. Although the investment measure was finally launched in Spain in 2011, there were very few applications for subsidies and very little expenditure. According to the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino (2011, 102)

40.  Interview with a member of COAG, Madrid, February 2011. 41.  Interview with a member of CCAE, Madrid, February 2011.

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the limitations included in the EU norm rendered the implementation of this measure virtually impossible. The president of the observatory felt that the implementation of this measure in Spain was totally useless for several reasons.42 He felt that the decision to limit investment subsidies to small and medium-sized enterprises was a mistake. In addition, although Spain oriented investment aid toward commercial investments, in order to avoid competition with EU rural development funds, it decided to fix geographical limits on subsidies: money would be granted only for investments made outside Spain but still in the EU. This limited both the scope of the measure and its complementarity with marketing efforts made in third countries or other investments made in Spain. Moreover, this aid could only be used to set up distribution networks and representative offices. This limited the scope of the potential beneficiaries, because small and medium-sized enterprises were not strong enough to invest in distribution networks at a European scale and the largest enterprises would be more interested in investing outside Europe. According to representatives of large wine merchandising companies, this was why the measure was weakly implemented in Spain. Others have added criticisms related to territory. For the Riojan government, the difficulties with the investment measure in Spain originated in a lack of resources in the CMO. Its representatives argue that most of the funding was allocated to support distillation and to single farms; that is, to other regions. During the negotiation of the investment program, the big issue for La Rioja was preventing the use of investment funds based on the total area under vines, which would benefit regions such as La Mancha. This territorial divide also split the cooperative movement. According to a representative of the Federación de las cooperativas agrarias de la Rioja, the national confederation of cooperatives tended to be in favor of using the aid to support distillation and the Common Agricultural Policy, while the riojanos would prefer that these funds be used to support investment and marketing. A territorial logic thus prevailed over solidarity among actors with the same legal status and ideological standpoint. By contrast, subsidies to restructure and convert vineyards were widely distributed in La Rioja, where the tempranillo grape variety was further developed to replace the viura variety (COGEA 2012, 96). The Consejo R ­ egulador saw this measure as a way to improve wine quality through mechanization, changing varietals, and the inculcation of market awareness. According to the president of the Consejo Regulador, the priority La Rioja gave to ­quality over quantity saved the region from the counterproductive effects ­experienced in regions that used the restructuration/reconversion measure to increase productivity, thereby generating surpluses.43 However, members 42.  Interview with director of the Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino, Pozuelo de Alarcón, 10 July 2012. 43.  Interview with CCAE official, Logroño, November 2011.

Microeconomic Support  213

of the ASAJA union felt that the impact of the reconversion/restructuration measure could have been even greater and they questioned the distribution of funding at the regional level. At the same time, the ASAJA emphasized that its own role was crucial in orienting the way the regional government distributed resources. They were able to do this based on their legitimacy as the union that represented the largest amount of hectares under vines.44 Ultimately, the implementation of the investment and the restructuring/ reconversion measures was very heterogeneous in Spain. Late implementation of investment aid meant it had limited effects because of administrative inadequacy and conflicts between territories and organizations over the distribution of funds. In contrast, the restructuring/reconversion measure was more successful because, at least in La Rioja, it was associated with modernization and rejuvenation of the vineyard. Fundamental tensions within the Spanish scale of the bureaucratic and economic fields rendered implementing this aspect of the reform a particularly important source of conflict. During the negotiation of the CMO reform, Italy expressed support for the strategy of using subsidies for investment in infrastructure and restructuring vineyards instead of using funds to support grubbing up or distillation.45 Nevertheless, the investment measure was not implemented there until 2011,46 largely because of a bureaucratic problem of demarcation between CMO funds and funding coming from EU rural development plans (Pomarici 2012). However, the restructuring and reconversion measures were implemented quickly and intensely. Italy, like the majority of member states, favored the restructuring-reconversion measure in its distribution of its national envelope.47 The impact of the measure has been significant in Italy. Between wine years 2000/2001 and 2008/2009, 18  percent of the total vineyard area was restructured in Italy with EU funding. During the financial years 2009 and 2010, expenditures for restructuring and conversion were particularly high (168.7 million euros) compared to that of France (148.6 million euros), Spain (134.7 million euros), and Romania (83.2 million euros).48 The broad implementation of this measure in Italy49 frequently

44.  Interview with ASAJA official, Aldeanueva de Ebro, November 2011. 45.  Interview with an official from the Italian Permanent Representation, Brussels, April  2009. 46.  “Vino. Al via gli aiuti agli investimenti. Nel 2011 il fondo del’OCM è di 15 milioni di euro,” L’informatore agrario, 9 2011, p. 14; COGEA 2012, 100. 47. “Member States continued to place a strong focus on the measure, now an option among others within their national envelopes. At a total cost of some 326  million euro in financial year 2009, it was the main choice for all Member States, with the exception of Spain (which allocated the largest part of its envelope during financial year 2009 to distillation) and other smaller producing Member States, which opted to transfer a substantial part of their envelopes to SPS”; European Court of Auditors (2012, 25). 48.  Ibid., 31n34. 49.  Pomarici notes, however, that during the 2009–2010 campaign, the demand in Italy was less than available funds for restructuration-reconversion (Pomarici 2012, 206).

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led to increases in yields that, according to the European Court of Auditors, did not have any discernable impact on consumption and “partially offset the effects of grubbing up in Spain and Italy.”50 In Tuscany, the investment measure was activated late due to bureaucratic difficulties. Because investments concern the production process, processing (the cantina), and marketing, this measure could overlap with EU co-funded rural development plans (the Programma di Sviluppo Rurale), thus creating confusion. This double-sided bureaucratic process threatened to have negative effects for growers, who could have one project accepted and another rejected, thus obtaining a grant for a cantina as a structure but not for its equipment. For this reason, the Tuscan regional administration decided to wait until the end of the Programma di Sviluppo Rurale on 31 December 2012 before activating the CMO investment plan. Although the investment measure aroused much hope among growers, fewer available EU funds were distributed for investment than were distributed for restructuring. The main criticism expressed in the region concerned the risk of a mismatch between the bureaucratic procedure and the actual timing of any technical improvement at the scale of the firm. In contrast, in Tuscany, the restructuring measure was extensively implemented.51 Indeed, at the time of our initial fieldwork (November 2012), the funds allocated for restructuring in Tuscany had already run out. Fourteen million euros had been spent there each year since 2008, involving around 1,750 hectares, or 3–4 percent of the total area under vines. Despite this relative success, actors from the Chianti, together with the regional authorities, lobbied the national ministry repeatedly to raise the aid ceiling per eligible hectare because of the high cost of restructuring the vineyard in a land of rocky hills and mountains with almost no plains. This request was urgent because nearly half of the 15,000 hectares that produced the Chianti DO was made up of old vines that had been planted in the 1970s. It was felt that it was necessary to replace these old vines both to improve wine quality and to better monitor yield levels. The Chianti Classico consortium used this measure as well, also with the intention of rejuvenating old vines. Indeed, local elites estimate that since the mid-1990s nearly 60 percent of the surface that produces the Chianti Classico DO has been replanted.52 This process of renewal has given rise to a young productive structure with a capacity to increase; in fact many actors feared a potential problem if a market situation of surplus were to develop. In Italy, as in Spain, we discovered divergence between cooperatives and farmer unions about how investment funds should be managed. The

50.  European Court of Auditors (2012, 8). 51.  In Tuscany, restructuration concerned only vineyards that produced GI wines; interview with an official from Tuscan Regional Authority, Florence, October 2013. 52.  Interview with the director of the Consorzio Chianti Classico, Tavernelle Val di Pesa, June 2012.

Microeconomic Support  215

Legacoop federation of cooperatives wanted the organization of producers to manage EU investment funds, whereas unions were initially in favor of allocating aid directly through them. In the view of the cooperatives, producer organizations would encourage more coherent redistribution of the investment and marketing funds so as to encompass the whole process, from production to marketing. According to Legacoop, cooperatives would have distinct advantages as fund administrators: Cooperatives are producer organizations. With a particular shape, but they are producer organizations. The mentality is already there: to aggregate growers. And those organizations that are against that have an interest in keeping producers divided, because this generates isolated individuals they can assist individually.53 In Tuscany, the late implementation of the investment measure limited its impact. There were several procedural difficulties, including a risk that EU funds for investment would overlap with other European measures. In contrast, EU subsidies for restructuring of vineyards were widely used and generated considerable political work on the part of regional authorities and sector representatives at the national level. Finally, a cleavage developed between cooperatives and producers’ unions about how the EU aid money should be administered. In Romania, many of the largest winemakers were able to finance the modernization of their vinification and bottling plants using the EU’s pre-accession agriculture and rural development fund. Under the reformed CMO, however, most investment aid has tended to be directed toward the restructuring and reconversion of vineyards to internationally recognized varietals or replacing old vines. No less than 83 percent of the EU’s subsidy provided via the national envelope has thus far been devoted to this activity. According to the COGEA evaluation of the CMO reform, Romania was the largest recipient of the restructuring/reconversion measure in the EU (COGEA 2012, 311). Romanian wine growers who want grant aid are expected to put forward an investment plan (a planul de reconversie-restructurare) that indicates the eligible vintages they intend to work with and includes an outline estimate (devizul-cadru) of the sums necessary. Applications must relate to a minimum surface area of 0.1 hectares that are registered in the Register of Vineyard Plantation (Registrul plantaţiilor viticole).54 If an application is successful, a lump sum of 14,278 euros per hectare is made available to the grower, sup53.  Interview with a member of Legacoop, Rome, November 2012. 54. Initially, applications had to be for a surface area of between 0.3 and 150 hectares. When the new CMO was implemented in 2009, the threshold was lowered to 0.1 hectares and the ceiling was abolished (Villemin, Andreff, and Montaigne 2011, 140).

