UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A reflective process to explore identity in an emerging wine territory: The example of British Columbia Pesme, Jacques-Olivier; Sugden, Roger; Mooken, Malida; Valania, Marcela; Buschert, Kim


• Purpose: Identity is often used in wine territory narratives but its meaning is rarely explored with industry actors. This paper presents the development and application of a four-step iterative process for engaging an industry in a complex and deep reflection about its shared identity: understanding identity; identifying commonalities and differences; developing a shared narrative; sharing best practice. • Design/methodology/approach: We have engaged with over 50 wineries between 2016 and 2018 on the identity of the British Columbia wine territory through workshops, interviews, and other conversations. Complementary methods include documentary review and observations. • Findings: Our work shows the applicability of the four-step process. Success depends on building relationships with and across the industry; creating independent, safe learning environments, and facilitation by an independent party; allowing for feedback between the steps, continuous reflection, and reiteration of steps; making the time for complexity. • Originality/value: The paper presents a unique process for an industry to explore the identity of a wine territory. It focuses on British Columbia, about which little has been written. Through the process, industry can better understand identity, what it is, why it matters, and how it impacts businesses. The paper’s insights can inspire researchers and industries in their thinking and practice about identity.

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