The Wine Revolution in France: The Twentieth Century

Princeton University Press
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During the past eight decades French vineyards, wineries, and wine marketing efforts have undergone such profound changes--from technological, scientific, economic, and commercial standpoints--that the transformation is revolutionary for an industry dating back thousands of years. Here Leo Loubre examines how the modernization of Western society has brought about new conditions in well-established markets, making the introduction of novel techniques and processes a matter of survival for winegrowers.

Not only does Loubre explain how altered environmental conditions have enabled pioneering enologists to create styles of wine more suited to contemporary tastes and living arrangements, but he also discusses the social impact of the wine revolution on the employees in the industry. The third generation of this new viticultural regime has encountered working and living conditions drastically different from those of its predecessors, while witnessing the near disappearance of the working class and the decline of small and medium growers of ordinary wines.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 14, 2014
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781400861163
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Industries / General
History / Europe / France
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This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Faugères is one of the most individual appellations of the Languedoc. Although it produces white and rosé wines the appellation is most famous for its rich, ripe red wines made from the classic Rhone varieties Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. The Faugères wine appellation was created in 1982 and is now producing consistently excellent wines, the secret being in the steep hills surrounding the village of Faugères where the schist, or decayed slate, provides unique soil drainage and moisture retention and introduces distinctive minerality into the wine. The Mediterranean climate of long, hot summers and short cold winters is tempered by Faugères’ proximity to the coast, which produces distinctive and elegant wines. Faugères is a compact vineyard compared to many of the other appellations of the Languedoc, but the variety is infinite, prompted by the human hand and the perceptible differences between the different villages. The white wine, which accounts for just 2% of the appellation, is a perfect example of the way the white wines of the Languedoc are developing and improving with every vintage, their wonderful herbal flavours conjuring up the scents of the herbs of the garrigue, fennel, bay and thyme. Pink Faugères, which accounts for 18% of the appellation, provides delicious refreshing drinking with acidity and delicate fruit. The wines of Faugères always have a distinctive freshness which places them amongst the finest of the Languedoc. Rosemary George’s The wines of Faugères is a comprehensive guide to the wines of a remarkably compact and homogeneous area which covers just seven villages and a couple of hamlets. The wines of Faugères covers the history, geography and climate of the region, as well as its grape varieties and viticulture, before profiling the individual producers and their wines. It ends with an indispensable assessment of vintages going back to the creation of the appellation in 1982. Faugères’ wines, currently little known outside of France, are set to become the next global wine discovery, and Rosemary George’s The wines of Faugères is the most up-to-date and authoritative guide to this beautiful region and its fascinating wines.
Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne. The names of these and other French regions bring to mind time-honored winemaking practices. Yet the link between wine and place, in French known as terroir, was not a given. In The Sober Revolution, Joseph Bohling inverts our understanding of French wine history by revealing a modern connection between wine and place, one with profound ties to such diverse and sometimes unlikely issues as alcoholism, drunk driving, regional tourism, Algeria’s independence from French rule, and integration into the European Economic Community.

In the 1930s, cheap, mass-produced wines from the Languedoc region of southern France and French Algeria dominated French markets. Artisanal wine producers, worried about the impact of these "inferior" products on the reputation of their wines, created a system of regional appellation labeling to reform the industry in their favor by linking quality to the place of origin. At the same time, the loss of Algeria, once the world’s largest wine exporter, forced the industry to rethink wine production. Over several decades, appellation producers were joined by technocrats, public health activists, tourism boosters, and other dynamic economic actors who blamed cheap industrial wine for hindering efforts to modernize France.

Today, scholars, food activists, and wine enthusiasts see the appellation system as a counterweight to globalization and industrial food. But, as The Sober Revolution reveals, French efforts to localize wine and integrate into global markets were not antagonistic but instead mutually dependent. The time-honored winemaking practices that we associate with a pastoral vision of traditional France were in fact a strategy deployed by the wine industry to meet the challenges and opportunities of the post-1945 international economy. France’s luxury wine producers were more market savvy than we realize.

Côte d'Or may be small in size but its influence is huge and its reputation alone can strike terror into the heart of even the most seasoned wine professionals. Côte d'Or is located in the very heart of Burgundy and stretches for a narrow 35-mile band. It’s on this terroir that some of the world’s best known wines are produced.

There are two main sections. Côte de Nuits, named after the village of Nuits-Saint-Georges, is a mere one mile by 12 miles but it’s home to 24 Grand Cru vineyards and some of the world’s most expensive vineyard real estate. This is the northernmost region, starting just south of Dijon and running to Courgoloin, a few kilometres south of Nuits-Saint-Georges and it grows mainly Pinot Noir and other red grapes. It is responsible for some of the great names of French wine, Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-Georges and Beaune itself. The second part, the southerly Côte de Beaune, is well-known for its whites but actually grows both Chardonnay and red grapes. One of the most famous villages in the Côte de Beaune is Pommard, known for its heavy, full-bodied reds.

It’s an intimidating terroir but Raymond Blake’s companionable Côte d'Or demystifies it. There is hardly another wine region where knowledge of the back-story is so critical to understanding the wine, for it is impossible to understand burgundy without reference to the place it comes from and the people who make it. In Côte d'Or Blake transports the reader to the heart of Burgundy, telling the whole story and painting a complete picture of life there: the history, the culture, the people, the place, the geography and the climate.