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plemented by annual payments of 600 euros per hectare for the three years when the newly planted vines are unproductive. The total sum must not exceed 75 percent of the total amount of expenses programmed. Applications are submitted to the ministry of agriculture’s decentralized departments and are forwarded to the central administration only if they meet the stated criteria. They are then processed in the order of their arrival until the available funds are exhausted. These arrangements had scarcely been put in place when they were the subject of a heated controversy between two of the main organizations of wine firms, ONIV and APEV. Both were seeking support in the bureaucratic field but one felt that investment aid should be devoted to restructuring and the other felt that the priority should be given to reconversion. The battle was an extension of the conflict between advocates of native vintages and promoters of international varietals (see chapter 6). Controlled by firms that dominate the internal market, ONIV called for the Romanian state to introduce additional criteria. Its leaders claimed that subsidies should be distributed in a way that favored restructuring and made possible the continuation and development of native vintages. In other words, they demanded that the ministry of agriculture use the investment aid provided by the CMO to support the grubbing up of vines that are too old and the replacement of them with new plants of the same species, not for replacing native varieties with international ones that were considered to be more profitable. ONIV portrays itself as the protector of indigenous wine produced from national species, in contrast to the operators in APEV who use foreign (i.e., French or Italian) grape varieties. This discourse extended to the commercial domain and led to a questioning of the very basis of the strategy of producing international wines in Romania for export to other countries. These international firms that have set up in our country want to make the same wine as the Australians. Indigenous varieties are being abandoned in favor of Aligoté and Sauvignon. Centuries of Romanian wine making are being thrown out of the window. Our very history is being thrown away. Our past is being thrown on the scrap heap. The notes and flavors that make our wine what it is are being lost. In fact, real Romanian wine is being abolished. To what purpose? We keep being told that it’s so we can be more efficient in the future, so we can sell abroad more effectively. Come off it . . . an American consumer faced with the choice between a Romanian Sauvignon and an Australian Sauvignon—do you think he is going to choose the Romanian one?55 APEV riposted energetically. According to its leaders, the government would be unable to defend exports if it gave its backing to indigenous wines

55.  Interview with an ONIV leader, Bucharest, July 2010.

Microeconomic Support  217

that mean nothing to wine-judging panels or to foreign connoisseurs: “There is a great deal of talk about promoting Romanian varieties. But the choice is made by the consumer. You may well have a very fine Romanian variety. A consumer in Chicago or Amsterdam won’t touch it.”56 Representatives of APEV feel that the Romanian administration should use investment aid provided by the reformed CMO to develop Italian and French varietals. In order to devalue the very principle of indigenous authenticity, it portrayed these varietals as being in the mainstream of a long tradition: When we replant, we buy vines in Italy and in France. We buy Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot noir, and Sauvignon blanc too. It’s quite true that these are not indigenous varieties. But that doesn’t stop them from being Romanian, does it? They have been here for at least 100 years. You know, you can talk about indigenous varieties for as long as you like. . . . What counts is not whether the variety is indigenous or not, it’s what this says to the consumer.57 To sum up, payment of European subsidies for the restructuring and reconversion of vineyards led to fierce struggles between Romanian firms. Each side developed an argument that prioritized the varieties it promoted. The objective was for the bureaucratic field to set and police a definition of legitimate wine making. Investment aid has thus produced different effects from one region to another. These differences depend largely on the preexisting structure of the economic field in each area and the positions in the bureaucratic field. In each case, however, distributing such subsidies caused or revived tensions between representatives of different categories of firm. In most cases, such conflicts remain relatively weakly politicized because the actors in the bureaucratic field located at the national scale have not used them as weapons in other, broader struggles. Overall, the microeconomic aid aspect of the CMO reform has not been its most politicized one. Instead, a relative consensus has been expressed in favor of the idea of microeconomic aid that seeks to improve competitiveness, quality, and the modernization of production processes. However, the implementation of this set of measures has been far from consensual. At first glance, actors generally focused on the distribution of aid and assumed that if the aid was completely distributed, that meant that the instrument was well adapted to the needs of growers and merchants. However a closer look reveals that the implementation of this measure also caused conflicts and raised questions about how funds should be distributed, the efficiency of each measure, and the relevance of some policy instruments. 56.  Interview with an APEV leader, Bucharest, July 2010. 57.  Interview with a member of APEV, Bucharest, August 2010.

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These representations of this part of the reform also revealed interesting convergences, notably between cooperatives in France, Spain, and Italy in terms of their respective and common collective action and its rationale. Indeed, a new and unexpected cleavage between representatives of cooperatives and large wine merchants on one side and representatives of individual growers on the other seems to be emerging in this issue area. Moreover, the unexpected and sometimes paradoxical effects of the implementation of these measures has raised concern about the institutional coherence between the microeconomic measures and the other policy instruments the CMO reform set up. In June 2012, the EU’s Court of Auditors criticized the potential contradiction between subsidizing the grubbing out of vines and financing new investments.58 The microeconomic measures enhanced the productivity—and sometimes the productive potential—of many growers, but not necessarily those who were generally considered to be the most competitive and the most adapted to the “new consumer.” As one of our interviewees from an Italian federation of cooperatives bluntly expressed: “What did many growers do, if they had many vines? For one lot of vines, they took money for grubbing out, and they grubbed out. For another, they took money for reconversion, and they doubled what they produced before!”59 This critical tone was even more pronounced in the special report published in July 2014 by the EU’s Court of Auditors about the CMO’s investment and marketing microeconomic measures.60 The report highlighted some of the major conflicts we encountered during our fieldwork. First, the Court of Auditors noted that the implementation of the investment measure was delayed or very limited in some member states. Some member states could not always guarantee that the aid had actually been directed to financially viable projects. These issues in the bureaucratic field were reinforced by the risk of overlap and confusion between the investment measure of the CMO and aid available through the EU’s rural development program. Second, the Court of Auditors noted that despite the initial objective of helping small- and medium-sized enterprises, marketing funds had mostly been distributed to the largest firms, which were already exporting.61 Large

58.  See press release of 12 June 2012 by the European Court of Auditors, “The Reform of the Common Organization of the Market in Wine: Progress to Date,” portal/pls/portal/docs/1/14984739.PDF. 59.  Interview with a member of Legacoop, Rome, November 2012. 60.  European Court of Auditors, “Le soutien de l’Union européenne dans l’investissement au soutien et à la promotion dans le secteur vitivinicole est-il bien géré et ses effets sur la compétitivité des vins de l’UE sont-ils démontrés?,” Rapport special no.  9, Luxembourg: Office des publications de l’Union Européenne, 2014, ments/SR14_09/QJAB14005FRC.pdf, accessed 25 May 2015. 61.  A criticism made in more vitriolic language by the journalist Isabelle Saporta in her book VinoBusiness. According to her, two massive wine merchants, Grands Chais de France and Castel, pocketed 4.5 and 4.8 million euros, respectively, from this policy instrument during the period 2009–12 (Saporta 2014, 229–230).

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firms, the report claimed, used the marketing measure to undertake marketing campaigns that would have probably been conducted anyway, without public support. In this case, dominant actors from the economic field used the institutional opportunity to distort the original aim of the reform as set out in the bureaucratic field. The report emphasized the fact that a lack of clarity existed about what marketing expenses were eligible for EU aid and a lack of control over potential cases of double funding. In its conclusion, the Court of Auditors reiterated its 2012 statement that a correlation between an increase in wine exports to third countries and the impact of the marketing measure had yet to be made. The response by the European Commission to these criticisms revealed how the institutionalization of its wine policy was experiencing changes that emerged from the constant struggles within the economic and bureaucratic fields and from dissonance between them. While the Commission accepted some of the Court of Auditors’ criticisms, it emphasized that the viewpoints of some actors in the economic field would be taken into consideration in the next step of the CMO reform. These actors were unhappy because marketing grants could not be used to conduct campaigns in the domestic European market. This position engendered some support in the bureaucratic field through the political work that was done by sectorial and territorial actors, notably by the European Parliament. When a minor revision of the CMO was adopted in December 2013, the European Council and the European Parliament changed the marketing measure by opening it to the internal EU market for marketing campaigns that provided information about responsible consumption of wine and about the AOP/IGP systems.62 Institutionalization was thus still in progress, and values (in this case, health and quality) were again mobilized to legitimate change. The controversies that emerged over the evaluation of the microeconomic aid aspect of the 2008 reform is understandable only if one grasps, as Bourdieu’s concepts enable one to do, the entire spaces of positions and the symbolic hierarchies that have been consolidating over the last twenty years. Seen from this angle, implementing microeconomic aid for wine has entailed hierarchical domination and struggles between individual firms, interprofessional organizations, cooperatives, and unions, each of which competed to capture different resources, and struggles among policy makers, from the local to the EU scales, that have engendered new resonances and dissonances between the economic and the bureaucratic fields. This holistic perspective on the politics of socioeconomic change has allowed us to go beyond a mere descriptive account of an apparently unpoliticized aspect of the reform. Overall, the principles behind microeconomic 62.  European Court of Auditors, “Le soutien de l’Union européenne dans l’investissement au soutien et à la promotion dans le secteur vitivinicole est-il bien géré et ses effets sur la compétitivité des vins de l’UE sont-ils démontrés?,” 61.

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aid seemed to fit relatively smoothly with a converging set of perceptions that by 2008 had come to dominate both the economic and bureaucratic fields in the wine industry. Marketing grants in particular had been given virtually unanimous support and have been ever since. However, implementing all these measures has revealed tensions in the bureaucratic field that reflect its multiscalar dimension (e.g., the late and limited application of investment grants in Spain and Italy) and, more generally, uncertainty over which criteria should be used to distribute the subsidies involved. Divisions in the bureaucratic field have often come to light between those who actually applied the reform and those who have been mandated to evaluate it. In certain instances, contradictions between the instruments of the reform as a whole—in particular between grubbing out and investment subsidies—have given rise to more open opposition and conflicts in the economic field that have then spilled over into the bureaucratic field. For all these reasons, microeconomic aid that seemed consensual at the moment of the EU-scale reform has subsequently fueled a considerable number of tensions and struggles within fields and thus altered their coincidence. Analyzing the microeconomic aspect of the reform confirms the added value of our structured contingency approach. Whereas institutionalist economists would emphasize the strategic behavior of hierarchized firms with regard to these new policy opportunities, theory of this type grasps only part of the story. In particular, it does not explain the complex and multiscalar resonances and dissonances between the economic and bureaucratic fields. It also overlooks tensions within the bureaucratic field (between the designers, implementers, and evaluators of the reform, each at multiscalar levels). Regulationist economists would see in this aspect of the reform a further illustration of the adaptation of the government of wine to a shift in accumulation regimes. However, regulationists have difficulties explaining a series of policy instruments that contradict an explanation of the CMO reform as a fully neoliberal one. In addition, such an approach would have difficulties taking into account the changes in the spaces of positions and symbolic hierarchies that have structured the economic and bureaucratic fields. Finally, sociological institutionalism would see the implementation of this aspect of the reform as a further illustration of struggles between incumbents and challengers of the reform, which can be explained by the different skills of firms, producer associations, and merchants in terms of accessing the new resources (here, in marketing and modernization). While our approach takes these elements into consideration, it has sought to go further by revealing that the legitimation of the initiatives by some businesses and collective organizations have also received impetus from shifts in the bureaucratic field. Our approach to the resonances/dissonances of the changes in positions and hierarchies in both the economic and the bureaucratic fields is thus best suited to analyzing these phenomena.

