Home
The books
The service
Free thought
Free archives
Free rein


FREE ARCHIVES

This website is now orbiting closer to my current interests. The material produced over the past 16 years has been rearranged accordingly, in three different sections :

Section I features 'Earlier Thoughts' (opinions I aired under the 'Free Thought' banner until 2011) and a selection of my Harper columns. These pieces mostly deal with international wine trade.

Section II offers a note on the related issue of Market imbalances/surpluses (with a link to The Economist's last wine survey), plus an article on Wine Futures that clarifies the meaning of a term corroded by widespread careless usage.

Section III gives you access to:

      the WEE Dictionary (a series of French-English translations of wine-related economic expressions),

      the Companion Bibliography (a list of references used when writing the original entries
 on 'economics' and 'globalisation' in The Oxford Companion to Wine),

      a table of links to free official information sites.

I hope this cyber companion has served its purpose well, acting as a little independent voice, beaming down an often solitary message from that 'cold, peaceful space in which the stars revolve' (Herman Hesse).

August 15th, 2016.

 *   *
 *
 


I

EARLIER THOUGHTS

The collection of past material featured here offers some background information on the EU's wine reform, international wine trade and other global market trends.

ON GLOBAL WINE MARKET TRENDS (April 8th, 2011)
and, on the same page:
ON THE EUROPEAN UNION'S WINE REFORM (December 31st, 2007)

OPENING UP MARKETS AND MINDS (September 7th, 2007).
International Trade (2005 vs 1965) – WTO issues.

OFF BALANCE (May 18th, 2006). 
Consumption – Surplus.

O-N-E WORLD (June 10th, 2005). 
Supply – Demand – Trade (2003 vs 1993).


HARPER COLUMNS

Three columns written for Harpers Wine and Spirit Weekly have somehow managed to retain some of their currency and could be used as brief introductions to the main issues in international wine trade:

 
There's no point in whining (May 25th, 2001)
Patterns in global exchanges.

 
Geographical name calling (March 30th, 2001)
Disputes over intellectual property rights.

Maturing, stronger bodies (April 27th, 2001)
Surplus, subsidies, oenological practices and labelling.


*   *
 *


II

MARKET IMBALANCES / SURPLUSES

Thanks to globalisation, and much like individual companies, wine producing regions strive to build a competitive advantage over their rivals. But overnight international success can breed overconfidence. As expected, surpluses started to creep over Australia in the early Noughties (see The Economist's survey) and ceased to be just a fixture of Europe's old-style interventionism, which for decades attempted to stabilise producers' incomes by supporting wine prices.
 

FUTURES

Waning price support, rising financial instability and recurring natural hazards warrant the need to provide wine professionals with some means of hedging their incomes against price volatility (or 'risk'). The best way to achieve stabilisation is through openly traded price contracts, and wine futures happen to be one of them. Careless wording has left many people confused about what they really are – or were. The page on wine futures provides a few definitions and illustrations of this powerful (and therefore controversial) financial instrument.
 

 *   *
 *
 

Wine Economic Expressions French-English & English-French Dictionary


III

 

Companion Bibliography on Wine Economics

FREE ON-LINE INFORMATION SOURCES:

Source

Contents

INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS

WTO - International Trade Topics

A wealth of information on ongoing trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation.

WTO - Geographical Indications (TRIPS)

The World Trade Organisation's specific page on Geographical Indications, part of the TRIPS agreement

WIPO - Geographical Indications

The World Intellectual Property Organisation's own page on Geographical Indications provides a few handy definitions. WIPO is the WTO's official partner with respect to TRIPS.

FAOSTAT

FAO lets you view and download trade data for the individual countries and the world (choose '+' for the aggregate figure, '>' to get all its constituents).

OIV

The world's largest intergovernmental body for wine offers a list of recommendations, e.g. on standards for oenological practices, as well as some useful reports and statistics.

'NATIONAL' ORGANISATIONS

EU Commission - wine

The European Union's 'wine page' (so to speak) will lead you through the amazing Common Market Organisation for Wine - legislation and statistics.

Wine Institute of California

The California wine industry's main trade association offers you a host of useful and reliable statistics on the American wine market, plus some other international data.

 Wines of Chile

Useful information on Chile's meteoric rise to the top league of new world exporters - from the industry's official website.

Instituto Nacional de Vitivinicultra (INV)

Argentina's administrative body for the wine industry provides an outstanding selection of the latest data, including separate figures for trade with MERCOSUR - in Spanish.

SAF Wine Industry Statistics

The place to click if you want a wide range of official statistics on the South-African wine industry, from acreage to export.

Wine Australia

The official site of the Australian wine industry used to offer excellent statistics for free.

New Zealand Wines Online

The New Zealand wine industry's official and open website is packed with useful data stretching back to 1990.

... AND FOR THE LONG VIEW:

Pierre Spahni - Economic Research & Consultancy for Wine - Tel  +41 22 800 1607 Fax 800 1608