This article analyses the consequences of the ‘methanol wine scandal’ on the wine production market of Piedmont. Contrary to what is usually claimed, these consequences where not the direct result of the scandal, but emerged only when a change in the institutional configuration of the market came about. The article illustrates how the institutional change following the scandal triggered the quality turn of the wine production market in Piedmont. The key processes at the root of this change are depicted in terms of quality conventions as coordination mechanisms embedded in the institutional context. The first part of the article outlines the conceptual coordinates concerning the ‘social construction’ of quality. Afterwards both the general and regional trends toward the quality production in the national and local wine sector are summarised. Then ‘the methanol wine scandal’ and its institutional consequences are illustrated. Finally, to appreciate the current organization of the local production market and of the quality conventions among wine producers, findings from interviews with local entrepreneurs are reported.

In Pursuit of Quality. The Institutional Change of Wine Production Market in Piedmont

BARBERA, Filippo;
2012-01-01

Abstract

This article analyses the consequences of the ‘methanol wine scandal’ on the wine production market of Piedmont. Contrary to what is usually claimed, these consequences where not the direct result of the scandal, but emerged only when a change in the institutional configuration of the market came about. The article illustrates how the institutional change following the scandal triggered the quality turn of the wine production market in Piedmont. The key processes at the root of this change are depicted in terms of quality conventions as coordination mechanisms embedded in the institutional context. The first part of the article outlines the conceptual coordinates concerning the ‘social construction’ of quality. Afterwards both the general and regional trends toward the quality production in the national and local wine sector are summarised. Then ‘the methanol wine scandal’ and its institutional consequences are illustrated. Finally, to appreciate the current organization of the local production market and of the quality conventions among wine producers, findings from interviews with local entrepreneurs are reported.
2012
52
3
311
331
economic sociology; markets; quality; conventions; social structure
F. Barbera; S. Audifredi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/103105
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