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CRISTINA SANTINI, ALESSIO CAVICCHI, AND LEONARDO CASINI 1.1 INTRODUCTION The wine industry is definitely engaged in sustainability. The emerging interest in sustainability is confirmed by a growing body of academic literature as well as by the rise of new academic journals and scientific communities. Also, the industry has shown an involvement in sustainability in general; people in the wine industry wonder about the effectiveness of sustainable practices and under what conditions it pays to be oriented towards sustainability. Talking about sustainability opens up a multitude of research issues, especially in wine, where being sustainable is often misunderstood with being organic or biodynamic. This paper investigates background research on sustainability in wine; it outlines what are the main challenges that scholars must face when they deal with this research issue. After having provided a description of research trends, the paper will highlight the determinants of a firm’s orientation towards sustainability and the role that research has in promoting sustainability.
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R E V I E W Open Access
Sustainability in the wine industry: key questions
and research trends
Cristina Santini
, Alessio Cavicchi
and Leonardo Casini
* Correspondence:
Faculty of Agriculture, Università
San Raffaele, Via Val Cannuta 247,
Roma, Italy
Full list of author information is
available at the end of the article
Sustainability is playing a key role in the wine industry as shown by the attention
paid at several levels by the academia, institutions and associations. Nevertheless, the
principle itself of sustainability opens a wide debate and it significantly affects firms
in all their activities.
Using a systematic literature review, this paper wants to highlight some of the
questions that academics must face when they approach the issue of sustainability
with a specific focus on the wine industry. In particular the paper aims to: highlight
where research is going and what has already been done; define the contribution of
background research in explaining the determinants of sustainable orientation in the
wine industry; and understand the role of research (and academicssocial
responsibility) for the diffusion of a sustainable orientation within the wine industry.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed overview of the main research
contributions to the issue of sustainability in the wine industry.
Keywords: Research trends; Sustainability; Systematic literature review
The wine industry is definitely engaged in sustainability. The emerging interest in sus-
tainability is confirmed by a growing body of academic literature as well as by the rise
of new academic journals and scientific communities. Also, the industry has shown an
involvement in sustainability in general; people in the wine industry wonder about the
effectiveness of sustainable practices and under what conditions it pays to be oriented
towards sustainability. Talking about sustainability opens up a multitude of research is-
sues, especially in wine, where being sustainable is often misunderstood with being or-
ganic or biodynamic. This paper investigates background research on sustainability in
wine; it outlines what are the main challenges that scholars must face when they deal
with this research issue. After having provided a description of research trends, the
paper will highlight the determinants of a firms orientation towards sustainability and
the role that research has in promoting sustainability.
So many green nuances
The word sustainabilityhas so many definitions that it holds a shadow of ambiguity
(Warner 2007). Sustainability can be seen as a concept based on various principles (de
Bruyn and van Drunen 2004): economic principles (maximising welfare and improving
© Santini et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any
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Santini et al. Agricultural and Food Economics
2013, 1:9
efficiency), ecological principles (living within carrying capacities and conservation of
resources) and equity-principles that concern intragenerational and intergenerational
equity (the disparity of wealth among different regions of the world or among
(Ohmart 2008) gives an idea of how complex it is to be sustainable in agriculture:
sustainability involves everything you do on the farm, including economics, environ-
mental impacts of everything done on the farm and all aspects of human resources, in-
cluding not only you and your family but your employees and the surrounding
community(Ohmart 2008): 7.
Nevertheless, there is no univocal sustainable behaviour and some companies should
be considered more sustainable than others. (Isaak 2002) distinguishes between green
and green-green businesses;green green businesses are green oriented since their start
up, whilst green businesses become green after that managers- who are not inspired by
ethical issues - have intuited the benefits (in terms of marketing, corporate image posi-
tive feedbacks or cost savings) that being sustainablemight create for the company.
In a recent study, Szolnoki (2013) points to the idea that wineries have of sustainabil-
ity: misunderstandings and differences in the approach between countries and wineries
Some countries are greenerthan others according to the degree of companiessus-
tainable behaviour. Globally spoken, California holds a leading position among the
most sustainable agricultural producing countries: Warner (2007) describes the efforts
spent by the Californian wine grape industry for reaching and educating growers about
quality issues and sustainability; the availability of place-based networks of production
has facilitated social learning among grape growers. (Warner 2007) says: More than
any other group of California growers, winegrape growers are operationally defining
sustainability as agricultural enterprise viability, environmental quality and product
quality(p.143). In Northern California there are about 40 industry organizations advo-
cating sustainability in addition to several associations that support organic viticulture
at a national level (see among others: Washington State Association of Wine grape
Growers; Oregon Wine Advisory Board; New York Wine & Grape Foundation; Penn
State Cooperation Extension; Wine Council of Ontario). A case worth to be mentioned
is the one of Lodi region in California (Ohmart 2008) that effectively shows how a local
economic system could respond to the call for sustainability: after having released a
workbook programme that encompasses all the sustainable practices in winemaking,
results have been monitored in order to assess how principles have been implemented
and to examine action plans carried by companies and associations. The great success
of the Lodi programme relies on the active involvement of growers that is the result of
a successful combination of workshops, a proactive behaviour of associations and ef-
fective communication flows.
