International competition in the wine market is amongst paramount issues for economists concerned about the agricultural sector and regional development in wine-growing areas. The entry of New Word wines into the European markets raises new and real challanges both for the Industrial Organisation Theory and Development Economics.
It is a fact the recent expansive exports from Australia, Chile or South Africa has led to question the rural concept of wine-growing economics, taking into account consumers' expectations, economic organisation and marketing that constitute the fundamental of economic activities. Hence, the worldwide industrialisation of wine production, combined with the creation of powerful brands that are supported by huge market promotions, certainly leave room to question the craftsmanlike approach to viticultural production.
The Old World faces today a depression of its world market share, although it is preserving a unique organisational capacity for regional development. The Protected Designations of Origin are the central point of the whole system and one of their major strengths lies in the integration with socio-economic, environmental and tourist dimensions.
This book contains contributions by researchers from Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil and aims analysing the complex wine issues from the Old World perspective, and identifying the risks and opportinities connected with the Mediterranean productive organisation model. It furthermore attempts at providing a comprehensive panorama of the new strategic matters of global wine economy in its treatment of topics like quality determination, supply chain management, consumers' expectations and demands, regional development and international regulations.
Silvia Gatti is researcher in Political Economics at the Faculty of Statistics of the University of Bologna.
Eric Giraud-Héraud is research director in the French "Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique" (INRA) and is a member of the "Laboratoire d'Econométrie de l'Ecole Polytechnique".
Samir Mili is senior researcher in the Department of Economics at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Madrid.