Small rural family wineries as contributors to social capital and socioeconomic development
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Business
In adopting social capital and role theory, this study investigates ways in which small family wineries operating in a niche wine market are involved with their surrounding community. Through predominantly in-depth telephone interviews, data were collected from wine owners and managers and representatives from two wine regulatory councils and one wine association. Some of the tenets of social capital and role theory are clearly identified in wineries' initiatives that are contributing to social capital and socioeconomic development in various ways. Wineries are predominantly fulfilling the role of providers through employment; as sponsors, organizing or donating at local events; as guardians, helping preserve the local and historical patrimony, as well as the landscape; finally, as promoters of tourism and the region. Given the significance of small businesses for many economies and sectors, including the wine sector, these findings have very important implications. In addition, avenues for future investigation are proposed.