Starting from the behaviour adopted by wineries, some scholars (Casini et al. 2010)
have proposed a model that would help to classify wineriesorientation in terms of sus-
tainability. In the model, devotedwineries have a strong orientation towards sustain-
ability that is emphasised in customer communication; those companies must invest in
customers and employees training and education; furthermore devoted wineries must
ensure an alignment between their corporate and managerial visions. Another category
of wineries, the so called unexploiters, stands half the way between devoted and
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laggardswineries, or those who would never adopt sustainable practices. Unexploiters
usually decide to adopt sustainable practices, but do not inform other people (clients,
first of all) about their decision. Consequently the benefits that might be gained
through a sustainable orientation are limited. At the opposite of unexploiters stand
opportunists, wineries that do not have a particular interest in sustainability, but tend
to heavily highlight the few sustainable practices introduced.
As it can be guessed, companies can choose among various alternatives: it is not only
a matter of being green or not, but they can also choose among a multitude of green
We conceive sustainability as a behaviour adopted to respond to stimuli, whether
they are external or internal to the firm. This perspective introduces three elements
into the discussion: firstly, the presence and the type of stimuli or drivers; secondly, the
degree of responsiveness that characterises the organization; and thirdly, a firms
In other words, we can say that orientation towards sustainability depends on how
the following questions can be answered: Who cares about sustainability issues? How
much do I and my organization care about sustainability? Why should we care about
This paper aims to systemically analyse the main academic contributions to the issue
of sustainability in the wine industry in order to outline insights that can depict stra-
tegic, managerial, consumer and organizational implications, and to highlight what are
the main challenges that scholars must face when they get into this research issue.
After having provided a description of where the research is going, the paper will ex-
plain the determinants of a orientation towards sustainability among firms and it will
outline the role of research in promoting sustainability.
Key drivers of sustainability
An analysis of the drivers of sustainability is, in our opinion, the first step to under-
stand the relationship between firms and sustainability. This section introduces the
issue of drivers of sustainability, by highlighting the findings emerging from back-
ground research (the role of institutions and associations, the role of top management
and entrepreneurs, etc.) and the role played by drivers in defining wineriesorientation
towards sustainability. We assume that an exploration of the incidence of perceived
stimuli on companieschoices represents a way for explaining firms behaviour; by con-
ceiving sustainability as a behaviour adopted by firms in responding to selected stimuli,
we focus on the impact that forces (external or internal to the firm) have on a firms
strategy; being sustainable represents one of the strategic choices that firms can make.
The presence of drivers affecting a firms orientation towards sustainability partially ex-
plains the differences in the overall degree of sustainability at a firm or at a country
level. It is almost impossible to define a general ranking for estimating a countrys over-
all orientation towards sustainability: the numerous indexes available simply confirm
the differences among countries, but it is extremely hard to classify them, because of
the differences in index composition and in the trait of sustainability under observation.
A focus on the key drivers of sustainability offers a balanced solution to this problem.
Both academics and practitioners increasingly emphasize the issue of drivers. The
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company Accenture has elaborated a list of six key drivers of sustainability, that are
not only reshaping the way businesses and governments operate, but also redefining
the value they deliver(from corporate website). The list includes: consumer demand
for sustainable products and services; stakeholder influence; resource depletion; em-
ployee engagement; capital market scrutiny; regulatory requirements.
Also background research (Dillon and Fischer 1992; Lawrence and Morell 1995; Winn
1995; Bansal and Roth 2000; Davidson and Worrell 2001; Marshall et al. 2005; Gabzdylova
et al. 2009) has highlighted the role of drivers whether they are conceived as internal/
external or internal/institutional - to describe a firms adoption of a sustainable behaviour.
Internal drivers are all those drivers that take place within the firm: they are ethical
motives inspiring top management and entrepreneurs as well as strategic intentions
based on the recognition of an advantage that might arise from sustainability. External
drivers, instead, take place in the firms external environment.
Institutions, associations, regulators and market demand
External drivers happen outside of the firm and include pressures arising from institu-
tions, customers, communities, associations, environmental groups, activists, regulators
and competitors.
Background research has highlighted the role played by industry associations in creat-
ing sustainable awarenessamong grapegrowers and wineries (Broome and Warner
2008; Silverman et al. 2005; Warner 2007).
A key factor of success in spreading sustainable practices is local playersnetworking
capacity. In some specific areas, such as California, agro-ecological partnerships have
fostered the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (Swezey and Broome 2000;
Dlott 2004) and they have proactively spread a green orientation among wineries
(Broome and Warner 2008).
Environmental concerns have progressively found a diffusion among wineries and be-
came strongly related to corporate image. New Zealand is heavily investing in environ-
mental issues: The New Zealand wine industry aims to be the first in the world to be
100% sustainable. The Sustainable Winegrowers New Zealand (SWNZ) programme in-
troduced in 1995 is a framework of industry standards set up to achieve this by vintage
2012(from the website:
Also corporate activism should be considered, as shown by the efforts spent by indi-
vidual companies for promoting practices that would reduce gas emission and waste.
The case of The Wine Group, in the US, highlights the consideration that large com-
panies give to environmental issues: in 2008 The Wine Group has launched a website
( to document how Bag in Boxcan help in reducing
emissions and waste ( Both the New World and the Old
World face similar environmental challenges but they strongly differ in terms of fertil-
iser usage, that is significantly lower in Europe (
The development of specific programmes for sustainable winegrowing has fostered
the adoption of ground to bottlepractices for producing grapes and wine (Broome
and Warner 2008). This is highlighted by the willingness that institutions and organiza-
tions show in providing long term financial support to sustainability programmes and
training activities: (Warner 2007) underlines the need for continuous investments in re-
inforcing a commitment to sustainability.
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Institutions and regulators have a prime role in enhancing wineriesinterest towards
sustainability through funding the adoption of specific practices and education
programmes (Swinbank 2009).
A orientation towards sustainability among competitors can foster a me-too mechan-
ism with the result of spreading sustainable practices in the competitive environment:
after that Mondavi has introduced the flange-type bottle with a C-cap on the market
(Murphy 2000), other wineries in the market have shared - consciously or uncon-
sciously the same principles that have inspired Mondavi before the product launch.
Consumersinvolvement in sustainability is also reshaping wineriesinterest toward
this issue, as described by (Bisson et al. 2002): As consumers become more aware of
the vulnerability of our global environment, the demand for sound agricultural produc-
tion practices is increasing. In the future, the perception of the producer as a conscien-
tious environmental steward will be an important influence on the consumers
purchasing decision. This is due in part to the fact that the typical wine consumer is
well educated and affluent(p.698). Consumerspressure has created a market for
wines inspired by environmental issues, such as organic or biodynamic wines (Forbes
et al. 2009): in some countries, such as the UK, organic wine moved from a niche to a
mainstream position (Sharples 2000).
Entrepreneurs and top management
Most of the research has focused on explaining the role of external drivers in enhan-
cing a sustainability orientation within firms, but less research has been done about in-
ternal drivers.
A consistent body of research can be found in the general management and business
strategy literature, that analyses the role of people involved within the organization in
promoting a sustainability orientation: various issues have been investigated such as the
role of top managements values in determining sustainability orientation (Berry and
Rondinelli 1998; Quazi 2003), entrepreneurial commitment to sustainability (Shaltegger
2002) or management practices and principles reshaped by a sustainability orientation
(Atkin et al. 2012; Warner 2007).
In some cases, niche research fields have emerged by providing a sustainabilityper-
spective to diffused and internationally adopted research approaches: this is the case of
Ecopreneurship (ecological entrepreneurship) or the Natural Resource Based View, a
version of the Resource Based View of the Firm approach mainly based on environ-
mental issues.
Ecopreneurship is a term that has been introduced in early 1990s (Bennett 1991;
Berle 1991; Blue 1990) and that renames a growing body of literature that investigates
most of the critical questions in entrepreneurship from an ecological and environmen-
tal perspective. The works by Walley and Taylor (2002), Shaltegger (2002) and Schaper
(2002) provide a comprehensive overview of this research field. From this research the
prominent role that personality traits can have on the degree of a sustainability orienta-
tion within firms emerges: for instance, Regouin (2003) has highlighted that reasons be-
hind a firms conversion to organic farming depend on personal traits such as curiosity,
flexibility, risk propensity and creativity in exploring innovative marketing approaches.
Although there is a growing body of academic literature that is exploring the in-
ternaldrivers towards sustainability, only a few studies have been done on wine.
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Sustainability and strategy
(Bonn and Fisher 2011) say that sustainability is often a missing ingredient in strategy:
there is a great debate on corporate social responsibility, corporate environmentalism,
sustainable practices adoption, green marketing, green corporate image, etc., but the
issue of sustainability is not considered as priority in strategy making.
Research in wine has focused on the relationship between a sustainability orientation
and competitive advantage.
It has been shown how being organic contributes to an effective differentiation
(Bernabeu et al. 2008): Delmas et al. (2008) explore the case of a winery in California
(the Ceago winery, owned by Fetzer), that has chosen to produce organic wine to differ-
entiate its product from the mass; (Pugh and Fletcher 2002) examine how a wine multi-
national corporation (the BRL Hardy) focuses on a specific and different market
segment through one of its controlled brands (Banrock Station) that supplies organic
wine to the market.
A study published by Atkin, Gilinsky and Netwon in 2012 provides useful insights for
understanding if incorporating an Environmental Management System (EMS) into
business models positively or negatively affects wineriesperformance. From the re-
search the relevance that EMS has in pursuing a differentiation strategy for some of the
wineries who employ EMS has emerged. The literature shows that little attention has
been paid to the benefits that implementing EMS might have for wineries (Forbes and
De Silva 2012).
The role of research
Next to the wine industry, also research in the wine business is going green. Research
in the field of sustainability in wine has been fostered by the growing interest of the in-
dustry and by the active role of institutions - that funds specific research programmes -
associations or individual companies. Supporting research has resulted in a renewed
interest in sustainability with the final result of promoting further research. When ob-
serving some cases - such as the Washington State Wine Industry - we can say that
university research has fostered the development of the wine industry (Stewart 2009).
(Ohmart 2008) suggests that a successful diffusion of sustainable practices among
grapegrowers depends on two factors: rigorous science and its effective delivery to
grapegrowers, two issues that partially explain the differences in terms of penetration
and diffusion of sustainable practices in viticulture.
In their analysis of the history of winemaking in California, Guthey and Whiteman
(2009) say that funded university research has contributed to shape Californian wine
production thanks to the useful inputs provided for developing winemaking practices
and understanding human environment relationships.