Conclusion A Glass Half Full

In drawing this account of change in the European wine industry to a close, we will develop three sets of points. First, we shall restate why the changes observed over the last two decades took place and how the structured contingency theory we have used throughout this book has generated and bolstered this account. Second, we will reformulate how this approach competes with the theories that currently dominate reasoning about economic activity on the part of both academics and stakeholders. Finally, we will make some brief propositions about how our take on this question could be extended to other objects of political economy and even beyond this subfield of the social sciences. In so doing, we will look ahead toward the theoretical and empirical program of work that logically flows from the propositions we have made in this book.

The Causes of Deep Change in the European Wine Industry The touchstone for the research we presented in this book and our theorizing of structured contingency was the EU’s reform of its wine policy that was formally adopted in 2008. Commentary at that time stressed the radical character of this legislation, in particular with regard to the long-standing policy instruments it abandoned (distillation subsidies, planting rights, restrictions on oenological practices), relaunched for one last time (grubbing out measures), or offered as replacements (grants for marketing and “modernization”). The rhetoric and discourse that accompanied the reform clearly sought to signal a shift in the logic of public support for Europe’s wine industry from one based on regulating supply to one that pushed growers

222  Conclusion

and merchants to meet the demand of “the new consumer.” In analytical language, this policy reform appeared from the outset to constitute a prima facie example of paradigmatic, third-order change (Hall 1993). Although our research has largely confirmed this depth of shift in public support for this industry, it goes several steps further by identifying the socioeconomic thickness of this displacement and its fundamentally political causes. EU and other public policies aimed at the wine industry have certainly been significantly modified since the late 2000s. However, placing too much emphasis on these highly visible changes not only leads analysts to overlook more profound mutations, it misunderstands the very place of public policies in the regulation of economic activity. As our concept of institutional orders enables one to grasp, this activity is far from random, constantly shifting and dependent on public policies. Economic operators such as grape growers or wine merchants always have to cope with two recurrent sets of uncertainties, one concerning the cost and availability of their inputs and the other regarding whether they actually will be able to sell their output and at what price. As a wealth of social science literature has rightly theorized, these uncertainties have been tackled throughout history by developing—through collective and public action—institutions in order to reduce or at least stabilize them. These relatively settled sets of rules, norms, and conventions in industries such as the wine industry invariably produce institutional orders by becoming grouped around four institutionalized relationships related to finance, employment, sourcing, and commercialization (Jullien and Smith 2008, 2014). Crucially, public policies participate to varying degrees in each of these institutionalized relationships and thus in the institutional order of any industry. However, overestimating their impact, either theoretically or empirically, overlooks the institutionalizing effects and causes of the everyday politics that largely occur in economic activity itself. Equipped with the analytical tools of institutions, institutional orders, and institutionalized relationships, we can best characterize recent change in Europe’s wine industry as a deep displacement of an institutional order dominated by a sourcing institutionalized relationship to one in which its commercial institutionalized relationship put the most pressure on the remainder of the industry’s institutions. We have shown that until the late 1990s, rules, norms, and conventions that were constructed to regulate the growing of grapes, the definition and making of wine, and the categorization of wine dominated both the European and the worldwide wine industry. Restrictive definitions of what constituted wine, as well as how it could be made, predominated. In addition, actors in the wine industry sought to naturalize a link between each wine and its locality (terroir) in the name of preserving a plurality of wines throughout the world. Underlying the universalistic and benign rhetoric that accompanied these efforts was a logic of economic action that privileged certain actors, namely the producers of geographically indicated wines. This domination was largely masked and depoliticized not

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only by the emphasis within the sourcing institutionalized relationship on increasing quality as a vague and largely unchallengeable collective objective but also by the unstated linkages of that institutionalized relationship to the industry’s financial institutionalized relationship. Until the 1990s, the industry was overwhelmingly dominated by small enterprises and their representatives, and highly conservative banks had virtually monopolized sources of capital. As larger units of production started to emerge and distribution shifted in favor of large supermarket chains, the sources of capital for the wine industry began to diversify, bringing in other actors who proposed new business plans and institutional renewal. In short, the increasing importance of the commercial institutionalized relationship in Europe’s wine industry was given impetus and legitimacy by the EU’s 2008 reform. However, this displacement of power in the industry’s institutional order began at least a decade before this policy change. It can only be thoroughly explained by retracing the contesting of previously dominant institutions and the emergence of proposals to replace them. This brings us to the second key component of our analysis in terms of structured contingency: fields as sets of structured positions and struggles for symbolic hierarchization. Just as capital does not move independently of human agency, institutions do not change themselves. They change or are reproduced as a result of struggles between actors located in spaces that are highly structured by asymmetrical resources and biased symbolic orders (Bourdieu 1992, 2013). The shift in its pattern of domination within Europe’s wine industry from the sourcing to the commercial institutionalized relationship was preconditioned by the significant displacements that occurred in the scientific, economic, and bureaucratic fields of the industry. As chapter 3 has shown in detail, sustained contestation of the sourcing institutionalized relationship’s logic of action—improving the quality of wine by maintaining its long-standing categorizations and rules—began in the scientific field. This entailed not only conducting new types of research and generating provocative findings (for instance about the objective quality of GI wines or about the obsolescence of their marketing) but also by considerable repositioning of academics and other experts in the field itself that, by the early 2000s, had led to its reordering. This hierarchy of scientific expertise modified the legitimacy of individual and collective experts both in and between key disciplines. Although the scientific field had long been dominated by agronomists, lawyers, and geographers, it was rehierarchized when biochemists, econometrists, and market researchers rose to the top (Roger 2010b). This rise had nothing to do with the objective rightness of the research results and arguments researchers in the latter disciplines generated. Rather, it can be explained as the consequence of shifts in the entire field of academia that concern the definition of what constitutes scientific excellence. Just as important, there was no guarantee that the arguments made in the scientific field would have any significant impact on the economic and

224  Conclusion

bureaucratic fields. As we have shown in chapters 4 and 5, there is little evidence that academics directly influenced the arguments for institutional and policy change that emerged in the early to mid-2000s in interest groups and public authorities such as the European Commission. Instead, analysis of change in these two fields, the influence of those changes, and the influence of science on the institutional order of the wine industry needs first to be seen as an endogenous source of destabilization, then matched by careful analysis of coincidence, or accidental resonances (Steinmetz 2011, 55; see also Bourdieu 1988, 161; Bourdieu 1992, 109–110), between the three fields. Of course, economic decision makers and bureaucrats occasionally commission and even read the publications of scientists, academics, and experts. Moreover, many if not most of them have been trained in units of higher education that constantly use these publications in their teaching. It is thus important to study the sciences as potential transmission belts between formalized knowledge and practitioner knowledge. However, academic production has an external effect only to the extent that the orientation of the scientific field contingently coincides with those of other fields. It is crucial to remember that economic operators and public officials spend much more of their time and energy working in their own respective fields and thus seeking to maintain or improve their positions in them. For this reason, chapter 4 emphasized the importance of struggles between wine businesses and in their collective action organizations as a distinct set of tensions around the discrediting of an institutional order dominated by its long-standing sourcing institutionalized relationship largely independently of concomitant shifts in the scientific field. Displacements in the economic field were affected by wider changes, for example concerning the availability of capital, company ownership, corporate restructuring, and the consumption of wine. However, none of these trends automatically caused the reordering of the economic field in favor of the merchants and certain modes of wine growing that we have observed and documented. Nor do they explain the changes that collective action organizations such as the Comité européen des entreprises du vin or the Confédération des Organisations Professionnelles Agricoles underwent. Instead, as we reiterate below, only disciplined analysis of struggles in the economic field can explain the dynamics, conflict, or cooperation these changes entailed. Chapter 5 refutes analysis of the European Commission’s involvement in the changed politics of the wine industry as caused by exogenous variables such as the hegemony of neoliberalism, the need to cut budgetary spending, or the imperialism of the World Trade Organization. Instead, we have shown how officials in DG AGRI’s wine unit sought not only to find solutions to the problems they saw in the industry (for which they had some responsibility) but also to enhance their position in a bureaucratic field that includes opposite numbers at the global, national, and local scales. By recycling arguments and policy instruments already being used by recently empowered actors in

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this field who were working on other agri-food industries (e.g., ending price supports and restrictions on producer practices), actors in the Wine Unit and also their commissioner and her cabinet sought to improve their status both in the Commission and with administrations and interest groups considerably beyond Brussels. The simple adoption of neoliberal principles was not enough to make this possible. Instead, Commission representatives also strove to invent new or renewed instruments (namely wine categories and marketing and modernization grants) through which they could both intervene economically and extend their political authority. As chapters 7 and 8 have underlined, these categories and grants have had a mixed reception in Europe’s vineyards and their institutionalization often remains uncertain. These chapters reveal a great deal about the challenges of public action at the EU scale and, contrary to those who would see the Commission as the handmaiden of neoliberal capitalism, about the distance that so often separates this public authority from the economic field. This point brings us back to the topic of accidental resonances between fields. As many other academics have done, it would be very easy to argue that a conniving alliance, or even network, of scientific, economic, and bureaucratic experts emerged in the 2000s and imposed their conception of control (Fligstein 2001a) on the industry as a whole. Such an overarching version of history can conveniently be drawn from a cursory reading of seemingly compatible facts and figures. But this view fails to see that much of that data is not actually as concordant as it looks at first sight. More deeply still, emphasizing material evidence or overestimating the density of networks and their impact on behavior fails to comprehend both the deeply structured and highly contingent character of economic activity. This activity is ordered in profound ways by institutions and the fields of actors that generate and sustain them. Each field in an industry such as the wine industry tends to become autonomous in relation to its institutional order. Yes, at times prominent actors from the scientific, economic, and bureaucratic fields met and occasionally they even developed long-term relationships and reciprocal exchanges (e.g., between academics, wine companies, and bureaucrats). However, such professions remain worlds apart. For instance, we found no evidence that the Commission’s Wine Unit drew directly on scientific expertise. For this reason, it is more rigorous and heuristic to consider that the relations between fields rarely operate through deliberately constructed interactions. Instead, they develop much more frequently through coincidental developments and accidental resonances. This has clearly been the case for the European wine industry, where three autonomous fields experienced similar developments that began to coincide in the early 2000s (essentially between the scientific and economic fields) and then again in the mid- to late 2000s (essentially between the economic and bureaucratic fields). The principal advantage of analysis through the lens of accidental resonance is that it highlights the contingency of both economic activity and the

