Abstract: New Trends in World Wine Consumption and Their Impact on Spanish Wineries during the Second Half of the Twentieth Century

Francisco J. Medina-Albaladejo


The wine sector has undergone a series of deep transformations during the twentieth century, especially in the second half. During this period, wine consumption has fallen constantly and the habits and preferences of the consumer have changed, with an intense restructuring process in the productive sector provoked by these new trends. In this paper, the idea is to show how these new habits concerned the Spanish wine cooperative businesses, especially in the production and marketing processes, and the way these enterprises adapted to the circumstances. The main conclusions are that the Spanish cooperatives had to start a deep and traumatic restructuring process, with the aim of surviving adequately in the changeable national and international wine markets. They had to bring in greater control of the productive processes and a technological modernization, along with wider diversification and a better appearance of the product. At the same time, they started to incorporate professional management in order to use commercial branding and marketing policies, with a product of quality that is well differentiated by its denomination of origin. These businesses had to begin huge investment plans to carry out these changes, and they entered a strong crisis due to their traditional large financing problems.