By: T Unwin
409 pages, B/w plates, tabs, maps
The products of the grape vine are amongst the most diverse of any agricultural crop. This is not only the result of differences in soil and climate: it also reflects the labour of countless generations of vine growers and wine makers, each set in their own distinctive human context. It is this interaction of people and environment over time, creating specific cultural identities, that lies at the heart of any understanding of the emergence of viticulture and wine production. Wine and the Vine provides an introduction to the historical geography of viticulture and the wine trade from prehistory to the present. Throughout the rich symbolic and cultural significance of wine is related to its evolution as a commercial product. Thus the book discusses, for example, both the numerous roles assigned to wine by different religions and the internationalisation of wine production and marketing. Particular themes which form a focus for analysis include the role of the Roman Empire in influencing the spread of viticulture; the importance of political factors in determining the contours of the medieval wine trade; the use of wines and vines as social symbols throughout history; the global spread of viticulture under colonialism and imperialism; and the role of global corporations in the modern wine industry.
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