226  Conclusion

political activity that shapes how it is governed. This is where our third and final key concept—political work—dovetails with institutions and fields. The claim we made using this concept is that the struggles that develop in fields and around institutions are not arbitrary, random, or incomparable. Consequently, they should not be studied as such. Drawing on a long tradition of constructivist public policy analysis, this book has shown instead that such struggles to change or reproduce institutions are consistently structured by the overlapping of three recurrent processes: problematization, instrumentation, and legitimation. As our research has shown, institutional change in Europe’s wine industry has involved the constant efforts of a variety of actors to define the issues they view as social and public problems that, they argue, ought to be taken on board and dealt with by collective and public authorities. This construction of problems has clearly had a deep impact on the way actors in bodies such as the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins, the Commission’s Wine Unit, and the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin modified their respective visions of what was not working in the government of their industry and what actions were required. It was just as important in our research to extend this constructivist concept in two ways. First, we used this lens to analyze decision making and hierarchy shifts in firms, be they individual wine châteaux, vertically integrated companies such as Castel, or major cooperatives such as those that predominate in the Midi. Second, we have extended our analysis of problematization to study the implementation of both the EU’s 2008 reform and the radical shift in most of its governing instruments that Europe’s wine industry experienced over the last twenty years. As the differences between La Rioja, the Bordelais, Tuscany, and Romania highlight, either policy changes that emanated from Brussels have been appropriated in these vineyards because localized problems were redefined in ways sought by the EU’s Council of Ministers and the Commission or each region continues to be dominated by purely endogenous categories and perceptions. The concept of political work guides research toward analysis of how policy instruments are constructed as a second, complementary, angle from which to generate data about the structured contingencies that constantly arise in and dynamize fields and institutional orders (Lascoumes and Le Galès 2007). In addition to the work they do to define problems, actors who seek to gain power in an industry also develop such instruments as antidotes or palliatives to the problems they have identified. As the example of planting rights presented in chapter 6 highlights particularly starkly, instruments are never neutral and almost invariably have detractors as well as promoters. It is therefore heuristic to analyze in detail both the making of each instrument and its implementation. Indeed, as chapter 8 relates, even apparently consensual instruments such as grants for marketing or for modernizing farm equipment can generate intense struggles that reveal much about

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hierarchies, reproduction, and change through their impacts on fields and institutional orders. The third dimension of political work—legitimation—provides a final means of revealing the dynamics of institutional orders and fields. It does so by guiding researchers to generate data about the respective symbolic orders of orders and fields and how these affect the construction of problems and instruments. As we have seen throughout this book, the wine industry has an abundance of symbols that actors have sought to mobilize, update, or disqualify. For example, struggles have occurred over terms such as table wine, an expression that once was used to normalize the everyday drinking of wine in countries such as France but was transformed as early as the 1980s and 1990s into a stigma for products that ought to be removed from the market completely. Conversely, geographical indications, such as the Denominación de Origen Calificada (Registered Designation of Origin) that actors in La Rioja rejuvenated in the 1990s, have been used as rallying symbols invested with considerable social and political meaning. In Romania, the definition of a genuine national wine is still a bone of contention, especially when priorities were set for the implementation of grubbing-out measures, because an ongoing symbolic struggle has developed between proponents of native vine varietals and advocates of international ones. In Tuscany, struggles that pitted the legitimacy of collective appellations (such as Chianti) against individual brands raised debates linked to power and identity. Indeed, far from being empty gestures, when symbols are politically worked on in appropriate ways, they participate strongly in the legitimation of arguments for stasis or change and the legitimation of the actors that mobilize them. By combining analysis in terms of institutional orders, fields, and political work in an approach to structured contingency, this book has laid out a comprehensive account of the change that has taken place in the European wine industry over the last two decades. More fundamentally, it has tested and confirmed the claims about contemporary economic activity and its politics that have been made by researchers who have already combined the insights of constructivism and institutionalism (Hay 2006a; Abdelal, Blyth, and Parsons 2010). We have also sought to go a step further by generating or redeveloping a number of specific concepts that offer this scholarship robust tools for tackling the challenges of studying today’s political economy.

How Our Approach Competes in the Market of Theories Five types of analysis currently dominate accounts of socioeconomic change in general and their analysis of the wine industry in particular: institutionalist economics, regulationist economics, sociological institutionalism, actor-network theory, and historical institutionalism. To varying degrees, the

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arguments summarized above differ from each of these theories. Instead of simply repeating the theory positioning presented at the beginning of this book, we restate our points of difference below in order to better identify our own theory of structured contingency as a means of facilitating discussion with colleagues who might agree to engage in such a debate. Throughout this book, institutionalist economics and its ontological twin rational choice theory have been our most obvious theoretical adversaries. In each chapter, we have firmly rejected accounts that attribute socioeconomic and policy change to material determinants and the invisible hand of the market. For advocates of such explanations, European wines have changed simply because decreases in domestic consumption in large producer states such as Spain have forced producers to seek new markets abroad. They emphasize that market disruption has also been fueled by the rise of exports from New World countries such as Australia and South Africa. Their argument is that European wine producers and policy makers were forced by markets and the exogenous shock of globalization to change their practices and policies. While we take into account the impact of consumption shifts and New World wines, our argument is that newly dominant interpretations of the failure of past practices and antidotes to that failure have emerged from the struggles in and across the wine industry’s institutional order and fields. Spontaneous, interest-dominated reactions to changes in demand never generate precise plans for institutional change. Moreover, they have never constituted a rigorous explanation for what actually changed or remained the same. Instead, various actors have mobilized a narrative about contemporary economic activity in order to enhance their position in their respective fields. Having said this, we have not totally embraced the thesis of regulationist economists, the direct opponents of institutionalist economists. Unlike rational choice theorists, regulationists emphasize the structural elements that drive economic forces. According to this approach, economic activity takes place in accumulation regimes that structure the relationship between production and consumption. These structures are reproduced by types of political and social organizations that have been legitimized through history. Given our institutionalist orientation, we support the regulationist focus on extra-economic norms and historically shaped social hierarchies and institutions because they largely explain the stabilization of productive and commercial activity in any given period. However, we have rejected the mechanistic account of change or stasis that permeates the regulationist approach. In order to distance themselves from an individualist-rationalist account, regulationists have insisted on the role of the macrolevel determinants of global economic change. This focus has led them to downplay the role of contingency. We have shown that in the case of the wine industry, EU, national, and regional administrations did more than simply write up a change that emanated from the power held by large firms. Our research has instead identified the crucial role of accidental resonances among the economic,

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scientific, and bureaucratic fields. In particular, in our approach, public administration is not an amorphous entity whose orientation is overdetermined by the balance of power between economic operators. This point is exemplified by our analysis of the genesis and adoption of the EU’s 2008 reform (chapters 4 and 5) and by our focus on its implementation (chapters 6 to 8). These analyses highlight that the political economy of a bureaucratic field requires careful study because it is fraught with intense and singular struggles that coincide (or not) with the structure of confrontations between firms. In other words, contrary to certain regulationist claims, the orientation of an industry’s institutionalized relationships is not determined automatically or in a standardized way. We have also engaged critically throughout this book with the two theoretical approaches that have attempted to overcome a straightforward dichotomy between agency and structure. From very different perspectives, sociological institutionalism and actor-network theory see changes in wine policy as extensions of the positions of firms. In contrast, our research sheds light on the autonomous power of other actors—notably those who occupy relevant positions in the bureaucratic and scientific fields—and goes beyond analysis of the discursive effects of representations of reality to focus on political work and processes of institutionalization. Sociological institutionalism first emanated from the hybridization of two theories: social network analysis (not to be confused with actor-network theory) and organizational analysis. Its proponents built their theory on concepts that at first sight have some similarity to our approach. These include the notion of the social embeddedness of economic activities, institutional work, and strategic action fields, all three of which are good illustrations of an approach that has sought to sociologize the analysis of economic activity by overcoming the gap between structure and agency. When these theoretical tools have been applied to wine, analysts have emphasized entrepreneurship; that is, a blend of social accommodation and political will. Within the wine-growing strategic action fields in Europe, some actors who run businesses have played the role of challengers by using their social skill (i.e., their capacity to mobilize others around selected goals) to take advantage of the external shock of the success of approaches adopted in New World countries. According to sociological institutionalists, the reform of the EU’s Common Market Organization in 2008 merely took note of this development by giving these actors some support and by removing any obstacles to their initiatives that incumbents might pose. This is where our approach differs substantially from sociological institutionalists. For us, what structures an institutional order is not a matter of the ability of actors to work together with others in the industry, or the leadership capabilities of some firms. Rather, it is the result of a contingent, unintended, and uncontrolled coincidence between struggles that take place in differentiated fields. Consequently, instead of focusing on social skill, we have sought to document the effects of the CMO reform

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by identifying resonance between the claim of some actors in the scientific field that they offered new sources of expertise on vines and wine (chapter 3 and chapter 6), the relative strengths of the European Commission and national or local administrations in the bureaucratic field (chapters 4 to 8), and the balance of power between traders and producers in the economic field (chapters 6 to 8). Our research has moved us away even more sharply from actor-network theory; that is, from an approach that focuses on assemblages of human and nonhuman actors and actants. In its focus on the analysis of networks, this theoretical view excludes social structures and social context from its purview. Actor-network theory has notably been used to analyze food networks, and this analysis has led to the view that standards are normative devices that create and stabilize shared judgments. When applied to the wine industry, actor-network theory has led researchers to focus on the sociotechnical devices of its markets. Unlike actor-network theory theorists, we do not feel that the reform of the EU’s wine policy was little more than an endorsement of the outcome of a seizure of power by firms that had constructed and controlled a new actor-network (and in the process managed to attract customers from other networks). According to this perspective, nothing was actually at stake in the reform process itself. As we have emphasized throughout this book, in the case of the wine industry, such an analysis is flawed by an approach that is ahistorical, asocial, and apolitical. Indeed, our research has led us to the opposite conclusion to that of actor-network theory: each field has been consolidated historically (new kinds of expertise ran counter to an institutionalized hierarchy of knowledge on wine and the vine in the scientific field; appellations were the result of a long-standing balance of power in the economic field; strong national and local administrations were present in the bureaucratic field); each field is socially structured (the differentiated symbolic struggles between scientists, economic operators and administrations are all related to specific sets of social positions); and each field’s dynamism has been caused by political work (the coincidence between fields provides the means to maintain or contest an institutional order). Finally, because this book has engaged systematically with historical institutionalist accounts in political economy, we need to briefly highlight how we have sought to extend its agenda. Historical institutionalist specialists have already gone a long way in contesting the material determinism critiqued above. Like some of the key figures in historical institutionalism, we too have emphasized the crucial importance of institutions in sectors of the economy, together with their embeddedness in society and their tendency to be path dependent. However, we argue that this institutionalism needs to go further in four directions: 1) accommodating cases of radical change; 2) embracing the multiscalar nature of political economy and its effects on economic and political behavior; 3) including the implementation of policy change in analysis of reinstitutionalization; and 4) fully taking into account the role of

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social constructions of reality in both the building and legitimation of institutional change or reproduction. These directions are consistent with certain constructivist approaches to institutionalism (Hay 2006a; Abdelal, Blyth, and Parsons 2010). Moreover, they have enabled us to shed light on the centrality of legitimation in processes of institutionalization. From this angle, institutions are best defined as codified systems of the socially constructed visions held by the actors who made and maintain them, together with the rules, norms, and practices they sustain. In our case study of the wine industry, our approach to institutions has enabled us to understand more precisely which actors have empowered themselves and how they have participated in deep policy change, but also why the legitimacy of many of these actors remains decidedly unstable (e.g., representatives of the European Commission and wine traders).

