Exporting the Vine: Spanish Regional Bodegas and Wine Identity
Friday, January 8, 2016: 3:10 PM
Room M303 (Atlanta Marriott Marquis)
Each year Spain ranks either first or second in national wine production and the image of Spaniards and foreign tourists sipping sangria in cafes is inextricably tied to the Spanish tourism model. Wine, its production, and its consumption remain vital economic and cultural symbols to the Spanish state, but they also act as important emblems for regional diversity and historical concerns in the country’s autonomous regions. This paper will explore both the historical importance of the Spanish bodega as well as the need for regional wines to separate themselves and create their own specific identities for a global market. First, this paper will explore a sampling of regional wineries to view the manners in which some of Spain’s oldest continuous vineyards have survived internal tumultuous periods and international conflict. Second, this paper will investigate how these historicbodegas have tried to adapt their images and marketing techniques to reach a larger global audience, especially as other European wines (such as French and Italian designations) seem to dominate the larger markets in countries like the United States. Through the use of interviews, visitations, and archival materials this paper hopes to highlight the differences and similarities throughout the Spanish wine market and better understand if these issues are truly national concerns or if they are dominated by regional interests and culture. Interviews conducted with vineyard owners, managers, and archivists will also highlight the individual histories and identities of these producers to explore how they understand themselves and their places in the global market.