The Impact of Political Regulation on Quality Signals and Pricing in the Wine Market
Part of a larger project examining value creation in the wine market, this project concentrates empirically on the political regulation of quality signals such as the classification of wine regions, bottle labels, certificates, and product criteria for marketing quality wines, all of which impact pricing strategies in the wine market. The hypothesis suggests that the architecture of the wine market is based on the social construction of quality signals and their ascription to certain wines. The competing interests of producers, associations, and national regulatory agencies regarding the specification of quality signals make the wine market a politically contested field. The project examines wine regulation in the Federal Republic of Germany since the postwar period in order to assess the way socio-cultural change has interacted with institutional evolution. Qualitative interviews with experts at the regional, national, and EU levels as well as primary sources and archives provide the empirical basis of the project; the wine regions Rheingau and Rheinhessen will serve as case studies. Project duration: October 2007 to July 2013.
This project is part of "The Production of Cultural Meaning and Price Formation on Wine Markets," a study conducted jointly by the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies and the Institute of Sociology at the University of Zurich. The project website is currently in German only.