The Road Ahead: Theoretical Refinement and Empirical Expansion If, as this book has shown and we firmly believe, combining questions, concepts, and methods from constructivism, compatible institutionalism, and Weberian sociology provides the most heuristic means of grasping socioeconomic change or stasis, what now needs to be done to make this approach even stronger and more convincing? The initial answers to this question involve accepting the need for theoretical refinement and suggest areas where empirical exemplification of our approach in domains of economic activity other than the wine industry may be useful. The first part of our analytical model that we ourselves are already working on concerns the role played by the finance institutionalized relationship in any industry’s institutional order. The shift in hierarchy from the sourcing institutionalized relationship of the wine industry to its commercial institutionalized relationship that occurred between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, had linkages to change in this industry’s financial institutionalized relationship that concerned both capitalization and corporate ownership. Analytically, this linkage needs to be better theorized and explained. Just as important, social science, our own approach included, needs to study the role of banks and other finance-based organizations as actors operating in economic activity rather than as an isolated sector or as some vague context of capitalism (Mügge 2013). Research recently conducted on the pharmaceutical industry has attempted to move in this direction. Here, supported by regulationist economists who are open to our own concepts and theory (Bélis-Bergouignan, Montalban, Sakinç, and Smith 2014), this analysis has begun to map how changes in the institutional ordering of finance affect the institutional ordering of specific industries. Colleagues have attempted similar analysis in the case of the auto industry (see Jullien and

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Smith 2014). However, a good deal of theoretical and empirical development is clearly necessary. A second way our analytical framework can be developed further concerns its use of the concept of fields in terms of theory, methodology, and empirical enquiry. The challenge in terms of theory is to marry the concept of fields to institutionalism without falling into the institutionalist fallacy of being too deterministic (Emirbayer and Johnson 2004, 9). We consider that coincidences between fields participate in the building and stabilization of institutionalized relationships that combine to create and dynamize institutional orders. We have emphasized that such coincidences are contingent and do not rely on the capacity of an actor to interact with others to construct alliances. Rather, this contingency stems from the structure of positions and struggles for power in each field. Such struggles can take place in one or several of the fields that participate in an institutional order. But struggles of this type can often also occur in fields with few direct links to the institutionalized relationships in question. In our case study, however, the impact of struggles within fields was not the result of an external shock or because new entrants joined the fray. It was more the consequence of the disappearance of the coincidence between the scientific, economic, and bureaucratic fields that had existed from at least the 1920s to the 1980s. In short, the linkages between field theory and a compatible institutionalism could still be tightened and made even more analytically enlightening. The institutionalist part of our theorization of the concept of fields also requires methodological bolstering. In many cases it is highly useful to systematically map the types of capital present in each field at different scales. Work has already been done in this direction in order to better understand the economic field (Lebaron 2013, 2014), the bureaucratic field (Georgakakis and de Lassalle 2007; Georgakakis 2013), and the scientific field (Roger 2014). If analysis of this type was carried out more extensively, comparative analysis could be done, in particular comparisons that take into account different types of capital held at different scales.1 Research could then be done on the relationships between several fields by examining each field at different scales in a way similar to what we have done in this book. However, the limitation of this approach is that it tends to prevent detailed analysis and analysis of the internal workings of all the fields involved. It is thus necessary to begin supplementary research that takes into account horizontal studies of different types of capital at different scales and then applies the insights of that work to the analysis of the specific structures of individual fields. What we have already been able to do with the concept of fields constitutes an in-

1.  As long as care is taken to consider that the capital specific to each field is always a combination of generic capitals that are economic, social, cultural, and symbolic (Bourdieu 1986; Neveu 2013).

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vitation to go considerably beyond research that simply examines each field at one scale and does not take into account coincidences that may occur between it and other fields. Finally, from the point of view of empirical enquiry, refining our institutionalist approach to field theory can be achieved only if it is used to analyze a diversity of topics. For instance, the claims made in this book about the wine industry clearly need to be exemplified in comparable research projects on European policy making. In particular, new work could seek to go beyond analysis of the governmentalization of the EU from the angle of confrontations between interest groups or alliances of actors from different professions that have coalesced spontaneously. As we have shown, hierarchies in a field such as science can coincide with struggles for power in the bureaucratic or economic field. However, this coincidence is always contingent on shifts in the fields as a whole, not just the entrepreneurship of isolated actors. Meanwhile, new empirical research from the perspective we propose would contribute to challenging the intergovernmentalist analysis of EU policy making that postulates that this process is still dominated by the (large) member states. Instead, by tracing each policy change from its conception to its implementation using the concepts we propose, research would be better positioned to show that the bureaucracies of such states are themselves divided by the presence and logic of fields. Overall, our argument is that structured contingency is not just an omnipresent part of the economics of the wine industry and of economic activity in general, it is also deeply multiscalar (at the level of the globe, the EU, states, regions, and vineyards). Although perhaps it is more visible today, multiscalarity is not a new phenomenon. Changes in multiscalarity over the past twenty to thirty years have contributed considerably to creating the conditions for the deep change in wine policy that was adopted at the EU scale in 2008. These changes have also contributed to effects that have varied in revealing ways from country to country and vineyard to vineyard. Nevertheless, as others have also argued so cogently when analyzing other socioeconomic phenomena, the deepening of multiscalarity must not lead researchers to fall back on deterministic and reductionist accounts based on macroeconomic data (Hay 2006b, 2007) or to focus excessively on Geneva and the World Trade Organization (Wolfe 2005). On the contrary, it is high time for researchers to begin to examine multiscalarity more closely by finding ways to simultaneously study all the scales that relate to the contemporary politics of socioeconomics and discover and explain their key components. Indeed, approaching multiscalarity with concepts such as fields and political work ought to lead those who do research on economic activity to avoid two impasses. The first consists of focusing exclusively on the agenda of macrolevel and global institutions, thereby analyzing political work undertaken at all other scales as mere enforcements of deterministic, worldwide change. The second consists of limiting observation to local configurations. Those who re-

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search wine and its terroirs have largely ignored the multiscalar dimension of the regulations, institutions, and political work at stake. A way forward here is to merge field theory and analysis with a constructivist approach to the institutionalization of all territories (Carter and Smith 2008). The ultimate aim is to grasp the multiscalar relationships between the sector-based and territorial dimensions of politics. The example of the wine industry provides a clear example of such relationships. But only thoroughly examining such relationships in other issue areas will make possible a refinement of this way of examining the time-honored triptych of policy, politics, and polity. Deep reflection still remains to be done about the type of social science that is best equipped to tackle the analytical challenges identified above. The theoretical proposition made throughout this book around the notion of structured contingency sets out our position on this question. In our view, this social science must be driven forward by constructivist and institutionalist theories and by a Bourdieusian approach to the fields in which actors are positioned and from which they engage in struggles. But it must also be structured by firm commitments to in-depth empirical and comparative research so that such theories can be refined. The social sciences devoted to issues of political economy have come a long way in the last thirty years, but the road ahead is still challenging. Thinking in terms of structured contingency will take us some of the way; debating the systematic proposition it makes will take us all even further.


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Academia dei Georgofili, 52 Academy for Wine Business Research, 77 – 78 actor-network theory, 4 – 5, 16, 23 – 31, 38 – 39, 58 – 60, 83, 86 – 87, 131, 137 – 38, 162, 227, 229 – 30 Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of ­Oenological Practices, 73 Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of ­Intellectual Property Rights, 185 – 86 American Association of Wine Economists, 71, 76 – 77, 81, 159 American Economic Review, 71 American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 70 American Society for Enology and ­Viticulture, 70 appellations d’origine (AOs), 27, 64 – 66, 80 appellations d’origine contrôlée (AOCs), 27, 33, 62, 64 – 68, 92, 94, 103, 110 – 12, 137, 151 – 57, 160, 165 – 75, 189 appellations d’origine protégée (AOPs), 219 Applied Oenological Biotechnology, 75 – 76 Apulia region, 142 – 43 Aquitaine region Aquitaine Regional Council, 48 collective action, 108 – 9, 182 distillation practices, 140, 162 economic field, 140 exports, 109 geographical indications (GIs), 171 interview subjects, 51 intrafirm investment, 208, 210 marketing strategies, 196, 199 planting rights, 151 – 52

production volume, 50, 140 Union of Organic Wine Makers of ­Aquitaine, 91 vine grubbing, 146, 162 vins de pays, 111, 171 Argentina, 22, 28, 72 – 73, 202 Ashenfelter, Orley, 71, 77 Association Nationale Interprofessionnelle des Vins de France, 180 Association of American Geographers, 79 Association of European Wine Regions, 158, 160 – 61 Australia Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of ­Oenological Practices, 73 Australian Wine Foundation, 70 biochemical research, 77 – 78 exports, 1, 74, 90, 228 planting rights, 158 production volume, 89 – 90, 182 production zones, 79 Roseworthy Agricultural College, 72 scientific field, 69 – 74, 77 – 78 sociotechnical alliances, 27 – 28 South Australia, University of, 72, 77 – 78 Strategy 25, 70 Wine2030 Research Network, 78 World Wine Trade Group role, 72 Autonomous University of Madrid, 76 Azpilicueta, 96 Bacardi-Martini, 106 Berthomeau, Jacques, 89 – 92, 94, 110

