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Red wines of Médoc: What is wine testing worth ?

Author

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  • GINSBURGH, Victor

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles and CORE, Université catholique de Louvain, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • MONZAK, M.

    (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

Abstract

Winemaking is a highly complex technology. It needs inputs over which there is no control (good weather conditions), initial endowments which can hardly be modified (soil, exposure of the slopes), inputs which take 20 to 30 years before producing good quality outputs (vines), manual operations (picking), mechanical operations (rushing, racking) and chemical processes (during fermentation). In the paper, we disentangle the production technology, and try to quantify the impact on prices (qualities) of each of the many inputs (including weather conditions) and steps used in producing wine in Médoc. We show that technology and weather conditions are able to explain two thirds of the variance of prices; when reputation effects (based on the wine classification made in 1855) are included, this proportion rises to almost 85%. This suggests either that "classified" producers are able to charge higher prices, or that the classification is a measure of quality reflected by prices. We also show that two of the more recent attempts at classifying wines are not as good in explaining prices than the official (and old) 1855 grading.

Suggested Citation

  • GINSBURGH, Victor & MONZAK, M., 1992. "Red wines of Médoc: What is wine testing worth ?," CORE Discussion Papers 1992027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:1992027
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    File URL: https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/immaq/core/dp-1992.html
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
    3. Cross, Robin & Plantinga, Andrew J. & Stavins, Robert N., 2011. "The Value of Terroir: Hedonic Estimation of Vineyard Sale Prices," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 1-14, January.
    4. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1998. "Quality expectations, reputation, and price," MPRA Paper 9774, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashenfelter, Orley, 2017. "The Hedonic Approach to Vineyard Site Selection: Adaptation to Climate Change and Grape Growing in Emerging Markets," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 3-15, February.
    2. Stefano Castriota, 2018. "Does Excellence Pay Off? Evidence from the Wine Market," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS49, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    3. Ali, Héla Hadj & Lecocq, Sébastien & Visser, Michael, 2010. "The Impact of Gurus: Parker Grades and en primeur Wine Prices," Journal of Wine Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 22-39, March.
    4. Gergaud, Olivier & Ginsburgh, Victor, 2007. "Natural endowments, production technologies, and the quality of wines in Bordeaux. Is it possible to produce wine on paved roads?," Working Papers 37294, American Association of Wine Economists.
    5. Landon, Stuart & Smith, Constance, 1998. "Quality expectations, reputation, and price," MPRA Paper 9774, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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