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What Is the Value of Terroir?


  • Robin Cross
  • Andrew J. Plantinga
  • Robert N. Stavins


We examine the value of terroir--the set of special characteristics of a location that impart unique qualities to the wine produced. We conduct a hedonic analysis of vineyard sales in the Willamette Valley of Oregon to ascertain whether site attributes--such as slope, aspect, elevation, and soil types—or designated appellations are more important determinants of price. We find that prices are strongly determined by appellation designations, but not by specific site attributes. These results indicate that the concept of terroir matters economically, but that the reality of terroir--as proxied by locational attributes--is not significant.

Suggested Citation

  • Robin Cross & Andrew J. Plantinga & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "What Is the Value of Terroir?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 152-156, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:101:y:2011:i:3:p:152-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Orley Ashenfelter & Karl Storchmann, 2010. "Using Hedonic Models of Solar Radiation and Weather to Assess the Economic Effect of Climate Change: The Case of Mosel Valley Vineyards," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 333-349, May.
    2. Gergaud, Olivier & Ginsburgh, Victor, 2010. "Natural Endowments, Production Technologies and the Quality of Wines in Bordeaux. Does Terroir Matter?," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 3-21, March.
    3. Goldstein, Robin & Almenberg, Johan & Dreber, Anna & Emerson, John W. & Herschkowitsch, Alexis & Katz, Jacob, 2008. "Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better? Evidence from a Large Sample of Blind Tastings," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 1-9, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustafson, Christopher R. & Lybbert, Travis J. & Sumner, Daniel A., 2016. "Consumer knowledge affects valuation of product attributes: Experimental results for wine," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 85-94.
    2. Spielmann, Nathalie & Williams, Christopher, 2016. "It goes with the territory: Communal leverage as a marketing resource," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 5636-5643.
    3. Gergaud, Olivier & Plantinga, Andrew J. & Ringeval-Deluze, Aurelie, 2017. "Anchored in the past: Persistent price effects of obsolete vineyard ratings in France," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 39-51.
    4. Charters, Steve & Spielmann, Nathalie, 2014. "Characteristics of strong territorial brands: The case of champagne," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1461-1467.
    5. Garavaglia, Christian & Mariani, Paolo, 2015. "How Much Do Consumers Value PDO Certifications? Estimates of WTP for PDO Dry-Cured Ham in Italy," 145th Seminar, April 14-15, 2015, Parma, Italy 200376, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. repec:spr:agfoec:v:3:y:2015:i:1:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Christopher R. Gustafson & Travis J. Lybbert & Daniel A. Sumner, 2016. "Consumer sorting and hedonic valuation of wine attributes: exploiting data from a field experiment," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(1), pages 91-103, January.
    8. Waldman, Kurt B. & Kerr, John M., 2015. "Is Food and Drug Administration policy governing artisan cheese consistent with consumers’ preferences?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 71-80.
    9. Jérôme Lacoeuilhe & Didier Louis & Cindy Lombart, 2017. "Impacts of product, store and retailer perceptions on consumers’ relationship to terroir store brand," Post-Print hal-01672920, HAL.
    10. Kelly Grogan, 2015. "The value of added sulfur dioxide in French organic wine," Agricultural and Food Economics, Springer;Italian Society of Agricultural Economics (SIDEA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-25, December.

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