258  Index Biotecnología Enológica Aplicada, 75 – 76 Bodegas Domecq, 96 Boel, Mariann Fisher, 124, 131, 135 – 36, 151 Bordeaux region AOC model challenge, 103, 111 Bordeaux School of Management, 78 categorization, 20, 111, 175, 198 – 99 collective action, 109, 111 Fédération des Grandes Vins de ­Bordeaux, 67 geographical indications (GIs), 171, 175 Interprofessional Body of the Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), 67, 103 – 4, 141, 182, 196, 198 – 99 legal protections, 64, 67 – 68 marketing strategies, 196, 198 – 99 terroir, 27, 48 Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, 104, 106 Bourdieu, Pierre, 2, 5, 31, 37 – 43, 219, 234 Bourgogne, 67, 170 Boyer, Robert, 31 Buchler Vaslin, 75 bureaucratic field capital accumulation, 43 classification creation, 43 commissioning evaluations, 119 – 20 Common Market Organization (CMO) ­reforms, role in, 58, 123 – 32, 138 – 39, 143, 193 – 95, 207, 218 – 20, 229 DG-AGRI role, 115 – 21 economic field, relationship with, 45, 123, 165, 193 – 94, 219 – 20, 224 – 25 European Commission, role in, 83, 116 – 21, 123 – 24, 127 – 32, 163 France, 43 – 44, 165, 183, 200 Italy, 43 – 44, 154, 165, 184 Rioja region, 145 Romania, 44, 144, 187, 205, 207 scales, 43 – 45, 116 scientific field, relationship with, 45, 86, 123, 158, 223 – 25 Spain, 44, 153, 169 statistical reports, 121 – 22 Tuscany, 143, 214 California, 20 – 22, 28, 71, 76 Callon, Michael, 23 – 25 Campo Viejo, 95 – 96 Capus, Joseph, 66 Carlo Rossi, 95 Castany, Joël, 105, 113 Castel Group, 78, 95, 226

Castilla La Mancha region, 77, 141, 145, 162, 165, 168, 178 Catalonia, 75 César, Gérard, 110 Chianti region, 1, 51 – 52, 147 – 48, 155, 173 – 75, 186, 204 – 5 Chile, 22, 72 – 73, 89, 202 China, 15, 89, 187, 194, 197, 199, 201 – 2, 204 – 5 Cioloş, Dacian, 155 Coldiretti, 154 – 55 Comité des Organisations Professionnelles Agricoles—Comité général de la coopération agricole de l’Union Européenne (COPA-COGECA), 106, 112 – 13, 118, 161 Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), 105 – 6, 118, 161, 184, 224, 226 commerce institutionalized relationship, 34 – 36, 46 – 47, 85, 88, 102 – 3, 107, 136, 193, 222 – 23, 231 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), 117, 126, 147, 151 Common Market Organization (CMO) reforms acceptance, 124, 130, 139 bureaucratic field, role of, 58, 123 – 32, 138 – 39, 143, 193 – 95, 207, 218 – 20, 229 causes, 3, 58, 221 – 24 distillation subsidies, 2, 135 – 44, 192, 221 economic field, role of, 58, 138, 140, 193 – 95, 207, 219 – 20, 223 – 25, 228 – 29 European Commission (EC), role of, 85, 114 – 15, 120 – 32 geographical indications (GIs), 166 – 75, 178 – 89 intrafirm investment, 2, 208 – 20 marketing subsidies, 2, 192 – 207, 218 – 21 planting rights, 13, 135 – 39, 150 – 62, 195, 221 scientific field, role of, 57 – 58, 138 – 39, 223 – 25, 228 – 29 vine grubbing grants, 2, 13, 135 – 37, 139, 144 – 50, 162, 192, 218, 221 World Trade Organization, role of, 163 See also European Union (EU) wine i­ndustry Confederación de Cooperativas Agroalimentarias de España (CCAE), 51, 211 Confédération des coopératives viticoles de France, 209 Confédération des Organisations Professionnelles Agricoles, 224

Index  259 Confédération européenne des entreprises vin (CEEV), 86, 158 Confédération Nationale des Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée, 157, 173 Confédération paysanne, 90 – 91 Confederazione Italiana degli Agricoltori, 155 Conference of the Academy of Wine ­Business Research, 78 Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de ­Bordeaux (CIVB), 67, 103 – 4, 141, 182, 196, 198 – 99 Consejo Regulador del Cava, 75 Consejo Regulador of Rioja, 51, 86, 109, 112, 142, 145 – 46, 153 – 54, 168, 202 – 3, 212 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones ­Científicas, 76 consorzio, 22 – 23 Constellation Brands, Inc., 95 constructivist institutionalism, 2, 5, 34 – 35, 108 Consulenti per la Gestione Aziendale (COGEA), 140, 146, 195 – 97, 200, 205, 215 Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC), 169 – 70 Coordinadora de Organizaciones de ­Agricultores y Ganadores (COAG), 51, 141, 145, 153 – 54, 178, 202, 211 Costa, Olivier, 196 Cotnari, 98, 101, 169 – 70 Cox, Philip, 98 Cramele Recas, 98 – 99, 206 De Maillard, Jacques, 196 Deleanu, Constantin, 98 Delhaize, 111 Denominaciones de Origen Protegidas (DOP), 168 – 69, 178 Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC), 111, 202, 227 Denominazione di Origine Controllata e ­Garantita (DOCG), 99 – 101, 155 – 56, 204 Denumiri de Origine Controlată (DOC), 169 – 70 Devic, Bernard, 183 Diageo, 95 DiMaggio, Paul, 17 Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI), 106, 115 – 21, 124 – 25, 128, 131, 160 – 61, 224

distillation subsidies, 2, 135 – 44, 162, 192, 221 distribution. See wine trading E. & J. Gallo, 69, 71, 95 economic field Aquitaine region, 140 bureaucratic field, relationship with, 45, 123, 165, 193 – 94, 219 – 20, 224 – 25 Common Market Organization (CMO) reforms, role in, 58, 138, 140, 193 – 95, 207, 219 – 20, 223 – 25, 228 – 29 France, 44, 64, 91 – 92, 140, 152 Italy, 44, 175 New World wine production, role in, 83 political work, 85 – 86 Rioja region, 153 – 54 Romania, 44, 143, 148 scales, 43 – 45 scientific field, relationship with, 44 – 45, 61, 68, 86, 158, 223 – 25 Spain, 44, 110, 141 – 42, 144, 169 wine trading, role in, 88, 91 – 95, 102, 106 – 7, 112 – 13 ecophysiology, 63, 82 Emilia-Romagna region, 102 employment institutionalized relationship, 34 – 37, 46 – 47, 222 endogenous changes, 19, 32, 52, 166, 224 – 26 Enometrica, 76 – 77 estate wines. See vins de châteaux Eurodia, 75 European Association of Wine Economists, 76 – 77 European Commission (EC) academic research, 81, 118 – 19 Better Regulation Agenda, 123 – 24 bureaucratic field, role of, 83, 116 – 21, 123 – 24, 127 – 32, 163 Challenges and Opportunities for European Wines seminar, 124 – 27 Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG-AGRI), 106, 115 – 21, 124 – 25, 128, 131, 160 – 61, 224 Green Paper, 127 – 30 Legal Service, 43 negotiation techniques, 123 – 24, 127 – 29, 136 policy procedures, 115 – 17, 219 reform proposals, 85, 114 – 15, 120 – 32, 219

260  Index European Commission (EC) (continued) reports, 51, 115, 119 – 22, 127 – 31 technicization, 123, 131 White Paper on European Governance, 129 Wine Unit, 116 – 22, 131, 151, 225 – 26 European Court of Auditors (ECA), 149 – 50, 214, 218 – 19 European Economic Community (EEC), 50, 112, 140 European Federation of Origin Wines, 157 – 58, 161 – 62 European Federation of Wine Traders, 86 European Parliament (EP), 51, 115, 129, 157, 160 – 61, 203, 219 European Union (EU) Council of Ministers, 114 – 15, 126 – 29, 131, 136, 151, 161, 163, 192, 219, 226 European Union (EU) wine industry actor-network theory, 28 Challenges and Opportunities for ­European Wines seminar, 124 – 27 Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV), 105 – 6, 118, 161, 184, 224, 226 consumption patterns, 1, 15, 89, 200, 228 European Farmers’ Organizations Committee-European Agri-Cooperatives (COPA-COGECA), 106, 112 – 13, 118, 161 exports, 1, 74, 89 – 90, 99, 101, 105, 109, 111, 177, 180, 196 – 97, 202 institutionalist economics model, 13, 30 marketing strategies, 192 – 207 politicization, 123 – 27, 131, 195 problematization, 89 – 91, 193 production volumes, 50, 98, 101, 109 – 10, 145 – 47, 151, 154, 166 – 68, 177 – 79, 182 regulationist economics model, 15, 30 sociological institutionalism model, 22 – 23, 30 third-order changes, 49, 222 wine trading, role of, 87 – 88, 99 – 101 World Trade Organization, role of, 3 – 4, 163, 224 See also Common Market Organization (CMO) reforms; individual countries exogenous shocks, 5, 15, 19, 32 – 34, 47, 166, 191, 228 exports. See wine trading Farm Accountancy Data Network, 160 Federación de cooperativas agrarias de la Rioja (FECOAR), 51, 154

Federación Española del Vino (FEV), 51, 89, 104 – 6, 141 – 42, 152 – 53, 177, 200 – 201 Fédération des Grands Vins de Bordeaux, 67 Felici, Francesco, 173 finance institutionalized relationship, 34 – 37, 46 – 47, 193, 222 – 23, 231 Fligstein, Neil, 18 – 19, 31, 41 Foncalieu, 112 FoodDrinkEurope, 161 Fosters Wine Estates, 95 Fourcade, Marion, 163 France appellations d’origine (AOs), 27, 64 – 66, 80 appellations d’origine contrôlée (AOCs), 27, 33, 62, 64 – 68, 92, 94, 103, 110 – 12, 137, 151 – 52, 157, 171 – 72 biochemical research, 75 bureaucratic field, 43 – 44, 165, 183, 200 Challenges and Opportunities for European Wines participation, 125 classification principles, 63 – 69, 171 – 72 Confédération paysanne, 90 – 91 consumption patterns, 15, 89 distillation practices, 140 – 41 economic field, 44, 64, 91 – 92, 140, 152 exports, 89, 180, 197 farmers’ unions, 90 – 91 French Institute for the Vine and Wine, 75 geographical indications (GIs), 167, 171 – 72, 180 – 84 intrafirm investment, 208 – 11, 213 legal frameworks, 63 – 66, 81 – 82 marketing strategies, 63 – 65, 103 – 4, 193, 199 – 200 microeconomic grants, 193, 199 – 200 ministry of agriculture, 94, 110, 183 National Confederation of Registered Designations of Origin, 157 National Institute of Designations of ­Origin, 66, 111 Nature et Progrès, 90 Plan Chirac, 68 planting rights, 150 – 52, 158 production volume, 182 regulation history, 50, 64 – 66, 139, 150 scientific field, 44, 61 – 63, 74 – 77 statistical reports, 89, 91 – 92, 94, 110 supermarket distribution, 93 – 94, 103 Vin sans IG (VSIG) adoption, 180 – 84 vine grubbing, 145 – 46 wine companies, 95 – 97 See also Aquitaine region; Bordeaux ­region

