Musical Niches and the Foodways of Chilean Wine

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


The large-scale production, export, and consumption of wine around the world is shaped by a diversity of social, cultural, and economic practices, or so-called ‘foodways’ (1). From the vineyard to the glass, at the micro and the macro, interconnected systems of enology, trade, viticultural policy, values, beliefs, practices, image-making and wine consumption incorporate aspects of self, society, politics and economics.

This multi-site ethnographic research strives to explore the musical niches created by the foodways of wine production and consumption in Chile, within three discernible but interconnected contexts: 1. Annual local Vendimias (wine harvest) festivals held in Chile’s wine growing regions every Autumn; 2. Wine tours and tastings run by and held within the grounds of vineyards; and 3. Privately run wine tasting events or workshops organised by vendors and/or wine enthusiasts. These fieldwork sites represent a surprisingly multifaceted cooptation of musical cultures; even including the use of sonic frequencies in the fermentation process itself. A historical and critical analysis of these musical niches offers the opportunity to investigate the cultural dynamics of musical globalisation/localisation in the construction of image-making related to consumerism, corporate branding, and local/national tourism marketing. The fieldwork sites traverse both public and private economic sectors, thus providing a useful frame within which to explore the politico-economic processes at play within musical, agricultural, and cultural production relative to local, corporate, and global foodways. A variety of qualitative methods will be deployed to collect relevant data for analysis, including participant observation, interviews with key agents and focus groups, audio-visual recording, and musical analysis. Informed by a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach, this research contends that critical analyses of local, corporate, and global foodways networks would be remiss to neglect sound as a key, impactful component in processes of image-making.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusIn preparation - 2022

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