The field of sustainability in the wine industry appears as a breeding ground for the
development of academics and university collaborations: (Lee 2000) provides a general
framework that can be used for describing the benefits arising from the relationship be-
tween academics and industry. In general it can be said that collaboration between re-
search institutions and the industry (1) may be helpful in solving technical problems,
(2) may facilitate the access to useful findings; and (3) may make the implementation of
innovation easier. It is not surprising that industry heavily supports research in some
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countries: we can cite among others the cases of the Wine and Food Institute in
California cofounded by the Robert Mondavi Winery and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation
and Ronald and Diane Miller of Silverado Vineyards ( Another
case worth to be mentioned is the Australian Wine Research Institute, that has actively
promoted research in the field of wine in general and has had a relevant role in spreading a
sustainable culture among wineries. Research has been stimulated in new world countries
and not only in California or Australia, as the case of Vinnova from Chile shows. Great
efforts have been spent for codifying research insights and facilitating knowledge dissemin-
ation and accessibility: some countries, such as New Zealand and Chile, have developed
Codes of Sustainability, to promote the adoption of sustainable practices among wineries.
Conducting research on sustainability has some social implications and researchers
who are working in this field have a social responsibility: with their work, researchers
can foster the adoption of sustainable practices among wineries at different levels and
they can indirectly contribute to the growth of the overall welfare of people living in a
certain area.
Research orientations: a selective systematic literature review
Where is research going and what has been done? In order to answer this specific ques-
tion we have carried out a systematic literature review by analysing academic databases
and some wine academic journals. In particular we have performed a keywords based
research in the following academic search engines: ISI Web of Knowledge
, Scopus
SciVerse® and EBSCO (that contains Econlit, Business Source Premiere and Greenfile
In our research we did not want to use generic scientificsearch engines (i.e., Google
Scholars or Mendeley) and to perform a search on specific academic databases that are
widely diffused among scholars.
The keywords used, combined with the word wineare: green, organic, sustain-
able, sustainability, biodynamic, ecopreneurship, environment.Wehavealsose-
lected some academic journals specialised in wine, and we have checked the
presence of articles that examine the issue of sustainability in wine; the journals
selected are: the International Journal of Wine Business Research; the Australian
journal of Grape and Wine Research; the Journal of Wine Research, Enometrica
and the Journal of Wine Economics. We have decided not to focus on analyses of
practices: there is a wide literature on environmental and organic practices in the
wine industry, but it mainly focuses on winemaking and agronomic aspects and
we are interested in management, strategic and marketing. Background research
has provided us useful inputs for performing our systematic literature review; in
particular the works by (Lobb 2005) and (Thieme 2007) have been helpful for de-
signing our methodology. The work by (Hart 1998) has been extremely useful for
understanding how to analyse results. After having verified their contents, the ar-
ticles have been included in a database that has been created for sorting and ana-
lysing results. We have then classified the articles collected into four main
categories that have been built on the basis of major JEL classifications.
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Topics, geographic area and research techniques employed
The main four categories corresponding to our classification of the main research bod-
ies are (Table 1): (1) strategy; (2) entrepreneurial and top management behaviour; (3)
consumer behaviour; and (4) supply chain management and certification. It is import-
ant to observe the differences emerging from the geographic area of research in which
research has been carried out.
The category strategyincludes all those articles that deal with the issues of business
strategy and sustainability. It is a matter of fact that research on strategy is mainly
performed in the New World Countries: Chile, New Zealand, US, Australia and
Argentina lead the way to understand the links between wine and sustainability in a
strategic orientation. Research techniques employed are often qualitative and case study
research is frequently performed. One of the reasons could be the necessity to explore
the main drivers of pressure towards sustainability taking into account the motivations
and opinions of different wineriesstakeholders. In fact, according to Flint (2009), in
order to conduct such exploratory research, an appropriate methodology such as
grounded theory is necessary that has been used to reveal how social actors interpret
and act within their environments. In other papers, the aim is to enlighten an entire
sector at national or regional level and for this reason a multidisciplinary case study ap-
proach is employed (Guthey and Whiteman 2009; Cederberg et al. 2009). The topics in-
vestigated in this category are diverse, but two trends stand out: at a country level the
analysis is carried out to understand the boundaries of emerging organic wine industry
and the implications to promote place branding activities; at firm level the interest is
for internal and external pressures towards sustainable and environmental practices.
Even more concentrated is the research investigating entrepreneurial and top man-
agementdrivers for the adoption or improvement of environmental behaviour:
Marshall, Cordano and Silverman use the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Theory
of Reasoned Action mainly in US (California) and New Zealand wineries. Results are
not univocal because the weight of internal and external pressures, attitudes and
subjective norms can vary among cases and the papers give evidence of interactions
among considered variables.
Contrary to the other research fields, the consumer behaviour field is investigated
worldwide. Europe seems to be focusing more on consumersperception of - and will-
ingness to pay for - organic wine, while the New World research is oriented to a more
complex issue such as the environmental friendly label or a more general topic as green
production practices. This is the category where quantitative analysis and statistical
techniques are more used and developed.
Finally, research in the field of supply chain management and certification aims to
give an overview of various attempts to implement codes of sustainable winegrowing
practices and to reduce the impact of environment based activities on carbon emission;
these studies are carried out both in the New and Old World. It is worth to emphasize
the various methods employed to analyse impacts and efficiency of practices on the en-
vironment; not a single technique or tool seems to have been recognized worldwide as
a standard for such measurement and thus more research is needed.
A brief final note is about the kind of journal and the year of publication: only 5 of
the papers collected have been published before 2005. This highlights how youngthis
field of study is. Particularly, the field of strategy seems to be the newest one.