Index  261 François, Pierre, 34 Friedman, Harriet, 14 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 89, 117 geographical indications (GIs), 163 – 73 Georgakakis, Didier, 115 – 16 Georgopoulos, Theodore, 81 Germany, 66, 89, 93 – 94, 125, 158, 167, 175, 186 Glavany, Jean, 91 – 92 Grands Chais de France (GCF), 96 – 97 Granovetter, Mark, 18 Greece, 125, 167 Grupo de investigación en Tecnología Enológica, 75 Gusfield, Joseph, 47 Halewood România, 99, 206 Hall, Peter, 49 Hanin, Hervé, 181 Hay, Colin, 34 – 35 Hayes, Peter, 74 Helfrich, Joseph, 97 Herranz, Esther, 203 historical institutionalism, 33 – 37, 47, 195, 227, 230 – 31 Hungary, 65, 125, 158 Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP), 106, 186 Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), 99 – 101, 186 Innovative Corrective Techniques, 75 Institut agronomique méditerranéen, 77 Institut Français de La Vigne et du Vin, 75 Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, 66, 111 Institute for Wine Biotechnology, 70 Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences, 76 institutionalist economics, 4 – 5, 11 – 13, 29 – 31, 58 – 59, 86 – 87, 94, 108, 113 – 14, 137 – 38, 159, 162, 164, 193, 220, 227 – 28 International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, 90 – 91 International Journal of Food Microbiology, 70 International Journal of Wine Business Research, 78 International Journal of Wine Marketing, 72, 78 International Office of Wine and Vine (OIV), 65, 72 – 73 International Organization of Wine and Vine (OIV), 73 – 74, 83, 119, 125, 130

International Vine and Wine Lawyers ­Association, 80 – 81 International Wine Marketing Conference, 77 Interprofessional Association of Organic Wines of Languedoc-Roussillon, 91 Interprofessional Body of the Bordeaux Wines (CIVB), 67, 103 – 4, 141 Interprofessional Committee of Wines from Languedoc, 112 Italy biochemical research, 77 – 78 bureaucratic field, 43 – 44, 154, 165, 184 Business Management Consultants (COGEA), 140, 146, 195 – 97, 200, 205, 215 Challenges and Opportunities for ­European Wines participation, 125 Coldiretti, 154 – 55 consumption patterns, 89 cooperatives, 52, 101 – 2, 147, 154, 214 – 15 distillation practices, 142 – 43 economic field, 44, 175 exports, 89 geographical indications (GIs), 167, 172 – 73, 184 – 86 intrafirm investment, 208, 213 – 15 Italian Farmers’ Union, 155 Italian Federation of Designations of ­Origin, 154 Italian Sensory Science Society, 78 marketing strategies, 193, 200, 203 – 5, 220 microeconomic grants, 193, 200, 203 – 5 ministry of agriculture, 52, 159 planting rights, 154 – 56, 158 production volume, 147, 151 Protected Designation of Origin (DOP), 178 Protected Geographical Indication (IGP), 106, 186 Registered and Guaranteed Designation of Origin (DOCG), 99 – 101, 155 – 56, 204 regulation history, 50 scientific field, 44, 77 – 78 supermarket distribution, 93 Typical Geographical Indication (IGT), 99 – 101, 186 University Center for the Strategic ­Development of the Wine Sector, 77 Vin sans IG (VSIG) adoption, 184 – 87 vine grubbing, 145 – 48 See also Tuscany

262  Index Jacob’s Creek, 69, 95, 97 Jidvei, 98 Journal of Economic Perspectives, 71 Journal of Wine Economics, 71, 76 – 77 Judgment of Paris, 20 Kendall-Jackson, 97 Kessler, Bruno, 180 La Blache, Paul Vidal de, 65 – 66 La journée viticole, 63 La Rioja. See Rioja region Laferté, Gilles, 66 – 67 Languedoc-Roussillon region, 91, 108 – 9, 112, 140, 146, 180 – 81, 183, 196, 208 Latour, Bruno, 60 Lebaron, Frédéric, 122 Leclerc, 94 Legacoop federation of cooperatives, 52, 142, 147, 154, 184, 215 Lockshin, Larry, 72, 77 – 78 Luxembourg, 65, 111, 125, 158 LVMH, 95 Mahoney, James, 34 Marchese Antinori, 99 – 100 Mata Casanovas, 75 McAdam, Doug, 18, 41 McGuigan Simeon, 69 McMichael, Philip, 14 Mediterranean Agronomic Institute, 77 Médoc region, 67, 164, 171 Mendoza, 22, 28 Midi region, 68, 165, 226 Mildara Blass, 70 Mildon, Russell, 117 Moët & Chandon, 95 Moët-Hennessy, 106 Montaigne, Etienne, 159 – 60 Moulton, Kirby, 73 Murfatlar, 98, 101, 169 – 70 Napa Valley, 20 – 21, 27 National Association of Vineyard and Wine Production Employers (PNVV), 187 – 89, 205 – 6 National Institute of Designations of Origin, 66, 111 National Interprofessional Wine Producers’ Organization (ONIV), 143 – 44, 156 – 57, 187 – 89, 205 – 6, 216 National Office for Vine and Wine Products, 157

Nature et Progrès, 90 négociants, 87, 104 New World wine production actor-network theory, 27 – 30 business models, 89 classification system, 169 commercial policies, 69 – 72 consumption patterns, 3, 88 – 89 contractual agreements, 12 – 13 customer attachments, 28 – 30, 58, 71 demand emphasis, 58, 62, 70 economic field, role of, 83 exports, 1, 22, 69, 74, 228 globalization advantages, 15, 27, 73 – 74, 90 growth, 12 – 13, 27, 69, 89, 165 institutionalist economics, 12 – 13, 30 marketing strategies, 70 – 74, 92, 104 networking strategies, 20 – 22, 27 – 28, 58 production costs, 58 regulationist economics, 14 – 15, 30 research strategies, 70 – 74 scientific field, role of, 59, 70 – 78 sociological institutionalism, 20 – 22, 30 standardized wine demand, 58 transaction cost reductions, 12 – 13 New Zealand, 22, 72 – 73 North Carolina, 22 Observatorio Español del Mercado del Vino, 51, 105, 176, 200, 211 – 12 Oenological Research Groups Network, 76 Office International de la Vigne et du vin (OIV), 65, 72 – 74, 83, 119, 125, 130 Office national des vins (ONIVINS), 93 – 94, 186 Olmos, Fernández, 203 Opus One, 95 Parker, Robert, 27 Pascual, Victor, 179 Penfolds, 95 Pernod Ricard, 95 – 96, 106, 112 Piat d’Or, 95 Pierre Chanau, 94 Pinot Gris, 99, 156 Pinot Noir, 156, 217 Plan Chirac, 68 planting rights, 13, 135 – 39, 150 – 62, 195, 221 Pomarici, Eugenio, 159, 172 Portugal, 65 – 66, 89, 125, 158, 167, 173 Powell, Walter, 17, 59 Prahova, 169 Producta, 109

Index  263 Promalvin, 111 Prosecco, 185 – 86, 204 Protected Designation of Origin (DOP), 168 – 69, 178, 187 Provence region, 196, 208 Randelli, Fillipo, 173 Red de Grupos de Investigación Enológica, 76 Registered and Guaranteed Designations of Origin (DOCGs), 99 – 101, 155 – 56, 204 Registered Designations of Origin (DOCs), 101, 111, 170, 227 regulationist economics, 4 – 5, 11 – 15, 30 – 31, 86 – 87, 113 – 14, 137 – 38, 162 – 64, 192, 220, 227 – 28, 231, 234 Research Group for Oenological Technologies, 75 Riesling, 156 Rioja region Agrarian Association of Young Farmers (ASAJA), 51 – 52, 146, 154, 213 Azpilicueta brand, 96 bureaucratic field, 145 collective action, 108 – 12, 196 Consejo Regulador, 51, 86, 109, 111, 142, 145 – 46, 153 – 54, 168, 202 – 3, 212 distillation practices, 142, 162 economic field, 153 – 54 exports, 111, 202 farmers’ unions, 51 – 52 Federation of Wine Cooperatives of Rioja (FECOAR), 51, 154 geographical indications (GIs), 168 – 69, 175, 178 – 79 intrafirm investment, 212 – 13 marketing strategies, 202 – 3 microeconomic grants, 202 – 3 planting rights, 152 – 53 production volume, 50, 109 – 12, 145 – 46, 154, 168, 179 Protected Designation of Origin (DOP), 168 – 69, 178 Registered Designations of Origin (DOCs), 111, 227 supermarket distribution, 96 Union of Farmers and Breeders from the Rioja, 154 vine grubbing, 145 – 46, 162 wine companies, 111 wine trading, 109 – 10 Robert Mondavi, 20 – 21, 70, 95 Roca, Pau, 105

Rodriguez, José Manuel Silva, 161 Romania Association of Romanian Wine Producers and Exporters (APEV), 143 – 44, 156, 205 – 7, 216 – 17 bureaucratic field, 44, 144, 187, 205, 207 collectives, 101, 148 Controlled Designation of Origin (DOC), 169 – 70 distillation practices, 143 – 44 economic field, 44, 143, 148 European Union (EU) accession, 50, 149, 187 exports, 99, 101 geographical indications (GIs), 167, 169 – 71 intrafirm investment, 213, 215 – 17 marketing strategies, 205 – 7 microeconomic grants, 193, 205 – 7 ministry of agriculture, 205 – 6 National Association of Vineyard and Wine Production Employers (PNVV), 187 – 88, 205 – 6 National Interprofessional Wine ­Producers’ Organization (ONIV), 143 – 44, 156 – 57, 187 – 89, 205 – 6, 216 National Office for Vine and Wine ­Products, 157 planting rights, 156 – 58 production volume, 50, 97 – 98, 101, 143, 148 – 49 regulation history, 50 scientific field, 44 Vin sans IG (VSIG) adoption, 187 – 88, 191 vine grubbing, 148 – 49, 227 wine companies, 97 – 98, 169 – 71 wine trading, 99, 101 Roseworthy Agricultural College, 72 Rowell, Jay, 115 – 16 Royo, Barco, 168 – 69 Sacramento Unified Wine & Grape ­Symposium, 76 Saint-Émilion, 1, 48, 67, 196 Saint-Julien, 67 Sardone, Roberta, 159 – 60 Schenley, 96 scientific field actor-network theory, 59 – 60 Australia, 69 – 74, 77 – 78 bureaucratic field, relationship with, 45, 86, 123, 158, 223 – 25

