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Creating a Taste of Place: Cowichan Valley Wineries Open Access


Other title
Taste of place
Food, drink and identity
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Hammer, Brent A
Supervisor and department
Vallianatos, Helen (Anthropology)
Examining committee member and department
Nuttall, Mark (Anthropology)
Nykiforuk, Candace (School of Public Health)
Hill Joseph (Anthropology)
Trubek, Amy B (Nutrition and Food Science)
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
The documentation of other places and other peoples, in an attempt to understand the human condition, has been of interest to anthropology since its beginnings as an academic discipline. Experiencing the food and drink of these places and peoples became important components for not only enjoying the fieldwork experience, but part of the process of constructing the 'exotic other' for early anthropologists. The connection of a particular practice with a particular place and a particular group of people remains an intriguing topic for many contemporary anthropologists today. A 2007 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's report on the Canadian Wine Industry that revealed yearly increases in domestic production, consumption, and export. They also reported that over the past 25 years Canadian winemakers have increased their production of high-quality wines. These increases suggest that people were becoming more engaged with Canadian wine and wine culture. Deroy, a contemporary philosopher of the senses, suggests that wine gives people the sense that they are participating in a deeply rooted culture. But how deep can this culture be when the wine and the people involved only have a 25 year history in a particular place to draw on? This is the case for the wine producers of Cowichan Valley. These 3 factors, the growth of the Canadian wine industry and peoples' engagement with it, Deroy's assertion that wine gives people the sense that they are participating in a deeply rooted culture, and Trubek's suggestion that a centuries old tradition with place and practice is not required to create a taste of place, serve as the guiding framework for my doctoral research as I explore the interrelationships between a particular practice, producing wine, within a particular place, Cowichan Valley, and by a particular group of people, the wine producers who live there.
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