The co-production of terroir in a Hungarian wine region:
Brawner, Amanda June
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Terroir, or “the taste of place” (Trubek 2008), is the unique assemblage of environmental and cultural factors that define a particular geography, essentialized in the food products of that region. Empirical accounts of terroir are debated in environmental sciences (e.g. Gladstones 2011), yet the elusive terroir is given legal expression through policies such as Geographical Indications (GIs) (Josling 2006). This paper uses the STS idiom of co-production (Jasanoff 2004) to account for the meeting of material landscapes and ideologies in the production of post-socialist terroir wines using a case study from the world’s second oldest GI: the Tokaj wine region in Hungary (1737). Following a village-level initiative to (re)brand this once-renowned wine region, which hinges on distinction through soil minerality, I ask: How is soil science (and its methodologies) deployed in the reification of terroir, making ideologies of difference material features of landscapes? This question is answered using a mixed methods approach in Tokaj, Hungary and employ the idiom of co-production (Jasanoff 2004) to contextualize soil science as a socio-political enterprise.