Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how two aspects of place affect consumers’ authenticity perceptions of a wine and their willingness to pay for it. One aspect of place is the wine’s country of origin, specifically Old World versus New World wines. A second aspect of place is the technical terroir. A description of the terroir that is highly specific was expected to be perceived as more authentic and offer more value than a vague terroir description. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 109 US adults participated in an online 2 × 2 experiment in which authenticity, willingness to pay and expertise were measured. ANCOVA and MANCOVA were used to analyze the data. Findings – Subjects perceived the Old World wine as more authentic and were willing to pay more for it than the New World wine. Additionally, country of origin moderated the effect of terroir specificity on authenticity and willingness to pay. For New World wines, wine with specific information about the terroir was perceived as more authentic and more valuable than wine with vague terroir information. The opposite was found for the Old World wine. Finally, authenticity mediated the effect of this interaction on willingness to pay. Research limitations/implications – The sample limits generalizability, and the study design involved only a text description of the wine. While the description allowed control, future research should include a measure following an actual taste of the wine. Practical implications – The implications concern the strength of the Old World wine stereotypes and the means of marketing wines from less traditional wine-producing regions. The Old World wines provide a quality signal that need not be reinforced by a specific description of the technical terroir. In contrast, a specific description of the technical terroir may well send positive signals for wines from New World countries. Originality/value – This study is the first to empirically demonstrate that two different aspects of place influence a wine’s perceived authenticity.
International Journal of Wine Business Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 16, 2015
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