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Table 1 Topics, geographical coverage and techniques used in selected literature
Topics Author(s) Geographical
Technique Sustainability aspects
Strategy Atkin et al.
US Quantitative Survey Links between environmental
strategy and performance
Forbes and
De Silva
New Zealand Quantitative survey Environmental Management
et al. (2009)
Chile Qualitative Case study at
country level
Potentiality of industry organic
Flint and
New Zealand Qualitative In-depth
Drivers of wine industry
Guthey and
US (California) Qualitative Case study Firm-ecology relationships
et al. (2009)
New Zealand Mixed Interviews Internal and external drivers of
et al. (2010)
US Mixed Interviews Sustainability practices
Bonn and
Australia Qualitative Case study Sustainability as a business
Sinha and
New Zealand Quantitative Multivariate
Environmental practices
et al. (2010)
Spain Qualitative Interviews Environment as a business
California Qualitative Interviews and
Focus Groups
Links between sustainability
and place-based branding
France and
Qualitative Case study Change in supply chain
Zilber et al.
Argentina Qualitative Case study Potentiality of industry organic
Poitras and
Getz (2006)
Canada Qualitative Case study Host community perspective
and Top
et al. (2010)
US and New
Quantitative Multivariate
Motivations for improving
environmental performance
et al. (2005)
US Qualitative Focus groups
and Interviews
Environmental behavior drivers
et al. (2010)
US Quantitative Multivariate
Drivers of adoption of
voluntary EMP
et al. (2005)
US Quantitative Multivariate
Drivers to improve
environmental performance
et al. (2010)
Spain Quantitative Contingent
Organic wine
Forbes et al.
New Zealand Quantitative Descriptive
Green production practices in
Mann et al.
Quantitative Survey based
on interviews
Determinants organic wine
et al. (2007)
Spain Quantitative Conjoint
Organic wine
Denmark Quantitative Multivariate
Organic wine
et al. (2006)
Greece Quantitative Factor
Organic wine
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An analysis of journals reveals a multidisciplinary interest in sustainability and
wine: journals such as Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Journal of
Cleaner Production, E:Co Emergence: Complexity and Organization, International
Journal of Sustainable Development &World Ecology devote specific attention to
the various facets of sustainability; on the other side the Journal of Wine Re-
search and the International Journal of Wine Business Research haveawinesec-
tor focus. Then we can find another kind of reviews with a general focus on the
agri-food sector (British Food Journal,Food Quality and Preference and Acta
Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B-Soil And Plant Science,Journal of Rural
Studies) or new journals with specific topics on firms and sustainability such as
Business Strategy and the Environment.
We have seen how a tight relationship between academics and industry can provide
benefits to the wine industry and can improve its overall orientation towards
Table 1 Topics, geographical coverage and techniques used in selected literature
US (Colorado) Quantitative Probit Model Environmental friendly label
Blondel and
France Quantitative Experimental
Organic wine
et al. (2003)
Greece Mixed Means-end
chain analysis
Organic wine
USA Quantitative Multivariate
Environmental friendly labels
Barber et al.
USA Quantitative Multivariate
Environmental friendly labels
et al. (2008)
Spain Quantitative Multivariate
Organic wine
Supply chain
and certification
California Quantitative Cross
Code of sustainable
winegrowing practices
California Mixed Context
analysis based
on secondary
Code of sustainable
winegrowing practices
Australia Qualitative Case study Environmental sustainability
et al. (2006)
Italy Qualitative Case study Estimation of direct and
indirect env impact with
POEMS methodology and
simplified LCA
and Paster
Global Qualitative LCA Analysis Impact on environment based
on a carbon calculator model
et al. (2003)
Italy Qualitative Emergy
Ecological performance of wine
and Venkat
US Quantitative LCA analysis Employ CargoScope tool to
analyze the carbon and energy
profiles of wine distribution
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sustainability: research can help winegrowers in the adoption of sustainable practices
and can provide answers to some managerial issues.
Scholars suggest to focus research on a few critical aspects, such as the reconfiguring
and understanding of economic performance and the creation of the conditions for in-
cremental adjustment and multidisciplinary learning to happen (Guthey and Whiteman
Research has a social responsibility in the development of a sustainability orientation
in the wine business: once spread, research results can motivate wineries to adopt a
sustainable behaviour and create a sustainability awareness among industry and
The main challenge is to change perceptions and mind-sets, among actors and
across all sectors of society, from the over-riding goal of increasing productive capacity
to one of increasing adaptive capacity, from the view of humanity as independent of na-
ture to one of human and nature as coevolving in a dynamic fashion with the bio-
sphere(Folke, 2002, in Guthey and Whiteman, 2009); research plays a key role in the
achievement of this goal, and by helping managers and people during the learning
process and the adaptation of the organization to the evolving social conditions.
Some scholars perceive the role played by the role of drivers in the defining a sustain-
ability orientation as critical: We encourage further intra-industry, as well as inter-
industry, research in order to better understand when internal and external drivers are
most critical, and perhaps at times, less critical, in ushering in environmental steward-
ship(Marshall et al. 2005).
One of the key emerging research questions to focus on is: under what conditions
sustainability happens. The wine industry is particularly suitable for research on sus-
tainability, as it has been shown by the analysis of the literature we have performed.
