The vinegrowing and wine - Producing World
4. FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN TO THE WORLD
The WTO mercantilist system has an internationally-recognised scale (fig. 1.2 International Segmentation of the Wine Market) that is used to link the quality of products to the prices attributed to them: it does not adhere to OIV rules, however the protection of producers’ economic interests carries vital weight in viticulture, so much so that in many member states – see California – efforts are moving towards protecting producersi.
France, possibly a reference model for Californians, focuses vineyard cultivation and the production of its own wines in areas where there are still elements of sacredness linked to the historical heritage of the territory (Cru), connected to lifestyle (luxury) and historical channels that in the past traced trade routes that still exist today.
As far as exports are concerned, the Bordeaux area is a prime example; it is suitably located for trade with England, which it has had connections with since Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage to Henry II in 1152; wine is currently destined to the areas of Quebec and Louisiana, thanks to French colonial settlement here.
Spain took the Catholic religion and wine to the American colonies, but the long distance from the mother country opened horizons for New World viticulture in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, whereas Italian colonization in the twentieth century established viticulture in Uruguay and Brazil with the consent of the Spanish and Portuguese.
The expansion of navigation and the British Empire, with the consequent demand for products with a high alcohol content, created and guided Portuguese and Sicilian viticulture towards types of wine required by Her Majesty’s Navy. The same mercantilist soul gave rise to viticulture in the Commonwealth, especially in Australia and South Africa.