Category Archives: Bibliography

On the Geography of Wine


MeursaultIt is many years since I wrote substantively about the historical geography of viticulture, but I have nevertheless retained a keen theoretical and practical interest in wine and the vine ever since.  It was therefore with very great pleasure that I  accepted an invitation from an old friend, Barney Warf (well-known for his paper on the historical geography of cannabis) to contribute an annotated bibliography on the geography of wine to the series of geographical bibliographies that he is editing for Oxford University Press.

I hope that this annotated bibliography will be of use to all those with an interest in the geography of wine.  This is how the introduction begins:

“Wine has fascinated geographers since Antiquity. Greek and Roman geographers wrote extensively about wine and grape growing, drawing on earlier texts, most of which have not survived. In the early 20th century, geographers in wine-making regions of the world, especially France, began to develop a distinctive style of wine writing that placed viticulture as a central element of many European landscapes and geographies. However, it was not until the 1980s that professional geographers in the English-speaking world turned in any numbers to research and publication about wine. Geography is central to understanding grape growing and wine making, regardless of how the discipline is defined: wine is one of the most sensitive of agricultural products to variations in the physical environment; landscapes of the vine and wine reflect deep cultural resonances about the relationships between humans and the places in which they live; and the spatial distribution of wine production and wine styles vary significantly across the globe. This centrality of geography to wine means that there are few books about viticulture and wine making that do not contain some mention of geography, which makes it challenging to compile a comprehensive annotated bibliography on the subject. Almost every descriptive account of a wine region refers to its geography, usually focusing on its physical environment, and the influence that this has on the character of the wines. Moreover, important publications by archaeologists, historians, and economists, alongside many others, frequently refer to aspects of geography in their understandings of wine, often in terms of its role in international trade, its spatial variability, or the significance of the environment in shaping the distribution of grape growing and wine production. This article focuses primarily on the works of writers who call themselves geographers, or who write in geographical publications, but it also includes important publications written by those from other disciplines where they contribute significantly to what might be called a “geographical understanding” of wine. Attention concentrates on more recent geographical material published on wine, but classic texts and important earlier research and writing that shaped the field are also included, where of particular significance. The bibliography seeks to illustrate the breadth of geographical work primarily in the English language, and where authors have written several papers on a similar subject, only the most detailed, or accessible, are usually cited. It also seeks to provide examples of the research by geographers in many different parts of the world, drawing on evidence from Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and both North and South America.”

The bibliography then covers the following main topics:

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews and Texts on the Geography of Wine
    • French Wine Geographies
    • Wine Geographies in the English language
  • Geography, Environment and Terroir
    • Wine and Climate
  • Geography and Wine in Antiquity
  • Geography in the History of Wine
  • Geography of Wine Appellations and Demarcation
  • The Economic Geography of Wine
    • Wine Tourism
  • Spatial Distribution of Wine and Geographical Accounts of Wine Regions

Do please suggest additions or alterations that I can make to enhance the value of this resource

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Filed under Bibliography, Wine