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Giving evidence of the authenticity of food heritage: the case of "local wines".

Barrey, S.; Teil, G.; Anthropology of Food, 2011, No. 8

This article focuses on the notion of authenticity attributed to terroir wines as part of the food heritage concept. Over the past 10 years, the AOC system (protected designation of origin) has come under attack from wine growers on the grounds that it no longer protects lands and vineyards, leaving them at the mercy of bad practice. The return of quality terroir therefore brings back the problem of proving the authenticity of this particular food heritage. The present study begins with a review of literature based on the notion of authenticity. It then explores the different methods used by wine growers to rediscover the "genuine" flavour of terroir and express it in their wines. It concludes by looking into the difficulties of designing a wine-tasting procedure capable of judging whether or not a wine really does express its terroir. The article shows that the "authenticity" of terroir wine is neither objectively measurable nor merely illusion, but comes from everything that has gone into its making. (We recommend that you consult the full text of this article).
Published on 03/14/2012
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