AAWE, Economics Dept, New York University, 19 W 4th St, 6Fl., New York NY 10012aawe@wine-economics.org

AAWE Working Paper No. 151 – Economics


Classification and re-classification:
Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA and its new sub-AVAs

Omer Gokcekus & Clare M. Finnegan


The creation of new, sub-AVAs within Oregon’s Willamette Valley AVA may indicate a desire on the part of well-established wineries to “split” or separate their social grouping from those with lesser qualifications. Once their social cluster has been differentiated, we theorize that these wineries would be able to capitalize on their newly developed distinctiveness and collect a larger regional reputation premium. Based on 2,221 Wine Spectator rated pinot noir wines between 1984 and 2008, regression analyses demonstrate that indeed regional reputation premiums have significantly increased with the creation of sub-AVAs; and that the price-quality ratio gap between sub-AVAs and the rest of Willamette has widened. (JEL Classification: C20, Q12, Q13, L66)

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