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`Origin´ in wine and tourism: science, myth, magic

Academic workshop with scientific presentations and exploratory wine tastings. 1-3 Sept 2023. Belém, Lisbon, Portugal. Format: One long table at the winery. 32 participants. Up to 20 presentations. Cover cost registration fee of 90 EUR including lunch, tea and coffee, wine tastings material.

Focusing this second workshop on the notion of origin allows us to bring together debates that have been going on quite independently within the social sciences of wine and of tourism. ‘Origin’ is a key topic in the critical study of tourism as a cultural practice that emerges with the early modern emancipation of secular world views, and the projection of the formerly theological images of a foundational golden age into symbolically heightened geographical and social realms “out there”, e.g., sites of ‘premodern’ age, ‘wild’ nature, ‘organic’ food, ‘primitive’ cultures, etc., that can be accessed and ritually renewed through the tourist journey. Much of the literature has focused on the social and geographic re-arrangement of tourist destinations as places that respond to these modern imaginaries of origin and the celebratory needs of the tourist journey.

‘Origin’ is also a key topic in the critical study of wine as a geographically located place defined by a series of climatic, geological, geo-morphological and cultural patterns – often summarized by the French term ‘terroir’ – that determine the specific oenological and also symbolic quality of wine being produced within such places. Historical studies show how many of the wide-spread naturalistic views of ‘terroir’ – integrating place, nature and humans into a single symbolic entity – have been historically fabricated with various social, economic and political aims, e.g., to create luxury brands, to better govern territories, to create national symbols and brands. Many studies in oenology show how such conventionalized views of terroir are being technologically back engineered by the wine industry and their political quality controllers, as an effort to create and maintain strong terroir typicity and territorial brands.

At the same time, wine marketing and material culture studies observe that from a wine consumer perspective, ‘origin’ often becomes a symbolic token that refers to a specific symbolic and ritual value ascribed within the actual site and practice of consumption rather than as the endpoint of the sequential production chain that originates in a located geographical space. In this sense, vintage and the name or region of the producer may well become brands whose relative magic may stem less from the connection to a real place than from a process of elevation similar to that observed in other areas of consumer culture (fashion, electronics, cars, food, architecture, etc.).

We feel that focusing the workshop on the notion of origin and its all-importance, or lack of importance, will generate fruitful transtopical debate among academics working in critical study fields related to wine and tourism.

Organisation: The workshop is jointly organised by: Adega Belém Urban Winery, University of California, Berkeley Tourism Studies Working Group, EIREST-Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Organising committee: Nelson Graburn, Maria Gravari-Barbas & David Picard

TSWG will pay the registration fee of all full-time students whose abstracts are accepted at the workshop. Allocation limited to quota and available funds.

Please register here for the event and pay for your participation (credit card, PayPal or bank transfer).


‘Origin’ in Wine and Tourism: Science, Myth, Magic. Lisbon, 2-4 September 2023



17h00-18h30 Welcome reception at Adega Belém Urban Winery, Trav. Paulo Jorge 9, Belém

19h00 Optional dinner (not included in fee)


9h30-10h00 Introduction: Science, myth, & magic in wine and tourism. David Picard, Adega Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

10h00-10h40 Terroir in Japan: from myth to conceptual tool. Chuanfei WANG, Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan

10h40-11h20 Wines for the Table: A Modest Proposal for Tourism in China. Nelson Graburn, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, USA

11h20-11h40 Coffee break

11h40-12h20 Tinos wines: origin, storytelling and tourism marketing. Maria GravariBarbas, IREST, EIREST-Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

12h20-13h00 The poetics and politics of the original and the foreign: Port wine and American wine in Portugal. Paula Mota Santos, Porto, Portugal

13h00-14h30 Lunch and coffee at the winery

14h30-15h10 The “autochthonous” Istrian Ox: From draft animal to regional brand and gastronomic delicacy. Anna Colquhoun, Food Studies Centre, SOAS University of London, UK

15h10-15h50 Perceiving Terroir: Producing Wine in the Baltic and Eastern Himalayas under Global Climate Change. Xiangchun Zheng, University of Helsinki, Finnland

15h50-16h10 Coffee break

16h10-16h50 In Vino Communitas? Reflections on Belonging, Autochthonous and Otherwise . Naomi Leite, Anthropology, SOAS University of London, UK

16h50-17h40 Choreographing Origin. The Visceral Individuality of the Wine Flowing over Your Tongue. Chai-Ju Shen, 如如 (rúrú) School of Arts and Digital Industries, Roehampton University, UK

19h00 Optional dinner (not included in fee)


10h00-11h30 Fieldtrip Casal Manteiga Winery, Oeiras Revitalisation of Carcavelos Fortified Winemaking Culture, Alexandre Lisboa, Camara Oeiras

11h30-12h30 Grape varieties, rootstocks, clones & microbes: Endemism and autochtonism in wine and winemaking from an evolutionary biology perspective. Catarina Moreira, Adega Belém, Portugal

12h30-15h30 Picnic lunch and experiential wine tastings, Oeiras vineyard next to Casal Manteiga (if heavy rain, we go back to Belém for this part)

15h30-16h30 Discussion and Conclusions

18h30-20h30 Invitation dinner at Catarina´s & David´s in Rua Damão 49, Murtal, Parede