Anyway, although sustainability issues are affecting the wine industry all over the
world, research does not show how to keep the path of such a diffusion and it is much
more intensive in some countries rather than others, as it has emerged from the ana-
lysis provided. It can be said that research is more concentrated and focused on sus-
tainability in those countries where the pressure of drivers is stronger.
The originality of our paper relies in being the first classification about research on
sustainability and wine. Our paper aimed to identify the main methodologies and re-
search techniques used, as well as the main problems observed by scholars. Further in-
vestigations to highlight any relationship between university research and the pressure
of key drivers should be carried out.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 6th AWBR International Con-
ference, Bordeaux, 910 June 2011.
Competing interests
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
CS carried out the systematic review on wine and set the database. CS analyzed together with AC the dataset. In
particular CS wrote the paragraphs entitled Entrepreneurs and top managementand Sustainability and strategy,
Research orientations: a selective systematic literature review. AC carried out the general review on sustainability and
together with CS has performed the dataset analysis. AC contributed to write, more specifically the paragraph entitled
Institutions, associations, regulators and market demand: AC also contributed specifically to the development of the
Santini et al. Agricultural and Food Economics Page 11 of 14
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following paragraphs: The role of ResearchLC contributed together with the other authors to conclusions, discussion
and introduction. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
We would like to thank reviewers for the useful and accurate suggestions that have contributed to improve the final
version of the paper.
Author details
Faculty of Agriculture, Università San Raffaele, Via Val Cannuta 247, Roma, Italy.
Department of Education, Cultural
Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, P.le Bertelli, 1, 62100, Macerata, Italy.
GESAAF Department, University of
Florence, Piazz.le Cascine 18, Firenze, Italy.
Received: 18 January 2013 Accepted: 17 July 2013
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... Wine sustainability seeks to balance economic viability, social equity and environmental soundness on the whole production and processing of wine, from grapes to wine and spirits (OIV, 2016). A review of the literature on wine sustainability show a growing interest in the drivers of sustainability in the wine industry that has mainly focused on the internal drivers (Dodds et al., 2013;Flores, 2018;Gabzdylova et al., 2009;Gilinsky et al., 2016;Merli et al., 2018;Pullman et al., 2010;Santini et al., 2013;Szolnoki, 2013). Indeed, the key drivers of sustainability in wine industries can be sufficiently divided into internal and external drivers. ...
... We used a Structural Equation Model (SEM) to visualise the type of relationships existing among the drivers and their significances from the winegrowers perspective. We concentrate on external drivers because only a few researchers have quantified the drivers of wine sustainability beyond the internal factors (Santini et al., 2013). This strategy also allows a more concise evaluation of multiple variables. ...
... For example, the provision of a credit facility, changing consumer behaviour for sustainable wines, and the changing market prices of wine (Bianchi, 2015;Santiago & Sykuta, 2016). According to Santini et al., (2013), these three variables are considered to have a much closer influence on farmers' decision to engage in sustainability practices in the wine industry. Hence, we developed the first set of our hypotheses. ...
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We explore the farmers' perception of how different external drivers of changes in farming activities could lead to sustainability practices among wine producers. The general assumption is that regulatory and market forces can change the production strategies of wine producers, which could eventually lead to the adoption of sustainability practices. We presented the percentage sustainability practice (PSP) as a novel way of measuring sustainability. We developed a structural equation model (SEM) with 13 hypotheses to test our assumption for the wine supply chain in Tuscany (Italy). Among the market forces, we found that wine growers perceived access to credit to have a significant positive association with sustainability practices. We also found that the perception of change in regulatory instruments such as environmental regulation and Common Agriculture Policy can lead to sustainable practice if they improve access to credit. Our research provides evidence for medium-large scale wine producers , emphasising their role as carriers of innovation in the movement towards sustainable wine production.
... There are several definitions of wine tourism [1,2], but they all agree that it has direct links with historical and cultural tourism and, of course, with rural tourism and the conservation of natural resources [3]. The relationship between wine tourism and sustainability has been extensively addressed by several authors [4][5][6][7][8]. For these reasons, the Georgia Declaration on Wine Tourism, derived from the United Nations World Tourism Organi-zation's Global Conference on Wine Tourism from September 2016, states that wine tourism [9]: (a) can contribute to foster sustainable tourism by promoting both the tangible and intangible heritage of the destination; (b) is capable of generating substantial economic and social benefits for key players of the destination, apart from playing an important role in terms of cultural and natural resource preservation; (c) facilitates the linking of destinations around the common goal of providing unique and innovative tourism products, whereby maximizing synergies in tourism development, surpassing traditional tourism subsectors; (d) provides an opportunity for underdeveloped tourism destinations, in most cases rural areas, to mature alongside established destinations and enhance the economic and social impact of tourism on a local community. ...
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Tourism has become a priority in national and regional development policies and is considered a source of economic growth, particularly in rural areas. Nowadays, wine tourism is an important form of tourism and has become a local development tool for rural areas. Regional tourism development studies based on wine tourism have a long history in several countries such as the US and Australia, but are more recent in Europe. Although Spain is a leading country in the tourism industry, with an enormous wine-growing tradition, the literature examining the economic impact of wine tourism in Spanish economy is scarce. In an attempt to fill this gap, the main objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of wine tourism on economic growth and employment in Spain. More specifically, by applying panel data techniques, we study the economic impact of tourism in nine Spanish wine routes in the period from 2008 to 2018. Our results suggest that tourism in these wine routes had a positive effect on economic growth. However, we do not find clear evidence of a positive effect on employment generation.
