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Abstract

This paper examines the role "typicality" can play in the concrete quality wine market organisation. "Typicality" is often denounced as being an illusion, a kind of purely social construct used to enhance sales, create scarcity and high prices. These assumptions imply that the goodness of produce can be immediately perceived. The anthropological study of this particular market and the focus on the perception of quality show on the contrary that it is not. Quality is the result of the wine critique's work and "typicality" is an intermediary notion that helps the wine critique to judge the wines. So rather than being a purely economic notion, the production of "typicality" appears to be fairly similar to the production of style in other artistic domains, and the denominations of origin are closer to author's rights than to economic measures designed to produce scarcity.

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