264  Index scientific field (continued) Common Market Organization (CMO) ­reforms, role in, 57 – 58, 138 – 39, 223 – 25, 228 – 29 defined, 37, 41 – 42 demand principles, 69 – 74 economic field, relationship with, 44 – 45, 61, 68, 86, 158, 223 – 25 France, 44, 61 – 63, 74 – 77 hierarchies, 60 – 61, 66 – 69, 82 – 83, 121, 223 Italy, 44, 77 – 78 networking strategies, 59 – 60 New World wine production, role in, 59, 70 – 78 political work, 63, 66 – 69, 139 Romania, 44 scales, 43 – 45, 61 sociological institutionalism, 59 Spain, 44, 75 – 78, 169 supply principles, 66 – 69 technological advances, 60, 70 wine marketing, role in, 163, 223 Sicily, 140, 142 – 43 Smith, Andy, 196 sociological institutionalism, 4 – 5, 16 – 17, 20 – 25, 29 – 30, 37 – 38, 59, 82 – 83, 86 – 87, 108, 137 – 38, 162, 165, 194, 220, 227, 229 Sofralab, 75 Sonoma County Grape Growers Association, 71 Sonoma State University, 71 sourcing institutionalized relationship, 35 – 37, 46 – 47, 85, 88, 94, 102 – 3, 107, 136, 139, 164, 208, 222 – 23, 231 South Africa academic spheres, 69 – 70 biochemical research, 70 demand emphasis, 62 exports, 1, 74, 228 Institute for Wine Biotechnology, 70 legal frameworks, 82 marketing strategies, 70 production zones, 79 sanctions, 89 sociological institutionalism model, 22 sociotechnical alliances, 28 Stellenbosch University, 70, 74, 76 Vision 2020, 70 wine production, 89 World Wine Trade Group role, 72 South Australia, University of, 72, 77 – 78

Spain Applied Oenological Biotechnology, 75 – 76 Aragon Center for Research in Food Technologies, 77 – 78 biochemical research, 75 – 78 bureaucratic field, 44, 153, 169 Challenges and Opportunities for ­European Wines participation, 125 Confederation of Agrifood Cooperatives of Spain (CCAE), 51, 211 Consejo Regulador del Cava, 75 consumption patterns, 1, 200, 228 Coordination of Farmers’ and Breeders’ Organizations (COAG), 51, 141, 145, 153 – 54, 178, 202, 211 distillation practices, 140 – 41 economic field, 44, 110, 141 – 42, 144, 169 European Economic Community ­accession, 50, 112 exports, 1, 89, 105, 177 geographical indications (GIs), 167 – 69, 177 – 78, 201 Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences, 76 intrafirm investment, 208, 211 – 13 marketing strategies, 104 – 5, 168 – 69, 193, 200 – 203, 220 microeconomic grants, 193, 200 – 203 ministry of agriculture, 51, 105, 178 National Scientific Research Council, 76 Oenological Research Groups Network, 76 planting rights, 152 – 53, 158 production volume, 145, 168, 177 Protected Designation of Origin (DOP), 168 – 69, 178 Registered Designation of Origin (DOC), 111, 170, 202, 227 Research Group for Oenological Technologies, 75 scientific field, 44, 75 – 78, 169 Spanish Observatory of Wine Markets, 51, 105, 176, 200, 211 – 12 Spanish Wine Federation, 51, 89, 104 – 6, 141 – 42, 152 – 53, 177, 200 – 201 statistical reports, 89 supermarket distribution, 93 Vin sans IG (VSIG), 176 – 79 vine grubbing, 144 – 46 Viñedos de España, 103, 177 – 78, 191 Vinos de la Tierra system, 103, 168 wine companies, 103 – 4 See also Rioja region

Index  265 Stellenbosch University, 70, 74, 76 Strategy 25, 70 subsidies. See wine production supertuscans, 101, 173 surpluses. See wine production Switzerland, 111, 201 – 2 Symposium on Wine Chemistry, 70, 74 table wines. See vins de table Tanqueray, 95 terroir, 27, 48, 66 – 68, 76, 79 – 80, 82, 108, 113, 139, 186, 222, 234 Thelen, Kathleen, 33 – 34 Tignanello, 99 Tuscany bureaucratic field, 143, 214 cooperatives, 48, 52, 101 – 2, 196, 204, 227 distillation practices, 140, 143, 162 geographical indications (GIs), 173 – 74, 204 intrafirm investment, 214 – 15 marketing strategies, 204 – 5 microeconomic grants, 204 – 5 planting rights, 156 prestige level, 101 production volume, 50, 101 – 2, 140 Registered and Guaranteed Designations of Origin (DOCGs), 99 – 101, 155 – 56, 204 Registered Designations of Origin (DOCs), 101 Tuscan Regional Council, 143 Typical Geographical Indications (IGTs), 101 vine grubbing, 147 – 48, 162 wine companies, 99 – 102 wine trading, 101 Typical Geographical Indications (IGTs), 101 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, 71 Unión de agricultores y ganaderos de la Rioja, 154 Union des Maisons de Bordeaux, 104, 106 Union of Organic Wine Makers of Aquitaine, 91 United Kingdom (UK), 89, 93, 95, 108, 169 United States, 69 – 71, 73 – 74, 76 – 77, 79, 81 – 82, 89, 95, 97, 159, 201 – 2, 204 Universal Exhibition, 25, 207 Val d’Orbieu, 95, 112 Verdier, Denis, 209

Veuve Cliquot, 95 Villa Veroni, 95 Vin sans IG (VSIG), 165 – 67, 176 – 84, 186 – 91 Vincon, 98 vine grubbing, 2, 13, 119, 127, 130, 135 – 37, 139, 144 – 50, 162, 192, 218, 221, 227 Viñedos de España, 103, 177 – 78, 191 Vineyards Data Quantification Society, 76 Vinos de la Tierra system, 103, 168 vins de châteaux, 94, 103, 226 vins de pays, 68, 92 – 93, 103, 110 – 12, 163, 167, 169 – 72, 181 vins de table, 67 – 68, 92, 94, 103, 110, 112, 163 – 64, 169 – 71, 190 Vision 2020, 70 viticulteurs, 67 Weber, Max, 2, 5, 47, 231 White, Harrison, 16, 18 Williamson, Oliver, 12 Wine Economics and Policy, 77, 159 wine marketing Australia, 70, 72 Bordeaux region, 103 – 4, 198 – 99 brands, role of, 72, 76, 79, 94 – 100, 103 collective action, 104 – 7 consumer expectations, 69, 71, 79 – 80, 135 discipline recognition, 72 France, 63 – 65, 103 – 4, 193 International Journal of Wine Business ­Research, 78 International Journal of Wine Marketing, 72, 78 International Wine Marketing ­Conference, 77 Italy, 193, 200, 203 – 5, 220 market segmentation, 73 New World successes, 58, 70 – 73, 92, 104 origins, 72 research techniques, 69 Rioja region, 202 – 3 Romania, 205 – 7 scientific field, role of, 163, 223 sensory descriptive analysis, 72 sensory properties, 71 South Africa, 70 Spain, 104 – 5, 168 – 69, 193, 200 – 203, 220 subsidies, 48, 192 – 207 Tuscany, 204 – 5 useful measures, 198 – 99, 203 – 4, 207 Wine Marketing Research Group, 72 Wine Marketing Research Group, 72

266  Index wine production actor-network theory, role of, 25 – 30, 60 Aquitaine region, 50, 140 classification principles, 63 – 69 cooperatives, 34, 64, 92, 108, 141 – 42 cost controls, 15, 92 diseases, 63, 68 excessive production, 90 – 92 extended networks, 27 fertilizer usage, 63 geographic considerations, 79 – 80 institutionalist economics model, 12 – 13, 30 legal protections, 63 – 68 networking strategies, 59 plastering, 64 regulationist economics model, 14 – 16, 30 Rioja region, 50, 109 – 12 Romania, 50, 97 – 98, 101, 143 sociological institutionalism model, 20 – 23, 30 South Africa, 89 standardized wine demand, 58 subsidies, 103 – 4, 120 – 21, 127, 130, 135 – 44, 162, 192 – 207, 218 – 20 surpluses, 90 – 92, 135 – 37, 140, 150 – 51 technological procedures, 59 transaction costs, 12, 17, 160 Tuscany, 50, 101 – 2, 140 vins de châteaux, 94, 103, 226 vins de pays, 68, 92 – 94, 103, 110 – 12, 163, 167, 169 – 72, 181 vins de table, 67 – 68, 92, 94, 103, 110, 112, 163 – 64, 169 – 71, 190 volume statistics, 48, 50, 98, 101 – 2, 109 – 10, 140 See also New World wine production

Wine Specialty Group, 79 wine tastings, 21, 198 wine trading business models, 88 – 89, 103, 106 collective action, 102 – 4, 108 – 9 distribution changes, 93 – 95 economic field, role of, 88, 91 – 95, 102, 106 – 7, 112 – 13 economic/political reorganization, 87 – 94 European Union (EU) wine industry, role in, 87 exports, 1, 13, 22, 69, 74, 83, 89 – 90, 99, 101, 105, 108 – 11, 130, 177, 180, 196 – 97, 202, 228 instrumentation, 87 – 88, 107 – 8 négociants, 87, 104 oversupply, 90 – 92, 135 price fluctuations, 71, 88 Rioja region, 109 – 10 Romania, 99, 101 specialized wine companies, 95 supermarkets’ impact, 93 – 94, 175, 223 Tuscany, 101 vertical integration, 94 – 95 volatility, 88 See also individual companies Wine2030 Research Network, 78 World Trade Organization, 3 – 4, 73, 80 – 81, 89, 163, 185, 224, 233 World Wine Forum, 76 World Wine Trade Group, 72 – 73, 83 yeasts, 26 – 27, 60, 69 – 70 Yellow Glan, 95 Yellow Tail, 97