Wine in the Circuit of Culture: “Authentic Wines” as Cultural Objects in the 21st Century

Activity: Supervision


This report corresponds to a six-month internship, which took place from September 1st, 2019 to February 29th, 2020, in the marketing department of Saffer Wein GmbH in Munich, Germany. The aim of this report is to investigate how a well-established wine importer like Saffer Wein GmbH treats wine as a cultural product. Using Goode and Harrop’s definition of authentic wine, and the official OIV term terroir, this report discusses the immaterial elements of wine in the context of cultural marketing. Beginning with the contextualization of wine as a cultural product through Hall and du Gay’s circuit of culture, this research analyses the culture of wine through the circuit’s five moments of production, representation, consumption, regulation and identity, concentrating specifically on Italian wine as a cultural product in the German market. My internship involved developing a cultural marketing program that communicated the intangible cultural elements of Italian wine to German consumers, who have recently become interested in the cultural components of their products. This awareness is a relatively new phenomenon in Germany, and goes hand-in-hand with an increased awareness of sustainability, all of which is part of an evolution towards aesthetics and specialization within contemporary consumption. This report investigates the role of culture in the appreciation of wine, and how Saffer Wein GmbH integrates this phenomenon into their marketing strategy. So how can wine importers respond to these evolving expectations and demands? What responsibilities do importers have to both producers and customers, to preserve and support the heritage of the former, and to educate the latter? These questions will be explored in the case study of Bertoldi Prosecco. Ultimately, this report makes the case for cultural marketing as a form of cultural translation, responding to the needs of the market and the ethics of the consumer.
Period2 Jan 2021
Held atFaculty of Human Sciences
Degree of RecognitionMaster