... These generally positive trends demonstrate a keen interest in sustainable and organic wine on the part of both producers and consumers (Santini et al. 2013;Sellers-Rubio and Nicolau-Gonzalbez 2016;Schäufele and Hamm 2018;Dominici et al. 2019a). In Europe, "organic" certification indicates wine produced in accordance with the European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 203/2012, i.e., a wine made from grapes that have been farmed organically (without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, GMOs or other practices prohibited by the regulation) and only authorized adjuvants and additives. ...
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Several studies have focused on the behaviour of consumers towards organic wine, finding varying and sometimes conflicting results. Some scholars have noted that consumers may perceive wine labelled as organic to be of a lower quality, whereas others have found that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for it. Starting from these discrepancies found in the literature, this study seeks to investigate how the organic certification influences consumers when purchasing a bottle of red wine, evaluating the possible presence of attribute non-attendance (ANA) behaviour. A choice experiment was carried out on a sample of Italian wine consumers. Findings highlight that although, on average, consumers do not prefer organic wine, there is a relevant niche in the market consisting of consumers who benefit from purchasing it. Moreover, we have found that the majority of the sample ignores the organic attribute when choosing a bottle of wine, which reveals ANA behaviour.
... Being green or sustainable can became a strategic lever for differentiating their business. Some wineries are born green while other become green for achieving marketing purposes (Santini et al, 2013). ...
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The objective of this brief general market analysis is to determine with the VRIO framework how the Posadas group has managed to maintain itself in the Mexican lodging market. The aim is to understand how in the current panorama of tourism are the main challenges of the Posadas group. The main question that generated this analysis was: Is Grupo Posadas the current leader in the hospitality sector in Mexico? The hypothesis is that the strategies implemented by Grupo Posadas have allowed it to remain in the lodging sector; however, the current elements are not strong enough to be the market leader. So, combining the analysis elements of the market and the VRIO, results were obtained that pointed to Posadas shares, the leadership with IHG Hotels which begins to generate a more marked oligopolistic competition in the field of tourism
... Being green or sustainable can became a strategic lever for differentiating their business. Some wineries are born green while other become green for achieving marketing purposes (Santini et al, 2013). ...
... Especially important is to define and agree on a measure of sustainability based on numerous small studies in the wine industry (e.g. Olaru et al., 2014;Santini et al., 2013) and related sectors that cover both financial and environmental sustainability. There are many different calculators for carbon neutrality (e.g. ...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present seven mega-topics wine business researchers could collaborate on to help the global wine industry better cope with changes occurring across the world. Design/methodology/approach The first six of these topics emerged at a strategy planning session held in Australia in July 2019, and one more topic of concern was decided to be added that will help wine business researchers better model wine buying/wine tourism behaviour. Findings The seven topic areas are profitability and sustainability of different wine business models; interrelated risk and opportunities in the wine supply chain; how to stimulate innovation; managing growing social pressure and social license; building regional resilience and managing local growth; conducting research in emerging markets and how to measure the impact of marketing activities there; and accounting for infrequent and non-wine alcohol buyers in research. Originality/value Academics in wine business (and other areas) often pursue research of personal interest and convenience. However, this behaviour has often led to the accusation, particularly from industry, that this research does not really provide answers to the questions that really matter to industry. This viewpoint provides an industry-generated set of big picture research areas that have both academic and practical value.
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Sustainability as the basis for cooperative management - Sustainable management in German wine cooperatives In Europe, co-operatives have a long tradition and are widespread in the agricultural sector. In the wine sector, co-operatives even have a market share of more than 50% in some EU countries. In spite of the decline in the number of co-operatives, members and co-operatively cultivated vineyard area, wine co-operatives still represent about a quarter of the German vineyard area. Due to developments in the field of sustainability, co-operatives are increasingly coming under pressure. A study on the reactions of wine co-operatives to the high intensity of competition in the German wine market from 2019 shows that the topic of sustainability has so far received little attention in the co-operatives’ strategic orientation. The implementation of sustainable measures (on an ecological, economic and social level) has not yet been explicitly analysed for wine co-operatives. The aim of this paper is to give an initial insight into how the management of wine co-operatives perceives the construct of sustainability, and which measures are applied by co-operative members and the management in respect of ecological, economic and social sustainability. Due to the lack of literature on this topic, a qualitative approach was chosen for the empirical study, which included expert interviews with the management of wine co-operatives (n=13), as well as with other experts from the co-operative sector (n=4). The data was evaluated by content analysis. The results describe the current state of sustainable management in wine co-operatives. Even though the general understanding of sustainability is quite similar among the respondents, the operationalisation differs greatly among the co-operatives. Further possibilities for future research and the limitations of the study are highlighted.
