From trade to industry. The wine production sector in the Penedes Denomination of Origin, 1940-2000
The paper aims to show the extent to which the wine production sector in the Penedes Denominacio dOrigen responded to the challenges posed both in terms of supply (consolidation and emergence of producing countries outside the traditional European sphere) and demand (fall in wine consumption and new consumer habits). It looks at the evolution of the sector in the region from the beginning of the 1940s up to present day. With the end of the 1936-1939 Civil War the sector had to deal with a fall-off in production, though it continued to take shape around the traditional wine trade. This situation changed when, at the end of the 1960s, demand increasingly turned towards higher quality bottled wines. From the legislative standpoint, the response centred on technological innovation and company restructuring. This period saw the introduction of new equipment and processes, such as stainless steel tanks and controlled- temperature fermentation, with bottled wines pushing out bulk wine and the large warehouses giving way to wineries and cellars. In addition, one of the main features of the 1970-1985 period was the formation of the big wine and cava business conglomerates. Spains entry into the European Union in 1986 accelerated this transformation process, leaving the sector made up of companies that produced both wines and cavas, introduced red and varietal wines into the range of products they offered, owned many hectares of vines and in many cases showed a clear intention to enter the international market.
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