Wine, Temperance and South African Connectivity c.1900 to the Present

Although wine is often conceived of within bounded national histories, it is a commodity that is best understood within a global framework – especially since the transformations necessitated by the spread of phylloxera in the later nineteenth century. This project, which aims to transcend South African exceptionalism, focuses on three levels of connectivity between South Africa and the wider world in the twentieth century. The first is the exchange of scientific knowledge about viticulture and wine-making between the Cape, Europe, Australasia and North America. The second is the circulation of ideas about quality and taste alongside well-entrenched national (and regional) consumer preferences. The third level is the campaign against the products of the vine championed by a South African temperance coalition that was extremely well-connected to the international temperance movement. Although these are discrete strands, the various linkages between them will also be teased out.

Project leader(s):
  • Paul Nugent (Edinburgh)