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Grape is one of the vital fruit crops in tropical Karnataka. Over 13400 hectares of grape plantation exist across the Vijayapur district, where no other districts in the Karnataka and it has a unique taste and deliciousness. Karnataka has a high potential to produce varieties of grapes in Vijayapurdistrict proved the highest grapes production under continuous irrigation conditions and the average yield also. Sustainable grape-growing is the journey of continually improving one’s ability to reduce threats to environmental and social footprints. The farmers switched to sustainable grape production that doubled the production in terms of income. Improved variety of grapes production adopted by new method of farming by farmers. This paper analyzes the farmers’ adoption of sustainable grape farming practices in Vijayapur District, Karnataka based on a farm household survey conducted in2020. The study has adopted the Multiple Regression Analysis technique to identify sustainable grape farming practices in Vijayapur. Hence, the present study aims to understand the determinants of sustainable grape producers in the research area. The present study stressed sustainable grape manufacturing and its proper utilization
Background and Aims: Some studies bring different visions of innovation among the stakeholders of the wine sector; however, there is a gap in our understanding of the characteristics of and the relationship between the ecosystem and the stakeholders. This study aims to identify and measure critical success factors (CSFs) of the wine innovation ecosystem. Methods and Results: A mixed-method approach with 29 qualitative questionnaires for wine managers, and a survey of 138 wine managers from Brazilian wine regions were employed. The survey validated 30 critical factors that were identified from the literature and which were validated in the qualitative research. The critical factors were then submitted to a support factorial analysis, resulting in 27 CSFs related to six new dimensions of the wine ecosystem. The dimensions identified by the factorial analysis were evaluated by indicators and measured for four clusters of companies. Conclusions: The study identified the dimensions and CSFs related to four Brazilian winery clusters: (i) medium business—businesses focused on social and economic entrepreneurship; (ii) large business—focused on entrepreneurship and leadership in the development of sustainable products and services; (iii) startup—expanding businesses focused on economic growth; and (iv) small business—focused on entrepreneurship and innovation for a sustainable economy. Significance of the Study: This study demonstrated the benefit of using dimensions and CSFs to create innovative strategies to improve the competitiveness and performance of the wine ecosystem
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This cross-national study investigates different aspects of sustainability from the wine producers' point of view. A qualitative study conducted with fifty-five wine producers in the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Greece was undertaken to analyse the producers' definition, evaluation and practice of sustainability in the wine industry. Results show that the interviewed producers mainly associated the term sustainability solely with the environmental dimension; whereas some wineries applied a more complete approach of sustainability including not only the environmental, but also the economic as well as the social dimensions. Regarding the production management systems, there is some ambiguity since many of the interviewees confuse the terms organic, biodynamic and sustainable. The majority of the wineries participating in this study complain about the lack of information among relevant organizations, producers and consumers concerning sustainability. The barriers to this flow of information might be the great challenge the sustainable wine industry will face in future. All these findings indicate the necessity of closer cooperation of national organizations on an international level in order to provide the information needed by the wine producers and consumers.
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This report outlines issues of sustainable development and its measurement which can be relevant for use in the PanAmazonian Countries (PAC). It reviews concepts of sustainability that have been formulated both in the political and scientific worlds and attempts to apply them to specific issues that can be relevant for assessing sustainable development in the PAC. The report emphasises the various ways in which sustainable development can be defined and measured. It describes the evolution of the concept of sustainable development in both the political and scientific arena. Many different definitions and operationalisations of the concept of sustainable development come to the foreground. However, there does not exist a methodology that can scientifically prove which conception or operationalisation is to be preferred above the other ones. More problems arise when sustainable development is to be measured by indicators. Indicators schemes that have been provided in the literature seem to be defined ad-hoc at best. For the study area of Amazonia, the report suggests that the Agenda 21 indicators can be a useful element in future studies. The precise set of indicators to be used depends also on the sustainability patterns to be investigated (economic sectors, regions, communities), the availability and reliability of the data necessary to construct the indicators, and the questions we want to answer.
Biodiesel or known as the fatty acid alkyl ester is a renewable and environmental-friendly biofuel which normally was derived from the triglycerides or fatty acids. The sustainability of the biodiesel always concerns and covers the cost of the production, energy supply and demand (net energy balance), sustainability of larger crop production or feedstock supply, acceptance of the country and economic stability. Above all, the lack of petroleum production, the increase in fuel efficiency and affordable by the public are significant reasons for the biodiesel to become one of the most important energy supplies for our future. This chapter will cover and survey the dimension of potential sustainability, current and future directions of the biodiesel production worldwide.
With rising interest in sustainability, ecology is an increasingly important dimension of organizational research. Yet few empirical studies integrate local ecology into coevolutionary approaches where firms are key actors, and fewer still approach the question of sustainability and organizations from a systems perspective. In this paper, we ask how organizations can effectively participate in efforts to increase sustainability from a systems perspective. We develop an interdisciplinary framework for understanding firm-ecology relationships and then explore how this framework sheds light on regional planning and industrial practice in northern California's wine industry.
The author proposes a framework to position ecopreneurship in relation to other forms of environmental management. The framework provides a reference for managers to introduce ecopreneurship. Five basic positions are distinguished according to the degree of environmental orientation of a company's core business and the market impact of the company: environmental administrators, environmental managers, alternative activists, bioneers and ecopreneurs. The author suggests an approach to the qualitative operationalisation of ecopreneurship and to how to assess the position of a company in a classification matrix. The degree of environmental orientation in the company is assessed on the basis of environmental goals and policies, the ecological profile of the range of products and services, the organisation of environmental management in the company and the communication of environmental issues. The other dimension of ecopreneurship examined, the market impact of the company, is measured on the basis of market share, sales growth and the reactions of competitors. The approach is then applied to seven case studies of companies. The case studies show that the basic concept of ecopreneurship is applicable. The company representatives saw the approach as helpful in clarifying their position in ecopreneurial terms. The main benefit of the approach is that it provides a framework for self-assessment and indications for improvement.