Publication Details

This article was orignally published as Aylward, D. (2005). Global landscapes: a speculative assessment of emerging organizational structures within the international wine industry. Prometheus, 23 (4), 421-36. Copyright Taylor & Francis.


As a rapidly evolving sector the international wine industry represents an interesting subject for analysis. Over the past two centuries the industry has experienced a number of major innovations and direction changes. The organizational shifts involved in these changes have been profound. From a monopolization of wine culture through the 19th and much of the 20th century by Europeans, to the emergence of New World operators and their democratic influence, the international wine industry now stands at the edge of another major paradigm shift. This paper traces the industry’s historical changes and speculates on the implications of such issues as global production, distribution, technology transfer, branding and the escalation of mergers and alliances. It argues that with the increasing global tendency of the industry, ‘New’ and ‘Old World’ distinctions may blur and disappear. Furthermore, as the wine landscape continues to evolve, we may well see a new set of rules, where the emergence of localized branding, an enhanced role for small to medium enterprises and the decline of national industries results in an irrevocable reconfiguration of the industry.



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