 The delight of Bacchus, wine has ever been man's solace and joy. Growing out of the poorest soil, the wild grape was tamed and blended over millennia to produce a royal beverage. But the nineteenth century brought a near revolution in the production of wine, and democracy in its consumption; technology made wine an industry, while improved living standards put it on the people's dinner table. The vintners of France and Italy frantically bought land and planted grapes in their attempt to profit from the golden age of wine. But the very technology which made possible swift transportation, with all its benefits to winemen, brought utter devastation from America--the phylloxera aphids--and only when France and Italy had replanted their entire vineyards on American stock did they again supply the thirsty cities and discriminating elite.
In an exhaustive examination Professor Loubere follows the wine production process from practices recommended long ago by the Greeks and Romans through the technical changes that occurred in the nineteenth century. He shows how technology interacted with economic, social, and political phenomena to produce a new viticultural world, but one distinct in different regions. Winemen espoused a wide range of politics and economics depending on where they lived, the grapes they grew, and the markets they sought. While a place remained for carefully hand-raised wine, the industry had, by the end of the century, turned to mass production, though it was capable of great quality control and consistency from year to year.

The author uses a wide range of sources, including archives and contemporary accounts. The volume contains extensive figures, tables, graphs, and maps.
Shortlisted for the 2019 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

“Superb…Among the best books ever written about an American corporation.” —Bryan Burrough, The New York Times Book Review

Just as Steve Coll told the story of globalization through ExxonMobil and Andrew Ross Sorkin told the story of Wall Street excess through Too Big to Fail, Christopher Leonard’s Kochland uses the extraordinary account of how one of the biggest private companies in the world grew to be that big to tell the story of modern corporate America.

The annual revenue of Koch Industries is bigger than that of Goldman Sachs, Facebook, and US Steel combined. Koch is everywhere: from the fertilizers that make our food to the chemicals that make our pipes to the synthetics that make our carpets and diapers to the Wall Street trading in all these commodities. But few people know much about Koch Industries and that’s because the billionaire Koch brothers have wanted it that way.

For five decades, CEO Charles Koch has kept Koch Industries quietly operating in deepest secrecy, with a view toward very, very long-term profits. He’s a genius businessman: patient with earnings, able to learn from his mistakes, determined that his employees develop a reverence for free-market ruthlessness, and a master disrupter. These strategies made him and his brother David together richer than Bill Gates.

But there’s another side to this story. If you want to understand how we killed the unions in this country, how we widened the income divide, stalled progress on climate change, and how our corporations bought the influence industry, all you have to do is read this book.

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SELECTED BY THE ECONOMIST AS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

“A rambunctious book that is itself alive with the animal spirits of the marketplace.”—The Wall Street Journal

Freedom’s Forge reveals how two extraordinary American businessmen—General Motors automobile magnate  William “Big Bill” Knudsen and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser—helped corral, cajole, and inspire business leaders across the country to mobilize the “arsenal of democracy” that propelled the Allies to victory in World War II. Drafting top talent from companies like Chrysler, Republic Steel, Boeing, Lockheed, GE, and Frigidaire, Knudsen and Kaiser turned auto plants into aircraft factories and civilian assembly lines into fountains of munitions. In four short years they transformed America’s army from a hollow shell into a truly global force, laying the foundations for the country’s rise as an economic as well as military superpower. Freedom’s Forge vividly re-creates American industry’s finest hour, when the nation’s business elites put aside their pursuit of profits and set about saving the world.

Praise for Freedom’s Forge

“A rarely told industrial saga, rich with particulars of the growing pains and eventual triumphs of American industry . . . Arthur Herman has set out to right an injustice: the loss, down history’s memory hole, of the epic achievements of American business in helping the United States and its allies win World War II.”—The New York Times Book Review

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“A compulsively readable tribute to ‘the miracle of mass production.’ ”—Publishers Weekly

“The production statistics cited by Mr. Herman . . . astound.”—The Economist

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“Freedom’s Forge is the story of how the ingenuity and energy of the American private sector was turned loose to equip the finest military force on the face of the earth. In an era of gathering threats and shrinking defense budgets, it is a timely lesson told by one of the great historians of our time.”—Donald Rumsfeld
Now beyond its eleventh printing and translated into twelve languages, Michael Porter’s The Competitive Advantage of Nations has changed completely our conception of how prosperity is created and sustained in the modern global economy. Porter’s groundbreaking study of international competitiveness has shaped national policy in countries around the world. It has also transformed thinking and action in states, cities, companies, and even entire regions such as Central America.

Based on research in ten leading trading nations, The Competitive Advantage of Nations offers the first theory of competitiveness based on the causes of the productivity with which companies compete. Porter shows how traditional comparative advantages such as natural resources and pools of labor have been superseded as sources of prosperity, and how broad macroeconomic accounts of competitiveness are insufficient. The book introduces Porter’s “diamond,” a whole new way to understand the competitive position of a nation (or other locations) in global competition that is now an integral part of international business thinking. Porter's concept of “clusters,” or groups of interconnected firms, suppliers, related industries, and institutions that arise in particular locations, has become a new way for companies and governments to think about economies, assess the competitive advantage of locations, and set public policy.

Even before publication of the book, Porter’s theory had guided national reassessments in New Zealand and elsewhere. His ideas and personal involvement have shaped strategy in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Portugal, Taiwan, Costa Rica, and India, and regions such as Massachusetts, California, and the Basque country. Hundreds of cluster initiatives have flourished throughout the world. In an era of intensifying global competition, this pathbreaking book on the new wealth of nations has become the standard by which all future work must be measured.
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