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Terroir in Tibet: Wine Production, Identity, and Landscape Change in Shangri-La, China.

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Title:Terroir in Tibet: Wine Production, Identity, and Landscape Change in Shangri-La, China.
Authors:Galipeau, Brendan A.
Contributors:Anthropology (department)
Date Issued:May 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This dissertation illustrates the story of Shangri-La Wine brand wine, and other household and corporate wines produced in Northwest Yunnan Province of China. In this region, there are two divergent approaches to wine production and terroir or “taste of place.” These include corporate and state based constructions, and local reconfigurations by Tibetan Catholic villagers, which do not necessarily use the language of terroir but exemplify a similar ideal. This ideal of terroir as I define it being a particular project in branding and commodity identification utilized by winemakers (or producers of other agricultural commodities), that brings natural features such as soil and geography together with social and cultural characteristics including methods of production and history. In the most rigid and traditional sense, terroir has typically referred only to geographical features associated with wine, while I take the approach of other recent scholarship, expanding the term to include ideas of history, ethnicity, and methods of production among winemakers in Yunnan’s Shangri-La. This work compares and contrasts the two approaches, corporate and local, to winemaking and terroir in Shangri-La, illustrating how local Tibetan people produce distinctive village landscapes and unique regional identities through wine production. I use the idea of terroir to investigate the implications of these divergent visions among winemakers in the region, arguing that the effectiveness through which the deployment of terroir as a project in identity and place making, is largely dependent upon the conditions and methods of its use with relation to history, global capitalism, and methods of wine production. This is important in better understanding the operationalization of terroir as a social construct, a recent topic of discussion among anthropologists and social scientists, and the term’s applicability in the context of China as a
rapidly expanding global wine region. In analyzing winemaking and terroir in this way in Shangri-La, this dissertation also brings the experiences of Tibetans as ethnic minorities in contemporary China into further focus. Larger issues of global capitalism and history, involving certain commodities, stimulants and intoxicants in particular, and their connections between Europe and Asia and also addressed.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Anthropology

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