The life cycle of terroir. An actor-network approach towards terroir in the viticultural networks of Groesbeek and South-Limburg

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Terroir is considered as one of the notions that has exposed the gap between the physical and the social sciences. In order to overcome this gap, actor-network theory and the four stages of translation from Callon were mobilised in this inquiry as toolset to assess the role of terroir in the wine regions of Groesbeek and the Limburg. This is achieved by splitting the concept of terroir into four characteristics which are assigned to terroir within the literature, these are: matter terroir, space terroir, conscious terroir and slogan terroir. The manifestation of terroir was examined through participatory observations in Groesbeek and semi-structured interviews in Groesbeek and South-Limburg to gain insight in the role of terroir during the development of these viticultural networks. Both human and non-human actors were followed from the perspective of an ant. The results show that the four aspects of terroir, as non-human actors, manifest themselves in a cycle. This is conceptualised as the ‘life cycle’ of terroir. Each aspect has had a clear influence on the becoming of ‘Groesbeek wine village’ in a different period in time. The main conclusions formed the bases for recommendations regarding the usefulness of applying for a geographical indication in Groesbeek.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen