Wine, Relationships and Stories

Dr Amie Sexton1

1Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Australia


This research explores image, identity and storytelling in the wine world. For most of the history of winemaking, the primary concern of both industry and research has been production – winemaking and grape growing. However due to rapid changes in the wine business landscape during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the focus has shifted to the market. The significant increases in competition on a global scale and revolutions in communications technology have resulted in new modes of interaction between wineries and the wine world, as the quality of a wine no longer assures commercial success. In order to survive in this new environment, boutique premium wine producers have had to rethink the way they operate. This research reveals the importance of relationships in the wine world, the changing nature of these relationships, and the use of stories as a vehicle for creating and developing relationships. It draws on ethnographical research conducted in France and Australia and proposes a grounded theory that explains how wine producers are adapting to the new world of wine.


Dr Amie Sexton is a Research Fellow at the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University Australia, working in social impact research. Her background is in the anthropology of the wine world, centred on France and Australia. She completed a PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2017, exploring winery producer identity, image and storytelling in Bordeaux and Victoria. Amie is also a musician, storyteller, performer and wine lover, and she sometimes manages to blur the line between academia and entertainment.

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