The Role of Landscape in the Representation of Portuguese Wine Producing Regions

The Role of Landscape in the Representation of Portuguese Wine Producing Regions

Ana Lavrador (Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal & University of Lisbon, Portugal) and Jorge Rocha (University of Lisbon, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4186-8.ch011
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This chapter analyzes the landscape role in the promotion of wine and tourism of the five most emblematic Portuguese winegrowing regions. The use of landscape in promotional images strengthens the regional identity, becoming a value-added component for wine marketing and tourism destination. Both have great significance in enhancing the growth of winegrowing regions. The global economy and mechanization of viticulture operations tend to simplify and specialize land-use vine parcels, particularly in areas of sustainable large wine production, according to European Union rules. This research implemented an innovative and integrative approach that represents and focuses on the promotional features of producers, tourism, and their official bodies. Selected images were sorted into landscape, trademark, and tourism categories, and evaluated via Cohen's textual model, followed by a multiple correspondence factorial analysis. The results showed a hierarchy of categories and variables consistent with their expression in promotional features.
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Vineyards and wines have a millenary history of adaptation and improvement, being one of the most promising assets of Mediterranean countries, both in environmental and economic terms. In the past twenty years, Europe has witnessed the growth of a new perspective on wine regions, representing a specialized area for specialized production and specialized tourism (Tempesta et al., 2010), which implies new opportunities for regional development as regards multifunctional rural management. According to Valduga (2007), the study of wine tourism in Europe - the process of conceiving wine, cellars, and landscapes as tourism products - started in Italy, in 1993, through the Wine Tourism Movement and the world event called Wine Day. Some authors place the beginning of this field of research in the 1910-decade (López-Guzman & Sánchez Cañizares, 2008). The aim of those studies was related with both, rural tourism and its contribution to rural areas economic diversification (Charvet, 1995), and the market segmentation and behavior of wine tourists (Getz, 2000; Hall, Sharples, Cambourne & Macionis, 2000). Therefore, the early 1990s are assumed as the begin of European wine tourism attending the actual integrative vision for wine regions development (López-Guzman & Sánchez Cañizares, 2008).

During the year of 1993 in France, the landscape was considered a visual expression of a technical, social, and economic project and was inscribed in law as an asset that needs to be managed and preserved (Ambroise, 2003). The recognition of the value of landscape for the development of wine regions is apparent in the fact that Le Val du Loir (France) obtained for the first time the category of World Heritage (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 1994). In 1998, during the International Symposium of Wine and Territory, the Urban Planning of the Wine Cities was presented. This was an important tool for the governance of Italian territories that consider vineyard landscapes relevant for the quality of their economic development and the quality of life, linking the useful with the beautiful (Pioli, 2010). By that time, many other wine regions in Europe had been classified as World Heritage, including two Portuguese wine regions: the Douro Valley (UNESCO, 2000), a demarcated region with over 250 years, and Pico Island, in the Azores (UNESCO, 2001). After Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, new markets, techniques, and perspectives on the wine business have emerged, focusing on wine quality, mechanization, and globalization. In the last decade, wine tourism has added further complexity to the wine business, mostly due to younger and/or more noteworthy traditional producers and companies. The high quality and market value of the wine industry has been attracting new investment in vines and reshaping the distribution of the wine region map of Portugal, taking into consideration the sub-regional, regional, and national scales (Figure 1).

Within the framework of the European Agricultural Policy, within the umbrella of multifunctional rural management, landscape constitutes a reliable complement to production, as stated in the European Landscape Convention (Council of Europe [COE], 2000). In 2003, the Fontevraud International Charter was signed in France by the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, the National Institute of Origin and Quality, the Val du Loire Mission, and the International Organization of Vine and Wine aiming to protect, improve, and manage vineyard landscapes in Europe. In fact, landscape can contribute to the wine regions’ development, since it combines heritage values, cultural practices, and memory. These references are particularly interesting in the construction of wine tourism experiences in rural areas, influencing visitors’ expectations and their search for new places or experiences thus stimulating ‘the tourist gaze’, usually ‘heavily shaped by tourism promoters’ (Schnell, 2011, p. 283).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Landforms: Natural features of the Earth surface. Together they form a given terrain whose interconnection described as topography. Distinctive landforms include mainland features (e.g., hills, mountains, valleys, etc.), shoreline features (e.g., bays, peninsulas, seas, etc.), and submerged features (e.g., mid-ocean ridges, great ocean basins, etc.).

Enotourism: Also known as oenotourism , wine tourism , or vinitourism . It is the tourism of (or including) tasting, consumption, or purchase of wine, many times near or in the source. Instead of other types of tourism that are frequently passive, enotourism can involve visits to wineries, taste wines, vineyard walks, or participating in the harvest.

Heraldic: Related to heraldry. It is a branch of history that studies the coats of arms and the families who are allowed to have them.

Landmark: A distinguishable feature (natural or artificial) that stands out from its surrounding environment.

Narrative Photography: The notion that photographs can serve to tell a story. However, considering that photographs capture single discreet moments and the narrative is undeniably temporal, there is some disbelief that photography can truly represent a narrative structure.

Biodynamic Viticulture: Also known as biodynamie . Similar to organic viticulture but extremer. This grape-growing method promotes a combination of spirituality and farming and considers that a farm should be regarded as a complete living system. In this method, traditional fertilizers are strictly forbidden.

Iconography: A branch of art history. Analyses the identification, description, and interpretation of the content of the image. It portrays the specific compositions and details used to do so, and all the other elements that are distinct from the artistic style.

Landscape: Visible features in a portion of land often analyzed about their aesthetic appeal. Concerning landforms and the way they interact with natural and/or artificial features.

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