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International conference tracks the business of wine production

Published on April 22, 2024

International conference tracks the business of wine production

Nicolás Depetris-Chauvin, associate professor at the Haute École de Gestion Genève in Switzerland, describes the research and mission of the Global Wine Business Institute during a conference at Eastern.

Business and economics researchers who follow the global wine industry recently attended a two-day conference at Eastern Connecticut State University to discuss surveys of wineries in 24 wine-producing countries that are yielding new data on patterns of wine production.

The April 19-20 workshop attracted researchers from around the world, with presenters from Switzerland, Argentina, Italy and the United States. The first day of the workshop included an informative session about the Global Wine Business Institute led by Nicolás Depetris-Chauvin, an associate professor at Haute École de Gestion Genève School of Business Administration in Switzerland. He explained the Institute’s mission and methodology.

“One idea is to have a research center that gets responses cross-regionally,” said Depetris-Chauvin. “I think the way to grow as an industry is to allow people to have access to our tools, data and sources. We are trying to create a way to facilitate collaborative work with other places through more infrastructure and data management.”

emiliano villanueva
Emiliano Villanueva, associate professor and chair of business administration at Eastern, brought the third international conference to Eastern.

Emiliano Villanueva, associate professor and chair of business administration at Eastern, elaborated on the wine industry’s current developments around the world and gave a breakdown of the industry’s history.

The surveys, underway for four years, cover 5,500 wineries in 24 wine regions around the world. “The data show how production and consumption of wine is changing,” he said. While wine production and consumption are stagnant worldwide, new players are emerging in the industry, he said. The United States is now the worldwide leader in wine consumption, and China is emerging as a key consumer, too.

Climate change is creating new areas suitable for production, he said, with new wineries in Sweden, for example. All 50 U.S. states now produce wine. While people associate U.S. production with California and Oregon, the industry is growing rapidly in New York, Virginia and Texas, which now has 500 wineries, he noted.

Connecticut's production comes from about 40 small wineries, and the workshop attendees visited some of these during their visit to Eastern.

This is the third annual workshop devoted to the surveys. The first workshop was held in Portugal, and last year's conference was in Argentina. The surveys are providing the first comparable database at the winery, rather than the country, level, said Villanueva, filling a data gap in research on the wine industry.

“The wine business workshop at Eastern was a complete success,” said Villanueva. “It was a privilege to have such talented researchers on campus sharing very interesting insights about the wine industry in Connecticut, the United States and the world.

Written by Elisabeth Craig